Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

H1 Jazz $329.99 at GC - Worth It?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bongolation, Oct 29, 2004.


  1. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    There's a big sale at GC this weekend, and I went in tonight and saw some pretty impressive deals as they were marking up the stuff for tomorrow (30 October). I got a new Ampeg BA-112 for $169.99, and saw an unusually well-made H1 Jazz in the trans crimson for $329.99 (new). It had relatively excellent fretwork for a FMIC Fender and I've been considering a Jazz for a while to see if it's easier on my hands.

    I'm just wondering if these are really worth it, though, even at $329.99 for a good example. The parts are mostly MIM or MIM-grade (check the MrGearHead parts lists) and the MIA-ness of the H1s is very exaggerated, as is the wack $899.99 MSRP. I'm wondering if the Mexican "'60s Vintage" pickup set is adequate, particularly.

    What say the regulars? I can maybe live with the cheap looks if it's an otherwise giggable bass.
     
  2. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    Get it!!! Highway 1's are the cheap american's, right?

    or are they the cheap mexicans?

    Either way, cant go wrong with a fender at that price.
     
  3. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    At $329 bucks it would be hard to lose money on it if you decided you didn't like it. I happen to like the HWY 1 Jazzes. I think the neck profile is good on them. Heck. If you decided you didn't really like the tone you could put a set of high-end pickups in it and you'd still be in it for less than what those basses usually sell for. Where's the downside? Just make sure everything lines up on it (strings split the pickup pole pieces) and if you like the way it plays go for it. If I were in your shoes I would. $329? Oh yeah!
     
  4. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    More like "the expensive Mexicans," though they are nominally MIA by virtue of being assembled and cheaply painted with flat acrylic lacquer in Corona. The parts are MIM or MIM grade, with a sort of intermediate-grade unique body and neck.

    Maybe I'll go and take another look at it tomorrow and see how it stacks up.
     
  5. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    At $329 I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about the MIA/MIM stuff. Do you like the way it plays/sounds? For that kind of money I wouldn't care about those details. And as I said, for $150 you can replace the pickups and still come out ahead.
     
  6. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I have no desire to get something that requires upgrading, which is usually good money after bad unless you get the parts for free. Life's too short to try to make gear into something that it's not.

    Of course, doing a meaningful test with crappy stock strings and setup on a strange amp in the sheer, deafening cacophony and bedlam of Guitar Center is simply beyond praying for.:spit:

    The MIM Standards are not really adequate for my purposes, and if they were, they're a lot cheaper than the H1 during this sale. American Series instruments are OK by me, most of the time, given adequate QC (fingers crossed). I'm just wondering how the H1 stacks up compared to the "real" MIAs after a good setup and no mods. I have no direct experience with MIM pickups, so I don't know how real the "'60s Vintage" #58358/9 set is compared to actual '60s vintage pickups or the current American Series set, of if they're just junk. That's why I'm asking. I was hoping someone who has a bunch of gear to compare the H1 against could hip me to all this.
     
  7. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    As it happens, I rather like the tone of the HWY 1s. the pickups are nothing to write home about but they are adequate which is how I would describe the MIA pickups: only adequate. I'll tell you why I don't mind upgrading: The Nordstrand NJ4 pups I have in my Jazz are arguably the best Jazz pups you can get from anyone and they're sure better than ANYTHING Fender sells in any of their current basses. Sometimes by upgrading a stock Fender you can have a bass which sounds as good as some of the boutique basses for far less money.
     
  8. KeithPas

    KeithPas

    May 16, 2000
    Poulsbo,Wa
    I own a Highway 1 Jazz and I happen to like it alot. I have owned alot of basses and I think that this is a good mid-priced bass. It sounds to me from your post that you are expecting more than this bass will give you. Considering how doubtful you are of the basses tone and quality why spend the money? Even if it is a great deal, it doesn't matter if you don't like the bass.
     
  9. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    So, you're saying that these aren't any worse than the standard MIA Jazz set?

    There's really no technical reason that an MIM pickup must be any worse than a good MIA, and these are upgraded units from the "Standards." There's nothing magic about making a pickup. The standard "cheap" MIJ '54-style SCPB pickups that come in the MIJ '51RI and other imported SCPBs are, according to the SCPB mavens I know, more authentic-sounding than any of the aftermarket Duncans (which, ironically, are standard in the Japanese-market '51RIs).

    So...what I'm getting at here is that I'm not automatically writing off these pickups just because they're MIM. I'm just curious. I've never owned a Jazz Bass in my life, and I'm not sure if I've ever even played one, being a lifelong Precision guy. I do know that Jazz pickups are lower output relative to Precision splits, so I was hoping these had adequate grunt with a good set of flats. I'm looking for an old school sound, and in many ways the MIMs and the H1s are far closer to vintage instruments than the American series - though not always in desirable ways, such as the very thin toploader bridgeplates, as an example.

    Like I say, I'll go check this bass again in the morning and see what I think. Color's a little gawdawful, but from what everyone says, it'll start relic-ing off soon anyhow.:D
     
  10. KeithPas

    KeithPas

    May 16, 2000
    Poulsbo,Wa
    You seem to have nothing but bad things to say about this bass,why would you want to buy it? The pickups in my H1 are fairly hot, I would say just as hot as a P bass (which I have owned) if you have both pickups wide open. My bass came with flats and I do not like flats so I changed them to a used set of roundwounds and I like it more. It did sound old school with the flats, both pickups wide open and the tone dimmed about half way.
     
  11. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I have a Hwy 1 P that I like alot, so I'd definately buy the Jazz.
     
  12. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    I have a Hwy1 Jazz and I like it a lot. The pickups are very good sounding to me and stand up well when I play with the band. FWIW, MIM pickups are Alnico and sound hot and loud. My Jazz has the lowest amount of 60-cycle hum I have ever had in a Jazz. Plus it sounds better than other MIM Jazzes that I have owned and played.

    As for the rest of the bass, the neck profile is very good, better than the MIJ Jazz that I owned. The body is comfortable and feels solid. I also found it lighter than some other Jazzes that I have owned.

    Mind you, I don't see the point in purchasing a bass that you are feeling skeptical about. Sounds like no matter how good the bass really is you won't really like it.

    Dan
     
  13. Glenn D.

    Glenn D.

    Aug 20, 2002
    Fort Collins, CO
    So what are the MIMs going for?

    Glenn D.