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Hi-end Fender Jazz-types ?!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MarkMcCombs, Feb 19, 2003.

  1. Hey everyone, I've been looking into getting a Fender Jazz, only not a Fender, I'm more interested in the Lull, Sadowsky, Lakland types than Fender, as I've never played a Fender that I was 100% happy with, but get the idea that these companies make the Jazz like Fender wished it could (sorry, I'll add IMO so I don't offend!).

    I'd consider an older Fender Jazz, like 60's or 70's, but haven't found any locally and I'm not going to do eBay for another instrument; I have to play it before purchasing it.

    Anyway, are there more companies that are in this game? I guess Modulus makes one too.

    What can you tell me about each of these? I know Sadowsky's are probably the most expensive, and probably more than I want to pay, but any info you can provide regarding similarities and differences would be greatly appreciated.

    Oh yeah, I play of lot of different styles of music, and thus would want something that can give somewhat of a range of tones.....all good ones!


  2. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Nino-Brown and MANY others here hold Sadowsky basses in VERY high regards. According to some they're the "do-all" machine.. Probably be your best bet there... Sometimes you luck up and find one used...

    I might consider getting one if they made a 7 string model!! :p

  3. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    IMO (yes, to not offend, but I always seem to anyway)...

    You'd really have to play them - they all have subtle tonal & playing differences. As for Sadowsky being the "do-all"? Hell no. Maybe for someone, but not for everyone! Its all personal preference and marketing.

    what haven't you been happy with in the fenders you've owned?
  4. Here's their site They are based in Denmark. All crafted in-house - the bodies, necks, pickups (although they offer other pickups like Fralin's as well), preamp electronics and finishing. Priced somewhere in between Lakland Skylines and Sadowsky or Lakland US models. In the same price range as the Sadowsky Japanese models. They have a few US dealers, see their site.

    Nice stuff!:cool:

  5. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama

    IM OFFENDED!!!!!!!


    True, it's best to play one first... Even then, how do you know a bass is going to fit the bill from just banging around on it in the store?? IME it's taken at least a month of solid playing, tweaking, and finessing to see if a bass "has it".

    Unfortunately, I don't know of many individuals out there who'll let a bass go out for that length of time while you try it out.
  6. fclefgeoff

    fclefgeoff Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    I picked up a Modulus VJ4 in December and have been in love ever since. If you have the opportunity to try one, I would highly recommend it. Here is a review that I posted.....

    Just a follow up. I received my Modulus and I am simply blown away. First impressions....

    1.) I love the neck & fretboard! I never thought I would enjoy a carbon fiber neck as in the past I have tended to be a bit of a traditionalist (only played wood & solely 4 strings) but I am very, very pleased. Many have said that the tone from graphite is sterile but I tend to disagree. I feel that the sound is clean as a whistle. This bass cuts through the mix like nobody's business. You can really feel the resonance of each note, I mean they just fly off the neck. Also, no dead spots. Any place that I play on the neck sounds great regardless of which string. Very even tone.The frets are dressed nicely, the neck width feels great and it is extremely light compared to the maple neck on my Fender. One thing that has taken some getting used to is the fact that it only has 21 frets but other than that I am digging it big time!

    2.) The Bartolini passive pups and active electronics are top notch. Prior to this I had only experienced "Stock" pups. I have owned a Yamaha, 2 Gibsons (SG-Z & Thunderbird), and still own a American Deluxe P-Bass and I must say that none of these instruments ever sounded as great as the Modulus. The Barts are warm & punchy and sound very Hi-Fi. I haven't used the NTBT much as I still prefer the tone of my Sadowsky outboard but I wouldn't be afraid to use the Bart onboard as it does have a very nice tone. The control cavity was nicely sheilded as well contributing to the noise free tone.

    3.) The finish looks great. My VJ is black (I know, it's not very exciting but it should fit in any situation) and the body was finished perfectly. One thing that I noticed on my Gibson T-bird was that you could see in one spot where the clear coat had sort of dripped (it wasn't really obvious but if you looked closely, it was there) and I am happy to announce that I have been unable to find any finish flaws on the VJ. The attention to detail is definitely there.

    4.) The bridge is heavy duty (Gotoh, I believe) and combined with the neck gives incredible sustain. Looks chunky so I don't expect any problems with it anytime soon.

    5.) Overall, I am so amped over this baby!
    I couldn't be any happier and I am already thinking that my next bass will be a Quantum, maybe even a 5? Whooo! Look out, I'm gettin' crazy!!! Seriously, If you are looking for a good Jazz bass, you can't go wrong with one of these. I bought mine without ever playing one before and chose this over a Fender FMT. Not sure how it would stack up to the big boys (Sadowsky, etc.) as I have never played any of them but for the money you can't go wrong. In fact I have seen them for under $1,000 used on ebay!!!! That may be my only regret about this purchase but there is some satisfaction in knowing that other than the techs at the factory, no one else has touched "your" bass. Overall, an excellent bass and highly recommended.
  7. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I haven't played a USA Lakland Jazz style bass (Osborne, Dual-J, or 55-63) I have played the USA Laklands with the J/MM config. The basses were great. Felt, played, looked, construction, etc. Everything was right except for the sound. I never saw one of the J types in a store so I never played one. I never went out to find one because IIRC, @ the time, they were offered with Bart pre-amp & pickups or Passive & I didn't want either, at that time.

    Sadowsky-The 1st time I played a Sadowsky was when I was in my Spector Phase. I found out where thay were, took a train ride over there, tried out some basses & was totally blown away from what I thought was just an over priced Fender Clone. I had a nice chat with one of the employees & on my way out I said "Thank you, BTW, My name is Anthony" & he treplied "You're welcome & I'm Roger". I was shocked that Roger was talking to me like I was a human being. It was very suprising. The second time I was in the shop ready to buy, I played a bass that was in stock & it SOOOO fit me, that I bought it & I don't think I'll EVER sell it.

    Now If I lived in Chicago or Seattle & I visited LAkland or Lull's shop, I probably might have the same experience with Dan & Mike & maybe have the same experience with their J-Type basses but since I lived in Brooklyn NY @ the time & now in Staten Island NY, Sadowsky's shop was 20 minutes away from me & have become my bass of choice (before I started working for him)

    I've played a few of the Modulus Quantums, never their J styled basses. I liked the Quantums ALOT & would really like to own one of theose, eventually.
  8. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    Lull's the same way - truly nice guy, and you'd never guess who he was (the sweat pants really throw you off) :)

    Nothing compares with the kind of personal touch a great luthier gives!

    I've had really great (tho not in person) experience with Mike Tobias, Ken Lawrence, and Dave Boonshoft too, all of which were warm, patient, and truly interested in my problems.

    really, there's only been a couple who have been rude - Rob Elrick was the worst - I bought that crazy looking NJS5 that he had at NAMM, called him, and he swore up and down that he never made that bass, then proceeded to rip on it!

    ahh... genius is so often stricken with madness :D
  9. steve_man

    steve_man Supporting Member

    May 15, 2002
    I've been hearing a lot about japanese basses!!!

    And after Sadowsky getting on the band wagon. It kinda makes you think what have japanese luthiers been doing right. Also what companies have been doing great through them?

    What is your main playing style?
  10. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    Celinder's are very fine looking J style basses made id Denmark (not cheap). Atelier, a Japanese company, makes some very fine Fender styles as well. I think The NY Bass Boutique is the exclusive dealer in the US. They are pretty rare over here and last I checked the web site it was still primarily in Japanese. Moon is now defunct but was another great Japanese Fender style bass. They are also rare in the US but I happen to have one and I love it. I ran from Fender style stuff for yrs but the Moon has converted me to a full blown J style idiot.

    Here's a pic of the Moon for the sake of interest.

  11. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    In the interest of balance, Rob was extremely patient and helpful with me when I contacted him subsequent to buying one of his seven strings used. He had nothing to gain but good will by helping me out with some setup issues as I did not buy the bass from him. But he was personable, professional and quite cordial.
  12. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I wouldn't buy until I played a Pedulla Rapture J bass.

  13. All the named companies that make super-J basses seem to be making a lot of people very happy. It's a great recipe when made with proper care. All these companies do that. My choice was the pedulla rapture J-2. All the good J stuff, all the good "well-made instrument" stuff. Great B string too.
  14. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    Uh-oh. Here we go again.:rolleyes:
  15. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO

    Exactly what I was thinking. Noooooooooo!


    this time i'm not giving ANY opinions!
  16. bad dog

    bad dog

    May 7, 2002
    Jim Thorpe, Pa.
    To cloud the issue further, I gotta plug the F-Bass ... in fact I can't believe no one's mentioned it yet as being close to the top of the Super-J bass heap (and it's a big heap!). I'd try to check one out before you buy anything else.

  17. bad dog

    bad dog

    May 7, 2002
    Jim Thorpe, Pa.
    SMASH - Sorry I didn't mean to mislead you. F-Bass doesn't make a J-Bass copy, I was just referring to a stock BN5 or BN6.

    In single coil mode, with just the bridge pick-up on you can get a fat low-mid bark that's just right for J-ville ....... and you always have the option of going passive if that suits you, but with such a musical and unobtrusive preamp I can't see why you would want to.

  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    F Bass Studio is a killer Jazz type bass . It doesn't look like a Jazz, if that's important.

    I f I were looking for a killer Jazz (I have a bunch already) here's my list of basses I'm personally familiar with (and I hope I don't forget anything):

    Vintage Fender
    Japanese Fender
    Fender FMT
    Fender Jazz Deluxe
    F Bass Studio
    Elrick 21 fret NJS
    Sadowsky and Sadowsky Tokyo
    Mike Lull
    Lakland Joe Osborn
    Hot Wires
    A Bass
    Brubaker w/J pickups

    And, according to a friend whose opinion I trust...
  19. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki Supporting Member

    May 14, 2000
    I have F Bass Bn5, but I never consider it sound like J Bass even in single coil mode. I think F bass has it own sound, not a Jazz one.
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Try the Studio model... it's different from the BN5.