I think my jazz bass needs something

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jake Kinsch, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. Jake Kinsch

    Jake Kinsch

    Jun 9, 2015
    Hey there, I have a jazz bass that I have been playing for a while now. I made it out of parts from a licensed store, and put the custom shop 60s pickups in it. The more I play it the more I notice that it only sounds decent the day you put on new strings, after that It starts to sound completely dead. I don't know if there is any way to improve the sound of it, or if it is purely the spirit of the instrument that sounds like crap. I thought about putting a preamp in it to hopefully improve it. It just makes me really sad that this american made bass sounds worse than a squier most of the time. Should I toss it or is there a better way to try and revive it?
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Is it set up well? Is the pickup height where it should be?

    Assuming all that is good, adding a push/pull for series parallel would be a good move.
    Sartori, 2behead, Okstatefan and 4 others like this.
  3. bearhart74

    bearhart74 Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2009
    prolly needs a tort pickguard
    Jjdhawg, Co0O, Haggis24 and 36 others like this.
  4. Photobassist


    Dec 18, 2010
    ^ precisely
    andruca, 2behead and lowdownthump like this.
  5. grimmchaos


    Nov 22, 2007
    Albany, NY
    A good setup makes all the difference. Also, what strings are you using?
    mbelue and Sartori like this.
  6. Double E

    Double E I ain't got no time to play... Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    You simply have New-String-Syndrome... I can't stand the sound of new strings myself, the unbridled brightness annoys me.
  7. So many variables, here.

    What sort of new strings are you installing? Have you tried a different set? If you have been using nickels, try some stainless steels.

    Are you wiping down the instrument, after playing it? It may simply be a matter of your own body chemistry: You might have that lethal brand of sweat & personal funk that murders strings before their time.

    Have you tried an outboard pedal pre-amp? Factor in the pickup height question, also. Maybe different pickups are in order. What are your tonal goals?
  8. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    An interesting experiment would be to see how it sounds in the hands of another bass player. It could be a technique issue.
  9. jd56hawk

    jd56hawk Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Might need one of these.
  10. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    This. All of this.

    More information will allow us to help you more....which we would be happy to do.
    plankspanker13 likes this.
  11. tortburst


    Apr 1, 2007
    New Jersey
    what color is it?
  12. No - it needs TI flats
    lowdownthump, trothwell and ICM like this.
  13. gjohnson441496


    Dec 14, 2014
    I initially couldn't bond with my jazz bass either (Fender American Standard). Sounded fantastic in the store! Love the way it looks! Feels great! Got it home... meh. BUT, after finding the right strings for it (in my case rotosound rounds), and taking the time to discover various tonal qualities by trying various pickup positions and tone knob settings, I'm really digging the Jazz bass. Give it a chance and some time. As others have stated, you may need to find what's right for your particular instrument. But just to let you know, you are not alone in this endeavor. Hang in there with it for a while and if it doesn't work for you after you've given it your all... TRADE THAT SOB FOR A RICKENBACKER!!! Hope this helps.
    killerbee, Tbone76, Sartori and 2 others like this.
  14. Michael B

    Michael B

    Dec 16, 2015
    Lowell, MA
    Yeah maybe different strings.
    Guessing that if you like them brand new only maybe your pickups are too 'vintage'. Try a similar bass with less vintage pups. See if that's it. I like Ernie Ball Super Slinkies as they seem to retain the newness longer YMMV.
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  15. Lava

    Lava Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2014
    El Paso, TX
    I've found through the years that the tone I need live was very different than what I liked at home. Once the drums, gtr and horns kick in, the bass really needs to cut through more than anything else.
    Oh, and the tort takes care of a lot of problems...
    northbynorth and bluejack like this.
  16. More information will allow us to make more remarks which are neither clever nor funny. There is no such word as "prolly".
    gebass6 and Geri O like this.
  17. southpaw723


    Oct 20, 2013
    I'm currently having a similar problem with my jazz cutting through in the mix. I also have the cs 60's pups
  18. i see what you did there
    Photobassist and lowdownthump like this.
  19. Michael B

    Michael B

    Dec 16, 2015
    Lowell, MA
    I like full with both Vs then back off bridge a bit until you hear phase cancellation going away. This would help a lot I would think to improve live vs bedroom tone.
    Qlanq and Clutchcargo like this.
  20. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    …and should you decide to go that route, I'd highly recommend this incredibly flexible (not to mention convenient) doodad. It did wonders to my P/J parts-bass! :thumbsup:

    Elek-Trix Fender Jazz Bass® Series & Parallel Wiring Harness Kit

    These are all great questions and theories. On the "body chemistry" subject, if you think that might be the case, a number of manufacturers make coated strings…Ernie Ball, Elixir and DR, to name a few. Personally, I had damn-good experiences with the Elixirs, while the DR Black Beauties have been kinda fickle, but when they work, they work!
    mbelue, static0verdrive and Nev375 like this.
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