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Info about Fender American Standard

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sparkl, May 31, 2012.

  1. Sparkl


    Apr 23, 2011
    I'm about to get myself an old school classic standard J-Bass.

    But I have a few questions so I can inform myself better when buying myself one:

    What I'm primarily looking is - that "jaco" buttery tone and a nice warm bassline when not "jacoing" in a band :)


    For achieving the above described sound as best as possible, I need to know a few things:

    1. Should I take rosewood or maple neck? Some pros and cons would be great here...

    2. Should I look for ash or alder? Again, pros and cons would be great...

    3. Should I look for used older J-Basses like 70's or 80's or 90's or are the newer 2000's competitive enough? (I know that this is a very delicate question but if I need to decide what to do here)

    4. rosewood vs maple fretboard - do they feel the same in the hands or not? (I mean, is for ex. maple harder to play on than rosewood or vice versa?)

    Thanks for the answers. :)


    5. What would I benefit by choosing some reissue model over the american standard? As I've heard the reissue series are better made? Or is it just a myth?
  2. Go for the Jazz that you like the looks of best. Maple vs. Rosewood fingerboards, Alder vs. Ash bodies... none of it is as important to tone as strings and your amp.

    Personally I think the new American Standards are the best basses Fender has put out in like..forever. '08 and newer models are just awesome and very consistent.
  3. I have MIA 2000 Standard Jazz bass with rosewood fret board. Awsome tone, quality, neck, sound! I bought it at Sam Ash for $700.00. Best deal I ever made.
  4. Alder vs. Ash = virtually undetectable.
    Rosewood vs. Maple- Rosewood is said to be a little 'darker' while maple is said to produce a brighter tone.

    For 'Jaco' tone, play near the bridge and favor the bridge pickup. For a fatter tone blend theneck pickup and bridge pickup evenly and/or favir the neck pickup and/or pkay closer to the neck.

    But, the truth is, none of this ^ matters a quarter as much as studying your craft...perfecting your technique (especially finger style for the Jaco stuff), and learning about music and your fretboard. A great player will make any bass/rig sound amazing.

    On that note: nothing on talkbass will make your bass sound better than hanging out in the 'Technique' and ' Music Instruction' areas imo.
  5. Sparkl


    Apr 23, 2011
    Thank you for your info :)

    Of course the technique, strings and amps are the most important factor. And the technique. I know how to get those sounds out, just wanted to make sure, that I pick the right wood combo for my needs. :)

    So alder vs ash is not important.

    I find the rosewood maybe somewhat easier to play on. Might aswell be cos off the shelf the maple am stand 2011 wasn't set up as good as the 2012 one. But the rosewood has a nice warm tone.

    Is it a very significant difference or is it?

    For Jaco sound to work at it's best I kinda think that maple should be my choice...
  6. I have been playing bass for over 45 years. Ive played maybe 200 different basses and I can't hear any difference in body wood types or fretboard material. Pickups have some effect but pickup placement even more. I think strings are the most critical item in looking for a certain tone But without a doubt, the technique is by far where the tone comes from. I've heard many low quality basses sound wonderful in the hands of a great player.
  7. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Whatever works for you best. I have multiple maple boards and multiple rosewood boards. I don't notice any difference in terms of playability that I could attribute only to the fretboard material. I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've even heard of such a thing.

    As for tone, go to GC and grab one of each and see for yourself. I don't notice a difference when everything else is equal.

    The AVRIs and MIAs are both great. Current MIAs are more modern in terms of design and features, and the AVRIs are built the same the year they are trying to emulate. I prefer AVRI (tone, weight, fit & finish, neck specs) to MIA, but I have a few of each and they all get played regularly.
  8. kjpollo


    Mar 17, 2008
    Everybody has differing opinions about how much difference the different woods make in the overall sound of the bass.

    Me? Nope, barely registers at all. I THINK I hear a little more brightness and bite from a maple FB, but IDK for sure. I have 7 basses and the FBs are: 1 cocobolo, 1 ebony, 2 rosewood and 3 maple and since no 2 are the same model, I dont know how I could make a valid comparison. Is my G&L L2K Trib "brighter" than my Clement? Possibly- but is that due solely to the different FBs (maple on the Trib, cocobolo on the Clement) OR is it a result of the different pickups, pre and strings? IDK. YMMV.

    As far as the body wood goes, I LOVE the look of a nicely grained ash body when its well-matched, but thats strictly an aesthetic thing for me and it obviously only applies when you're dealing with a clear or translucent finish. On a solid painted body, it makes no difference to me.

    If you can hear a difference, go with the one that sounds better to your ears. If you cant, then go with the one that feels better in your hands.
  9. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005

  10. My advice, like the others have said, worry more about strings, setup, and technique rather than what woods are involved.
  11. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    It's funny how the truth is often spoken here but rarely taken seriously. This reply has been posted by numerous pros although many are looking for some magic pill to make them play like their heros. While understandable, it is a completely unreasonable expecatation,.
  12. Sparkl


    Apr 23, 2011
    Guys, forget about my playing abilities ok :) Let's not get involved in this. I'm also playing bass for 8 years now, play in several bands, attending jazz academy this year etc. But this is not relevant here.

    Thing is, after all these years I never worried about the specs of basses. I only had a Cort B5 Artisan which served me well, and now I have an MM Sting5 H/H model 2007 series.

    Now, when I want a Jazz Bass and throughout playing and trying several basses (properly set up or off shelf) I've learned a lot about certain things about which I know makes some major differences. Some can be heard by little, some can be heard from miles away.

    That being said, I want to get me a perfect J-Bass for me. For that I need some info. Not about playstyle, not about technique, just the bass specs.

    Nevertheless, thanks for your answers, now I know I'll more be looking for a better built Jazz without worrying too much about the fretboard. For the strings I already know that for my playstyle an technique, the Lakland strings work for me.

    Ash vs alder doesn't make a difference as you guys say, so that helps me actually a lot, though I'll try it for myself and then decide.

    Just one more thing - is there any way to get a new Jazz with the pickup positioning of the 70's basses (70's jazz had a 4 inch distance between the pups while others have 3.6 inches)? I'd like to try for myself what actuall difference this makes in the sound.

    Edit: I can already get the Jaco sound out of a 150€ worth Harley Benton made in china Jazz Bass replica but I want the real thing with the real tone.
  13. There's a MIM 70's jazz with that spacing, as well as the Geddy Lee.
  14. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it

    I feel there is a big difference between alder and ash. Alder has more low mid punch. Ash is more "scooped" sounding. Jaco's main fretted jazz was alder/rosewood. I recently switched from an ash bodied jazz to an alder...I can really tell the difference and love it.
  15. Engine207

    Engine207 Losing faith in humanity...one call at a time.

    Jul 10, 2008
    Higley, AZ
    Have you considered a fretless bass? Obviously, Jaco's tone is synonymous with fretless, and I believe that fact matters more than any of the other variables, combined.

    Notwithstanding my first comment, Eagle's right. It makes a difference, and the 70's Classic is the best Fender Jazz I've ever played.
  16. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    My advice would be to try as many as you can to find the one that feels like home in your hands. If it doesn't feel right then it ain't gonna happen. That's what I did when I was shopping for a Fender American Standard 5 string Jazz bass. Had no preferance with body color or if the neck had a rosewood or a maple fretboard. I knew what I wanted in terms of feel and when I found the bass I'd been looking for it was worth the wait.

    Wound up with a Candy Cola red model with a maple fretboard. A bass with maple fretboard was a first for me but again, I bought it because it felt and played the best over the others I tried.
  17. Sparkl


    Apr 23, 2011
    Well my MM Sting5 has maple neck and it plays very well. I've tried a rosewood standard J in some shop and it also played good. Seems like the rosewood is more soft on touch than maple.
  18. Sparkl


    Apr 23, 2011

    Yes I've considered it already and it will be the next buy after a fretted JBass.

    I first want it fretted then the obvious thing would be to get myself a fretless aswell :)
  19. I gnash my teeth with rage when I read that it doesn't matter if the bass body is made of ash or alder... If someone can not hear the difference in the sound of wood I suggest to go to the audiologist.
    Sorry that I have written so hard, but it's true. Try as many basses as you can find and then decide. Don't rely on the opinion because everyone has their own taste.
  20. jarrydee


    Oct 22, 2011
    I believe it is a psychological thing. Maple looks "brighter" than rosewood so people THINK they sound that way. that is IMO! If it was real you would think that every one could hear it, not just a select few with magic hearing!

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