jazz bass advice - u or c shape?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sifi76, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. sifi76


    Mar 14, 2007
    New Zealand
    Hey folks, I need some jazz bass help. I recently joined a covers band that plays 70's funk and I've been using my stingray and my ibanez ATK, and while I do love both, the tone I get out of my octave and envelope pedals with a passive bass is much better in comparison. As such, I'm in the market for a passive jazz, but I've got a few options, and most of them come down to feel and tone. I'm probably going to stick with fender for the authenticity, but I'm trying to decide between a 63 reissue or the 74. I've had a go of a 63 in-store, a lovely lpb, but I've yet to try a 74 and figured I'd get some advice on the neck shape. Considering how chunky both my atk and ray necks are, is the U shape that much different? I liked the 63's vintage C but found it just a fraction too narrow and shallow, especially at the first fret. I like a bit of chunk so I can get a grip with my thumb and anchor it on the back, especially at the higher frets. I don't play thumb over neck all the way though so that might be a factor worth taking into account.

    Ok jazz owners, fire some advice my way :)

    PS: if anyone has one of these to sell me, let me know, I do have these local options, but I'm always open to other offers (oh yeah, I'm located overseas in New Zealand, but it's never been an issue for me getting basses here)
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014
  2. Malak the Mad

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

    I've heard the Mexican-made Fender Classic '70s (not a year-specific reissue, but of a general '70s groove) has one of the chunkiest necks out there. Some even compare it to a baseball bat, what with the "'70s C" shape combined with the curvier vintage-style fretboard radius. And as far as sonic output, it's no slouch either…nice and snarly, especially when fitted with the right strings. In my case, mine had the new D'Addario FlexSteels.

    I say "had" because I'm selling the body, but I loved the neck so much I installed it on my Fender Blacktop Jazz. And that reminds me…if you want something super-ballsy, see if you can try out a Blacktop Jazz. It's easily the most aggressive passive bass I've ever encountered…I blame site the doubled Precision pickups for that. However, if something more mellow is needed, I can roll-off the bridge pickup and get a pretty-darn-close-if-not-spot-on Precision sound.

    Anyway, here's some relevant links;

    Fender Classic '70s Jazz Bass (for the record, don't let the MIM-designation turn you off…it's one of the "cream of the crops" as far as MIM's go, alongside the Geddy Lee and Reggie Hamilton sigs)

    Fender Blacktop Jazz Bass

    This is the replacement neck for the '70s Jazz. You can buy them separately directly from Fender.
  3. Basseroni


    Oct 17, 2006
    Southern California
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Dunlop/MXR
    If you want that authentic tone from the 70's then you can't go wrong with The 74 reissue. The 63 will give you a warmer tone overall due to the position of the pickups but it doesn't have that aggressive bark that a 70's jazz bass will give you.

    As for the 74 reissue, I tried it out twice and the first time I couldn't get with it because being accustomed to C necks, that U shaped neck threw me off with it's extra chunkiness. The second time I found my comfort zone with the chunkier neck and it sounded great. The difference was that GC set the bass up by the time I tried it the second time so that made the chunkier neck a lot easier to play. It was an alder/rosewood combo in sunburst and I loved the sound. It was very punchy and aggressive. However, I prefer ash/maple for this particular bass for even more of a bright tone so that is what I'll be getting soon.
    dtyndall likes this.