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Jazz Bass Shootout

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by thisSNsucks, May 19, 2005.

  1. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    My recently aquired love for Jazz basses is forcing me to do some crazy things, one being selling my stingray, it just doesnt get played nearly as much as my Geddy Lee, all sound preference really. Anyway with the money I get from the sale I'm hoping to get a really kick ass jazz, Ive been looking at the Fender American Series, Lakland Skyline Joe Osborn, or the Darryl Jones Signature. Which of the 3 would you guys go for and why. All three of these basses are in similar price range and get good reviews here so I'd appreciate whatever you guys have to say. Thanks
  2. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I havn't played the Laklands, I think the Fender is a nice bass. Also consider used instruments: J's from the 70s, Hamer USA Cruise Basses, and Modulus (and Genesis) VJ4s.
  3. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Lakland Darryl Jones > ANY other jazz bass under $2000
  4. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I compared the same three a couple of years ago and went with the Fender. I preferred the feel of the neck (love those rounded edges), which unlike the Laklands is graphite reinforced. It also came with a hardshell case. Finally, it has the S-1 switch, which provides more sonic versatility. I thought the Skyline Joe Osborn sounded the best due to the Lindy Fralin pickups, but I didn't think it was a huge difference at the time. Of the Laklands, I preferred the sound and feel of the JO, but the DJ is great too. (In fact, I'm watching fivers of both on the 'bay right now. ;) )

    I haven't regretted the choice for a second, and the Jazz is my number one bass overall. (I have three others: two Precisions and a DiPinto semi-hollow body.) It plays great, and never sounds out of place. It records exceptionally well.

    Then again, as my ear has developed, I've started to notice deficiencies in the pickups that lead so many tone hounds to the aftermarket, e.g., some lack of definition and slightly uneven response. I still think it sounds great, but it could stand improvement. I also dislike the single coil hum. So, just yesterday I ordered a set of Lindy Fralin split-Jazz pickups. Now I'll have tone similar to the Lakland Osborn, but without any 60 cycle hum.

    Anyway, that's my story, but you can't go wrong with any of these. They're all great variations on the Jazz theme, so for you it might boil down to which feels the best.
  5. jasonc


    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Buy another Geddy for gig back ups, and spend the rest on beef jerky.

  6. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Thanks alot guys, So far of the three I have only played the Fender and I really liked it. As far as the Laklands go, I havent had the pleasure of playing one, the GC near me only had like one Lakland last time I was there and it wasnt either model I'm interested in, so right now I'm basically going by what I hear around here. I think I'm going to rule out the DJ because it doesnt come in the color combo I want (Black with tortoise shell pg, rosewood fretboard) So I think its down to 2 right now.
  7. dBerriff


    Oct 2, 2004
    Oakham, UK
    "Fender" covers a lot of models. The newer Deluxes are really well finished and while not everyone likes the electronics I am very happy with my ash bodied 2002 Jazz Deluxe. Try a few before you settle on a particular model.
  8. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    I'm pretty much thinking Passive, the 2 active basses I've owned, I didnt really like, but Im not ruling out active.
  9. illidian


    Jul 2, 2004
    The Geddy Lee in my opinion is Fender's best Jazz Bass, especially when considering the price.

    Have Nino build you a Jazz. It probably won't cost much more than some of the production-line basses you're considering.
  10. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Nino! I forgot about Valenti basses, those things are sweet lookin. They're basically Warmoth parts with Sadowsky electronics right? Looks like I have something else to consider.
  11. illidian


    Jul 2, 2004
    Depends on your options.

    He uses Warmoth parts, but the electronics are all up to the customer, I believe.
  12. jja412

    jja412 Fine Gear Enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    Nino can do just about any option you want. I went with the Sadowsky pre and Nordstrand J's on my Valenti project, and couldn't be happier. Go Valenti, and get what you want at a great price. My second choice would be buy a second Geddy, and install a killer pus/pre combination in it.
  13. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Lots of things to consider depending on what you're looking for. If you want a more'60s vintage vibe the USA Fender in alder/rosewood might be the way to go. You could always change the pickups if you were of a mind.

    If you want a more modern tone perhaps the Skyline JO or DJ might be the deal for you. Unless I'm mistaken both of those come with ash bodies and at least the JO (and maybe the DJ) is available with a maple board. The JO comes with Fralins and the DJ with Aero pickups.

    Valenti might be an option for you as well as the used market for Laklands or Fenders and others. As of last night there was a Mike Lull with (I think) Fralins and some kinda preamp for sale for $1150, as I recall. Used Lakland USA JOs go for around $1400-1500.

    Edit: The Mike Lull was on the Dudepit.
  14. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Cape Canaveral, FL
    get a valenti
  15. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Does anyone know any good shops (online or in the NY area) that carry the Laklands? I wanna look into those a bit more.
  16. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Actually, ALL the USA Laklands, as well as the Skyline 5's, ARE graphite reinforced. FYI. :)

    Back on topic, tho, I've ALWAYS been a HUGE Fender J fan, and even tho I play mostly 5's these days, I have a Geddy J I just can't get enough of. There's serious magic in that thing! :)
  17. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    True indeed. I thought the models he mentioned were four string Skylines, hence the contrast with the Fender. I'm not really sure how much it matters anyway; after all, none of those revered 50's and 60's Fenders had graphite, and some are still going strong.

    And of course I'm with you on being a massive J fan. I just ordered some split-J Fralins for mine, and I can't wait!
  18. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    I love my Lakland 5!

    I just spent an hour last night on a Geddy Lee at the new GC in SFO...

    If I had the dosh, I'd own it... dayum... I think that's my next bass...
  19. gwreid


    Apr 8, 2005
    I Know Rudy's on 48th Street in Manhattan has Laklands. You can check 'em out on their WEB site at www.rudysmusic.com
  20. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Thanks alot so far guys. I think I'm going to go with the Lakland. I think it would look sick in black, tortoise pg and rosewood board. Mmmmm, now all I gotta do is sell my ray and scrounge up some extra cash and I'll be set. I'll probobly be posting the Ray next week on the for sale forums here if anyones interested.

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