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Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mattsk42, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. mattsk42

    mattsk42 Supporting Member

    I have been looking for a jazz bass to compliment my Bob Glaub. I want the most versitile one, and definitely the smoothest tone w/out being fretless or 5 string.

    I've looked into G&L, MM, and Lakland, but I don't have a place to play these in my state, and I'm in college now so I can't go on a long trip really.

    Can anyone tell me what the best (in their opinion obviously) tone is for something real smooth and jazzy?

    I'm looking to spend UNDER 700 dollars shipped. Thanks!
  2. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    You can get a used MIA Fender Jazz for that price, that would be my guess as to the best one in that price range
  3. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    this thread is going to be fulled with Geddy Lee Jazz :p
  4. mattsk42

    mattsk42 Supporting Member

    :eek: Sorry, that is almost literally the only one I don't want. I have a Peavy Grind and the previously mentioned Lakland, but other than those two, MIM Fender, and a Squire are the only other basses I have tried and I really didn't like either in the least bit. Plus I really don't like the styling.

    Sorry for not posting that earlier, it would have been a good suggestion, though! :)
  5. A MIM Classic 60s J might be a good choice, and I think they're under 700 bucks brand new. They have a lot of 60s vibe and are very well constructed - many TBers consider these Fender's most underrated bass. If you can find a used one, you can probably drop some good pickups in it and get a very good sounding bass for a low price. Their construction is quite a step from the MIM standards.
  6. mattsk42

    mattsk42 Supporting Member

    I would also like to know if active is the way to go. I've never played one and don't know much about it. And if it helps any, I'm playing through an Ampeg BA112. I've tried tuning that some, but I don't know that there's a WHOLE lot to do on that end w/ this rig.
  7. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    Jazz tone = passive.
  8. Mr_Dave


    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne
    the 60's classic will have a nice smooth tone with the tone down. it has a nice neck too

    the geddy is probably not so good because of the 70's pickup placement and the maple neck. not so smooth
  9. An active bass can definitely sound great, but many active preamps that come with low-end basses tend to sound sterile and unnatural. If you can find a used MIA Deluxe Fender J for under 700 bucks you will definitely get your money's worth. Most lower-end active J's I've tried just don't sound as good as a passive circuit.
  10. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    mm not ever,some good jazz tones are active,you have to choose the old or the newest tone.
  11. mattsk42

    mattsk42 Supporting Member

    I was going for a newer tone I think. Like you'd hear on Weather Channel music. Or latin sort of. Smooth and almost synth sounding, but not quite. Sorry for being vague, but like I said, I can't try these out, so just let me know what you guys think of the ones I listed; I really don't want a Fender because of looks AND mostly feel. Thanks.
  12. I'm gonna take a stab here and guess that you are asking for a good bass to play jazz music, and not a Jazz bass? (Note the capital "J" on the latter :p).

    I think most of the folks here are assuming you are looking for a good J-Bass, hence the multiple Fender recommendations (they did, after all, create the thing).

    I don't have an answer for your question, as I don't play jazz music myself, but I thought I'd make an attempt at clearing things up so someone who does will know what question is being asked. :)

    As for Weather Channel music and its ilk, there's a reason it sounds synth-like... if it's anything like the Canadian one, it most likely IS synth. :p Also, it seems that a lot of real bass played on jingles and themes are done by session artists who probably own at least one really high end instrument. It's difficult to try to duplicate that tone without also owning a bass of the same tier.

    Just my opinion, though. :)

    Edit: Should add that those session cats have some fantastic hands, and no amount of gear will make up for that. Just gotta practice! :) (Same boat we are all in.)
  13. mattsk42

    mattsk42 Supporting Member

    Thanks a ton for that! I was kind of wondering why they all instantly suggested that one. I know a lot of the Weather Channel is synth, but I looked up the music, and a lot of it isn't. Elevator music is the same type I'm looking for. If you don't know what I'm talking about, it's generally one of the most 'hated' music genres out there. Disliked would be a better term. Some groups:

    The Rippingtons CLICK! and go to "Life in the Tropics" and listen to Crusin' Down Ocean Drive<-- this tone almost exactly
    Tim Bowman CLICK! and listen to sample 1 Love Joy Peace about midway through is where it picks up. Not so much the next sample.

    OK, thanks for the replies guys. Like I said, I really can't go play a lot of these instruments, so I have to rely on opinions here so any suggestion or description will help. :hyper:
  14. Jonki

    Jonki I will not slap my Bee!

    Oct 14, 2003
    Arendal, Norway

    Geddy Lee jazz bass :D
  15. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I think a Fender is a no brainer here. Check out the new MIM "60s" jazz basses - very impressive, and look 100% the business, or a recent used MIA. Don't be scared off by the late 80s and early 90s Japan basses even if they look funny.

    If you can find one used, a Hamer Cruise would fit the bill also. They're pretty rare though.
  16. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    Based on this clarification, you probably are looking for something with active electronics, or better yet with active/passive capabilities. This could be a passive bass (Fender Jazz) with an outboard preamp (Sadowsky, Aguilar) or an active bass (Ibanez, used Lakland Skyline). The MIM or MIA Fender Jazz Deluxe would probably put you in the ballpark. You could get some decent warm, fat tones, but still dial in some active tones. IMO

    There's also a variety of effects processors around that emulate that synth tone. I've been kinda checking this out myself just for giggles, so I won't even try to go there.

    I dig those tones sometimes, but prefer an old-school jazz bass. So you're one of those guys too that watches the "Local on the Eights" over and over just for the music. :D
  17. mattsk42

    mattsk42 Supporting Member

    Haha yep I do that! Not so much anymore now that Sirius has Jazz Cafe which is pretty much the same thing. OK, I cut down the list. In order of what I like.

    1. G&L Tribute Premium - I know I can get these for 550 shipped in new/brand new condition. It also has a whole bunch of variations on tone from what I've heard.
    2. Lakland something - I like playing these most of any I've tried, but I don't know what sub 700 model would fit the previously mentioned style best.
    3. Peavey Cirrus 4 - I've heard tons of good reviews on these, and I have heard a couple jazz people play them, although not a ton.

    I'll try to warm up to the MIA Fenders, but at this point I'd rather not go that way. So if you don't mind picking 1 of the 3 listed, it would help me out a lot.
  18. Fender Jazz = Growly, not smooth
    Geddy Lee = Growly, not smooth
    G&L = also Growly, not smooth.

    these are not smooth basses people, maybe w/ the tone knob rolled off all the way but where's your versitility?

    I honestly can't make a recomendation for a smooth bass.. maybe some Pedualla's... they are smooth, but not under $700
  19. mattsk42

    mattsk42 Supporting Member

    Thank you! I have heard that the G&L's are growly as well, but I thought that it might have so many different tones w/ the active/passive controls so you could get a smooth tone. I also thought that Fenders weren't as smooth and like I said, I really dislike the way they look. Just too blah for me.

    Anyone else played any of these basses and have an opinion?
  20. Music Man Sterling or Stingray are excellent quality.

    My MIA Jazz upgrade model has a neck with rolled edges that is awesome to play. The rolled edge is only found on the MIA.
    Also, the MIA has better quality hardware and electronics than the MIM's. Once you have played a rolled edge you will be spoiled as the others feel like they are digging into the palm of your hand.