Jazz basses, going back to the basics!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tim Cole, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Well, for a long time I have been a huge fan of humbucking, and more hi-fi sounding basses. I have been through a ton of them, trying to find out what I like. Of all the basses I have owned, the Modulus Flea, and Musicman Bongo have been the best. I've tried about every bass of this sort I care to try, and decided the Modulus is for me.....so I am now done buying and selling to find what I like best.......right?

    WRONG, GAS doesn't work that way, and we all know it! While I have never been a huge fan of the Fender sound (P or J) in a solo setting, I have come to the realization recently of why they are so popular.....they sound HUGE in a band setting, and lie in the mix like little other does. I love my Modulus, but let's face it.....Flea's tone on "Horse with no name" is a little on the brutal side, even at flat! So here I am recently GAS'ing for something I have never really been too interested in, so I bought up a couple J basses to cure my gas, and give this sound a fair shot, which I have been denying all these years! My band does both electric, and acoustic sets, I plan to string one up with my regular roundwounds of choice, and I bought a new set of TI jazz flats for the other, for the acoustic, and more laid back stuff we do. I am going nuts with anticipation waiting for them to show, they should be here sometime this week, just in time for my acoustic coffee shop gig coming up. I'm also putting a little TLC into an old, cheap Chinese P bass I've had sitting here for a while.....now don't tell me I am going to like P's too!!Here's what I have coming, and of course, a full pictorial will follow.

    Bass #1: 1978 Fender Jazz, heavily worn original white, with the white pickguard. It also has white binding, and white block inlays on the maple board. 100% original, save for one saddle on the bridge, as far as I know. This is going to be the mellow beast, with the TI flats. I've also picked up a nice brown tort guard for this, just for a change now and again. If it looks good as it is, I now have 3 pickguard options for bass two.

    Bass #2: A one month old, used Geddy Lee '72 reissue. This one will be string with TI powerbass roundwound strings, and used alongside the flea for the electric stuff. I've never cared for the black/white "tux" look, so I ordered a mirror guard, like the nino "Valenti" J's you see often around here. I am also considering a J-retro addition to this bass, will have to wait and see how I like these, and whether I think it would be a great improvement over stock.

    If any of you Fender Guru's have any suggestions for EQ settings, that would be great, whole new ballpark for me here.
  2. hoel


    Jul 16, 2003
    Oppdal, Norway
    If you run a DI, make sure the PA has the EQ flat, same for your bass-amplifier too. Fender J-bass + Flat = :bassist:


    Of course you may have to do adjustments to the room you're playing in. And you're bass won't sound KILLER alone, but in the band mix it'll float around just as nice as just Fender basses can do :)

    What amplifier and cabs do you have?

    greetings from Norway,

  3. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    You know - now matter how many basses I play, I always seem to end up back with the Jazz. It;s just so damn versatile!

    I think embellisher said it best: "Everyone should own a jazz bass".
  4. bovinehost


    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    I hear you. I love me some Jazz basses, Tim. I have a 62 RI Jazz, that Custom Shop NOS 64 Jazz and - on the way as of today - my old Inca Silver Jazz bass is coming home from Scott Cutrer.
  5. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    One of these days, I am going to have to get myself inside that trading circle, at least you have a good chance of getting your own stuff back, maybe 2 or 3 times :)
  6. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I know how you feel to a certain extent. I've been into the whole humbucker/ultra modern tone. I've been playing my stingray5 for about a year and just last week i opened up the case of my old Fender Jazz 4 [1997 model, MIM] that has been strung w/GHS brite flats for the past 4 years. I likey. It made me want to get a 5er in the same format. So i went to the local shop and Played a MIM Fender Jazz 5 w/rounds on it. The bass needed some work-lower 3 strings buzzed when open, d string seemed to be binding in the nut slot, and sounded like it had a bit of a wiring problem [when both pickups where up and i wasn't touching metal it buzzed really loudly]. I do still want one [jazz 5 w/flats], but am debating betweenn trying to build one [after i get the current prjoect done] and just buying an Essex 5 [or 2].

    That's all
  7. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    If I was buying a Fender Jazz 5, I'd look into the RB5 artist series or the the Miller 5, both took a shining to me, although I played a MIM Deluxe model at Sam Ash for a while the other day (I went and put a down payment onto an Roscoe Beck 5 stringer myself) and was quite impressed.

    As for EQ settings, I have J-Retros on mine, and I guess I can apply what I do with the retro and equate it to amp settings :p Depending on the set I'm playing (usually at church), For a more P-Bassy sound, I go towards the Neck pickup and raise bass about halfway and raise the mids just a touch and sometimes the treble a touch too but usually leave it flat, for the cutting through sound I sometimes solo the bridge pickup and go a bit more bass, boost the mids and treble about 3/4 of the way to full
  8. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    If the RB artist 5 or the MM5 was in the same price range as the others-i'd look at them more. If i do decide to go for a 5er made by Fender-those two, will get a definate look-i just don['t know if i want one for sure yet, and there's several upcoming things that will take away money [goin to a dance in about 2 wks {holy crap-only 2 wks}, want a DB]. That's all