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Just got a Jazz Plus!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rojo412, May 21, 2005.


  1. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Here is a pic, if you can tell me how to (or if I can) post it here, go 'head:
    http://acfcustom.freeservers.com/whats_new.html

    So anyway, what attracted me to this bass was its features, as well as the fact it was cheap as dirt. The electronics package: Kubicki Preamp (right?) and Lace Sensors... Active/Passive operation with passive tone control, 2 different active mid settings, standby, awesome. Plus, it's a 5 String, US made J bass. I hadn't played it, let alone any other J Plus, but at the price, I took a shot, couldn't fail.

    At practice yesterday, it was kicking some nice tone that I hadn't even been able to pull on my US DLX w/ Jretro Dlx. The neck feels great, the string spacing was perfect, the tuners and small head made it balance like a dream.

    I did have questions, though, not just pickled tink about the bass.
    1) Is it a Kubicki Preamp or just designed by him?
    2) What might the body wood be? It seems lightweight, but not chintzy (namely, I put strap buttons on and they didn't strip immediately, like most solid color Fenders I've had).
    3) What was list price on these when they were new (1993)?
    4) Are knobs still made for these and where do I find them? They are an odd size inside, weird pot pole diameter.
     
  2. Those are great basses. I had one and really liked the tones but I didn't like the jazz neck so I got rid of it. It sounded killer though.
     
  3. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    Nice to see another Plus V player on the board! I like mine for many of the same reasons (string spacing, pups/preamp, the downsized body as I'm a "smaller" player and large-bodied instruments are simply uncomfortable). The only thing I find lacking is B-string definition (anything below D is kinda weak) compared to modern basses, and I would love to see Fender create an "updated" model much like the current Zone is very much an update of the P-bass Plus. I'd certainly put a "J-Zone" on my GAS list!

    It's based on his original preamp design - I like to call it "downsized", as the original had a six positions rotary switch: three pre-set passive, two active, and a standby mode. I believe the original Stu Hamm "Urge" basses also had the Jazz Plus preamp with the addition of a pickup selector switch, which makes sense as he was a Kubicki player before the Urges.

    Alder was the body wood for the vast majority of basses constructed. Ash was a $100 upcharge.

    $1,189.99

    Sorry, can't help you there. You might want to contact Philip Kubicki, as I'm pretty sure he's still using the same knobs on current Kubicki basses.
     
  4. I've got a couple of old Fender catalogues from 92 and 93, and they list "alder or poplar" as the body wood for the Jazz plus/Jazz plus V, and ash for the natural finish.

    I've got a '92 Precision plus (the passive model with pickguard) in natural ash.
     
  5. BassikLee

    BassikLee Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 13, 2004
    Deltona, FL
    Owner: Brevard Sound Systems
    I have a '92. Red. Nice. I did about 95% of my gigging on that bass in a former life. I now have spectors, other fender clones, and the red J5+ is lonely.


    Lee
     
  6. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Hey, thanks for all of the info, much appreciated. The list is right where I thought it was, which makes me very happy considering I paid less than $400 for it.

    The knobs, though they work, were replaced by the former owner and they need little rubber pieces in them to fit and that makes them "off center", but I bought this as a project bass anyway.

    One thing I forgot to ask: Fingerboard, rosewood or pau ferro? I was toying with the idea of making this fretless, so if anyone has done that, let me know.
     
  7. BassikLee

    BassikLee Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 13, 2004
    Deltona, FL
    Owner: Brevard Sound Systems
    The FB is Pau Ferro, and I forgot to add before, as the question was not asked, DO NOT DEFRET. There, said it. My bass, bought in probably '95 or so, for $400, was fine. Then, I got a TL6 and decided to defret the J5+. Of course I screwed that all up. Ended up buying a replacement neck, from Fender, and putting it back to stockish (different bridge).

    Lee
     
  8. hmm, it says "rosewood" for the fingerboard in my catalogue for the plus V. probably a mistake though, as the board looks lighter than the rosewood on the Jazz plus 4stringer next to it.
     
  9. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Fair enough... I just thought it would be a good candidate. I figured since it was cheap and sounded good and would most likely remain a backup to my other basses, it would be fun to do.

    I am planning, however, to change the bridge (ABM, Schaller, or Hipshot A) and eventually tuners (black Gotoh).
    In addition, I will be converting the neck screws to machine screws with inserts and ferrules mounted in the body (fancy, cheap, easy to do).
    Also, I think I'm going to strip the neck, sand out the imperfections, and tung oil it... maybe re-poly, I don't know yet. It's a project.
     
  10. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    That's interesting - I have the spec. sheet from the "Fender Frontline" magazine circa Winter 1993 that makes no mention of poplar as a body wood and lists rosewood as the fingerboard wood. However, Fender has oftimes been known to changes their specifications without notifying customers or changing listings, and I've always thought that my particular fingerboard was far too light in color to be rosewood (although I've always written that off to Fender possible not dyeing their boards).

    I'm really interested in this answer, as I once considered purchasing a second JPV to be a defretted "sister" to my fretted (which I ended up doing with my Yamaha RBX 775, which turned out wonderfully) - what exactly went wrong with the defret? Was it simply a "screwed up" job as you said, or do you think there's something inherent about that design that makes it unsuitable as a fretless?

    Glad to be of any help - it's good karma, as several people were able to give me much-needed advice and specs (difficult on a little-known model like this) when I was looking into purchasing one based solely on descriptions and not having played one.

    ...and congratulations, that sounds like a great deal! It's been a while since I was tracking them on the 'Bay, but prices had been steadily rising to the point of being beyond the realistic worth while I was looking for a second before I found my Yammy's on clearance, both together costing less than one JP-V used. It's good to hear prices have leveled off somewhat, and that one day I won't have to break the bank for an ash-bodied Plus IV, the Fender Jazz four-string I lust for. :help:
     
  11. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I just pulled the neck off and started to strip the neck of finish. So far, so good. The finish was all nicked up anyway and this has made it super smooth. I am trying to decide what finish to use, a poly or tung oil. Before I finish it, though, I am going to try to slightly change the feel of the neck profile. Fun stuff.

    This thing needs a refret anyway, so that is why I was thinking of having it defretted, but I am holding off for a little while on the final decision. Was it a bad fretless bass? Just curious?

    Also, assuming I mess something up, do replacement necks fit these without modification? Which ones? You said you got one from Fender, which neck?
     
  12. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    Nice score my friend! Cool color. :D
     
  13. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
  14. BassikLee

    BassikLee Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 13, 2004
    Deltona, FL
    Owner: Brevard Sound Systems
    If I recall correctly, I just fu**ed it up.....
     
  15. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    That is a beautiful bass. Enjoy it!