Looking for a player's Fender Jazz Bass - any advice?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gyver, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. Howdy, I am looking to buy a used Fender USA Jazz bass. I am not looking for a museum piece, just the best sounding, most playable bass I can find. I like the idea of a true 70's Jazz but wonder if it would be better to just find a used 75 reissue which would cost considerably less. I am open to a Standard or a Deluxe, or any of the reissue USA basses. I have played enough Jazz basses to know that is what I want but with so many options i was curious what advice the more-informed on this board might have.

    Thanks, Gyver
  2. chef wong

    chef wong Banned

    Sep 15, 2012
    The best used Fender bass has to be the Geddy Lee Signature(Made in Japan). I've seen these sell for a good bit less than a used American Standard/American Series Fender. And, it's made just as well. I'd actually recommend the GL over a more current U.S. model. You just get more bass.
  3. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005

    I disagree - my used '08 American Standard Jazz is a better bass than a GL: the neck is much more stable, the electronics, tuners, and bridge are definitely better... I've played plenty of GL basses, and although very nice - they are not "more bass" than '08 to current MIA Fenders...

    Sure, if you're judging on *looks*, the GL is a bit flashier - but as an actual player, it's inferior to the '08 to current MIA Fenders...

    - georgestrings
  4. Get a mid '80s 62 American Vintage Reissue if you can find one.
  5. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    Used AVRI jazz here in the classifieds. $900-1300 out the door.

    One of the great values in the bass world.
  6. Thanks for the replies, I have played the Geddy Lee and other Japanese Jazz basses and I have not been as impressed with them as the American Jazz basses. I guess the question is whether spending more for an actual 70s era bass is worth the money or if a newer model is going to be better. And if the newer models are consistently better players does anyone have a preference over the standard, deluxe, reissues, etc. The new deluxes seem nice with the active/passive switch, but there are not many used ones around yet. I have a MM Sterling (active) so I am thinking a Standard would be better just to have one of each.
  7. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
  8. I have been liking what I have heard about the '62, sounds like a great bass.
  9. Dredmahawkus


    Nov 4, 2012
    I went to GC a couple weeks ago to buy an american P bass....and left with a MIM jazz. I played everything they had! I felt bad for the dude I kept making go up and down the ladder.....some reason I just liked the feel of the MIM. tomorrow I am getting it set up...lindy fralins put in and labella flatwounds.

    Oddly I went back to GC this weekend and they had the exact same bass same color....I tried it and it felt aweful compared to mine! I suggest to anyone after that with Fender to try every single bass before you buy it.....the electronics you can put extras in after....make sure the neck feels great and it feels balanced to your liking. I swear every Fender feels different no matter which one you play.
  10. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    My least favorite has been the MIM Standard. I haven't liked the neck on any I have played. I haven't played any other Fender Jazz that I haven't liked. The American Standard, American, '62 RI, Geddy, MM...all good. About the '62...mine was in bad need of some shielding. It hummed ridiculously.
  11. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    FWIW, I had a few of the actual 70's J's way back ... and although I liked the nat look, I dont have any exceptionally fond memories of them, but I do remember how heavy they were ... with that said, my '08 MIM Classic Series 70's Jazz at a hair over 8.5# goes head to head with any 70's I remember, at 1/3 of the price ...

    .. with the OP title request of a 'players bass', I am surprised nobody has mentioned the Road Worn Jazz yet ...
  12. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    It's not merely the "feel," either, but sound and QC as well.

    It's that way with most production instruments.

    It's interesting to go through a newly-unpacked sequential run of five or more "identical" instruments and compare them.

  13. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Cool. Another free entertainment Fender thread.

  14. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    I thought about those, but he specified MIA...

    - georgestrings
  15. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    The Reggie Hamilton bass was designed by a player for players. It is a PJ, don't know if you would accept that, and the only production version is a MIM, albeit a very nicely done MIM. The Custom Shop version is a MIA option since you don't mention a price range. You might snag a used one for a production MIA price.

  16. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy

  17. monti2889


    Jul 19, 2012
    I, personally, would purchase an authentic 60-70's bass before I would purchase a new reissue. But, I like nostalgia and the stories that come with age.

    "this bass was buried in my grandpa's attic for 30 years." to me is a better story than
    "this bass just came off the assembly line in California."
  18. I agree, but I am looking for playability over nostalgia this time around. Too often I have been sucked in by nostalgic instruments only to be horribly disappointed by their lack of playability. I owned a 76 stratocaster for a while that was absolutely the coolest looking guitar I have ever owned. But it was hard as hell to play!
  19. esa372

    esa372 Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yes, it would.

    Those AV'75 Jazz basses are great.
  20. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    I've had quite a few Jazzes over the years. My 3 favorites have all been '08 and later Am. Stds. Very comfortable and great tone.