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losing the jazz bass faith

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Soma666, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. Soma666


    Aug 27, 2006
    is it just me, or has it become necesarry to heavily modify jazz basses in order to sound contemporary nowadays? i have 2 jazz basses and i think they sound great, but then i watch video clips of some of the bands i admire and realize that my sound can not compare with these guys. i play in an original band and like any other writing musician, would like to take my music as far as possible, but i am beginning to lose faith in my trusty old jazz basses.

    i have noticed that the bands i am thinking of here are bands where both bass plaers play warwicks (COG and KARNIVOOL from aus.), but they are just so damn expensive here. but then i think its gotta be a combination of their ampegs and warwicks and that when i get an ampeg under my jazz i'll sound just as good. is this a true assupmtion? and then i think of timmie c who plays nothing but passive jazz basses and i feel a little better about it, but i also know he has some freaky modifications on his basses that no one probly knows about.

    i dunno, i might just be having a rant here, but bring back the jazz bass faith for me here
  2. spencer

    spencer Guest

    Feb 22, 2006
    ok I know how you feel but a jazz isn't going to sound like a warwick. And an ampeg head even solid state does have a sexy sound to it. Thing is even if you did get their exact gear you still probably wouldn't be happy with your tone.. People never are..
  3. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Hey, bass players are artists and the basses are the paintbrushes; we all have are different preferences on what brushes to use.

    I can completely relate to you about the Jazz. The Jazz Bass was my go-to bass for over 15 years. It's just always been a good workhorse and full of variations in tone.

    One day, I met Mr. Active pickup and Mrs. Active preamp. From that day forward the Jazz bass got retired. Mr. and Mrs. Active took me on a journey through Spector, Warwick, MusicMan, G&L, and Nordstrand. At one point I picked the Jazz back up to see if I still didn't like it. I still liked the active tone better. So my preference changed. Who's to say it won't change again later?

    Anyway, the Jazz is a great bass...maybe the greatest all-around. But, if it's not your cup of tea anymore, move on to something else or do some modifying...or both. Afterall, there are more basses in the world than Fenders. :)
  4. LookIt'sSteve17


    Oct 31, 2006
    Timmy uses his own special recipe of (likely haphazardly) self-wound pick-ups, not to mention buckets of effects much of the time. As for Ampeg, love them as I do for some things, they are NOT gonna make a J sound contemporary. Long story short, yes, mods are generally the way to go... every Fender I've ever planned (P, J, or otherwise) has been or will be modded.
  5. phatduckk


    May 24, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    i like jazz basses. i even got a local dude to do a parts bass for me ... i picked all the components etc and its a great bass.... but i dont play it in my band, ever.

    i tried it out at practice a few times but even tho the thing is great w/o a band setting - in a band its just not quite what i like. my Sterlings do the trick right out of the box tho...
  6. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    I wish I still had my '75 AVRI.
  7. thats why i have a passive Jazz and an active Spector
    depending on mood: old school or new
    I have options that are within my reach

    now if only I can get a fretless............
  8. Soma666


    Aug 27, 2006
    its weird, coz i love the sound of my jazz but i just seem to think that there has to be something else out there to be even better. i love the playability of jazz basses, the slim necks, the fret spacings, but im thinking its gonna have to go active. im thinking audere active preamp in my jazz will be good. actives just have so much more presence than passive basses.

    thanks for the kind words guys. i raelly appreciate it all.
  9. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    FME: Sure, go out and explore all of those active options, effects, ect. I did. I learned a lot. Now I'm back to no effects (except for the BMax T's comp and maximizer) and a passive J or P in my band. Simple and very effective. No bling, just pure groove.:cool:
  10. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    If you are going for an agressive sound with a Jazz, install a set of Dimarzio Js (not Ultras), put some stainless steel strings, and EQ your amp with heavy highs and lows. An Ampeg will definitely help.

    How about Tim Commerford from Rage Against the Machine? He's got sound to spare, and it's Jazz Bass all the way.

    A SansAmp Bass Driver pedal will help too.
  11. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    The jazz bass is like an old friend. You might venture in new directions, finding favour in the world of graphite necks, headless basses, active preamps and handbuilt works of art...

    ...but the jazz will always have your back, just in case you need it. I mean, my jazz bass covers my fretless sound. It's soild and reliable. Someday, I'll get a better fretless with all the modern day trimmings I love so much, but til then, the Jazz bass will suit my needs!
  12. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    It's just you.:eyebrow:
  13. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    Gotta agree ...

    :eyebrow: ... I mean a J-bass run through enter your pre amp of choice ... IS active when it hits the amp input.
  14. +1...there's plenty of modern sounding jazzes out there. The MIA Deluxe active, also the MIM Deluxe, the Marcus Miller, altho not a jazz bass in the purest sense, it still handles like a jazz. What I wouldn't give to have my '63 J back again. Paid $325 for it in '75...oh well.
  15. arbarnhart


    Nov 16, 2006
    Raleigh, NC

    I just got a J clone and I plan to get a multi-effects box that will function as a preamp, do a series switch mod (I don't think that qualifies as "heavily" modding) and be happy.
  16. johnpaulbass


    Nov 2, 2005
    man.. the jazz is the jazz .. it will always stay in the game.. aside the p bass is the father of every nowdays basses..

    it's true that some basses like the thumb have a unique sound that a fender can't reach.. but it's also true the opposite.. warwick will not sound like fender...

    I've tried & owned (in my short bass carrer) a trillion basses (just check out my "previously owned gear" part in my profile)...
    I've owned a thumb, a streamer, a G&l, p bass, jazz bass... everything... and I've always went back to jazz ...

    if you consider that a jazz sound is not god for you sell 1... I think that everyone should have a j bass model at home (nowdays you have a lots of quality models form other companies, Lakland to mention one...) .. the "j bass tone" its just timeless ..IMO it will never get out of the business :)

    so be carefull.. you will regeret it IMO...

    good luck ;)
  17. Ale


    Jul 5, 2006
    Endorsing Artist: IGiG Cases
    If you cant make it sound good with a J , no other bass will help.
  18. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Might I suggest investing in a Sadowsky outboard preamp, as a first step? That way, you won't be physically altering your bass, but you can modernize the sound. Try different strings, as others have said-- something more "aggressive" (i.e. stainless steel). (Find out what strings Timmy C. uses, maybe.)
    No, a Fender won't sound like a Warwick (for better or worse), but you could take these steps first before getting rid of the Jazz and spending lots of cash on a Warwick.
    As far as Ampeg-- yes, they can sound modern, depending on what you put into them and how you set them.
    Good luck!
  19. BassJunkie730


    Feb 3, 2005
    my p-bass dogma ate my jazz bass faith
  20. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I guess for me it's where do you start the mix ? In my outfit it's easier for me to re-cut things than for the other players involved. So I tend to be the last track of a completed rythm bed. That means that I need to fit my tone, the sonic space I occupy in around the drums and low end of guitar. I can do that with a J or PJ pretty nicely. I use an outboard pre (Alembic F2B) between me and the board for any tone sculpting necessary.

    To me a real advantage of that approach is the ability to document your settings so that they can be easily replicated later. I'm not so high on actives. I've gone through G&L, Lakland and Fender Deluxe on board pre's and they all add too much or my taste. It doesn't sound like my bass anymore, it sounds like my bass going through someone else's idea of what my bass should sound like. My other beef with on-boards is the that they are difficult to document and easy to change - what were the exact settings used on that track from 6 months ago. When you're working in a project studio, where the band is the engineer and producer - that documentation is uber-helpful ...

    Far as live goes - how many radical shifts in EQ can you sustain in one set ? or one night ? The answer is not many in most rooms, unless you feel like destroying the mix. I can get all the subtle shift's I need from PJ's, J's or my Dark Star. All passive.

    Now that I've slammed the on-board pre, I will have to fess up. From about half an hour spent demo'ing 2 Audere equipped basses - I'm planning on adding one to my arsenal. Not so much for radical tone shifts - there won't be any tone controls at all on that bass. that J will be Master Vol, Vol1, Vol2 - all the tonal shifts will come from the Z mode switch and the blend. I may add a hi roll off to emulate a passive tone - haven't quite decided on that yet. The advantage to the Audere is that it still sounds like the original bass. that's a nice piece of work!

    So to net all that crap out - my advice would be to work with your amp & cab's - get your rig dialed in to do what you want - with the passive J. Maybe a pickup swap is in order - maybe not. Be patient. It's a process and at some point you start chasing ever smaller increments of goodness for ever increasing wads of cash...

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