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Mapleneck Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rick Martin, Sep 5, 2000.

  1. I'm in love with my MIM Jazz and I'm ready to get a second axe to leave at my girlfriends house so I'm covered both home and away. I've tried lots of basses in Mars and GC and I like the Fender Jazz. I really like the maple fretboard models. I can't say if they sound different because every time I've been in one of those big stores some yahoo was blasting away at top volume on another instrument. I sure do like the feel of the maple fretboard. It may all be in my head and I don't know if I could tell a maple from rosewood with my eyes shut, but I want one, dammit! Mars mailorder has the American Standard maple fretboard for $650 free UPS. It's only available in Metallic Aqua. (groaning and drooling like Homer Simpson) "Uhhhhhh, Metallic Aqua). I want one. But first, questions for people that know about basses. (That's youse guys and not the bufoons at Mars).
    I have read the maple fretboards give a different sound than rosewood. How different? Is there anything about the maple fretboard that would make it feel different to the fingers. When I played them the necks felt thinner and somehow more playable. Could it be???
  2. gmstudio99


    Mar 11, 2000
    Cleveland, OH

    I have the same "irrational" love of maple boarded Jazz basses as well...I don't think they make the necks "thinner", but they do feel, to me, a bit harder and have a brighter sound. I love them. I also love that new Metallic Aqua color...so, if I were you, I'd be jumping all over that thing...


  3. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    There's nothing like the feel of a maple neck Jazz I have three( 2 now that My Geddy Lee is on e-bay) and love them all. I do play both rosewood and maple boards and I like a maple board better a little brighter and harder but latetly I'm really lovin my RIC's rosewood board. I had a 98 MIA jazz with a maple board it was a nice bass I say go for it.
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I love maple boards!

    They are brighter sounding to my ears, and regarding feel, they are finished, while most rosewood boards are unfinished, stained or oiled.

    To my fingers the hard finish makes them feel faster, YMMV.

    I have 3 basses with maple fretboards, the 6 has wenge, which is not as bright as maple but still brighter than rosewood, and my fretless is rosewood. That is the only way I like rosewood, is as a fretless, although I like ebony for fretless more.

    I say go for it! That metallic aqua is a pretty cool looking color, and looks very sharp with the maple board!
  5. What about the difference between the American Standard ($650) and the American series ($909). Both Aqua with the Maple board.
  6. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
    The American Standard is the older models, Fender redesigned all their American guitars for 2000+ years, added a whole bunch of stuff and made everything better. American Series' are great, I have an older (1996) Am. Std. and I personally like the new series better.
  7. save the money and get the "older model", ive played the newer ones, and the only difference i saw was the body itself had a better grain, but that is because they are all different, but i do know that the paint jobs are much better on the MIA then the MIM.
  8. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    I've played on an Ibenez maple fretboard for 20 years and love the bright, crisp sound. I now own a MIA Jazz with a maple fretboard. Sounds great when you slap them!
  9. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    Not enough to warrant spending $259 more....get the Standard.
  10. Craig H

    Craig H

    Mar 23, 2000
    Kansas City
    I agree with Deynn...go for the American Standard.

    Just make sure you go over that mail-ordered bass with the finest of fine-toothed combs. Many dealers have been discounting the AmStds for a while now and the pickings may be getting slim, perhaps to the point of shipping previous customer returns.

  11. I took a day off from work and drove four hours from Key West to Miami to look at the Metallic Green/ Maple fretboard Jazz at Mars music. I got there early afternoon and there was a bunch of salespeople and no other customers.
    I found a green/maple jazz and asked a guy for a cable and an electronic tuner. He gave me a cable and told me the basses were in tune. I picked up the bass and it was gross.
    It was like something out of the gutter with slimey smudges all over. The neck was sticky. Next time I'll bring disposable gloves. The action was too high for me to play and it was way out of tune. I found a different guy and asked him for an allen wrench (saddle size) and a tuner. He told me he would have a tech guy set it up for me. He went in the back and hasn't been heard from since. I asked another guy for a tuner and he told me he would tune it up for me, but then the phone rang and he spaced me out too. I tuned it by ear as best I could , but the wacky high action had me beat. I gave up and put it down. I looked at some other axes for a while and then the first guy came out with the case wanting to ring up the $750 sale ($650 on their web site) for me. I blasted off from planet Mars without spending a dime.
  12. Craig H

    Craig H

    Mar 23, 2000
    Kansas City
    I have had the same experience here at the Mars Music in Kansas City. Most of their basses have such a gawd-awful high action that they are virtually unplayable. IMHO, most basses would sell themselves if they were simply set-up correctly and in tune.

  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Now I know that GC and Mars are the reprehensible puppy factories of the musical instrument world, but I just have one question:

    Why do all of the low priced basses, Ibanez, Yamaha, DeArmond, Dean, Danelectro(UGH!), Cort, Cort Conklin GT(OK, I know they're not THAT low priced:) ), Cort Curbows, Jacksons, Crates(who would buy THAT?) come to GC and Mars with great setups, and the Fenders always have the worst setup in the shop? Does Fender not know how to set up a bass before they ship it?

    Most of the time the Squier and the $149.00 Squier Affinity Series have a better setup than MIMs, MIAs and even the American Deluxes.

    Now I know I can set the bass up to my liking(and I do, would never trust GC with THAT!), but if I pull a $149.00 bass off of the wall or a $3000 Pedulla or $5000 Alembic, they are ALL set up better than a $299.00 MIM or a $999.00 American?

    Can somebody 'splain that to me? Huh?
  14. sgraham


    Aug 30, 2000
    Tyler, TX
    I just bought a Geddy Lee Jazz yesterday and I love
    the maple neck! I think it's brighter and faster.
    I also think the block fret inlays are kinda cool.
  15. After I left Mars. I went to Guitar Center and had a better time of it. I played em all and I suppose the Fenders were more likely to have the wacky set up than the others. Maybe Fender doesn't bother with set up when they ship them.
    The look of the instrument means a lot to me. Of course sound and playability are the real reason to buy a particular bass, but I don't even try playing the BC Rich Warlock cause I don't want it no matter how it plays. I don't want the Dano Longhorn and I don't want a Flying V, an Explorer or the Gibson Thundebird for $1400 (which had a great sound and feel so maybe I want one of those a little bit). I'm attracted to the Fender Jazz. I'm an old fart and it looks like an old fart's bass. I play blues and boogie and hillbilly swing with a bunch of other old farts. Sometimes there are old fart chicks on the scene and I wanna look cool with my Jazz bass which is white with a tort pickguard.
    I did play a lot of basses at GC. The Warwick Corvette had a great sound and good feel to the neck, but the midget body was freaky to me. The Ibanez numbers made of some sort of space age wood substitute weighed a ton and weren't my style. There was a Yamaha for $200 with a Jazz like body, a good tone and a nice playability to the neck. The stand out of the day was the Musicman Stingray. GC had a bunch of them in different colors and they all were just what I would want if I had the $1000 to spend. Great sound and playability and way cool looks. A lot of the axes (mostly Fender) were too wacked on the setup to play, but at the end of the day there was one bass that I wanted to buy.
    A MIM Jazz in Midnight Wine. I imagined it with an after market black pearl pickguard. I already have the white MIM Jazz and figure to save up for the Musicman, but I played the Wine Jazz for a long time and that's the bass that spoke to me. The Warlock muttered something about 666, but I ignored it.

  16. It must get awfully smelly with so many farts hanging around.

    But to answer the initial question of this thread, on a bolt-on Fender style bass I perceive the maple fingerboard to provide crisper highs, a sharper attack, and less mids than a rosewood fingerboard. They feel different too. I like the feel of either but find that maple generates more heat and friction on my fingers than rosewood. Just a bit but enough to a make an issue over it (of course then why do I mention it? Hypocrite!)
  17. I just ordered the Aqua/maple Jazz from MF. $629/free UPS.
    Let's see what happens next! I love a mystery.
  18. Craig H

    Craig H

    Mar 23, 2000
    Kansas City
    Rick, I really like that aqua/maple color combo. Sounds like a good price, too! Keep us posted!
  19. I saw the above bass in that color w/ maple f-board at Mars and it looks very pretty. Enjoy!

    (I was at Mars buying a little Crate guitar amp for my youngest son, age 6.)
  20. UPS brought my Aqua/maple Jazz today. Beautiful, factory fresh with all of the paperwork and inspection tags. The bridge saddles were all at max height, but I'm working out the set up a little at a time. One thing seems wierd to me.
    I hear the amplified click of the strings contacting the frets as I play. Something seems wacked and so far my MIM Jazz sounds a bunch better. Wassup wit dat?

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