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MIA '08 Jazz - Much better tone from the V than the 4?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tranceFusion, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. So I was in one of those big box shops and they had three 4-string and two 5-string versions of the '08 Jazzes.

    Playing on the same amp, know settings, etc. it seemed that the tone on the V's felt much more alive.. much punchier, more dynamic, etc. and the output seemed higher than the 4's.

    Is this just a case of two "good ones" that happened to be Vs and 3 "bad ones" that were 4s.. I mean I understand that the tension on the neck and the wider neck are going to influence tone, but I didn't expect it to be this big of a difference.

    Anyone else notice this?
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I suspect that pickup height adjustment was the culprit.
  3. Whats 'better' to one is not to another. There is a tone difference between a 5 vs. 4 simply because of the neck mass on the 5 having more mass. In very general terms, I hear a 5 string version of the same bass being a bit deeper sounding. Not exactly sure how to classify deeper either, not so much as a mid-scoop. Just a bit more punch down below.
  4. 76Dub

    76Dub Guest

    Jul 9, 2008
    Its not you they do sound better. It is deeper and punchier
  5. on the flip side, one could argue they don't have the midrange presence that a 4 offers.

    buddy, there is no definitive better when it comes to tone.
  6. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    How about.... not all basses are created equal.

    The 5 might just resonate better. It has nothing to do with the 5th string, it's better sounding wood. FWIW
  7. but would fender go out and specifically say "we are going to use better wood for our 5 string model" ?
  8. I've got a '08' MIA Jazz V and it does have amazing resonance, especially played acoustically. I agree, the V's have much more deep low end than the 4's, and the 4's seem to have more low midrange punch. It probably is because the necks are substantially bigger on the V's, therefore allowing more of a resonant tone.;)
  9. blmeier7


    May 7, 2006
    Amarillo, TX
    Are you sure the 5 wasn't a Deluxe with active electronics?

    Or, were both of these standards?
  10. jaypbass


    Jun 29, 2007
    Boston, MA
    I did the same only i compared a 08 mia jazz 5 with a 08 mia p-bass and the p-bass had a depper low end than the jazz 5. The jazz sounded less resonant.
  11. Joey3313


    Nov 28, 2003
    Uhh, I think he meant that in this case, one just happens to have better sounding wood than the other. It is chance, not some sort of ploy by Fender.
  12. I compared 5 total basses, and yes they were all '08 standards. You can throw out the word "better" if you want - it just seems weird that they sound so blatantly different - like different models of the instrument.. I guess the wider neck makes that big of a difference.

    Is it possible that the pickups are wound differently or does the length of the pickup come into play with the tone?
  13. alexit


    Feb 21, 2006
    +1, or one of them had a fresher set of strings. Setup is everything.
  14. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I have a 2008 Jazz V and a 2003 Am. Ser. four string Jazz. Both are alder/maple, and exceptionally resonant with lots of "wood" in the tone. (My 2003 is my best four string in this respect, and an exceptional sample. I got lucky.) The four now has noiseless Lindy Fralin Split-Jazz pickups. Both are strung with new Fender roundwounds.

    Despite the Fralins in the 2003, the Jazz V sounds deeper and punchier down low. (It also has more high end sparkle due to the pure single coils, as one would expect.) At home practice volumes, there's almost no difference, but at band rehearsal volume the fiver provides more heft, and all my bandmates hear it. This is with sparing use of the B string too. Maybe the picukps have something to do with this, but I've always assumed it's the additional neck mass, wood quality, and possibly the new for 2008 high-mass bridge.
  15. Lync


    Apr 13, 2004
    +1 (again) :D
  16. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I should add that my four string actually has a better setup than the five, though the fiver is fine too. I'll check pickup heights relative to the strings tonight.
  17. Its not the pickups. Its not the strings. Its not the height of the pickups. Its the neck mass, period. A 5 string has a larger, wider neck and it DOES impact tone.
  18. brandonwong


    Dec 16, 2003
    Wondering if its the same for the Am Std P5s too.

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