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Most versatile type of Jazz bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by B String, May 10, 2010.

  1. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I don't recall seeing this discussed before, so here goes.

    Which type of Jazz bass is the most versatile for a wide
    variety of Pop, Jazz, R&B, Rock, etc.
    60's or 70's? Alder/Rosewood, Maple/Ash? Maybe some
    combination of all the above? Can you make it work just by
    having a good eq, or does it have to come from the bass?
    (and of course the hands)
  2. butchblack

    butchblack Life is short. Do good. Find and do what you love.

    Jan 25, 2007
    Waltham Massachusetts
    IMHO the differences listed above while making some difference would not make one combo more versatile then another. Any sound difference would fall under personal preference. You should add pickup choice to the fray, but again it would fall more into personal preference then versatility. That's one of the beauties of a Jazz (style) bass, it's an extremely versatile instrument appealing to a large number of bassists.
  3. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Really? No other opinions from a group like this?
  4. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

    Jun 27, 2005
    Fort Worth, TX
    I'm still searching for a P/J setup for this reason. Bought a P Lyte, swapped out the pups for SDs, but still thinking of building a Warmoth.
  5. I think you answered your own question

    you can change the personality of the Jazz bass
    simply by hand/finger placement
    increasing/decreasing volume of one/both of your pickups
    increasing/decreasing tone knob
    adding compression to your effects
    flats/rounds/half rounds
    stock pup vs aftermarket

    adding an active preamp

    the Jazz bass itself is versatile
    from the run of the mill Mexican Fender or Squier CV Jazz to your uber Jazzes from Alleva-Coppolo and Sadowksy
  6. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    The most versatile would be a jazz bass with an active preamp you can bypass with a passive tone control. Noiseless pickups are a must. 5 string for newer country, pop and contemporaty jazz would be useful.
  7. Marton


    Sep 20, 2005
    I'm pretty happy with my own jazz, I can dial any tone I want. It's a American Jazz Deluxe, alder body, rosewood fretboard, 3 band Audere preamp with passive tone control, Barts pickups, and stainless roundwounds strings.
  8. slyderhodge


    Oct 24, 2007
    Floyd, VA
    Associate Engineer: Mountain Fever Studios
    +1 on the audere

    I prefer one with z mode switching
  9. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
    I dig my Fender Aerodyne Jazz bass. One P-pickup, one J-pickup. Nice and versatile.
  10. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    It just seems like there's such a distinction made between the
    60's style Jazz bass and the 70's style and the different woods
    and pickup placement etc, etc. Just wondering if there's a
    general consensus on the "most popular" or "best sounding".
  11. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    A good J-bass is pretty much a good J-bass... Alder/Ash, maple/rosewood - how you play it amplify it is more important.
  12. Broadbent


    Mar 28, 2007
    You'd be surprised what you can do with those 3 knobs! This guy's right though, it's all about how you play it. Bbviously for R&B you want to play closer to the neck. for faster tighter lines play closer to the bridge. You can use a pick, slap, palm mute etc. Although all J basses are not made equal, they are all pretty versatile.
  13. Hassouni


    Apr 11, 2010
    Jag :bag:
  14. jkramer5


    Jul 14, 2008
    Fairfield, CA
    I own 4 Jazz bass's from 3 different mfg's. 2 active and 2 passive. The one that does all the above well is the one i pick up that day.
  15. hah, that's like asking which type of elephant is the most gray
  16. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    Most popular these days would be the 70's (ash maple) combo but IMHO a 60's alder J bass would be more versatile because it will sit in the mix better than a 70's ash. Ash has a more biting tone and combined with the bridge pickup thats closer to the bridge (70's spacing) and a maple finger board, it will have more punch and thus will make you stand out more (cut through). It can be hard to tame a 70's Jazz. A 60's Jazz with a rosewood board can sometimes disappear in the mix (if your amp is not eq'd right) and thats not always a bad thing. It depends on your needs. YMMV. But everybody wants 70's style these days. I've had a few of them and they are what thay are. I just got a 62 reissue and I'm digging the way It mixes well with the band. And with a little eq, I can be more up front when I want to be :)
  17. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    Having a pre adds flexibility (and I like the Audere). But next to that is a J with a series/parallel switch (which I put on all of my passive J's).
  18. Lincoln


    Nov 3, 2006


    Though I might add, a transparent preamp will be necessary as well. And though I'm a sucker for the Ash/maple combo. You may want to go Alder body, Maple neck, Pau Ferro fretboard to get that versatile sound thing...
  19. funkmangriff


    Dec 29, 2007
  20. I play a Geddy Lee Jazz, a replica of a modified '72. And it's real versitle. Just like already stated. Backing off the tone knob, backing off a pickup, moving your plucking hand or using palm muting, all makes a big difference in sound. I can go from aggressive, bright, and punchy. To a fat dub thump. All done on my Jazz. Of course the slap tone is second to none IMO.

    Great bass!

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