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MTD Heir/Kingston or Fender Jazz bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dabluesman, Oct 8, 2001.


  1. dabluesman

    dabluesman Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Tennessee
    Which one do you like best and why? Which is the better buy and If you had to pick one which one would it be and why? Thanks!
     
  2. seamus

    seamus

    Feb 8, 2001
    Jersey
    I own both, but I play the Jazz a LOT more.

    The Kingston is nice, and I intend to keep it. It's a great five string for the money, awesome B string. It has a twangy midrange sound to it. It's also a lot more fun to wear, very light!

    The Jazz on the other hand, well, it just feels like butta when I pick it up...sounds like it too. My GL Jazz w/J-Retro is easily my favorite four string. Something about the feel of a Jazz that I just love.

    If I had to pick one, I would keep the Jazz. My first bass was a Jazz, so there's something about being accustomed to the way they play and respond to my style that I have grown to love.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Can the Kingston or Heir replicate a passive-J growl? I've played a Kingston acoustically, but didn't plug in.
     
  4. dabluesman

    dabluesman Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Tennessee
    Yeah, does the MTD have the growl? Also, I'm currently playing a Fender P-bass, would I notice that big of a difference in neck shape and the 24 frets of the MTD? I'm looking more towards the Heir model.. Thanks!
     
  5. seamus

    seamus

    Feb 8, 2001
    Jersey
    Preface - Comparisons based on experience with 4 string Jazz and 5 string Kingston

    Can the Kingston or Heir replicate a passive-J growl? I've played a Kingston acoustically, but didn't plug in.

    Awww, why not? :p

    I wouldn't say it replicates it, it has a different sound. The body wood is different, the pickup is different, it shares very little with a Jazz bass. What it does share is a passive style tone, though something different from a Fender due to the attributes I listed above. There's definitely some growl in there, and overall, I would say the Kingston has a good sound. Distinctively passive.

    Yeah, does the MTD have the growl? Also, I'm currently playing a Fender P-bass, would I notice that big of a difference in neck shape and the 24 frets of the MTD? I'm looking more towards the Heir model.. Thanks!

    For growl, see above. :)

    Compared to a P-bass, you will notice a big difference in the neck shape of a Kingston, but the Kingston definitely has a very playable neck. The neck on my K5 is slick, slim, and asymmetrical. It makes the reach around easier, and you can really navigate the neck quite easily. I think you'll find it far less chunky than the average P-bass neck.

    To find out whether or not it would be comfortable for you, you really need to try one. One thing is certain though, it *will* feel different if a P-bass is what you've become accustomed to. The Kingston will feel less substantial, but faster...that's how I would describe the difference.

    I don't think the 24 frets will be an issue. Given a longer scale (K5) and more frets, you might notice a little more reach is required for the larger frets near the headstock. This may not be an issue on the 34" K4, which I have not tried. This is no big deal really, and if you don't actually think about the spacing, it won't mess with your head. You'll just be having a bit more hand movement on the K5.
     
  6. dabluesman

    dabluesman Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Tennessee
    Thanks seamus, you've been very helpful! Is your Jazz bass a MIM deluxe or standard or MIA? I've also heard that it can be hard to replace the pickups on MIM Jass basses, do you know anything about that? Thanks again!
     
  7. seamus

    seamus

    Feb 8, 2001
    Jersey
    Sure thing, I hope the info was helpful. :)

    Re: Jazz

    My Jazz is MIJ, a GL model. Some components, like the pickups, are supposedly MIA for assembly in Japan. Sorry I can't help with the MIM information, I've never owned one. That's curious what you mentioned about the pickups in MIM's being harder to replace. I would think they would use pickups of the same dimensions on all Jazzes, but who knows? For what it's worth, I recommend giving the GL Jazz a try if you find one. They should run about $550-600 new and they have 'U.S. Vintage Jazz' pickups.

    You may want to try a search on MIM pickups or something, maybe you'll come up with something there. If not, I would probably post a new topic regarding pickup replacements for MIM's in the pickup section of TB. I'm sure lots of MIM owners must have undertaken this modification, someone must know something. Also, maybe you could try a search at the FDP?

    Just to reiterate, I prefer a Jazz to the Kingston. The Jazz just feels and sounds better to me. Bear in mind though, I am using an aftermarket onboard preamp, and can barely remember what it sounds like stock. A stock comparison of a MIM/MIJ Jazz to the Kingston would be more fair. Even then, I would still take the Jazz because I like the feel of it.
     
  8. KB

    KB

    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Is the Heir basically the exact same as the Kingston (neck feel, etc.) but just with the added neck pickup? If so can you get the Kingston sound on a Heir? I have not played either model (none of my local stores have them), but I am curious. It seems like the Heir could be a little more versitile with the extra pickup?

    -KB
     
  9. seamus

    seamus

    Feb 8, 2001
    Jersey
    I believe that sonically they're similar KB, just with the added pickup. I've read someone said they thought the added single coil was noisy, but have no first hand experience myself.

    My guess it that by adding the single coil in the neck position, they may have sought to add some overall bass to the sound when they pups are blended. As for versatility, I imagine the neck pickup would act in the traditional way when soloed.
     
  10. It's true. The MIM's have two pickups that are the same length. However, different owners have found that since there is slight factory variation in the size of the pickup cavities, it might be possible to install a replacement set of J pickups without any extra routing. I've also heard that Aero Instrument makes pickups specifically for MIM's, and their pickups are great!

    The pickup set on the MIM Jazz is not reverse polarity, so there is no hum cancelling when both pickups are on full.

    I've also heard that the newest model MIM's have different sized pickup cavities to make them easier to modify.