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*my 62 RI Jazz WHOOPS an original 66 Jazz!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Spinal Tapper, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    I got a chance to A/B my early 90's (Japanese) 62 Reissue Fender Jazz to my buddy's all original 66 Fender Jazz. I just got her in the mail (from Ebay) on Saturday opened her out of the box, tuned up, and plugged directly in...

    It was his slick idea to A/B them, and I was pretty nervous about how it would turn out - I've been playing his 66 for about a year or so and know the tone pretty well. His PU's are extremely hot.

    My 62 RI has Lindy Fralin PU's, CTS pots, and cloth wiring. His 66 has original PU's (along with original everything else).

    Both basses strung with D'Addario roundwound strings. Both were tried on on the same Ampeg V-4B (through a 15") with the settings pretty dry. V/V/T cranked 100% on each bass.

    I've never heard Fralins before, but as far as sound goes, they carried the same vintage tone as his 66 with more balls.

    I couldn't believe the look on his face when we A/B'd them, but he immediately admitted that my bass sounded fatter and thicker. We proceeded to use my Jazz instead of his for a recording session we had scheduled that day (which is usually no contest when I bring other basses around, his Jazz is always the first pick).

    Maybe he was just being nice cause it's my newest toy, but my ears didn't lead me astray either. I could only describe the Fralins as vintage but "beefier" and the 66 original PU's as "thinner" sounding. Now, I know the wood has lots to do with it, his bass is probably 1-2 lbs lighter and was generally setup better, and has a worn nitro finish, but I was shocked by the results...

    Here are some pics - i really wish I had some sound clips to post for comparison.

    My 62 RI


    His original 66

  2. Two beautiful basses, thanks for the cool review. I am always interested in the hype over the old fenders. sounds like the 66 is a real champ, but is not the end of the story.

    The bound neck with dots on the 66 is so sexy!
  3. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007

    In the long run, the 66 is obviously a better investment, but I picked up the 62 RI for $600 shipped and his bass is probably worth $3000-$4000 in today's market, so I feel I have the better end of the deal. And we're still friends :p
  4. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    Old doesn't necessarilty mean good IME. My 60th Anniversary MIA Jazz absolutely killed a $20k+ '62 Jazz when AB'ed. Even the owner of the store said that particuar '62 sounded kinda crappy... but someone bought it for what he was asking.

    Cool post!
  5. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw

    What was it PT Barnum supposedly said?

  6. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Interesting story. I believe that bass surely did sell. I'm not going to say the 66 isn't an amazing bass - look at the wear marks - no way a bass with this much mojo wasn't loved for a long long time by a serious bass player.

    It's certainly worth the $3k IMO. Probably one of the best playing basses I've ever been luckily enough to really "get to know". I used to pee my pants in excitement before I'd get out of work and get to go thump around on this thing...before I heard my 62 RI Jazz in comparison...

    I was just amazed the Fralin PUPs beat the original 66's on the A/B test overall. How much do you think the CTS pots and cloth wiring had to do with the tone?

    Now I'm off looking for Lindy Fralins for my early 90's CIJ RI Precision. :D
  7. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson! Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    64 Audio · DR Strings · Source Audio · Hipshot
    Fralins are something special. I had a Lakland Skyline JO5 with Fralins and it absolutely killed, IMO.
  8. the engine

    the engine Guest

    I just recently bought a '93 MIJ jazz identicle to that one (other than the pick guard is bright red) and I can tell you that even stock it sounds GREAT! The build quality is outstanding. I got mine for $450 wihout a single scratch on it (small ding on the end of the headstock). I'm going to gig it a few times with the stock pickups and see what happens. Then maybe I'll look into some mods (or not). Thanks for the post! It makes me feel even better about the one I got! Congrats to you as well!
  9. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    now, that's "Road Worn" done RIGHT.
  10. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Thanks for the response! I'm a firm believer that the CIJ 90's Fenders are superior to the US Fenders of that era. I've only owned one US deluxe Jazz but it was a 94 and it was a heap IMO.

    Even after a really nice setup, fretwork, and many many gigs, it never had that flavor my CIJ has. Trust me - get the Lindy Fralins - you wont regret it! I don't know how much the CTS pots and cloth wiring have to do with the tone, but for another $40 or so, it wouldn't hurt to have that replaced too.

    The PU's are stock on my 62 RI Precision, and it's always come across as very muddy to me - only a few weeks and I'll have Fralins in that bad boy too. Then hopefully all this GAS will go away
  11. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007

    The thumb groove above the PU is a friggin crater!
  12. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    You could probably put Fralins and cts pots in a Squire and it will most likely give you the same results! I have a MIA natural bodied maple neck jazz that needed nothing but just for fun I installed Fralins, They gave me cleaner highs and more usable "deeper" low end. This bass became my "staple" bass that got most of the gigs and at $750 the price I payed new it is one of my cheaper basses! Now as far as the 66 jazz goes, jazzes are known to be more "nasally" and middy compared to P basses and it is understandable you prefer a jazz that has "more balls" than what you got from the stock 66 bass. I myself would probably go for the 66 jazz and get the balls from my head. 60's jazzes are known for their smooth not deep tone as 70's jazzes are known for more pronounced mids with the pup placement change. Jmho

    Btw I also have a 99 MIM p bass with Fralins, cts pots and flats on it. I would take it to any gig with pride as it sounds THAT GOOD! better than a pre-cbs bass I can't say but it's very "clean" sounding with tight lows and singing "highs".


    Dec 27, 2007
    +1 on the bound neck w/dots being sexy but when i noticed the "lollipops" i fell in love...
  14. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Cool comparison, certainly puts things into perspective. How were the original pickups on that '62 RI? I'm considering getting a used '62 RI http://kenji-cij.blogspot.com/2008/11/jb62-us-3ts.html with the US pickups, the Alder body, the larger tuners, and the spiral saddles. Used they go for $400-$600. This makes me want to buy it even more!
  15. sninja


    May 21, 2012
    Tokyo, Japan
    I`ve played a lot of jazz basses (CIJ, MIM, Amercan Standard, Highway One) and figured out that my SX (!!!) FJB62 model with GOTOH Bridge and Winlinson Tuners kill them all! :ninja: Witn Elixirs nano it sounds better even with stock pup`s! :bassist: So, now I don`t want to buy Fender, couse I need no bigF logo ) I need sound and I`ve got it!
  16. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    LOL. Guess I should update. I sold this bass off about a year after I posted this to fund a vintage bass purchase.

    If you're a vintage nut like myself, it's hard to accept much else, and while the reissue was a nice temporary solution to my GAS, I ended up snagging a 62 Precision refin, and it's the best bass I've ever laid my hands on.

    Although my CIJ 62 RI sounded friggin amazing, it didn't have the vintage feel that I much desired.

    I still recommend the Fralin noiseless jazz PU's for anyone trying to get a great tone from their jazz bass.

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