My new bass!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dave Siff, Feb 7, 2001.

  1. I've heard a lot of discussion, both here and elsewhere, about the merits of MIM Fender Jazz basses.. and especially, how if you were to swap out the bridge and pickups, you'd have a great axe for low $$. Since I've been jonesin' for a Jazz and have low $$, I'd been considering doing this. But Steve "Dude" Barr from Vintage Bass Trading Co. beat me to it.. and I'm about to be the proud owner of his experiment! Check this out..
    Dude and luthier Michael Dolan decided to take a stock MIM Jazz and see just how far they could go with it. First, they took off the stock bridge, pickups and pots. They replaced them with a Badass II bridge, a set of DiMarzio Ultra Jazz pickups, and a J-Retro preamp! They also upgraded the tuning keys, and did a full shielding job. Then (and this was the real selling point for me) Dolan filed and dressed all the frets. Dude says both he and Dolan agreed that the finished product plays better than any Fender they've ever seen, and Dude says that strictly on playability, he'd put this bass up against any $2000+ boutique bass. And you know with a Badass bridge, DiMarzio pickups and a J-Retro, this thing has tone to spare!
    I'm getting this bass, with a gig bag, for $670, which I think is a flat-out steal, considering all the parts and labor that went into it. It should be in my hands sometime next week. Check out some pictures here:
    Thanks again, Dude! You da man.


    Sep 10, 2000
    nice quote LOL

    can you tell me about the j-retro preamp?
    what does it do and who makes it?
  3. You got that off Ebay didn't you. I was looking at that same bass two days ago. Well you beat me to it. Anyway I hope you love it. Congrats.
  4. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    Holy cow, Dave. $670??? Is that for real? Are they going to do this on a regular basis??

    And what's with the "dots" near the bridge and the extra ones on the pickguard? Are those screws?

    When you get it, PLEASE give us a review of what this thing sounds like, how playable it is, and how noisy the electronics are. I don't suffer GAS often, but I'm droolin' here.


  5. I sure will, Lump. Before I decided to buy the bass, I was going to ask Dude if this was something he'd consider doing again, so I could get one down the road. But I decided this one was too good to pass up!
    As for the noise from the electronics, bassmonkeee from right here on talkbass recently put a J retro in his '75 MIA Jazz reissue. I've played this bass, and I can tell you it's as quiet as a corpse. Plus, DiMarzio Ultra Jazz pickups are humbuckers, so they make no noise.. I've got one in my '77 Carl Thompson, and it rocks.

    [Edited by Dave Siff on 02-07-2001 at 09:51 AM]
  6. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Great addition Dave, congratdulations. I hope its all that and then some.
  7. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Quiet as a corpse? Now I'm gonna feel icky playing my Jazz. Thanks, Dave....
  8. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Congrats on the new bass, Dave.

    Have you had any experience with the J-retro at all? Just curious.

    Will C.:cool:
  9. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Congrats, hope you enjoy.
    BTW, Dave and Siff are four letter words.
  10. Only playing bassmonkeee's MIA Jazz reissue. It sounds great both active and passive, but active really kicks it up a notch. And it has a mid-sweep, which is cool. Bassmonkeee could tell you more about actually installing it and all that.
  11. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    Very, very cool deal. I have always thought that the MIM's were the best value for the money but you've taken that equation to the Nth degree.What a great score at an almost ridiculous price.
  12. Man, and I thought JCadmus had busted me by pointing out that Gore is a four-letter word!
    Nice one, Turock. You got me good!!
  13. I am going to try something like that on my own except i'm using bartolinis.
  14. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Thanks, Dave, but I'm not interested. The reason I asked is because I tried a Jazz equipped with the J-retro and I just found it too complicated, what with the three stacked knobs and the two toggle switches. I suppose it's ok if you find a sound you like and stick with it, but I'd rather not have to fiddle with so many knobs to find a sound I like.

    Just didn't want to rain on your parade.

    Will C.:cool:
  15. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I love my JRetro. It took about 45 minutes to install (only because I had too much caffeine coursing through my veins to hold things as still as I needed them to be to solder properly), and it sounds like the aural equivalent of Thor's Hammer. To sum up--my jazz bass could beat up your jazz bass. Just kidding. But, it does sound amazing. And, it has alot of usable tones in there. And, very intuitive controls. And, a passive switch in case your battery dies (Trust me, once you hear it through the active circuit, the only time you'll want to use passive is if you HAVE to).
  16. That's cool, man. I actually prefer passive basses, and I'm sure with a Badass bridge and DiMarzio Ultra Jazz pickups, the bass will sound great in passive mode. With the J-retro, I just have the active option if I want it.
  17. halfnote


    Feb 1, 2001
    That is a sweet bass. I was actually talking to Steve via email when you picked it up. Congrats!
  18. that is a great buy at that price dave, you will have to do a follow up on how it plays, shore is purty.