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NBD - 2012 Fender American Standard Jazz (review)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fletz, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. Fletz


    Jan 16, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hartke artist
    It's a new bass for me. I bought it second hand from a fellow TB-er here who owned it for about two months. For all intents and purposes, its as good as new - he took exquisite care of it.

    So ... what's all the hullabaloo about these new 2012 Am Standards? When I had read that the new 2012s were "new and improved" I honestly scoffed a little. I mean, since 2008, Fender Corona has been pumping out fantastic Standards almost without fail - a big comeback for Fender in many opinions here on TB. My main bass for the last 3 years has been the 2008 Am Std Precision you see in my avatar above. I've written about it before: best bass ever. One of those rare beauties that feels right in every way. (And, for the record, haven't played a P-Bass before or since that I like better or even as much!)

    I've owned a total of 5 Jazz basses in my 30 year playing career. My first "real" bass was a 1993 Fender Boner Jazz bass (sold), I've had a Geddy Lee jazz since 2006 (still have), a 1999 American Deluxe (sold) and a Custom Shop Jazz (sold). This one is the best of them all.

    First of all - and most impressive - the neck is the best Fender neck I've ever played. The satin finish is subtle, not like an Ernie Ball, and feels instantly familiar. The frets are perfect and, like most USA Fenders since 2008, very well rolled. Again, picking up this bass and playing it is like discovering an old friend. I would put this neck right up there with the custom shop bass I had - and I thought that was the best neck I've ever played.

    Secondly, the 60s custom shop pickups are voiced wonderfully. My guitarist last night said, "I say this about all your basses, but that one sounds the best." It cuts through like a jazz bass should, has enough growl, but with the perfect turn of the tone knob, can become as mellow as you may need. (Hard to get that out of the Geddy).

    Third, the weight. One of the reasons I didn't mind selling my previous Jazz basses is because, compared to my awesome 2008 P-Bass, the weight felt much more of an issue than it probably was. Amazingly, without putting it on the scale, I think this Jazz weighs LESS than the P-bass. I don't know how they did it, but they did.

    Finally, the finish. The pictures I am posting don't do it justice. (I will post more this weekend). The burst is amazing. No yellow in it - a perfect blend from transparent brown to red to black. And the gloss makes it pop. The wood matching is pretty good (I wouldn't say perfect, but darn good) and, much like the neck feels familiar, the look is instantly a classic.

    I won't lie to you. I would say I am among the most finicky bassists on this forum. I think I sell, buy and trade for sport with the best of them. But, after 48 hours of ownership, I am feeling like this one may be a permanent part of the collection.

    MORE PHOTOS ADDED IN RESPONSE #36 of this thread.

    When it arrived:

    With my daughter:
    Shawn Luckman and Green Lantern like this.
  2. That is a very fine instrument, my friend. Definitely more pix!!
  3. Fletz


    Jan 16, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hartke artist
    A few pix. Better ones this weekend.

    Attached Files:

  4. Wannaflea


    Jun 7, 2011
    Jersey, CI
    Gorgeous tort on that, and it's nice to see the grain showing through the burst
    any shots of the back?
  5. landau roof

    landau roof Reupholstered User

    Jul 29, 2010
    Downstate CA
    Cute kid, man. Looks like she's mimicking you and plucking that uke like a bass.
  6. Deepwoods

    Deepwoods Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2003
    St. Louis
    If you see little fingerprints on in when you get home from work you'll know who put them there:scowl:

    I'm glad to hear a good review of those pickups. I just got a set to drop into my Road Worn jazz that i got off TB with EMG's in it. That is a fine looking instrument. Congrats!
  7. waynobass


    Feb 27, 2008
    IMO, sunburst should go from yellow to black. (The sun is yellow, after all.)

    Great review, though. :cool:
  8. Adorable pic man, this just made my day! :bassist:
  9. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I have to agree, that is fantastic.
  10. Fletz


    Jan 16, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hartke artist
    I feel like its more a tobacco burst than sunburst. Thanks for the kind words on the review.
  11. Fletz


    Jan 16, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hartke artist
    Thanks man. She's a music nut at 2 1/2. I think she's gonna be a drummer.
  12. J Gold

    J Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    My kid too! I make him watch videos of Stanley Clarke and Billy Sheehan, but he's more excited about Neil Peart...
    blackandwhite likes this.
  13. mstott25


    Aug 26, 2005
    Guntersville, AL
    Gotta agree about these basses. I picked my jazz up three months ago, picked it up off the shelf and compared it to the American Deluxe and American Vintage basses. Then went down the street and did the same thing at another bass shop. There were about three of the American Stds I really liked so I picked the lightest one and am absolutely thrilled with this bass. By far the best money I've spent on a bass in years.
  14. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Yep 2011-2012...best year for Fender American Standard I've seen yet. I've been saying, if you prefer your Fender's passive, really consider these over the American Deluxe Series, they are so close in build quality it's hard to tell them apart aside from the noisy pre-amps in the AD's. :bag:
  15. GroovinOnFunk


    Apr 30, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Endorses Cleartone and SIT Strings
    Got one of these a couple of weeks ago and haven't been able to put it down. Mine is a Candy Cola with Maple fretboard. Aside from a squire jazz that I used to have when I first started playing bass (some 10 years ago), this is the first jazz bass I've owned. I can't really compare it to other years or anything like that... but boy am I happy with this bass. It's perfect in every way. Sounds amazing. The modern build with vintage pickups is the perfect balance. I still have it strung with the factory stock strings. Will be replacing with DR Lo-Rider Nickels
  16. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    I love my MIA 2011 Standard. Freaking solid bass
  17. Ha!!! The baby has a pink gig bag for the uke. Cool. Your're a very lucky man having kids. My biggest regret, not being able to have children. I love the paint on that. That's what turns me off about a lot of the 70's Fenders, that bright yellow in their 'bursts. That's perfect. What's the pup spacing on the new J-Basses? Do they have 60's, or 70's spacing?
  18. GroovinOnFunk


    Apr 30, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Endorses Cleartone and SIT Strings
    It's modern spacing with 60s pups I believe. A happy medium!
  19. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Doesn't modern spacing = 60s spacing?
  20. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Congrat's!! I know how you're feeling because last December I bought an AM STD 5 string Jazz bass. Candy Cola Red with a maple fretboard. I think Fender hit a solid home run with these. Enjoy!

    Yeah...that pic with your little daughter is priceless!

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