NBD!!! Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass V

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by electricSheRa, Aug 11, 2020.

  1. Well, I don't really have GAS, but I have been wanting to cover my sonic bases (HAH!) for a while (I only had my P). Well, apparently it's Fender month at Long & McQuade, and, won't you know it, they gave me a great deal, so I am now the proud owner of a Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass V.


    The family is complete!


    So now I have my main bass - Five - the American Pro P-bass, and this J-bass - no name yet - if I ever need a wider sound palette. I am set for basses for the rest of my life. Well.... maybe one day I'll plop down the cash for the F-bass of my dreams.

    Instead of practising tonight, I spent the evening cleaning & steel wooling & oiling the fretboard, and then going into a full setup.

    And then playing around and having a heckin' good time!

    Anyway, onto notes/initial impressions:
    • SO MANY POTS! Volume, blend, bass/treble/mid boost/cut AND an active/passive switch. Oh boy.
    • Build quality: looks & feels great, nice and solid. No complaints. It's MiM, and a fantastic instrument in the hand. However, I could definitely see the difference in attention to details between my American P-bass and this one as I was setting it up. The P just has a different level of finish all over. Having said that, A+ to the J for me in terms of build.
    • Body: Nice and comfortable. I really have to play it more to give a better assessment of this. The balance is different than my P.
    • Looks: I love how it looks: it's a Surf Pearl with Pao Ferro fretboard. I've already ordered a different pickguard, because I don't like the simple black one and I didn't want to go for a classic white or a classic tort. But I absolutely adore the colour of the bass.
    • Sound: Lots of tone variety. Too much tone variety? No, I'm just new to all these options. It's really fun to play and dial in different sounds. And it has a great sound - fat, clear, articulate. The pickups perform well and there's no weird noise or hum, which is great. I like the passive mode too - but blazin tarnation, it's hot sounding when I'm on the active electronics. Overall, exactly what I expected and wanted, which is all I can ask for, I guess.
    • Roundwounds: I picked up a set of Ernie Ball Slinkies. I don't know much about Roundwounds seeing as I'm mostly into flatwounds on my P-bass. They are ok so far - VERY bright, which is to be expected as they are new, so I'm curious what they'll sound like as they wear in. I should mention I got a heavier set (45/60/80/100/130) because that's what I'm used to with the LaBellas. They have a really nice growl though, when you dig in, especially when doing a 50/50 blend with a bit of a mid-scooped EQ setup. Here's a question: I'm subscribing to tradition and plan to change my flatwounds..... when they break; but how often should I change roundwounds? Does once a year sound about right - especially given that I'll be spending most of my time on the P, so this won't see tons of use?
    • Neck: I can't decide how I feel about it. It's definitely "faster" to play than the P-bass, but less comfortable to me. There's something about the spacing on my P that's so.... weighty in a way that I love. Maybe it's just what I'm used to? I don't know. Anyway, overall, the neck is fine. It feels like my thumb drags more along the back of the neck than on the P, which I dislike, but that may be a thing that goes away with playing more? I'm also ambivalent about the Pao Ferro? Can I feel a difference? I think I can - but I may be crazy. Can I hear a difference? No idea - the two basses are too different to compare. One thing that I can say about the neck is that it's very responsive, though. It's easy to play on.
    • Tuners: Gotoh tuners but I don't think they're very high quality ones. Tuning is WAY easier & more accurate on the P-bass. I know Gotoh are a hi-quality brand so I may replace them with some of the better quality parts later on. I'll have to see how they hold up. Anyway, it's weird to have 5 tuners in a row. That is all.
    • Overall thoughts & feelings: obviously, who doesn't love a new toy. However, the more I played around with it, the more I realized how much I love my P-bass and that I am a P-bass fool through and through. I wanted a J-bass in case I need it for job and so wanted to have the classics covered. I'm definitely happy with it, and I think I'll make a point to pick it up at least once a week, because it's so fun to hear the different sounds it makes.
    So that's my adventure tonight. :)
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
    javi_bassist and garp like this.
  2. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    Great looking basses , that surf pearl is a cool color . I like it .
    Congrats .
    iwillbeshera likes this.
  3. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Yeah, you may need to pad your amp's input to account for the "hotness" factor.

    Once upon a time, the MIM Deluxe Active Jazz had no passive option at all – unless, of course, you wanted to wire one yourself. I think the active/passive switch was a smart decision by FMIC. Not only does it increase the instrument's tonal palette, but it also placates all of those "What if my battery dies mid-set?" folks.
    iwillbeshera likes this.
  4. Yeah, the clip light on my MarkBass started going wild when I first plugged it in so I had to adjust the gain.

    Yeah, I've only been a fan of passive basses for that very reason, but I figured, here, I can have best of both worlds.
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