NBD, Fender Ultra Jazz.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by scottm, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. scottm

    scottm Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    NBD, Fender Ultra Jazz... the bass everyone already hates, but refuses to try.


    Let me start off by saying that I am not a Jazz bass fan, in fact dare I say, I strongly dislike Jazz basses. The Fender standard of a Jazz bass body seems too large, and I have never seemed to see the benefit of separate pickup volume controls over a pan pot. I mean really, working musicians that use a typical jazz bass must carry around a volume wah!

    Only this year did life gain me the wisdom and show me the way of the Fender P bass. If not, I would have never even known that Fender had a new “Market induced poorly gimmick-named by someone’s grandmother” new series of instruments.
    Or was it a teenage mutant ninja turtle that works for Fender’s “cowabunga” marketing group that named this series?

    Sorry, the above needed to be said before going on.

    So, now that over the last year I have become a Fender MIA P bass fan boy, I left the safety of Talkbass and ventured out on the internet to see about what all the buzz was about the Fender Elite basses being replaced.

    The second I seen a Texas Tea paint job on a new Fender Ultra Jazz, I placed my order!
    ... having a volume pan on these basses might have helped a little as well over a Professional series. I actually got the bass last week and spent this past weekend putting it through its paces.

    Here is what Talkbass had already taught me to hate about it...
    The bridge was bulky, probably heavy, and nowhere as cool looking as the Elite’s bridge.
    The new series was too heavy.
    The Elites Preamps might have not been the best, so there was a chance for the same on this series.
    Different truss rod setup.
    A generation of noiseless pickups that are so many generations advanced that they must have been also produced by the Ultra teenage mutant ninja turtle Fender employee.

    I’ll stop there...

    I plugged this bass in the first time and was overwhelmed about how amazing the sustain and punch was in passive mode. The bulky bridge with all of that bridge to body contact must be doing something to help with that.
    I mean this sucker was louder and puncher in passive mode than many of my other active basses that cost more.

    I grabbed the truss rod tool along with the other adjustment tools and gave the bass some slight setup adjustments. The truss rod was just as easy to setup as my Fender Professional series basses, and did not have the ugly music man adjustment for the truss rod near the neck joint.
    DON’T get me wrong, I can appreciate the other type of truss rod adjustment since I own some Musicman basses and that setup is much more solid for sure.... but this change on the Ultra wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

    The bridge adjustments were easy as any other Fender bridge, and it felt SOLID! I actually really like the bridge, and I have become accustomed to the looks of it.

    Plus, the bass only weighs just over 9lbs. Kind of heavy for a four stringer, but not as terrible as the internet made it seem (This might be the first thing I’ve ever found on the Internet that was not true).

    While running the preamp engaged, it sounds very high end, yet it still does the traditional jazz bass sounds. With that said, it still carries over that brightness/treble issue I’ve heard the Elites having. Overall, I’m happy with it.... but definitely enjoy it in passive mode more.

    The pickups were Ultra quiet. No really, they are the most quiet out of any single coil pickups I’ve ever used and still sound very dynamic. Lots of lows, mids, and highs can be evenly heard.

    Overall I am really impressed by this bass. The color is very cool, and I love the metal gold pick guard. I will say the pick guard feels different, so when you touch it while playing finger style it does catch you off guard a little instead of the feel of the typical plastic guard.
    I’m in love with the fretboard, and I even dig the new D shape neck. The neck will be a personal preference though for other players I’m sure.

    This bass is a great modern Jazz bass. Not sure if my ramblings will help or hurt in your decision making process on getting one, but for me it was worth the money.

    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  2. Trouztrouz


    Feb 6, 2013
    Agree to disagree.
    Me too.
  3. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    Congrats on the NBD!! Play it in good health! How does it sound in a band mix?
    JaseOfBase and scottm like this.
  4. iammr2


    Jun 10, 2002
    I've not heard of any brightness/treble issue. Please explain?
    scottm likes this.
  5. scottm

    scottm Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    I don’t have an Elite, but I heard players say that their preamp is a little on the bright side.

    On the Ultra, I’ve been having to dial back the treble some.

  6. scottm

    scottm Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Unfortunately I have medical issues that prevent me from playing out anymore. So I have not had a chance to try yet.

  7. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    I’ve been thinking about the Ultra somewhat. If they had the blue with the gold pg Instead of parchment, I’d probably already have one now. I’ll probably get around to calling Fender CS and see if I can source the gold pg alone.

    I’m glad you like your new bass.
    scottm likes this.
  8. scottm

    scottm Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Will Fender CS do just a pickguard?
    That would be very cool.

  9. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    call me 'everyman'! :roflmao:

    you're fantastic story and the delicious description of 'marrying' the piece is only outdone by your exquisite looking ax! it's a fine specimen, indeed! congratulations on your new instrument! :thumbsup:
  10. scottm

    scottm Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2005

    JRA likes this.
  11. kerrycares

    kerrycares Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    Howell, Michigan
    I tried the 5 and thought it was pretty impressive.
    I only found issue with the color options.
    Great neck profile.
    scottm likes this.
  12. MMiller28

    MMiller28 Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2003
    Based on your post I'm pretty sure you're insane, considering you accused the creator of the Jazz bass of making too big of a Jazz bass body.
    pdfiddler and scottm like this.
  13. Rabidhamster


    Jan 15, 2014
    I’m very happy that you’re happy!
    vid1900 and scottm like this.
  14. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx! Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    North AMERICA, USA
    What a great looking instrument. I dig the gold pickguard with the tinted maple neck and black finish. It's like a late 50s j bass.
    murphy and scottm like this.
  15. scottm

    scottm Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    It was an honest review with a little added humor.
    I’m really happy with the bass though, all jokes aside. I’ve really had a chance now to run it through all of my gear and it sounds great through all my amps. I have hardly put it down.

    murphy and Clark W like this.
  16. SactoBass

    SactoBass A retired civil engineer who likes all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Lake Havasu City, AZ
    murphy, IngloriousOz and scottm like this.
  17. IngloriousOz

    IngloriousOz Supporting Member

    Jun 1, 2006
    SLC, Utah
    I had no idea these existed but it's absolutely beautiful, congrats!!!
    murphy and scottm like this.
  18. steelbed45

    steelbed45 33 on Ignore Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2011
    Nolanville, TX
    I love how everyone seems to be kissing your arse in this thread after you've basically put down the entire TB crowd, well done!
    JaseOfBase, TrevorG, Kijuer and 6 others like this.
  19. scottm

    scottm Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    If it came off that way, I did not mean it like that.
    When I ordered the bass I actually felt the same way. I was shocked that I liked it so much.

    murphy, Paula Warren and Sml175 like this.
  20. Border


    Dec 31, 2010
    Spokane, Wa.
    Congratulations on your gorgeous new bass!! That is a thing of beauty. I enjoyed your candid remarks as well. Enjoy!
    murphy and scottm like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 18, 2021

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