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NBD: Two New Basses! Fender Modern Player Telecaster and Dean Juggernaut Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SuperCasualAlan, Jul 14, 2016.


  1. SuperCasualAlan

    SuperCasualAlan

    Jul 13, 2016
    Canada
    Hey TBers,

    This is my first post, but I am a Long time lurker. I use the site to research whatever I can. This brings me to my first new bass purchase, a used Fender Modern Player Telecaster Bass in the burst colour. I saw it on the local Classifieds for $450 cdn with a hardshell case [So like $50 dollars American ;)]. Now I searched around the net, including this site, about the price and quality of the bass. There wasn’t much I could find other than the few posts on here but the price seemed reasonable and the seller ensured my that the bass never left his studio.

    Starting with the looks of this bass…Just look at it! It has a unique look with its big humbuckers and one-piece maple neck. I did buy it used so there is some light scuffs in the finish, but as for actual imperfections, there are none. The frets are finished nicely and there are no sharp edges to speak of. The finish on the neck is gloss and while it isn’t as fast a satin finish (see the Dean review below) it hasn’t slowed me down yet.

    The neck on this thing is thick, but whatever dimensions that Fender decided to use makes it very comfortable to play. There are no dead spots that I can find yet. The action needs a slight adjustment as the E string is quite low and does buzz. The buzz isn’t that bad and the A-G strings are buzz free. The action on those strings is still very low and the bass is a pleasure to play. The string are the stock Fenders and for what they are they sound great on this bass.

    The Sound

    This thing brings the low end, I was previously playing an Epiphone Thunderbird IV (All Mahogany) and while it sounded ok when played live, it wasn’t the best sounding bass on its own. Unfortunately, my band broke up recently (Was going to school, when it ended everyone went their separate ways) so I can’t speak to how the Tele will sound in a live situation. What I can tell you is that it has a ridiculously high out put and when I tested it at the seller’s house, it was clipping my Low Down 150. The pole pieces are adjustable and have to be set up appropriately, individual string volume can get out of hand. Once I leveled string volume, then the fun began. Both pickups on the Tele can be soloed and sound great, if you are looking for a clean articulate sound from the bridge pup, forget about it. Now I am not saying it’s a bad sound but people on this site have noted before that these pups have a “muddy” sound. I would say they are more defined than the humbuckers on my Epi but with more low end. You can get a good “woody” sound out of the neck and a “cleaner” more trebly sound from the bridge but there is always that certain something that these pups provide. They sound very good with the tone down a bit, neck on almost full and the bridge about half way. This provides a similar sound I was getting from my Epi but with much lower end that fills the room. There are different tones you can get out of this bass but they all lean towards that “mud bucker” sound. I have played some Epi EB basses and the Tele definitely provides a different sound but it is in the same vein, if you are looking for a clean tone with lots or articulation then look elsewhere.

    I have never owned a high end bass so I can’t compare the Tele to anything but my Epi. I am selling my Epi, the Tele just feels nicer to play with its comfortable chunky neck and the sounds out of it are fantastic. My band played mostly 90’s alternative rock and top 40 covers. The tele does a very good rock sound, with the Line 6 on the SVT channel and some gain until the amp is (digitally) breaking up, it sounds wonderful. On a cleaner setting, you can get a real nice deep sound that does a great Modest Mouse-Float On sound.

    The Dean

    Honestly, I was looking at this bass on Amazon and at the time it was around $350 cdn, I placed it in my cart and went to sleep. When I woke up it had jumped to $560 and I just couldn’t buy it without knowing what I was getting. There isn’t much info on this bass anywhere, even the Dean site is vague. So I purchased the Tele used and forgot about the Dean. Two weeks later I am on Amazon and the Dean is priced at $230 including a gig bag, stand, cable and a leather strap. It was being sold through Amazon and I figured I could take a gamble on a $230 dollar Jazz bass. I had been playing a $400 Squier Jazz quite a bit at the local Long-McQuade (Canada’s GC) so I know what a lower end Jazz felt like. Man am I glad I took the plunge; at $230 dollars this thing is a beauty.


    Looks wise it is pretty standard for a Sunburst Jazz bass, nothing out of the ordinary. The finish is straight black on the back side and the neck is finished in satin. The satin finish is very, very smooth. Compared to the Tele, this neck is fast. The actual dimensions on the neck are vague on the Dean website but it does have 22 frets and the nut width is 1.5. It feels similar to the VM Squier I had been playing. I was happy to see that the fretboard is separate from the neck, unlike the Tele which is one piece. I really wanted a rosewood board but Amazon had that bass priced at $100 dollars more. I know it is a hot topic but I feel that being two pieces the difference in fretboard woods should be as different if the maple was one piece. There were some light scuffs from shipping, but the bass came with D’addario string, there wasn’t a label, but they feel like light gauge steels.

    So before I plugged in the bass I gave it a little noodle and to my surprise there was no string buzz and the set up seemed like it was done properly. I plugged in to my Line 6 and turned on my polytune. The bass had made it from Ontario to BC with perfect intonation. The QC of the Dean factory was heads above all the similarly priced (Around $500 dollars) basses I have tried in store. The bass came from Dean’s Korean factory and like I said, other than some slight shipping rash, the fit and finish was spot on.

    Plugging in the bass I immediately could tell that the sound was different from the Squier Jazz. This thing has a great range of tones. Solo bridge with the tone down gives you that mid boosted sound, while the Neck soloed can give you a somewhat P sound. Mixing the two gives you that great balance and full sound. The pickups are hot, I had to lower the Neck pickup almost all the way down to level the volume. Coming from the Tele, which has that low muddy tone, the Jazz has all the articulation you want out of a Jazz with the tight bottom and great highs. It is definitely missing some of the low’s the Tele has. I did boost the lows on the amp and the Jazz can get as much lows as my Epi but it still loses to the Tele on the lows. Overall, this is a perfect compliment to the Tele bass. I am very glad I took a gamble on this thing and haven’t stopped playing it since, well only to compare it to the Tele. It is quite a bit lighter then the Tele and much more balanced than the Epi Thunderbird. Because I only paid $230 dollars for this thing I am going to keep it with my Tele and use it for a mod tester.

    Both these basses make me want to play more and in the end isn’t that the only thing that matters? If you have any questions or want to see more pictures feel free to message me. In August I am moving back to my home town where I have some recording equipment, I plan on adding some tones so people can know what the Dean sounds like and show people what these nasty Humbuckers sound like.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
    blacktocomm, Frozen J and El-Bob like this.
  2. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    Looks like you're pumped both of them. That's the most important thing, no matter whether $100 or $1000 basses. Both look great - ENJOY!
     
  3. walldaja

    walldaja

    Apr 27, 2011
    Great job getting some nice basses. The modern player series seem well made. The pups on the tele look similar to the Starcaster semi-hollow, if that's the case the put out the sound. Enjoy!
     
  4. blacktocomm

    blacktocomm

    Feb 19, 2013
    Maryland
    That Tele is sweet.
     
  5. SuperCasualAlan

    SuperCasualAlan

    Jul 13, 2016
    Canada
    I believe that they are the same and I think they also put them in some Squier models
     

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