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New bass, right bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by theben, May 2, 2010.

  1. theben


    May 1, 2010
    Firstly, I'm currently playing a Washburn Lyon that is rapidly becoming more and more dilapidated... its fairly old and I think its high time I reining in my pennies to get a new one.

    I recently played my first Fender Jazz. Went into a shop for some new picks and couldn't help myself but ask to have a play... and fell in love. Found it extremely comfortable and loved the sound.

    I've been asked to play in a band that may or may not actually happen... can only wait and see... but its a pop-punk band, so I think a Jazz would be ideal. As well as that, there is some rumour of me replacing a bassist in another band which is kinda pop-punk but a little heavier... again, the Jazz would be ideal.

    The issue is that my own taste is heavier than that, not being a huge fan of pop-punk despite being perfectly happy to play and have fun with it. I went to see a band last night who were a heavy grunge/prog metal band and the bassist used a 5-string Warwick which sounded fantastic. And I'm not convinced the Jazz is really the bass for the kind of music I'd like to be playing, so I'm not entirely sure what to aim for. Having never played a Warwick, or anything producing a similar sound, its hard for me to say whether that is actually the bass for me.

    I definitely need a new bass, I just don't want to fork out a lot of money on a bass that is just going to be one for the moment. My aim is to increase my technical abilities and work on slap bass and have a dabble at some double handed tapping also I almost always play with a pick so ideally I'd want a bass that compliments those aspects.

    Secondly, I did look into some Jazz basses. I wondered if it would be worth me buying the American Standard and investing in the EMG Jazz pickups, rather than forking out the money for a American Deluxe?
  2. Shmone


    Feb 16, 2009
    My bass is a Warwick and its a completely different beast, the jazz necks are slim while the Warwick necks are thicker, some call them "baseball bats". For me a Warwick is the perfect bass, but if you fell in love with the jazz I don't see any reason for not buying it, it should do fine in any genre.
    My advice to you is go out and try more basses, if you can try a Warwick, don't buy something before playing it because you might end up hating it and don't buy a bass just because it might fit in a particular band, chances are you'll be in other bands after that that might play a different genre, buy what feels and sounds good to you.
    about your second question - I have no idea :D, not a Fender fan here so I don't know.
  3. theben


    May 1, 2010
    Yeah I did notice the neck on the Warwick is saw last night was particularly thick, even for a 5-string. And don't worry, I'd never just buy a bass specifically for a particular band. I'm just looking for the right bass and just so happens that I really liked the feel of the Jazz and the sound you get out of it is quite suited to the offers I've had. Might head out and see if they've got any Warwicks in I can have a fiddle with. And I might see how the 5-strings feel. Only ever played one once but I hadn't been playing too long and was the first time I'd even seen one so I was little overwhelmed by the size and the extra string so I didn't play it much.

    I think it was the narrow neck end of the Jazz that I liked so much and made it so comfortable so I'm not sure how I'll get on with a Warwick, let alone a 5-string ;)

    Thanks for the input though, buddy.
  4. TechJunky


    Aug 31, 2009
    Columbus, OH
    A 4-string warwick neck is the same width at the nut as a jazz bass, it just has a deeper profile (depth), but I find it very comfortable. The 5-strings are quite a bit different. From the 5-string jazzes I've played, the nuts are quite a bit wider than a normal (non-broadneck) warwick, but it's also much thinner. Warwick's have thinner string spacing, but it's a chunky neck. The newest models (2009+ I believe) have thinner necks, though, and would be far more comfortable if that's what you're looking for.
  5. xed

    xed Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2007
    Coastal NC, USA
    You said "I've been asked to play in a band." which makes me think that maybe you haven't done a lot of playing in bands before this maybe? If so then you may want to consider what the chances are of your bass being damaged while doing the band thing. No matter what bass you end up with if you're playing in a band, going to practice and doing gigs then be prepared to probably live with some bumps and scuffs. That may or may not effect your choice.

    I'm not sure if this would be a concern for you or not but I thought I would mention it.

    One of the best feeling basses I ever owned was a made in mexico Jazz bass. Since you like the jazz feel you could save a lot of money and pick up a mim jazz instead of an american model and always swap out the electronics/pickups if you wanted.

    Just an idea.
  6. theben


    May 1, 2010
    Yeah quite annoyingly I've been playing since I was about 13... I'm now 22... and I've never been in a band properly. Played as a band in a practice room a few times but nothing I'd consider being in a band. Live in a pretty isolated area which doesn't help...

    I understand wear and tear is all part of the experience when you're lugging your bass about all over the place so I'm not overly fussed about that... just as long as I'm not needlessly careless with it, which won't happen. But my Washburn is buggered and I've had it a while. And the only other bass I have is a BC Rich which is in even worse condition... but that was given to me like that as my first bass so I keep it purely out of sentiment.
  7. waleross


    Nov 27, 2009
    South Florida
    I have never owned or played a Warick or a Washburn Bass. I have an acoustic elec. guitr by Washburn. I own several Fenders. My favorite recent purchase ($1000) is a Road-Worn P Bass made in the Fender Mexico Plant. This one is a Rock and Roll Tool. It'll cut through anything and adapt to any music. I also have an Amer. Fender P bass with active pups but the price was higher. Go out and get to a store that has enough basses for you to try. You don't have to spend more than $1500 for a great bass made by Fender . As a new bass all you might do is get it set-up to suit your tastes. My last mention is a Jazz (korea) that I first bought last year on sale at I think music123.com for $499. This one has active pickups and the thin neck. I don't work for any music store (I should ! ) but I know what I've bought . Last is a $200 to 250 Fender Squire bass(any model) . This one would start you off and hold your spot until you trade up for something better.
  8. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    My first suggestion, if you are just looking for a fender jazz bass, is to look for a used newer model (ie post-2008). The upgraded a few features in 2008 as well as had a noticeable uptick in QC, whether that's at the factory or just better maintenance by the stores stocking them (doubt it) it had made trying out basses in stores a lot better. If you want new, then by all means go for it, but IMO you could save some cash going used. I typically prefer to play a bass before I buy it, which certainly limits selection, and would completely understand if you felt the same.

    As far as standard vs deluxe, it comes down to whether you want passive or active. I personally prefer and play passive basses and do a lot of the techniques you mentioned wanting to learn/try. Although, active electronics might help with on the fly boosting/cutting/adjusting etc, I personally have always liked the tone of passives basses more. Either way, if you like the tone of the standard, I don't see a reason to go investing in upgrading pickups right away.
  9. If you liked the sound and everything, why upgrade them to EMG? We're talking about an American Standard here, definetly not a cheap sounding bass. Besides, jazz pickups are amazing, and very versatile. If you put some rotos or slinkys on it, you'll have a great bass for Pop Punk.

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