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New Fender American Special or New MIJ Classic 70's Jazz bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mike Dimin, Aug 21, 2012.


  1. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Which one and why. I have been jonesing for a Jazz bass and I have an opportunity to pick either one of them.
     
  2. Ivan M

    Ivan M

    Aug 2, 2010
    Bronx, NY
    Mike I just got the Fender Jazz SELECT, OMG just AWESOME. I think all the new Fender stuff is really incredible. FENDER hit it out the park with the jazz select.
     
  3. StrangerDanger

    StrangerDanger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    I thought the Classic 70's JB was MIM.
     
  4. MUSHROOMSeAcOw

    MUSHROOMSeAcOw

    Aug 1, 2010
    Georgia
    Production has recently moved to Mexico, but it was MIJ for a few months. Never owned one, but It played very nicely in-store.
     
  5. BassBob1

    BassBob1

    Dec 21, 2010
    The classic 70's is MIM which I suppose is fine. You said you have the opportunity to get either so can you try them both out? Then pick which ever one you like best. I love my jazz bass and most jazz basses in general but those two are probably my least favorite out of fenders current offerings. I don't like the neck profile of the american special, which is flatter and thinner front to back (something I just don't like). I also don't care for 70's pickup spacing on a jazz bass.
     
  6. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    This advice is the best a person can offer however I prefer the special because of the neck. I can't see you losing with either bass.
     
  7. StrangerDanger

    StrangerDanger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    I think you're thinking of the 70's P bass. The J has been MIM AFAIK.
     
  8. Ivan M

    Ivan M

    Aug 2, 2010
    Bronx, NY
    Mike food for thought here, this is the one i just got. Cheers.

     
  9. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Minnesota
    Fender Japan offers a 'Classic Series' as well ... a few of the 70's Jazz basses from the Fender Japan Classic Series were recently imported to the US a while back, and I think that is the MIJ 70's Classic Series we are hearing about in a few cases ... I believe they have some different electronics than what is offered on the MIM Classic Series 70's J's, such as smaller pots ... both should be excellent basses, however ... I do have a MIM Classic Series 70's Jazz ...

    In comparing the OP two, I have only had one American Special in my hands, and it was very nice, but tough to justify the price ... I paid $500 used for my MIM 70's CS Jazz, and the couple of American Specials I have seen used lately were being offered $2-300+ more than that ...

    ... the other thing to consider, is that they are two quite different basses ... one would be heel adjust/graphite support neck, the other headstock adjust bullet truss rod ... one would have block inlays with binding ... tuners on 70's are Fender logo, vintage style with straight posts, the AmSpec uses the same tuners as MIM Standards and some Squier models (not nescessarily a bad thing, just lower value) .. but the biggest diffs are going to be sound ... 70's pup spacing vs conventional 60's style Fender spacing, and then GreaseBucket tone controls vs conventional tone circuitry ...

    For me it was a no brainer, but then I wasn't buying new, and and I already had several basses with 60's spacing ... to me the Am Spec was a nice bass, but I had several Hwy ONES, and for the AmSpec price compared to the components on the ONE, I was a little turned off ... if I could find them used for the same price (AmSpec and Classic 70's), it really would be a tougher choice, and then one has to decide in the direction of the desired pup spacing and aesthetics, as the circuitry can always be changed ... JMHO

    BTW, I did mention that my 70's was MIM, so it may be slightly different than the MIJ you are looking at in components ... and of course all of this, is JMHO as always
     
  10. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Anyway:
    Classic '70s Jazz bass is MIM but as Classic '70s Precision and Aerodyne Jazz demonstrate, sometimes the line gets very thin.

    Fender Japan nowadays assembles Standard Series (all over the world are MIM) to face the concurrency of say ESP made Edwards Precisions and Jazzes and other brands' Fenderish items on MIJ inland market. Furthermore (think about the present Aerodyne with Strato like top mounted jack input) models sport the acronym CIJ and tend to incorporate parts from Ensenada. So I eventually wouldn't be suprised before MIJ Classic '70s Jazz

    I could easily agree on somewhat criticisms on American Specials Jazzes pricings. But I got one (I minded to buy Classic '70s Jazz, but got disappointed by the Geddy Lee I once owned) and overall craftsmanship (let Hipshot HB7 machineheads alone) is way better on it than on cheaper MIM Standard (that I got as well) and equally pricing MIM Classics.

    Cheers,
    Wallace
     
  11. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Just found out that this Classic 70's jazz in made in Japan - prior to the move to Mexico.
     
  12. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: Rhythm AND Blues! Supporting Member

    Well then...MHO is BUY IT!! Or perhaps let me know where to find it... :hyper:

    As tjh pointed out in his post, while current production is MIM, there are a few MIJ Classic Series '70s J basses floating around. Mine is 3TSB, fantastic maple bound and blocked neck with rosewood fretboard, ash (not alder) body. It was part of a 2011 special run made at the Chushin factory in Japan, which is the source of the Geddy Lee basses. Love it!!

    SL
     

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