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new fender observations from a Fender non-expert

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by adrian garcia, May 2, 2003.

  1. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    thought i'd share some interesting finds..
    i needed a good but not overly expensive backup fretted bass- i have been thinking of a Fender or Fender style bass for while-
    i recently took delivery of a used Fender amdlx 5 - i was told it had the same pre as the fmt and it was mint- after it arrived i noticed it was hardly mint and it had the older 9 volt system-
    for the money i paid- i decided to send it back because it wasnt what i was told it was- a mistake- no malice intended, im sure.
    in the meanwhile- i bought another BRAND new Fender amdlx- this one has the 18 volt system- it is immaculate- it is quieter, it has the 4 = 1 peghead that i prefer..
    but it doesnt sound like a Fender!!! its sounds good, but nowhere near as Fendery as the older one!
    both ash basses, the older is much lighter-
    so.. i dont know if its the lighter ash,, the 9 to 18 volt system or just generally a mojo thing- but i was very surprised-
    i now await word on a price adjustment on the older bass- if its met, its a keeper...
    anyone else encounter this?
  2. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    ive noticed this but not first hand. on victor baileys last solo album where he uses his sig fender with the 18volt system and noisless pickups, it doesnt really sound like a jazz. i much prefer the sound of his old pensa with the emg's. even with the emg's that pensa still sounded like a fender.
  3. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX

    I know exactly what you mean! I do not really dig the new dlx's and FMT's. From my experience the old 9v deluxes not only sound better, but play better too. I know that's a straightup opinion thing but that's my opinion. The 9v's sound GOOOD!

    brad cook
  4. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA
    I'd consider myself a Fender guy. 80% of my basses are Leo's designs...A couple P's,Jazz,L2000

    The cool thing about Fenders is the availability of options. You can choose a bass by whatever your priority is (cosmetic,playbility,newer vs. older neck radius, humbuckers,single coils,....etc..) and then change parts around it.

    I ended up throwing single coils and a 2 band EQ in my AmDeluxe 4 string. If I find I want humbuckers in the future..no problem...easy swap.
  5. It is a truism that older Fenders sound better. In a few years, people will be bemoaning the passing of those great old 18 volt deluxes.....
  6. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    I have not played an 18 volt Fender yet so I can't really pass an opinion on it. I do however think that Andy hit the nail on the head! Of course if you take this argument to its logical conclusion Fender peaked in 1951 and we should all be playing slab-bodied, single-coil, flatwound-strung, P's :eek: ;)
  7. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    That's true but I don't think it applies here. Adrian is talking about a bass from just a year or two ago in specs.
    I agree that the 18v sound different and to me not as good. What's funny to me is that everyone is looking for that Jazz bass sound but are always buying basses with active electronics. I've tried every preamp known to man and all of them color the sound too much to truly capture that organic passive Fender sound. The other problem is that it appears to be hard to make a 5 string Jazz pickup sound like the 4 string version. There's a ton of other factors in it as well. I have a 2001 AmDeluxe 5 with the 9v that sounds great. I thought about selling it to get the new version only because I like the 4+1 headstock better. I, like Adrian, found the tone not to be as good.
  8. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Why change the whole bass when you can just swap the neck? I'm sure it would be possible to find a Fender or a Warmoth neck with a 4+1 headstock.
  9. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    The local store has a (2000-2001 NOS) 5-string 9v. Very light, very resonant, and nice looking natural ash.
  10. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA

    I totally agree. That's a true 'vintage' Jazz tone.

    I think another popular sound associated w/ the Jazz is the 'modern' jazz sound that got started by people modding out J's in the 70's and 80's.
  11. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    well, passive is cool- but in todays music i am required to get many more modern tones- i find that F bass to be the dream bass- but my little Fender is spankin!!- im getting the marcus tone, the Jaco growl and much more- i do wi**** had a passive mode, though- but it sounds so good , im not gomnna mess with it- i looked inside the bass- there seems to be 3 miles of wiring in there- i want to shield the cavity to reduce noise- but im afarid to mess with it- maybe on my next trip to Carey Nordstrand-
    i will trick this one out- but only with a white pickguard and maybe a hipshot bridge. oh, and chrome knobs--
  12. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA
    I have a passive option on mine and I never use it.
  13. My point was that it is ironic a new 18 volt Fender does not sound like a Fender while a 9 volt one does. When those came out, they didn't sound like Fenders, either.

    The Fender sound it continually redefined by what you had last, I guess.