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New MIM Fender Jass vs old MIM Fender jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dgce, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I see that the current Fender Jazz Standards (made in Mexico of course) are now using alder wood rather than the popular wood of the MIM Jazz bass from a few years back. I would think the tone of the alder basses are more favorable than the poplar; but is it really THAT big of a difference? I ask because you can always find used or NOS MIM Jazz basses on the cheap. However if the tone is far more happending, I'd buy a new MIM Jazz.

    Feedback anyone?


    PS and btw, I'm aware that even the alder basses are likely made with five pieces of wood for the body which may inhibit some of that tone we crave.
  2. Well the new ones have standard pickups - that is, the bridge pickup is slightly larger than the neck pickup. The old ones had 2 neck pickups, making it hard to swap out for new pickups. I'd say go for a new one.
  3. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    I wouldn't buy ither one of them.Personally I would buy the KSD 70's bass.It sounds and is built better than the both of them for maybe a $100 dollars more if that.
  4. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    Well, if you can find a good used one, and do some mods to it, you would have a great bass IMHO.
    When they were 299.00 for a standard, that was a pretty good deal. I have a 2000 MIM fretted Jazz. It now has Dimarzio Ultra Jazz p/u's, hooked to 250K push-pull volume pots, Gotoh 201 bridge, and Schaller BML tuners. Oh, put a good switchcraft jack in, and a good tone pot too. Now, I think it's as good as any MIA Fender I played, for not too much money.

    I modded my 2002 fretless jazz. Same Gotoh bridge(standard one failed after a week-bridge saddles stripped out)BML tuners, and Model J p'u's from Dimarzio. Added a good jack, D'addario XL's .45-.100 and a pro setup. It is a dream to play.

    However, those standards are now pushing 400 dollars. Bass NW has the KSD jazz basses for 595.00 (the 60's version anyway)Sure, it's a little more money. But I'll bet it's a safe bet that you won't have to mod that KSD to get a good tone, or decent hardware.

    If I were buying a new Jazz type bass today, I would seriously look at a KSD, or a Lakland skyline. One thing you must remember too. My experience has been with Fender customer service, that it sucks! The company doesn't want to hear any problems-it all comes down to your authorized dealer. If yours is great, fine. If not, you're on your own IMO.
    You may want to check out a Carvin too. IMHO, those basses would be a better value than a standard Fender nowadays. This is comparing a bolt on type, with a MIM standard.
  5. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Wow, so the KSD goes for under $600, eh? I have yet to read any reviews on it but I've had a look at the specks and it appears to be one hell of a buy. I've thought of taking the "mod" route with a MIM Jazz or lucking up on a find on eBay that's already been moded. However, with the KSD, I doubt I'd want to do anything.

    Any idea what a 5 string natural ash body and maple board puppy goes for?


  6. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Ok, hold it!

    Beefbass said the 60s style KSD goes for $595. Where??? I just checked the Ken Smith Home page:

    and apparently all 4 string basses are $725 and all 5 strings are $800. These are not "list" prices but the direct price. So Beef, where did you find the KSD for only $595? Point me there brother before its too late!

    Also, and I'm a little embarrassed to compare the two but I've heard a lot of good buzz about Brice Douglas Basses: http://www.rondomusic.bigstep.com/category.html?UCIDs=940496

    These basses, like the KSDs are made in Korea and are made of either 2 pieces of alder (their 60s model) or two pieces of ash (the 70s-Marcus axe). Their alder basses go for $199 and the ash goes for $299. Granted, you're not going to get the Ken Smith quality control and domestic set up with the Brice Douglas, but given the price difference, do you think its worth looking into? I mean with a decent preamp and proper set up, could the Brice not give the KSD a pretty good run for the money?

    Again I ask, feed back!!!

    Thanks guys!

  7. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    For $600 I'm sure you could find a nice used MIA J with a hardshell case.
  8. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Good point, Mike. You could score a used American Standard J for $600, no doubt. The new American Series, however, is going to be closer to $900 easy unless you get lucky (floor model, scratche&dent, etc.). I was thinking about the KSD bass last night and given the cost, why not just get an American J? I started asking about the MIM J's because I wanted a cost effective back up to my G&L ASAT bass. The whole idea was to keep it on the cheap. This is why I also looked into the Brice Douglas bass, those are even cheaper than the MIM Fenders and the two piece bodies and heavy duty bridge may very well be a step up from the multi-lam bodied MIM Jazz and pot metal hard ware.


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