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Not enough growl in an American Jazz DLX

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by grumpyjfc, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. grumpyjfc

    grumpyjfc Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2003
    Mount Pleasant SC
    I have a 2006 American Jazz Deluxe, alder body, maple fretboard, completely stock. I'm using a set of Fender roundwound strings, heavy gauge. I love everything about the bass; looks feel, weight, playability.....but I'm not happy with the sound. I was hoping to get more midrange growl out of it and it's just not happening. I've tried different eq settings, even different amps (Ampeg SVT 3, SWR SM-500), but I feel like I should get closer to the sound I want with this configuration of features. Anybody have any suggestions before I start swapping pickups and preamps??
  2. I don't know if it's mostly my bass (Warwick Corvette with Bart Electronics) but my epifani PS210 sounds killer. I run through an Avalon U5 into a crown macro-tech to the cab. I get tons of low growl. I guess I would suggest an epifani cab. I haven't heard the UL series, but I get some serious growl from this cab. also, try some different strings. DRs have a lovely midrange growl to them. I hope this helps you.
  3. TFunkadelic


    Apr 9, 2006
    I know I get plenty of growl from my Wick thumb:D
  4. zoran


    May 10, 2002
    Maybe that Fender-ish mid growl just isn't for you. I never consider Fender as midrange oriented bass. I always prefer warwick midrange growl over it for example
  5. el_Kabong


    Jul 11, 2005
    Set the pan slightly towards the bridge pickup and bump up the onboard mid and low eq just a bit. Put on a set of medium light dean markley sr2000 strings and move your right hand back towards the bridge and use a firm touch. The sr2000's have a soft feel that works really well for playing close to the bridge. That's about as growly as it's going to get, imo. If that's still not doing it, see if you can find an ash/maple bass to take for a spin and see if that's more your thing.

    edit: oh and drop the action as low as you can stand it. For me, some of that agressive growl is a result of slight fret rattle when you dig in.
  6. tkozal


    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    I get lotsa growl out of my 05 deluxe, rosewood board, fairly low pickups, slight bias towrds the neck, and I am hard finger style player. GHS 45-105, At volume there is a point with this bass, where it just goes pop! into this great growly sound that I can control with finger dynamics...
  7. lavaman67

    lavaman67 Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2006
    Ypsilanti, MI
    I can get a nasty Geddy Lee type of growl out of my 2007 ADJ with the Samarium Cobalt pickups. I am running it through a Mesa 400+ and my Bergantino NV610, so that may have something to do with it as well. I love that bass.
  8. Fenders do have a distinctive growl that's gonna differ from a StringRay or a Thumb, so if it's just not for you then there's not much you can do. That said, if it is for you, and you just haven't been able to bring it out yet, I definitely second some of the recommendations made so far. Favoring the bridge pickup (and playing closer to the bridge... though I've personally never cared for the feel of the strings down there) will bring out some of that burp and growl. New strings should help, too. Some people do love 'em, but most people I've seen recommend something other than Fender strings. Personally, I love Rotosound strings, and their stainless steel sets should give you plenty of growl. That said, I've read lots of praise about DR and Dean Markley (and others). Low action... I agree with the poster that said sometimes a little intentional fret buzz is part of that "growl" we all want. If none of those do it for you, there are definitely some other pickups that should get you what you want (Nordstrand's NJ4SE's come to mind... primarily because I'm considering them myself). Beyond that, I've always played passive basses, so I can't really offer any advice on your eq. Good luck, though!

  9. zachbass02

    zachbass02 One Hairy....squatch.

    Jan 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    switch the pups to single coils...
  10. sandmann


    Dec 27, 2005
    what el_kabong wrote should help. i also own an american deluxe (2004) modell ash/maple and love it. at the moment it is my main bass. i delivers a perfect marcus miller sound but it never sounds as growly as my 62 ri (alder/rosewood). the deluxe sounds very crisp and full but in the mids it is not as strong as a passive bass.

  11. mrbungle


    Nov 13, 2000
    tampere, finland
    Swap the bass, new pups are not going to help. I had American Series Jazz with alder body and maple fretboard, and I never got it to growl properly. Now I have 60's Classic Jazz which growls like no other.
  12. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    That's what I'd do-tho I prefer DA EXL170s'.
    It's key to get the neck real flat, and action real low.

    If that don't get it for you, you might want to try a passive Jazz rather than switch pups.

  13. esxmac


    Aug 17, 2003
    I just got an American Deluxe Jazz V (alder/maple) and noticed the same thing.

    The pickups were relatively high from the factory. I had a setup done (pickups still high) with DR Lo Riders 45-125, non-tapered.

    I tightened each screw on each pickup 1/4 of a turn and while the bass thinned a little bit, it gave back very good growl with the EQ flat and both pickups balanced.
  14. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I've briefly played a couple of these, and my impression was that they do growl almost like a passive J (key word: "almost"). IMO, as a couple have mentioned, the key is to pan about 1/3 toward either the neck or bridge pickup so the sound opens up into growl. On my passive J, I favor the neck pickup for a bottom-heavy growly tone. Also, stainless steel strings can help. I used Dean Markley Blue Steels when I wanted more growl from a Precision, and they worked.

    If nothing else does the trick, try some Lindy Fralin single coils, possibly overwound for good measure. (I use the noiseless Split Jazz, and love 'em.) If that's not enough growl for you, then maybe the Fender J species of growl just isn't your thing.

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