Older or newer fender american deluxe V

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by B String, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I've been seeing many older (1996-99) american deluxe
    jazz basses for sale lately. Are the newer one that much
    better than the older ones? I know the pickups are not the
    same, but has the neck or body or wood changed?
  2. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    B, are you looking for a 4 or a 5 string? To me, with Fenders this is where the difference lies. I'd buy a 4 from online any day. As for a 5 I'd have to play it first. I've played mexi 5ers with killin B strings and I've played American one's that were all floppy.

    As for the older and newer ones, I remember really liking the older ones. I'm not sure about specifics though.
  3. My experience w/Fender 5s has been very hit & miss- mostly miss. If you use your B string much, you may have to look awhile before you find one that works well. I have a '96(I believe)standard(passive, 20 fret neck)J. Great B, not too heavy, a sweet slapper. My advice would be don't buy one online or where you're not able to play it beforehand, as quality varies. As you said, though, there are a lot out there- keep looking.
  4. Radiobass


    Jan 10, 2005
    How can the construction of a bass affect it's tightness?

    As far as I know, all that affects it is the string itself and the scale. Most Fender strings are "meh", so, with good strings, the problem will be solved (if what I think is right).
  5. Well a Sadowsky often has a tighter B string than a 200$ Ibanez, if both are 34" scales with identical strings. Construction definitely plays a part.

    The newest American Deluxes are apparently very good, due to the SCN pickups. I know the ones I've played are perfect out of the box, very well setup and constructed. The older ones may need a bit of care but my 97 J is awesome.
  6. I'm no expert, by all means, but IMHO, I think that there's something to be said for an older bass that's "settled" and it's proven itself that there's no problem with the neck or wood.

    Could also be that the pickups back then had "distinct" sound that some players like and are willing to look for. (...although I've seen players that buy a "vintage" bass and then start changing it out. New bridge, pickups, hadrware, etc. Bridges and electronics have come a long way since then.)

    Could also be that there's more for sale now. I'm learning, having been cruising this site for a while now, that there's an amaziing amount of incredible brands of basses out there to find these days and it could be that players are moving on to the newer models, styles and sounds.

    The older ones might not be necessarily "better", so much as "unique" in sound and feel.

    IMHO. 2 cents deposited.
  7. Stox


    Mar 18, 2005
    London UK
    Ive just bought a MIA Jazz Deluxe 5 and its the best Fender I've ever played. Good B string, excellent pre. and those SC pickups a great - punchy, warm and full of vintage tone with a modern twist. Recommended
  8. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Radiobass, Radiobass, Radiobass..... Its the magic of wood.
    I just went to a store and played four Lakland 55-02's. All
    four sounded different. Same setups and strings. Two had
    tight articulate b's, the other two...fair. For some reason, it
    seems much easier to get a good four string than a five.
    As strange as it seems, there is a VERY low supply of good
    basses in Los Angeles. (lots of cheapies) I hate not being
    able to take advantage of good deals I see on TalkBass, but
    I'm always afraid of the "floppy b". I think Poon thought I was
    nuts when I tried to buy his bass on a let me play it first
    bassis. Are the newer American deluxe jazz V's more consistant?
  9. Radiobass


    Jan 10, 2005
    But how? I still can't find it's logic...

    Have you actually tested your statement? Bleh, I wrote it wrong, but you understand, hopefully.
  10. Radiobass


    Jan 10, 2005
    Denser wood makes a tighter B?

    Arg, I'll never get this :crying: .
  11. You know, Im not arguing with anyone because I personally have not played every bass in the world, but in general the fives I play have no problems with the B string that wouldn't be greatly helped by a new string (there's a reason there are so many on the market, everyone has preference), a quality setup to the players specks (probably one of the reasons boutique basses are said to have better B's, they're usually set up better than the bass that's been sitting on guitar center's walls) and the player's touch... I play with a light touch and find that to be most helpful. Also things like the rig one is playing through, clarity of pickups, where one is playing (bridge tends to make the B growl a little more, a little clearer and tighter obviously playing back there)

    Now Im not telling you what you experienced is wrong, that would be impossible for me to do, you experienced it it stands for YOU. This is just my personal experience, your mileage may vary.
  12. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I certainly agree that having a very light touch and finding
    the right string helps, but some basses with the same touch
    and string have a floppy b. In general, are the newer Fender
    5 strings the same as the older 5's, or are the new ones
    more consistant?
  13. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    I wrote a rant on this a long time ago, but I am bored, so I will take a shot at a shortened version. It's about deflection. Here's a experiment:

    Carefully remove your bass from the case and proceed to suspend it in front of you, parallel to the floor, holding it only by one string. Note that the bass is bending.

    OK, unless you are from the Gene Simmons School of Bass, you probably won't actually do that. But, you can imagine what it would look like. The bass would flex a bit just as a bow flexes when it is drawn.

    When you pluck a string, this happens on a micro-sized scale. And, just like a bow, a bass has a desire to return to it's "rest" position. This tendency robs energy from the string. It results in loss of sustain, lack of tone clarity (especially in the fundamental) and even a "warble" of the pitch. (Which makes some sense, as it is, in effect, creating the same phenomena on the string as does tremolo on a guitar) Every bass does this to some extent, otherwise the note would sustain indefinately, (assuming you are playing bass in space :) ) But too much makes for a flabby B.

    Further, there are many parts of the bass that can deflect. The neck joint (here lies the argument for neck-through construction) and the neck itself are the main culprits, but other things like the machines, the stiffness of the bridge plate and even the body itself can and do contribute.

    Since a B string has the greatest inertial mass, it is able to exert the most force on these less-than-perfect parts. Although, you will occasionally run across a REALLY poorly made bass where you see this even on the E string.

    It happens with any stringed instrument, but the longer scales of basses tend to exaggerate it. That's why you see things in basses you probably won't see in guitar like really long neck pockets and six bolt or more joints, neck through construction, thick machined bridge plates and less traditional approaches to necks such as multi-laminates and composite materials.

    This is also why the lighter touch helps. The less energy introduced, the less deflection.

    The longer scale introduces a higher tension at rest, so it tends to be less of an issue.