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Opinionator. Fender funk

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rontalsaurus, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. rontalsaurus


    Aug 19, 2002
    So, I've been thinking that I'm going to turn in some basses and combine the value to get something a bit better. I've been salivating for the tone of a funky swamp-ash mid-70's Jbass. Something along the lines of a '75, with maybe a few modern modifications to the tone. Ideally I'd go out and get a Pensa, but I don't have that kind of scratch right now.

    In the running right now are:
    Fender '75 Reissue
    Fender Marcus Miller sig
    KSD Jbass

    Anything to add to that crop? Price can vary, but I'd like to keep it under $1200 if possible, and preferably under $1000.

    Compare. Contrast. Opine.
  2. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    I don't think you could go wrong with ither of those.
  3. I'd immediately drop the KSD off the list. From the one's I've played, they've been relatively incosistent and bordered on the territory of SX's Ash-bodied bass' weight. I also found the quality to be relatively sub-par for the price.

    The Marcus Miller sig has a really, really polarizing pre-amp in it. You'll either love it, or hate it. I personally found that it did not cut through well enough (when I owned it) for finger-style playing. For slap... it was king. It was the most vibrant slap tone I've ever copped.

    The '75 reissue (from what I'd imagine) would essentially be a Miller without the pre, which means that really classic passive Jazz tone.

    One bass that you should add to that list (another polarizing one at that because of it's neck) is the Geddy Lee jazz bass. It's essentially a 70's jazz, with the swanky aesthetic, pickup spacing, and an alder as opposed to Ash body. It also comes stock with the dense Badass bridge, which I dig.
  4. dadodetres


    Dec 19, 2004
    between those fenders ill go for the 75 RI.

    What about the Geddy Lee? everyone seems to talk wonders about it
  5. lamborghini98

    lamborghini98 The Aristocrats

    May 1, 2005
    NYC; Portland, OR
    Id go for the Miller over the Geddy Lee any day.
    If you want a real funky bass, though... hmm.. hows about an MM of some type? If youre going for the more Fender-ish tone, though.. well.. get the fender. Personally I was never big on the idea of saving up for a Fender. Its sort of like being really smart and going to a crappy college and being the head of the class.
    Maybe thats a bad analogy.. but you get it.
  6. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    DSC01010. :D
  7. The Lakland DJ/JO basses pretty much nail the 70's J-bass tone :smug:
  8. Mr_Dave


    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne
    the 75reissue is great.

    the marcus is a good bass but i don't like the preamp, if you change the preamp, sadowsky, aguilar, jretro(who even have one mounted on the "miller" scratch plate if you like)

    the geddy has an alder body...

    another option: lakland darryl jones signature with the maple board...
  9. rontalsaurus


    Aug 19, 2002
    I don't think the Geddy will cut it for me. Part of the tone I'm looking for is an ash body. I've always owned alder bodied basses in the past and I think I'm starting to crave something different. I like the airy-ness and snap combined with the single coils and a maple board. Puncy, snappy, scooped...it's everything my current tone isn't.
    I don't need a lot of treble sparkle. Just enough to give the tone some life. I mostly like the booty I get from these basses when slapping.
    The Marcus Miller is indeed polarizing. I've had good experiences and bad experiences with it at stores, but it's always hard to get a bead on an instrument when Guitar Center is blasting crap from every wall. I may have problems with the finger style tone as well. Also, while the aesthetics of the bell are cool, I can't stand playing with it. It just throws me off. I know it's removable, but it's always on when I go to try one out.
    Interesting comments about the KSD. I've heard the exact opposite from some other people. Mainly, that it blows all of the comparable Fenders out of the water in terms of build quality and that the tone is perfect. I guess I'll have to run up to Rudy's one of these days and try one out.
  10. rontalsaurus


    Aug 19, 2002
    Aren't the Darryl Jones/Joe Osbourne Laklands very expensive?

    As far as saving for a Fender, I agree to a point. However, this is not my main axe. It's more of a diversion and a tool.
  11. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    To be fair, one of the things I've noticed on my Miller sig. is that if I EQ the way I would any other bass, it does have a not-so-great fingerstyle tone. That is to say, if I'm playing my Precision and then swap it out for the MM, I might try boosting the bass a little bit and things get muddy real quick to try and "fix the tone". Instead, if I sweep the mids real high, probably up around 1k, and boost the low mids just a touch, I get a very good Jazz-bass fingerstyle tone.
  12. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    i own a MIA 75 RI and my main style is fingerstyle funk. I love this thing. The ash gives it a bright tone quality (compared to the alder) and the 70's pickup spacing really helps to cut through the mix. This bass has cured a LOT of GAS for me!!!
  13. rontalsaurus


    Aug 19, 2002
    Anyone else had build issues with the KSD?
    What about the tone of the KSD? Is it voiced more in the midrange to fit better with the rest of the Ken Smith line, or is it closer to a Fender Jazz?
  14. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    Nice Jazzes! Now clean up that mess, mister!
  15. zac2944


    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I owned a KSD705 for a while. I sold it because I didn't like the 35" scale and I was gassing bad for a certain Fender '62RI.

    It was a good bass. Not great, but not bad either.

    The only build issue I could find was a slight misalignment of the pickups. It was very slight, but if you looked closly you could see that the bridge pickup on mine was shifted about 1/16" from the center line of the bass. It might have been a isolated issue?

    I also own a real deal Smith, as in built in Ken's shop by his people real, BSR5-MW. Let's not compare the two. That would just be silly. They sound nothing alike.

    I can't say that the KSD is voiced like vintage 70's fender because I've never been able to do an A/B with the two, and I've found that different 70's Fenders to sound different. Keep in mind that the KSD has an active preamp. It can be switched to passive too.

    The KSD sounds like a jazz bass more so than anything else.

    I have recorded samples of the KSD. If you or anyone else wants to hear them send me a PM with your email and I'll send you an MP3 clip.

    I have done a couple reviews of this bass. If you do a quick search you should be able to find them.
  16. zachbass02

    zachbass02 One Hairy....squatch.

    Jan 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I've only played a KSD in a shop. I really didn't like it. The neck felt like a baseball bat cut in half. It felt nothing like a jazz neck should. My vote would be for the 75Ri with some Duncan Quarter Pounders dropped in it, then the Miller. Good luck in the quest for tone.......
  17. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    I would definately second the Lakland Skyline Darryl Jones. Incredible build quality, QC, and with the Aero pups, it should more than nail the tone your after with the addition of more versatility. Did I mention it look totally hot!

    It may cost a bit more (1100), but it's going to definately surpass the basses you listed. If you look around you should be able to find a used example for around the 900 mark, which is not much more (50 bucks maybe) than a new Marcus Miller.

    Also, I should add, that I have played a bunch of Marcus Millers, and they are good basses, but they can't really hold a candle to the Lakland jazz basses IMHO. Also, I have played two KSD jazzes, and they were both disapointing. I really wanted to like them, and they were not terrible basses, but the neck felt too narrow, and too thick, the sound was uninspiring, and though they looked great, they just didn't measure up.
  18. rontalsaurus


    Aug 19, 2002
    eh...you're from Chicago...you're biased.

    just kidding.

    I'm surprised it's that cheap. That's actually a really good price for a Lakland. I'll have to put that on the list to try. I haven't heard much about Aero pickups. I hear mention of them, but not a whole lot of discussion.
  19. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Perfect +1

    Ditto, including the thoughts on the MM preamp. I didn't like it at all. I'd MUCH rather get a Geddy (which I have and love) or a USA 75RI and then if you really wanted a preamp, add a GOOD one like Aggi, Bart, Demeter, whatever.
  20. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001

    No, you're right, I am and I am, but only because I've been to the factory and been treated very well by the company.

    The Lakland Skyline Series (made in Korea, pups, frettwork, and setup in Chicago) are really quite a deal, they usually exceed MIA fender quality, and are pretty inexpensive. The price I quoted is pretty standard. Musicians friend charges $1119 new.

    The only problem is that with their limited production, sometimes it can be hard to find the exact one you are looking for on the used or new market.

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