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Passive "boutique" jazz basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by anyonefortennis, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. anyonefortennis

    anyonefortennis Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    Lincoln, NE
    Maybe I'm alone in here but there's something about passive basses that I love.

    All this recent talk about the Fender Custom Shop made me realize that there aren't very many people making passive jazz basses at the "boutique" level.

    Seems like sadowsky, valenti, celinder and all the other big ones are making actives exclusively.

    Besides Fender and Lakland (only 2 that come to mind at the moment), who else is making qualitly passive jazzes?
  2. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    I know most Sadowsky basses have a push/pull pot for active/passive, and I'm pretty sure Valenti has done that in the past.

    I'm not sure about anyone else.
  3. tubster


    Feb 5, 2003
    Southwest Spain
    G&L JB-2. Very nice bass. Passive, great quality and the right price
  4. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    USA Lakland Joe Osborn. All the '60s vibe passive bass you ever wanted.

    If you're on a budget, the Skyline series is an amazing deal.

    Edit: I didn't read the last line of your post. Still, the Lakland would be at the top of my list.
  5. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Mike Lull makes passive Jazz and Precision-style basses.
  6. anyonefortennis

    anyonefortennis Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    Lincoln, NE

    How's the JO compared to the DJ? There's somthing about those block inlays that I just love.
  7. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    New York Bass Works
  8. Devon makes high quality passive basses and he likes using Aero pickups.
  9. Dingwall ....SuperJ
    active/passive at the flick of a switch. Great sounding pickups-very vintagey and modern. As well as a shortscaled fanned fretboard that eliminates any string-to-string tension and tone issues.
    Lots of great color and pickguard combos (borh as a J/J or P/J)
    Highly recommended
    my SuperJ has a reversed headstock, they come standard as a regular orientation
  10. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    My Stambaugh that's being built at the moment could (I suppose) qualify as a "boutique" bass, and it will be passive.

    I used active basses with many different preamps for many years but have come back to passive basses.
  11. unity bass

    unity bass

    Dec 15, 2003
    Modesto, Ca.
    Mine has a switch. Why not have both!:)

  12. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    Valenti always has that option. With the right pickups, passive is just as hot as active (when flat).

    For Sadowsky, the tone comes from the combo of the pickups and the preamp, and passive mode is really meant for the dead battery scenario.
  13. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    This has been explored many times, but to make a long story short:

    JO: Fralin pickups standard ('60s vintage tone -- a little fatter and warmer), pickups in '60s position. Standard J-body shape.

    DJ: Aero pickups standard ('70s tone -- a little more aggressive and growly), bridge pickup is slightly closer to bridge ('70s position). Swept J-type body shape -- a little smaller.

    Many other differences (like blocks and binding). Also, the DJ4 has a smaller fretboard radius than the JO4, but the 5-string models are more similar in neck profile, IIRC.
  14. michele


    Apr 2, 2004
    Cliff Bordwell! My custom fretless "D-bass" will be exactly what you're talking about ... Jazz neck, Nordstrands NJ4SE, passive electronics and the attention to details that only top-level luthiers can offer ... check my in-progress thread:
  15. I've got the same thing about passive J's, so I got myself a passive Hotwire Vintage 4. Knobs: vol, vol, tone. Well, the tone knob should've been named "lots of tone knob", because the bass sounds so sweet...

    And btw since I am a lefty, I was more than happy about not finding some Euros on the bill just for getting a lefty bass made.
  16. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
  17. ArwinH

    ArwinH run rabbit run

    Dec 1, 2005
    Southern California
    Wilkins??? correct???
  18. a million.
  19. Actually, some Celinder models are passive. There just seems to be less talk about them than their active counterparts.
  20. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I think that the Silver Valenti (#002, #003?) was origionally built with a passive tone control setup but was converted to help it sell. The only reason you dont see them passive is because no one orders them that way, but if you want it, Im sure Nino would do it.

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