PROBLEM SOLVED Fender American Deluxe Jazz Bass... no thump?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nicopiano, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. nicopiano

    nicopiano Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Levis, Quebec, Canada
    'urgent' :meh:


    2 days ago, I bought the american deluxe jazz, brand new. In the store a love it. Great instrument, great neck, look terrific... At home, when I played along a song, I realized there was not much thump.

    I really like the bridge pickup alone for jazz solos (Jaco style), but for grooving on a rock tune, the sound seems thin to me, no matter the setting. Like 'floating' in the mix. Lot of 'grrr' but no thump, and the sound didn't fit well with the bass drum. I tried active and passive setting. Is it because of the stock string? I'm used to play on DR hi-beam.

    Then... I took my Squier VM P... sound awesome in the mix when play along (300$). Then, took my SBMM Ray35, sound awesome in the mix when play along (700$). Then I took back the Deluxe, sound just ok, not better (1700$).

    The music store is open for exchange. Instead, I'm thinking about buying a good mexican P, and mod it a little to my taste. I want to start taking gig on the bass (I'm a keyboard player). I'm not a gear snob, but I know how the business work... I can't play a squier on gig, it's not serious enough. But I can certainly put the VM pickup and swap it into a mexican Fender.

    What would you do? Thank you for your fast answer, I must go to the music store this afternoon if I want to do exchange.
  2. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005
    Seems to me that favoring the bridge pup on ANY Jazz is not going to give you any sort of thump - you need the neck pup for that... I've owned a few of the MIM Active Jazz Deluxe's, and never had any problem getting plenty of thump out of them, by favoring the neck pup, and using the on board EQ to get there...

    - georgestrings
  3. toberoo


    Mar 9, 2007
  4. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX
    +1 to the deluxe pj bass. A jazz bass just isn't going to sound like a precision bass. You need that split coil "P" pickup. The PJ gives the best of both worlds, although I prefer the Jazz body and neck. Since you would be giving up the American Deluxe Jazz, go with the American Deluxe P maybe....

    One thing is for sure. If you don't LOVE a $1700 bass, you shouldn't keep it!
  5. Rev.Dr.


    Oct 4, 2007
    Metro Atlanta
    There is nothing wrong with playing a Squier on gigs. I used one last weekend on an important gig and all I got was a request to bring the Squier back. Use whatever works for you.
    tristantattoos likes this.
  6. nicopiano

    nicopiano Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Levis, Quebec, Canada
    I like the bridge pickups for playing jazz, not for rock. ;)
  7. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Possibly a silly question, but are you finding it thin with both pickups turned up full? If so, try backing the bridge volume off a little and it should instantly sound fuller in the mids.
  8. Dragullasd


    Jan 2, 2010
    I had a situation with my MMSR5 like, i think sometimes you need some time to find the tone of the instrument ..
    About a month I was regretting buying it and thinking of changing to another, but once I found the tone I could not be happier with the bass ...
    In the worst case you can sell it and buy something else, but if I were you I would keep it and play a for a while...

    sry for my google trans english, not my native leguage... :v
    working on it...

    i hope my advice can help you.
  9. this sounds like the same reaction I still have to this day (31 year playing bass) when I move from a single pickup fender style (precision or, yes, stingray) to a dual pickup bass of ANY format.

    unless the neck pickup in the dual-pickup-bass is a precision style in some form (like the bart mk1 pups in my BTB 556) then you simply can't solo that pickup to get a satisfying traditional rock bass sound out of it since you are used to the fullness of a precision bass.

    jazz basses with both pups on actually scoop the mids AND the output level lowers a bit when both are full on. This is why jazz basses are great for slap... you have built-in mid-contour control by setting the levels of the pups the same. I have a jazz and this is the same with my btb, in fact the output level drops DRAMATICALLY when both pups are on full in my btb. However that is only output level - turn up the amp's gain to compensate (or the output level on my ebs multicomp in my case) and voila, it's great two pickup scooped/phased-mids tone.

    However a jazz bass doesn't nail the rock tone with neck pup solod, as someone pointed out, so add a bit of the bridge pup to it but not full on.

    Don't forget that john paul jones (led zeppelin) played jazz basses for most of that band's biggest records and got arguably THE DEFINITION OF CLASSIC ROCK BASS TONE. So you CAN get the tone, but it'll never be quite as lower-midrange-full as you get from a precision style pickup in the precision-style position.

    anyhow - more importantly, the folks here are right. don't keep it if jazz basses turn out not to be your thing.
  10. I can get plenty of thumpy mids out of my Jazz (American Special)... rolling off the bridge and tone about 40% gives a pretty convincing Precision-style tone.
  11. nicopiano

    nicopiano Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Levis, Quebec, Canada
    I like the bridge pickups for playing jazz, not for rock. ;)
  12. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Any meaningful exchange must include a definition and agreement on the terms and nomenclature you use.

    Define "thump" please.

    Secondly, you are not comparing apples to apples.

    Two single coil jazz pickups together cancel out certain midrange freqs that "P" bass has in spades. AND, your also comparing it to a Stingray. Different animals.

    PLus an active Fender with a preamp that renders a "scoop" to the overall.

    A Passive jazz bass with alnico single coil pickups wound in a traditional voicing will take you in a different direction.
  13. nicopiano

    nicopiano Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Levis, Quebec, Canada
    When I came to this conclusion, I was jamming in G... but I just realised there is a awful dead spot on the E string, 3rd and 4th fret... G (big dead spot) and G# (little dead spot)...

    It make it worst.
  14. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    Turn the neck pickup up and the bridge pickup down and you will get the 51 p-bass tone. Also boost mids on your amp.
  15. Corevalay

    Corevalay Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    New Jersey
    A jazz bass is probably just not your cup of tea. As soon as I hear you say "thump" I think P-Bass. Maybe that's more the sound and style you're looking for.
  16. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Bingo. The two offset coils in a "P" configuration is the magic.
  17. topcat2069

    topcat2069 Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2007
    Cathedral City Ca.
    Yup.... two wide thin fat coils wired in series is gonna sound REAL different from a tall narrow single coil... even a dual coil Jazz pickup won't sound the same !
  18. nicopiano

    nicopiano Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Levis, Quebec, Canada
    Ok, problem solved.

    The guitar tech took it, did a full set up including strings change, adjusting truss rod, pickup height adjustment (the neck pickup was WAY too low), intonation...everything.

    Now it sound like a 1700$ bass should! No more dead spot (bad string probably).

    Thank you for you help, I appreciate.
  19. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Since it's a Deluxe, I'd suggest bumping the mids and lows on the onboard EQ as well.
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Joe Osborn might argue with you about that, as would I. It's not 100% dead-on, but it's absolutely close. And of course, different pickup designs within the P and J types also have their say.