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Question about Jazz Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bobbykokinos, Sep 11, 2005.


  1. Hey guys. I think my ear for bass guitars is kind of evolving or something. I dunno what it is. But, I've been playing a Modulus since 1996. I dont know why its taken me 10 years to figure this out, but I dont think its the sound I want. I dont know if I'm going through a phase or what. I'm starting to lean more towards to jazz bass, smooth, round sound. One main example is Meshell Ndegeocello's sound.. Man, I'd kill for that kind of tone.

    I know alot of it in the fingers. If we set aside that fact, we have to look at the jazz bass.. I know her jazz bass is pretty old but I dont know the exact year. She also uses flats. I'm not trying to copy her tone at all but I love the warmth of it. This may be a dumb question but is it really necessary to spend $5000+ on an older jazz bass to achieve that kind of tone?? I know, ideally, if you want a 60's jazz bass tone, get a 60's jazz bass. But is there anything else I could look at that would be me close within a decent price range..

    This might be a long shot but I do have an SX jazz. Is there anything I could do to that (other than flats) that would bring me to a smiliar sound. I know I'm compairing a $130 bass to a thousands of dollar bass. Thats why I'm not looking at copying the sound.. I'd like just to be in the same basic area of the sound.

    I love my Modulus and would never sell it. But, I think for what I want sound wise, its too "hi-fi"..

    Any suggestions?? Sorry for rambling...
     
  2. I think I got it. If you want the Jazz Bass sound, step one is to get a Jazz Bass. Step 2: If you want the "60's sound", Fender makes pickups that are supposed to replicate the old-school sound. Check out this link: http://www.fender.com/products/search.php?partno=0992101000....I've never used them, but I bet they sound great and for aroun $125, it's not too bad when compared to $5000 for a vintage bass.
     
  3. Yeah, I was considering doing that also.. I'll have to check into those.. Like I said, I have an SX jazz which actually sounds preetty good. I was considering doing an active system on it and some other things. But after I got to thinking, doing that would be doing probably the exact opposite of what I want.. I should just keep it simple and sweet.. Upgrade the pups and leave it at that...
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I completely believe that it's not the bass but the player that makes the tone. I've heard Me'Shell on a Jazz Bass and a Les Paul bass, and I think she sounds the same on both. So I don't see any reason you couldn't get a similar sound using a new Jazz and flats. The new Jazz absses aren't all that much different than the old ones, other than the graphite inlaid necks on the USA standards (which I don't think affects the tone at all) and the S-1 switch (which I personally think is useless).

    BTW, I'm with you about the Modulus basses. Wood, baby!
     
  5. I totally agree also.. I would say 95% is fingers, 5% is instrument. I'll never sound like her, or anyone else, but because I'm not them. But there is a basic fundamental sound that the jazz bass produces that I like. I really cant explain it in words but the sound I'm looking for that I've heard from bass players, they all have had 60's 'ish jazz basses. So, I think there is some kind of trend there.

    Now, I'm sure this is an obvious question. Would the 60's custom shop pickups be a big upgrade from whats on the SX right now?

    Like I said, I love my modulus bass and its definantly a work horse and can use it in man situations. Its just right now, my personal taste and my sound has turned VERY organic and vintage. Modulus Quantum is almost the exact opposite of it..
     
  6. If you're playing a Modulus right now, you're pretty used to quality workmanship. I'm not saying that the SX basses are bad, but you get what you pay for. Go play a bunch of J-basses, US, Mex, Vintage, Re-issues, and see what floats you boat. I used to own a Modulus Quantum 5, it was built like a tank, and it always sounded really good, but then I got a 1966 Jazz bass and that changed everything for me, i liked the j-bass tone much more. I really prefer the sound of wood.
     
  7. Bobby-sorry, I overlooked that you own a couple of SX basses. If you don't like the tone of the SX bass now, I don't think you'll like the sound of the bass with "vintage" pickups...but I may be wrong.
     
  8. The tone is OK now.. Just lookin for an upgrade. Just curious but why would Fender 60s customs not be an upgrade from the stock pickups?
     
  9. Mr_Dave

    Mr_Dave

    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne
    hi,

    i had 60s customshops in a 75 jazz bass. i didn't like them so much because the output wasn't as high as i wanted and they didn't growl as much as i had hoped. not sure how they would sound in a 60's bass. perhaps nordstrands or overwound lindy fralins will give you the tone you want.

    i also have a japanese (cij) 62 jazz reissue that i reckon sounds totally fat. with the stock pickups. i put some old flats on and i was doing my best to do a meshell slap impersonation... i reckon the tone was pretty cool. :) apart from my sloppy playing :D

    btw, if you haven't heard it, check out meshell playing on the new joshua redman cd. track 7. greasy g. her tone is to die for and she plays real back on the time with some good paul jacksonesk vibrato. mmmmmmmm.
     
  10. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I am down to two EBGs these days, A Modulus Q5 and a MIA JD5. I could work for years on my fingers, my ears or any other available body part and there is NO WAY I could make those two basses sound anything alike.

    They are the yen and yang of bassdom. 180 degrees apart as far as the character of sound. I love them both and use both a lot.

    There's a huge difference between tone and "your sound." Whether playing a jazz or the Q, I sound like me. It comes from my physical, mental and emotional approach to playing bass.

    Whatever my talent level is, it comes out in my playing. But, the tone, that is the color and character of the actual bass, is completely different.
     
  11. Can I find a 70's jazz bass for a decent price without breaking the pocket book?? Soundwise, how do the 60's and 70's differ?? I've looked on E-Bay but have found much. I dont care what it looks like. Just would like it to sound good.

    Any suggestions?