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Reverend Rumblefish vs. Fender Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Braksvenne, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. Braksvenne


    Aug 13, 2003
    Im thinking about getting jazzbass style bass. I want a more vintage type of sound than my Singray. I've read a lot about the Reverend Rumblefish basses on this fourum. But I want to know how they sound compared to a jazzbass? I read contradictionary comments like "jazz like" and "not a slapping bass". Is a jazzbass brighter sounding than a rumblefish?

  2. I use a Rumblefish as my #1 and have for about a year and a half. Before that, I used a '72 Jazz as my #1 for about 11 years and I still use a fretless MIJ Jazz. My Rumblefish is the now discontinued model with 2 angled J pickups and it also has a series/parallel/single coil switch (the "XL" model). I can't speak for the new models with the PJ pickup configuration.

    After all is said and done, the Rumblefish is a derivative of the Jazz Bass. It is lighter than a Jazz and my XL model offers a bit more tonal variety. The "series" setting offers up a very fat sound reminiscent of a P-Bass, the "parallel" setting yields the classic sound of a Jazz Bass with both pickups dimed and the "single coil" setting is more Jaco-esque (along with the full complement of single coil buzz). I think the angled placement of the pickups allows for a bit more articulation than a stock Jazz Bass. The pickups are quite hot, by the way. I am not a slapper but I suppose you could slap on a Rumblefish. The neck is very similar to the neck on my '72 Jazz. I don't think you can go wrong with a Rumblefish.
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I think when some people think "slap" they think "hot pickups and active EQ", not a vintage tone. You can slap ANY bass, it's really a question of what sound you are expecting to hear.

    The Rumblefish is hollow so it is not as compressed sounding as a solid body Jazz, this is a good or bad thing depending on what you are after.

    The Reverend necks blow current Fenders out of the water in terms of feel.

    Now that they are making only PJ 4 string Fishes you'll need to get a used one if you're after the two pickup J-bass sound.
  4. I far prefer my Rumblefish to any Fender Jazz I've played. The 'Fish has huge tone, great sustain, bell-like clarity, awesome playability, and vibe, vibe, vibe. Can't beat it with a stick. Mine's a J-J model, and I'll bet the current P-J bass sounds even bigger. I may need to get one.. :D
  5. Great point.
  6. watspan

    watspan Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    if style or appearance is not an issue ( i personally love the look of the rumblefish, but not everybody does) i'd say get the 'fish, definitely. You can pick one up from ebay for $400 USD or so (4 string). With a set of T-I flats on them, these Reverends are a joy. I have a 4 and 5 string fish, a '74 P-bass and had on long term loan a '74 jazz bass, so i've compared closely.
  7. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    i am totally dying to try a 'fish, here in italy never seen one...

    and that direct thing is no good for us...:(
  8. Braksvenne


    Aug 13, 2003
    I agree with you Barroso, the possibility to play before you buy is limited to say the least. I live in Sweden so have have to decide upon recommendations.

    Thanks for your input and recommendations.

  9. For the record, I bought mine off the internet ( and I had never seen one in person much less played one. I will tell you that the neck is wonderful, it feels like a "broken in" 70's Jazz Bass. It feels better than any Fender I've ever played...and it is stable. I did one truss rod adjustment (when I switched to groundwounds) about a year ago and I haven't touched it since. I typically have to adjust truss rods 3 - 4 times a year because of the climate in Minnesota (-30 and dry in the winter to 100 and humid in the summer). Another great thing is the light weight. I spent 10+ years with a piece of furniture (i.e. '72 Jazz) strapped on and the 'Fish is a welcome relief. All in all, you will find the Rumblefish to be very similar to a Jazz Bass except that is lighter and has a little more tonal variation available. If you want to hear me playing mine, go to and click on merchandise and you will see a CD called "Rompin at the Ribshack." Follow the instructions and you'll be able to get a little sample. It is a live CD and I was playing the 'Fish through an Eden 4 X 10" rig although most of what you hear is the direct signal.
  10. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    thanks a lot. it really helps to have a good description on howgood a bass sounds and feels-

    the true problem for us, EURO guys, is that Reverend do sell directly in USA for good prices. those prices become not that good here where i live because i have to add shipping costs, insurance and +25% due to local taxes.

    that's really bad, not only i have to order a bass without playing one, but i have to pay much more. i understand that reverend market is 99% in USA. but it really sucks when you are not really helped.

    ps i contacted reverend via email and i had no answer. maybe they consider not profitable selling to europe. i'd suggest them to find some distributors here... :(
  11. What if you buy used instruments? Does the fact that an instrument is used (and therefore somewhat devalued) have any impact on the taxes and import duty you have to pay? There are used Reverends available on e-bay and elsewhere pretty often. By the way, if you go to and click on "dealers" you will find that there are distributors in Belgium and Germany (although I don't know if that helps you guys in Italy and Sweden). There is also a link to the Reverend Congregation which Joe Naylor monitors and posts on regularly.
  12. Braksvenne


    Aug 13, 2003
    Barroso, I e-mailed Reverend and got answered within a day or two about shipping costs to Europe. The cost for shipping a rumblefish to Sweden is 100 dollars, it should be about the same to Italy.
  13. K-Frog


    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    I think the 'fish is a jazz killer.

    bassminister has the 5XL and it has HUGE tone.

    I heard poman in concert Saturday night playing his Brad Houser. Nothing was coming through the mix like that thing was. The MusicMan that another band had was a close second though.
  14. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    That's odd. I have both solid and semi hollow guitars. The semi hollow guitars are more compressed than the solid bodies. I mean you can really feel the note release and bloom on the 335 where as the tele's and strat's just spank off the plank (so to speak).

    Obviously there is s pickup difference, but not as much as you would think. I run Bill Lawrence XL500's which are brite and spanky for humbuckers on the 335. One of my Strat's had Lace Sensor's which are a very smooth, slightly compressed single coil. So - as far as guitars go, I'm not sure about the semi-hollow vs solid body comment. If the 'fish is spankier / more alive / less compressed feeling - I wonder if it has more to do with the bridge, neck mount, top material or some other attribute.

    335's are a plywood top - what is the top material on the Rumblefish ?

    I'll admit I haven't played a Rumblefish but after reading this thread I may have to ... sounds like it would be right up my alley.
  15. The top and back of Reverends are made from a wood-based phenolic material. Looks and feels like formica. Together with the semi-hollow construction, it makes for the most resonant, alive unplugged sound I've heard. I always play my Reverend at home for practice and just messin' around 'cause it sounds so killer without an amp. And once you plug it in, well.. lights out. I urge you to try one!
  16. The newest tops and backs are smooth, like a mirror, as opposed to the older ones with a more textured, formica-like feel. I just sold a 'Fish PJ4 because I was up to my ears in basses. That was my fourth Reverend and they've all been really great values. In my mind, one of the real advantages here is consistency. You can buy any 'Fish and it will be an excellent bass; whereas to find the right Jazz Bass might take a little bit more trial and error.
  17. Seems like a difference in terminology. To me, if you can feel the note "release and bloom", that's not really what I'd call "compressed", merely a different sort of attack.

  18. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    ummm... not to nit-pick ... OK I will ... That is what a compressor does - mess about with the attack.
  19. A compressor lessens the dynamic range overall, not just the attack--not all "messing about with the attack" is compression. Generally, when folks say that an instrument sounds "compressed", they mean (I do, anyway) that it has long, even sustain and doesn't really respond to the dynamics of your playing as much. If the notes are "swelling and blossoming", I wouldn't call them "compressed", any more than I'd call the sound of an upright "compressed". Make sense?

    Sorry, enough thread digression...