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So I tried Fender Elite jazz basses today...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bongostealth, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. Chucky Stiletti

    Chucky Stiletti Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2017
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Love mine..

  2. Vic

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

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    wow, that is SUPER unusual!!

    Outside of conditions where repair might be indicated, do you do all your own setups? If not, I very highly recommend it, FWIW. It's easy, saves time/money, etc..
  3. WayneDupuis


    Mar 9, 2014
    Victoria BC
    Call fender what you like; almost every song on the radio, vinyl, tape, cd, tv shows you've heard was probably recorded with a jazz, precision and or strat. It's the tone in your head man;)
    Pontiac Thrasher and JOME77 like this.
  4. Resonance129


    Feb 15, 2011
    It's interesting. IME, the higher up the Fender line I try, the less impressed I am. Hard to justify the pricepoint if it doesn't blow me away. Moreso with J's.

    To Fender's credit, my only experiences with the higher-end models have only been in big box stores for maybe 15-20 mins a piece, so that's not totally fair. Plus, they don't tend to be setup to my liking in those stores, so again, my input isn't exactly valid. But most of the Player Series and MIM's I've tried have given me what I liked, or at least very close to it, even in the stores.
  5. Vic

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

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    that's fair, given you likely have not yet played one set up properly, with decent strings, etc.. I'm confident that if you had, even if you still felt the price was too high for a purchase, you'd still find yourself loving the instrument. Fender had some pretty significant QC issues in the 70's throughout at least some of the 90's, but 2000 rolls around, they get it figured out. The USA standard, Deluxe, and now Elite are fine instruments for sure. I love my Sadowsky basses and other high end J type basses, etc.., but the Fender definitely holds its own as a solid rotation bass. FWIW.
    JOME77 likes this.
  6. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    I tend to agree. I had a friends' Am Dlx P5 for some months some years ago and the experience left a mark really. It was a joke of a bass A/Bed with my usual Stingray 5ers (the 5er against which I compare all others). Didn't have the playability, nor the authority, nor the low B, nothing, yet they're usually pricier both new and 2nd. hand. Only Fender 5er that's decent IME is the Roscoe Beck Jazz V. Then again, it can't touch a Stingray5 in playability (the 19mm spacing and way thicker neck put me off), but it's definitely high quality, has a decent low B and sounds great overall.

    I like P and J tones, owned some (a couple MIJ Jazzes in the '90s), but I'm not a "Fender guy" (I'd definitely qualify as a Musicman guy) so I couldn't care less about the cheap vs. expensive Fender snobbery. If we talk anything else Fender I've never played a better Jazz Bass than the japanese Geddy nor a better Precision than the Squier Matt Freeman/Classic Vibe '70s P (in both cases both in playability AND tone). I've played MANY Fenders/Squiers from all price ranges and I prefer those 2 over any other models, nevermind how fancy super customshopey ultra special they are.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
  7. JOME77


    Aug 18, 2002
    I’ve rarely gotten any new build bass delivered in what I would call my optimum setup (and that includes an all inclusive list of boutique basses).
    That being said, as I stated earlier in this thread, my new Fender Elite Precision arrived with a decent setup and with a little tweaking it’s absolutely one of the best playing basses that I’ve ever played.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
    Pontiac Thrasher likes this.
  8. wyleeboxer

    wyleeboxer Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    CFC8B1FF-9A35-4D89-AB8C-87DF6758BBAA. Got this bass last week, Fender Elite Jazz in champagne, I got a great deal direct thru Fender so I had to take chance on it ;)
    Quality is top notch IMO but the satin neck is to die for! Very smooth fast and comfortable... I put some older EB cobalt flats on it and have been messing with pickup heights.. got it sounding ok, I run it passive (never been an active guy), I don’t find these pups all that hot as people say and a bit scooped or compressed sounding to my ear. Not sure if it’s cuz the pups are still going thru the pre while in passive mode or the N4 stacked humbucker thing is happening? My Dimarzio Model J’s in another bass sound much more alive then these N4 and closer to single coils.
    My first gig out is tomorrow nite, funk 60/70’s cover band. I’ll know when playing with the band if these pups will work or if I pull them and the pre out in favor of some overwound 5% Fralin’s starring at me right now?
    mesaplayer83 and faulknersj like this.
  9. faulknersj

    faulknersj Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    I LOVE mine. I have 3. I played over 20 to find 3 that I loved though ;). This one has become my #1...

    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
    mesaplayer83 likes this.
  10. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Banned

    May 26, 2010
    I somewhat agree with this. At it's heart, Fender was a real "workingman's" instrument. I really think the "higher end" MIM models are more in line with what was initially going on back in the early days. My Classic 50's lacquer P is a straight forward, no frills, VERY well made and wonderful instrument.

    It's interesting the higher up you go in the range price point-wise, the more polarizing people's opinions become. Maybe players are expecting more from basses at this price point. Maybe Fender is trying to be something they necessarily aren't, and are going for, but falling short of a more "modern" bass and trying to compete with other makers (some boutique builders perhaps) who have nailed that style of bass better, or the players who are attracted to these basses are coming from other similar style active basses that they just like better. All speculations on my part though, as I don't care for 5 string ro active basses. But have found it with Fender guitars as well. Once you get past a certain price point with Fender it starts becoming diminishing returns.
    wmmj likes this.
  11. faulknersj

    faulknersj Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    My ‘Elite’ Stable.

  12. BassBuzzRS


    Oct 18, 2005
    Fixed it :p
    Pet Sounds, Geri O and wmmj like this.
  13. Vic

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

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    I agree with BassBuzzRS, it's actually not a brand specific phenomenon, and I think you had it right with your first thought. The second thought I'd personally replace "diminishing" with "more subjective with regard to".

    At the low end of instruments, it's mostly about getting a solid baseline instrument. Good enough to gig and be reliable. Once you get into the elite levels of any builder, manufacturer, luthier, it's always going to be super subjective whether the extra work (and resulting increased price) is worth it to you.

    In short, at the mainstream consumer level, it's more objective. At the high end, it's more subjective.

    One of the things I've never understood is why some people (no specific finger pointing here) feel the need to generally denigrate the idea of buying at the elite level. It's a very personal and individual thing.

    It's simple. If an instrument speaks to you and inspires you, and you can afford it, buy it. Period. Given those things, it really shouldn't matter at all if it cost $25 or $2500.
    nostatic, lowdownthump, wmmj and 2 others like this.
  14. WorktheWood

    WorktheWood Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2014
    I absolutely love the Elites. I have two Jazz 5's and another due tomorrow. I've owned or played nearly every boutique type jazz bass made and I will say in my experience, nobody does the Fender tone better than Fender. I can't put my finger on it, there's just something I always find missing in other brands.
    JOME77, wmmj and mesaplayer83 like this.
  15. Chucky Stiletti

    Chucky Stiletti Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2017
    Santa Cruz, CA
    mine rules... thumbnail_DSC_8158.
  16. Jonathan C

    Jonathan C Supporting Member

    May 31, 2016
    Smithtown, NY
    Mine is identical except for the gouge next to the tone stack from my cat knocking over a tiffany style lamp on it.
    I freaked out, but it's a player so I've accepted the scar, but I wouldn't touch it for about 2 months following the accident. The cat is fine, he's 15 and I can't punish him LOL.
    Chucky Stiletti, JOME77 and Geri O like this.
  17. wyleeboxer

    wyleeboxer Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    Got to try out my Elite Jazz last nite with the band, passive mode, neck rolled off 1/4, bridge up all the way and tone about 1/2 rolled off, playing over bridge pup mostly... through my Quilter bb800 and a 112 cab, 1 guitar, drummer, singer etc...
    I thought before gig the tone on this bass was compressed and dark sounding, would be lacking some punch and maybe articulation on the D and G strings in a live setting. But this thing sounded great, still dark for taste, but every note came through with some nice growl, lows where tight. Drummer said it was very balanced sounding, could hear all the notes up and down the neck. So far great bass... I’m still tempted to try the Fralins but no rush :)
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  18. WorktheWood

    WorktheWood Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2014
    I have an ash/maple 5 that I'm currently getting painted, an alder/maple 5 with champagne finish, and just received an alder/ebony 5 in ocean turquoise. All three are fantastic and sound different. Currently my champagne one is probably my favorite but that could change after I play the turquoise one out. In the music room it sounds awesome. I'm looking forward to getting the ash/maple back from the painter. It probably plays the best of the 3, it's neck is slightly thinner. Depending on my mood I prefer its tone. I just never liked the natural finish look of it, hence it's being painted Olympic white and will get an aged or parchment pickguard, maybe a tort, but most likely a white one. Then it will look as good as it sounds;)
    lowdownthump and wyleeboxer like this.
  19. JtSD619


    Nov 10, 2011
    San Diego
    Worth every penny. I’ve owned music mans, custom shop warwicks, other fender models, sire V7...nothing compares!
    Every...penny! :D
  20. wyleeboxer

    wyleeboxer Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    I do wonder why the Elites get somewhat of bad rap quality wise, maybe in the production? Tone is subjective. Mine feels as well put together as any other high end bass..

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