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the destiny of mij mid '80's fender jazz special

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by casbonano, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. casbonano


    Aug 29, 2009
    Virginia Beach
    hey all,

    i'm about to pick this bass up on friday. its a 1985 mij fender jazz special, all original, and in pretty good shape. great shape actually.

    i'm naming her "buttah". cuz she looks like butter.

    while i know i want the guitar, i'm not sure which way to go with it. on one hand i want to make it my rock out pick playing bass, and i am pretty sure it would be great at that. but on the other hand i am somewhat inclined to put flats on it and make it my r&b/soul/funk bass. some foam from time to time. with a p/j set up it would be able to cover a lot of ground. the only thing that makes me hesitant about going this rout is the nature of the TBX tone circuit. i'm not sure how it works or what its characteristics are, whether they would be optimal for r&b/soul and so forth, or if its more geared for rock.

    when i pay for it, its immediately being dropped off to my guitar tech for a full setup, so i kinda need to have my thing together before then so i dont have to get re set again if i decide to go the other route.

    if any one has any opinion that might be helpful that would be great.

    i am open to swapping out the pickups as well in either scenario.

    thanks in advance

    Attached Files:

  2. brad houser

    brad houser

    Jan 4, 2008
    try it with both rounds and flats .... see which sounds better. maybe try running the preamp EQ flat, that should sound pretty much like a passive bass. I wouldn't change it unless the preamp is noisy or is farting out
  3. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    TI flats or half-rounds get you pretty close to both, especially if you use a mute every now and then.
  4. MVE


    Aug 8, 2010
    I replaced the TBX pre and the pickups in mine long ago. But if I remember correctly, it had a much better bottom than top, so the flats might sound nice.

    I never liked the top end of that bass very much, so I replaced the p/us with Barts and an EMG pre. (Remember, this was the mid 90's and everyone was looking for that Warwick or Stingray into a Trace Elliot sound.)

    Anyway, a great instrument all around. After almost 25 years of above average (even vicious) abuse, it still stays in tune and plays great. I don't think I have ever even touched the truss rod.
  5. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Two words: Duff McKagan
  6. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    that always pops into my head every single time I read about one of these.

  7. MVE


    Aug 8, 2010

    In fact, I really can't think of anyone else (famous) who ever played one of these. And certainly no one who used it as their main instrument exclusively.

    If anyone knows otherwise, I would love to see a photo.
  8. I have two of these, both E-Series.
    Versatile basses, great sounding and playing...
  9. I've been wanting one of these because my guitarist has the matching Strat version, and I like having matched guitars. Makes everyone happy.
  10. No reason you couldn't cover both rock and soul/funk... LaBella 760FLs will give you a warm Motown thump with the P pickup and a foam mute, and solid kick-you-in-the-balls classic rock thunder with both pickups and treble on full.

    I keep coming back to them on my Jazz for that very reason... they really seem to cover most of the "classic" Fender tonal territory.

    IMO, YMMV, etc.
  11. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    The stock PUPs are really midrangey and nasal. I like mids but hated the JBS basses I sold (I was a Fender dealer '77 -'88) including the fretless I owned. BTW, the bass is passive.

    If it were mine, I'd go with rounds, some Duncan vintage style pickups, and yank the TBX out in favor of a regular 250K tone control.

  12. GK Growl

    GK Growl Banned

    Dec 31, 2011
    Not the most famous:

    Mike Inez - Ozzy, No More Tears video.

    Preston Hubbard (?) - Fabulous Thunderbirds, don't remember the video.
  13. casbonano


    Aug 29, 2009
    Virginia Beach
    dude, i know.

    i work at guitar center, and i was there when the guy brought this in to sell it. he took it out of the case and i was the only one who instantly knew it was a mid-80's mij jazz special. for no other reason that I've been a gnr/ duff fan since appetite.

    needless to say, our tech checked it out, money exchanged hands, and this baby when under my name till pay day.
  14. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Mike Inez is plenty famous! Especially on a bass forum. That's got to be the only time he used one though, he's usually seen with his Warwick SS1.

    Well then, I think you know what to do with it :bassist:
  15. casbonano


    Aug 29, 2009
    Virginia Beach
    good call. i hooked this bass up to a markbass combo, the same one i hook every bass up to in order to size it up, and it was very mid-rang nasally. so again the tbx is what has me in a bit of a quandary. seems like counter clock wise (bass) is fine, but even in the middle or clock wise sounds super-nasally. not a growl. nasally. so yeah, vntage SD pups came to mind as well.

    just dont know if i want to yank the tbx. kinda wanted to keep it as stock as possible. but hey...
  16. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake

    The answers to all life's questions can be found in the TB archives.

    Great score on that bass btw. I'd keep it stock but I love a nasal sound for some things, enough that I'd consider just having a go-to nasal bass for when I want to get naaaaaassstrilll.
    casbonano likes this.
  17. casbonano


    Aug 29, 2009
    Virginia Beach
    thanks for that. i agree that the bottom end is great on the bass while the high end and mids, especially on the jazz pup, has me a bit not so enamored. it could be the tbx circuit, or something as simple as adjusting the height of that jazz pup. i suppose i will let our tech do his thing and then see how i feel about life before i start yanking and replacing things.
  18. casbonano


    Aug 29, 2009
    Virginia Beach
  19. casbonano


    Aug 29, 2009
    Virginia Beach
    well fellow bassist, i think i have settled on simply having it set up with some medium DR black beauties.

    i've never tried coated bass strings, but i hear that much like elixir guitar strings they start off a bit dull and the come to life, ultimately sounding just a a tad bit less bright and clear than a round wound, but still most definitly a round wound.

    plus, they will look sexy as hell on that aged white finish with black head stock. so i think i will give them a shot, and give it a few weeks before i decided if pups or circuits need to be swapped.

    Attached Files:

  20. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Nice score, OP - I had one of those, and kinda wish I'd still kept it...

    - georgestrings

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