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The difference between Jazz basses...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by darkfinger, May 8, 2010.

  1. Hey all, I had a unique (to me) opportunity last night at the show I was playing.
    I'm in the house band but two of the other acts had bass players. I was playing my new (again, to me) 5 string MIA Fender J bass, guy 1 was playing a 4 string MIA Fender J, and guy 2 was playing a J bass of which make I cannot remember.
    I supplied my amp (Fender Bassman 250 1X15 combo amp) as backline.
    The three of us had three unbelievably different tones.

    1. Me: neck pup cranked, bridge pup at around 25-50% amp setting flat.
    My tone was similar to a p-bass, which is what I have been playing most up until I got my J
    musical style: Country, indie pop type stuff
    2. Fender MIA J guy: told me he just used the bridge pup, and his tone was very similar to an upright oddly.
    musical style: straight up dirty blues (killer band by the name of The Talisman Blues band)
    3. J bass of unknown make guy: I have no idea what his settings were, he took off before I could ask, but his tone was tight, focused, punchy and sat beautifully with the other instruments.
    musical style: kinda folky, but hard to define. Three female vocalists who alternate between guitars, a banjo, and ukelele respectively.(also an awesome band by the name of The Sweet Alibi)

    No one touched the knobs on my amp, and I had set everything flat/neutral.

    I guess my question is this: Does anyone have the same setup as me, and how do you dial in that tight focused sound?
    I realize that pups, technique, etc all come into play here, but I'm hoping for an easy answer:D
    I have played with my pup volume knobs and tone knob, but maybe because I don't have a lot of experience with J basses/a tin ear, I'm having a heck of a time emulating that sound.

    Thanks for reading guys.
  2. when I think punchy on a Jazz
    I think all knobs either 100% or a reverse of your setup:
    tone - full
    bridge - full
    neck - 3/4

    and playing over your bridge pickup
    where the string tension is a lot higher

    BTW I use close to the same setting as you 80% of the time
    tone full
    bridge 25%
    neck 100%
  3. DeluxeRed


    Jun 2, 2009
    Yeah, I never roll off or unbalance my passive Jazzes. The Actives do it even better, with the mids up a bit. And mine go from plunk to BOOM depending on where you hit the strings, so yeah, that makes a lot of difference too--if you want the punch, play near the bridge.
  4. cool! thanks guys.
    I'll try that tonight!
  5. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    For me I have both pups at 100% and the tone dialed back just a small bit, maybe at 90%. I also run through a SansAmp with the bass at 11 o'clock and treble pretty much at 12 o'clock and a bit of drive added for grit. If I am using my G&L JB2 then I have the tone control set to 60%.
  6. I hear you I dime all the knobs for slap
    but for fingerstyle I do like to cut back on the bridge for a
    Jazz-Precision hybrid sound

    It gets its share of good and bad press
    but the Jazz Bass to me is a very versatile bass

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