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The poor man's Jazz Bass.......

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by paul_mccartney, Jun 24, 2001.


  1. What the poor man's jazz bass?

    I've heard a lot of bad things about the Standard MIMs. Are the Deluxe Actives any better? They certainly sound fine on the Fender site, but no store near me sells any, so I can't try 'em out.

    Basically, I just want something that can get a fair approximate of the "Jazz Bass tone" at less than $900 -- less than $550 or so, actually. Are there any credible knockoffs out there that will do the trick?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    Old Tokais.
     
  3. furtim

    furtim

    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    All of the Fender MIMs are available for far less than $550. I've owned two, and both were very fine instruments. They weren't at all like the horror stories, which I presume probably come from the early-mid 90s and are problems which have since been corrected on the assembly lines. MIMs are a good choice, and the best way to get the Jazz Bass sound is with a true Fender Jazz Bass.
     
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    MIM Fenders are a good starting place, they have a decent body and neck, and can be a good foundation for upgrades, because there are more direct replacement parts for Jazz basses than any other model.

    They actually sound pretty good stock, although it is a good idea to play several and buy the best one. The quality control is better than it used to be, but still not on par with the American Series. But there are some gems out there.

    So, you pay ~$300 for the bass, then if you don't like it stock, you can replace the pickups, and even the bridge and tuners, or even put in the really cool J-retro preamp.

    The preamp is a little pricey, but you can put in good pickups, a heavier bridge and better lightweight tuners and get a great Jazz bass for under $550. Lots of people on this board have done that.

    Do a search on modifying Jazz basses or go down to the Setup forum and set the browse options for the last year, and you will find a ton of threads on modifying Jazz basses.
     
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Go used. 1997 MIA Jazz Deluxe 5's...both under $600. They're out there.
     
  6. I'd go used myself.. but I came across a Hamer Jazz copy that played alright and actually had sort of a nice sound to it (I'd much rather have the real thing though.. mind you). I think it was a little over $300.. but I'm not sure.
     
  7. Thrillkiller

    Thrillkiller

    Apr 25, 2001
    NC
    USA Hamer Cruise with the 2TEK bridge. It has the jazz bass body in solid alder, passive SD Vintage pups, full shielding, excellent fit and finish, Schaller tuners, and usually available used on ebay in like-new condition for $500 or so with a case. I got mine for $495 and it was money well spent. DO NOT confuse these with the Slammer series or the MIK/MIC Cruise series, go for the MIA.
     
  8. seamus

    seamus

    Feb 8, 2001
    Jersey
    Love that shoreline gold
     
  9. I think I'll probably get a Deluxe Active J-Bass now. I'll just make sure to try it out first. :)
     
  10. Brad, I love that gold color. It looks like on those 5 strings that the neck is longer and has more frets than a 4 string Fender neck. Is this correct or do I need better glasses?
     
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    They're 22 fret necks. My 78 4 string is 20. Not sure about the new fours, haven't really spent much time with them.

    The color was one of the reasons I bought it. The low price didn't hurt, either.
     
  12. BassGuyNL

    BassGuyNL

    Jul 20, 2000
    The Netherlands
    I've tried many Hammer Cruises, because they got such great reviews by Bass Player mag. However, I've never found one I liked.

    I do own the old Tokai that Big Wheel mentioned. Someone planted a Fender neck on it, or changed the decal. It has a sunburst finish, but the black outer ring kind of follows the upper rounded contour (where you would rest your right arm) toward the center. Does anyone know if this is normal on Tokais? Also, the pickup covers are kind of plastic looking. It's a nice bass though, bought it for 500 Dutch guilders, that's about US$200.

    The other good 70's imitations were made by Fernandes, before they started designing their own models. I have a nice Strat from that era, which I bought new (early 80s) for around $200.
     
  13. Thrillkiller

    Thrillkiller

    Apr 25, 2001
    NC
    "why more bassists didn't purchase these when they were produced is beyond me.."

    I believe it was because they didn't look enough like the bass they were supposed to emulate. If Hamer had installed a Jazz pickguard with a chrome control plate I think it would have sold better, IMO. I have to admit, as nice as my Cruise is, the candy blue paint and pearloid teardrop pickguard looks a little foofey. Oh well, it's still a keeper and you ain't getting mine! ;-)
     
  14. Paul Mc, another raod you might want to go down is Yamaha Blvd. I just bought a BB5NII.The body and neck dimensions and feel are very Fender like, and the pickups are very growly with good low mids, and they're quiet. The quality of workmanship is high, and it's a very overlooked bass. I also own a MIM Jazz, and am happier with the Yamaha. Just my opinion, but, it is worth checking out. They also make a four string version. My five was $479.00 with a case.

    Mike J.

    P.S. Just curious; Why is this thread so wide?
     
  15. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Another possibility: Carvin B4 (their bolt-on model). You can even get it as a do-it-yourself kit for < $400.
     
  16. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    cos of the pictures (i really want a jazz kind of Tim C bass but without being a bit of a crowd follower by actually having a jazz(just the way I am))
     
  17. barroso

    barroso

    Aug 16, 2000
    Italia
    here the solution!!

    my old eko jazz bass bought for the corrispective of 50us$

    [​IMG]

    to a blind (and deaf ) man it could appear like a sadowsky