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Thoughts on Fender Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Maraud234, Apr 25, 2001.

  1. I want to upgrade my old crappy bass to a better one. I've been looking at the fender jazz bass as a possible new bass, but i wanted to know what other people thought about the jazz bass.
  2. bassheavy

    bassheavy banned

    put flatwounds on it, change the stock pick-ups for some duncan antiquity IIs and you will have the fattest sound you can imagine.

    a great bass, but make sure you buy american

    also don't get the wack new "hot-rodded" models. it's a diff. bass altogether
  3. I am a Jazz Bassoholic! They get the job done. American, Mexican... whatever! If you can afford a good MIA, by all means, go that route. If you're on a budget, get a MIM. Whatever you choose, check it out well. Some MIM's are better than others - some MIA's are better than others - some MIM's are better than some MIA's -You get the picture. Also, there are 'other-than-Fender' Jazz basses out there that deserve consideration. Overall, the Jazz Bass is (IMO) one of the most versatile basses on the market.

  4. is the fast action neck all that it is hiped up to be?
  5. Im not "hip to your jive" :D but I find the hot-rodded basses to be excellent basses. One of their better ideas, especially with the cool color options, just as versitille as a J.
  6. bassheavy

    bassheavy banned

    granted the colrs are nice (part. the orange) but they cannot get the true jazz bass tone with those pickup configs.
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Yes, it is, compared to stuff like a P bass or a Warwick neck, particularly if you have small hands.

    A model that you might consider, especially if the MIA is out of your price range is the Geddy Lee Jazz model.

    I've got one of these, and IME the quality is a little more consistent than the normal MIM models, and even some of the MIA models. It has 60's reissue pickups, a Badass II bridge, cool retro black block inlays on maple, and an even faster neck than the other Jazz models.

    Here's a pic.:)
  8. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    I think the American Deluxe Jazz 5 string is one of the best basses for the money out there. It has a very smooth feel and the tonal varieties and limitless. In addition, you can keep the active pre amp in check, and use the pan only to attain the more vintage sound.

    My recommendation is give one or two a try and see what you think. I say at least two because I don't think GC's take much care in setting up basses to factory specs.

    All in all, a fine bass.

  9. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I have a custom Jazz copy 4 string and a bone stock American Starard Jazz V from 1997. I like Jazz basses. I greatly prefer passive EQ and pickusp in a Jazz bass to active. If you buy one from Fender, don't bother changing out the pickups, the ones in my Jazz V sound incredible, the ones in my old Mexi were nice, too.
  10. I have an American Std. Jazz from 1997 and I love it. I find the neck ultimately comfortable and very stable with no dead spots. The addition of graphite stabilizers has made a large difference in Fender's necks, if you ask me. The stock pickups sound great, and the string through body makes for great sustain. They don't sound really hifi or refined but they've got a unique sound that is great for cutting through dense mixes! On the downside the jazz is a big chunk of wood and is pretty heavy, some people find the body size unweildy. Also, as much as it pains me to say this, you need to be very careful when buying a Fender. While their quality control has vastly improved recently, it is still possible to find duds with deads spots or poor fit and finish etc.
  11. I too am very fond of the Jazz bass's. I play a stock '62 Fender Jazz Re-issue that sounds great to me; especially to cut through is my ten-piece band. For backup I have a '75 Ibanez Jazz bass. This is a very good copy of the '75 Fender Jazz (IMO). I have fitted the Ibanez with 60's fender Custom Shop pickups and the J-Retro electronics to give it a more versatile sound, but I think I liked it without the J-Retro better.

    For what it's worth, I don't think you would be disappointed with any J-Bass as long as it has been constructed properly and has a good setup. Happy hunting and please keep us posted.
  12. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I have never seen this demonstrated to be true. In what way were these MexiJazz's superior to AmJ's, pray tell?
  13. My MIA is my true love, but I did have to swap out the pups. the stock pickups on my MIM fretless sound better than the stock MIA did.

    If you go for a MIM the sunburst finishes are better IMO because of one-piece construction and better wood.
  14. I've played Mexican Jazz basses that played as well and sounded as good as the American ones, and cost about $500 less. That, IMO, would make them better. The quality on the MIMs is spotty, but if you find a good one, you've got a great bargain, and you can upgrade the pickups and bridge and it will STILL cost less than an MIA Jazz.
  15. It's all a matter of opinion, boogiebass. Maraud234 "wanted to know what other people thought about the jazz bass". My response was based on my experience (not anybody else's).

    I was not referring to any specific MIM Jazz, nor was I suggesting that any PARTICULAR MIM Jazz is superior to ALL MIA's.

    Unlike you, (and I'm sure, many others) I have seen this demonstrated to be true, but my truth is not necessarily everybody's truth. The beauty about a discussion forum like this one is that everyone can provide their opinions based on their experience. I've had many years of that, and most of the opinions I voice are based on those experiences. They're on the table for whatever they're worth. I won't force feed them on anyone.

  16. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Interesting comments re: the MIM vs. MIA. I'll keep my ears open. So far, I've yet to encounter a MexiJ that was even close to a MIA in terms of sound, playability and workmanship.
  17. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Better wood on a MIM? Perhaps we are in parallel universes here! The wood on every MIM I've exer seen has been noticeably inferior (even a different type than the alder or ash used on MIA) than the American basses. I'm afraid I'd have to see objective evidence before accepting a claim like the one made above.
  18. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Prior to moving to the high-end 5 string basses which I now play, I played a Jazz for 10 years. I like everything about it. It's a good looking, easy to play, cut through the mix (with the right amp) kind of bass.

    It has it's own characteristic tone when it comes to slapping, a tone which I can't duplicate on a Lakland or a $4,000 MTD 535.

    I have to agree with the previous comments on quality control. It's a crapshoot, so make sure you try out the bass.

    I still play my Jazz every now and then, and it's a joy to play.

    By the way, self installed upgrades on my Jazz are Bartolini active pick ups and a bad ass II bridge.
  19. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Regarding the MIA vs. MIM, generally speaking (and I know generalities can be tricky things...) a MIA will sound better, be made of better wood, and be put together better than a MIM. Having said that, you can find some very, very, nice MIM Fenders. If you do find one of these and that's all your budget affords you, go for it, it will hold you in good stead until your cash flow permits something new. Even then it can become a reliable backup for you.
  20. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    I like em. My first bass was a used '72 that I still have, so there's a soft spot there.

    My main bass is a Geddy Lee w/ J-Retro. I like the GL so much, I am picking up another to keep original/passive. The J-Retro has a passive mode, but IMO, it doesn't exactly cop an unmodified GL.

    I love the neck on that bass, was easy to set it up to play like butter too. In fact, it's got the best setup of all my basses hands down.

    Fender construction is spotty, be sure to inspect the bass thoroughly(neck warp, neck pocket, etc). A month ago I was about to buy my 2nd GL at a local store. I had to walk away after noticing a sloppy a$$ neck pocket and what looked like a slight twist in the neck.

    I'll say this...some of the good ones are worth their weight in gold though. There's a classic sound there too that is indicative of a Fender J.

    I don't care for MIM's at all, but don't take that as a knock against 'em. I don't like knocking stuff just because I don't play it. To me, that's like knockin' someone's ride. It may not be the best car in the world, but it's the one they have at the time. Same goes for basses...

    Oh well, just my 2 cents on the J's. :)

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