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UK TB'ers - best inexpensive J-Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rusty Chainsaw, Feb 13, 2003.

  1. This is targeted at fellow Brits on TB... If I was to ask the American contingent on here about what the best inexpensive J-type bass to go for would be, it would no doubt be Essex. But since these aren't available in the UK, what would be the next best thing over here for less than £200-250? I'm a bit out of the loop with non-custom basses nowadays! :D

    Russ :bassist:
  2. LAst time I looked MIM Jazz basses were going for anout £330. I got my MIM Jazz Fretless from Sond Control Glasgow - the fretless was £379, and at the same time the fretted models were £329.

    Not sure what other types are out there, maybe Squier, and I've seen some stuff by Jim Deacon and Stagg - but not sure if they do J bass copies!

    Might be worth a look on ebay!
  3. MatW


    May 10, 2000
    UK, Swindon
    You should have no problem at all picking up a cheap Jazz. There are a plethora of Jazz copies in shops up and down the country. You should be able to get a Squire/Vintage for under £200, however I'd get a MIM Fender if I were you. You shouldn't have to pay more than £350 for one of those.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yeah I've tried a few MIM Fenders and I remember I actually prefered the 5-string to the MIAs!

    I would say it is worth saving up for the MIM as the others I've seen, have been pretty bad!!

    Whereas the MIM is the real thing!
  5. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    You can pick up sub £300 Mim J's. Some shops have em as trade ins and want rid. You could look in http://www.loot.com but buyer beware.
  6. Looks like a MIM J then... What are they like nowadays? Is it worth sticking a new bridge/pickups/circuit in them, or would the old maxim, "you can't polish a t*rd" apply? :D

    Russ :bassist:
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Actually, I think these probably do repay investment more than most basses - as the Fender shape has stayed the same for a long time, there is a big spare parts industry.

    So - you can get very good stuff - like the J-retro preamp, different bridges - gotoh, badass etc.

    I think they are not much differnet to standard USA basses and in fact I thin I preferred the neck profile.
  8. I was considering sticking 'hotter' pickups in mine, just so that there wasn't a big drop in volume if I change over from my Spector bass to the Jazz. Other than that I think the quality is fine! Only tip I would give is get the sunburst! As you can see the wood through the finish, Fender have to use the 'better' looking wood for these, everything else that gets a good colour coat can have anythig under it!
  9. I bought a MIM jazz 5 about a year ago and I really like it , the neck is narrower than the MIA and I prefer it , I tried both at the time and could tell no difference in sound or finish but the MIM was nicer to play so it got the vote........about £400 cheaper too :)
  10. I'd probably go for the sunburst, in absence of a natural one, and go Jaco-style with it, lose the scratchplate, whack a Badass II, a new set of pickups and a J-Retro on it, and get slappin'! :D

    Does anyone know if there's a UK equivalent to somewhere like Warmoth (other than Brandoni)? Might be worth investigating that route...

    Russ :bassist:
  11. MatW


    May 10, 2000
    UK, Swindon
    I had a US Jazz Sunburst and I took the scratchplate off to reveal a load of ugly routing. If you're planning on doing that see if you can have sneaky peek behind the scratchplate before you buy.
  12. Just been looking into the build-it-yourself route as it goes... some of the parts Brandoni do are at pretty good prices... here's a rough run-down of what it might cost to make a really nice Jazz:

    J-bass sprayed sunburst or natural body (Brandoni) £115
    Jazz bass neck (unfinished) (Brandoni) £90 or fretless £115
    Badass II bridge (Bass Centre), £70
    Hipshot machine heads (Bass Centre) £80/set
    Pair Kent Armstrong J pickups (Kent Armstrong)£100 (approx)
    J-Retro Preamp (John East) £180
    Strap buttons (anywhere!) £10

    So that would be a really nice DIY Jazz for £645, apart from putting a finish on the neck....

    Russ :bassist:

  13. Yikes, about 2-3 times your budget!:eek:
  14. I'd have to disagree with the sunburst. The MIM (and MIJanese) sunburst finishes look atrocious, IMHO. Way too yellowish in the middle.

    A natural one would be nice, methinks.
  15. True, but might be worth it considering the upgrades I'd probably make to the bass anyway... plus there's the satisfaction factor of doing it yourself...

    Russ :bassist:

  16. Agreed - I guess you and me have different ideas about the meaning of inexpensive! ;)
  17. MatW


    May 10, 2000
    UK, Swindon
    I dunno, I thought about building a warmoth Jazz bass myself and I got to £700 before I gave up due to it being too costly.

    I'm seriously thinking about getting a Geddy Lee or a Japanese 70's RI and modding those.

    On a budget, I'd try and get a 2nd hand MIM Fender and go from there. It doesn't matter how knocked about it was, because I'd prefer the 'relic' look anyway.
  18. You can't really go wrong with an Aria STB-JB, I've played them and the stock pickups are really bad, but the bridge, tuners and fretwork are passable. They run around £175-£200. The all-white ones caught my eye, but you can get burst and black as well, according to their site. All come with white pickguards. You can also get a P-Bass and a P-J(which comes in a midnight blue).


    P.S. You can also use www.wdmusicproducts.com for UK delivery of parts and accessories. They're pretty cheap and have a large selection. They have UK offices so there's no import tax on a lot of their stuff, although their .co.uk domain isn't working.
  19. As far as I can see, the n best thing to do would be to keep your eyes on the second-hand shops.

    That way, you should be able to get at least an MIM pretty cheap, and if you're lucky, maybe an MIA.

    I've no idea of the prices, I've only just started looking for a Fender, but I've always seen good deals in second hand shops.
  20. MIM Jazz'es are teh w1n!

    DONT, DO NOT EVER, even THINK of going for a JIm Deacon, they are EVIL!

    The newer instruments are aweful, its all in the finish!! look ok, but feel and sound aweful!

    I have one, the paint job was aweful,but she sounded not bad, a bit dry though. Action isnt very good!

    Go for the MIM!

    Try ebay, maybe you cna find something on there for a good price!

    [edit] what am i thinking? GO FOR A MIJ FENDER!!!

    As good as a MIM, and for the same price! Might be a bit of a bother with shipping, and then you got customs, but it'll be worth it!

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