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Warmoth jazz bass owners

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rupture, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. rupture

    rupture Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2012
    Does your warmoth jazz sound like a jazz ? I've played other "jazz" basses that did not ,even some fenders.I was thinking of building one and need some opinions.
  2. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    I had an '83 Warmoth Jazz,ash body/70's PAF Dimarzios,that sounded every bit the vintage Fender it was built to emulate,right down to the 10.4lb weight. Another with an Alder body,passive,single coils,mpl/mpl neck that sounded like you'd expect..but I've also had a Warmoth Jazz with a flamed black limba body/wenge neck that had a sound completely un-Fenderish..
    I find it boils down to what parts you use; Ash or Alder body/passive guts/single coils = Fender tones more than the exotic constructs
  3. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Audio Mike Lull Custom Guitars Gallien Krueger amplification Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups
    Short answer...Yes very much so...
  4. rupture

    rupture Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2012
    Good to hear thanks
  5. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Sticking with traditional wood combinations and "Jazz-like" electronics should get you there. Get yourself a "vintage" style Fender bridge as well.
  6. I've owned quite a few preCBS Jazz basses including a couple of '62's that people to this day still tell me they were the best basses they ever had their hands on. I've also own and have owned quite a few Warmoths trying to replicate that preCBS Jazz bass feel and sound. So here's my take.

    I've done a few Warmoth builds including one very recently using conventional wood combinations thinking that was the recipe I needed. My most recent project was alder J body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, slim contour, vintage frets, graphite bars, nitro finish. All reissue parts, correct pot values, ceramic tone cap, Duncan Custom Shop pickups. You would think with all of that it would be a really good Jazz bass. Well it wasn't! At least not from Fender aspect.

    I had come to conclusion long before this last build that a Warmoth does not play and sound like a Fender. So as disappointed as I was it did not surprise me in the results. So giving up on the idea on making a Warmoth play like a Fender I decided to venture off in a different direction with Warmoths trying different wood combinations. My idea was to get away from trying to replicate a Fender and just find something that plays and sounds good.

    So I came across this used Warmoth Jazz bass that had a Black Korina body, Goncalo Alves neck w/Ziricote fingerboard. It looked really cool, but I thought these wood combinations would probably the furthest thing from a Fender. When it arrived it had a Gotoh 201 bridge on it. After playing it a few minutes and liking what I was feeling I changed it out to a Fender reissue bridge. All of a sudden there it was!! That feel!! That resonance!! Everything I've been looking for that my old '62 had!! I could not believe what I had come across.

    I've been through a ton of basses trying to find something that felt like my old '62 Jazz. Not only Warmoths, but a slew of Fender Custom Shop and a long list of just about everything else out there. My take is a bass today made from alder, maple, and rosewood, can not be made to sound like it did in the days of Leo mainly because the wood is not the same. So in order to replicate what Leo did in the 60's we have to use alternative woods. Ziricote, for example, has tonal properties very similar to OLD Brazilian rosewood.

    I was so impressed with this latest Warmoth I found that I am having a luthier in Europe build me a Jazz bass using similar wood combinations. This luthier specializes in building preCBS instruments to EXACT specifications. The only change I'm making is that I'm going with a Padauk(which is similar tonally to maple) neck instead of the Goncalo Alves. Still using Black Korina for the body and Ziricote fingerboard. If this build goes as I hope then I should have a killer Jazz bass.

    Anyway, that's my experience. Hope it helps.
  7. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    That depends on pickup selection :bassist:
  8. My Warmoth jazz is my BEST jazz!
  9. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    Indubitably. My Warmoth Jazz Bass has EMG pickups. It sounds...like a Jazz Bass with EMG pickups. Which is to say, not quite like a Fender Jazz Bass, certainly not like a vintage (or iconic) Fender Jazz Bass, but more like a Fender Jazz Bass than, say, a Gibson EB-0 or a Rickenbacker 4001.
  10. rupture

    rupture Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2012
    Well I did mean using similar components and woods as a jazz
  11. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    I used to own a warmoth jazz with lindy fralins pickups, that bass has been one of the best jazz I have owned, I still miss it .

    The bass will sound like a jazz if you use same woods, electronics and pickups placements. The sound from ''vintage' to ''modern'' will depend mostly on the pickups and/or preamp you put on it.
  12. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    If you played a passive bass of "normal" woods, with single coil pickups in the normal 60s or 70s pickup locations, how could it not sound like A Jazz? I can understand that it might not sound exactly the same as some specific other Fender Jazz bass. But, saying bass A does not sound exactly the same as bass B does not all mean that they don't both sound LIKE the same kind of bass.

    I guess another way of putting it is, if you played a Fender Jazz bass, that was passive and bone stock, and you walked away saying "that bass didn't sound like a Jazz", then, unless there was something actually wrong with the bass, I'd have to say I don't understand your logic. If it's a Fender Jazz (that's stock and not broken), then however it sounds is, BY DEFINITION, what a Jazz sounds like.
  13. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Audio Mike Lull Custom Guitars Gallien Krueger amplification Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups
    +1 I was king of scratching my head on that as well...but we all hear things differently I guess.
  14. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Agreed although I would add, that is what THAT Fender Jazz bass sounds like. :D Fender has gone through so many decades with raw material source changes, how could it not be subject to the same variables as anyone else?

    Interesting comment someone made about putting a vintage (low mass stamped steel) bridge on a Warmoth and it approximating the sound or feel of his old 60's Fender.

    One man's low tension thuddy string/tone nirvana is another guys mush bucket.
  15. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    I have a Warmoth J body with an Allparts fretless neck that I put together. SD pickups and a Fender vintage-style bridge. Definitely sounds LIKE a Jazz to me! :D
  16. I'm sure Jaco would agree!

    If you have a good bass you don't need a high mass bridge to make up for its inferiority!!
  17. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    As others have stated, if you use single coil pickups in the fender design location, with traditional wood choices, maple, ash, alder rosewood, you will get a jazz bass. Very predictable sonic results.

    Different wood choices, pickups will alter that and those possibilities are endless.

    Warmoth parts are very well crafted but not particularly cheap. It will be good, you get to choose what kind of wood, electronics and hardware. You also get several hours of work assembling soldering etc. You may need to dress the frets although I did not.

    At the end of it all you will likely pay exactly what you would pay for a Fender +/- depending on how exotic the wood and electronics. The end result will be custom to your taste and so its a good deal from that stand point. You also know that you will not be able to sell it for Fender prices should you wish to. There are pluses and minuses to a Warmoth build.

    Short answer is you will get a very good Jazz bass when all is said and done. Sadowsky, Lull and Valenti are all good examples of builders that source their necks and bodies to companies like Warmoth and USA Custom Guitar and people seem to love those basses.
  18. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Well put couldn't agree more. You can get an really unique result especially if you go the exotic wood route. But forget getting your money back out of it.
  19. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Now, if you are going for that vintage '60s jazz sound you need to ask yourself if you want the sound of it as it sounded then, when it was new? Or do you want the sound of a 50 year old bass?

    Pickup magets age... wood dries out further... things happen over time.
  20. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    How do people know what they really sounded like back in the day? Recording quality from 50 years ago is nowhere near close to being accurate. 50 year old memory is certainly not reliable.