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What bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rockin John, Apr 30, 2001.

  1. 'Scuse me while I check that the wife's not around before I type this.


    Now then, hopefully soon, there might be a few sheckles in the old bank a/c. Maybe enough to nip out and get another bass. I'm currently running a Squier P. It's OK. Quite fancy a Jazz, though. A MIM, not a Squier.

    What's the word: am I better off going for a new MIM, a second user MIM or perhaps a battered MIA J? Are there any years better than others, etc?

    And are there any clues, please, about sorting the good from the bad?

    Thanks guys.

    Rockin John
  2. John, I have a MIM Fretless Jazz that I bought brand new last July. The MIM Fenders are great. A lot of others here will agree to that. Mine was brand new out of the box, but it felt just like the one I was playing for about an hour, and assumed was the one I was buying. The point I'm trying to make is that you have to play the actual one you're
    going to buy as the quality can vary alot among the MIM Fenders. There's absolutely nothing wrong with used basses, again it should feel good in your hands right away. Go with your gut when trying any bass. I don't think the year of manufacture matters unless we're talking about 10 years old or older; then again I think there's more of a difference among individual basses rather than individual years.

    By the way, from many discussions here we all pretty much agree that most if not all of the MIM Jazz basses hum naturally, but this can be remedied
    by aftermarket pickups. That's probably the best thing about a MIM: it is a real Fender, and all the Fender upgrade items will drop right in. Take your time and play as many as you can, you'll find one you like.

    Good luck,
    Mike J.
  3. I have an American Standard Jazz. Very good bass! I have not played a MIM but I have heard they are good instruments but I have also they vary in quality. The quality of the American basses seem to be pretty consistant but they are quite a bit more expensive.

    The cool thing about the Jazz bass (MIM or American) is there are a lot of upgrades you can do to them. You can change your pickups to suit whatever sound your looking for, add an onboard preamp, whatever you want.

    Of course they sound and play great right out of the box as well.
  4. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    You'll be better off quitting the Fender clone stable :D

    Seriously. But if you're set on a Jazz, you won't be disappointed on a MIA. But the others need individual test, of all features.

    Good hunting, rocker!

    PS Beware of the heavy neck! Might turn up anywhere! :mad: DS
  5. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    If you think in the future you will get an American, you may as well save for a few more months. Otherwise, you will have another bass you will have to unload when you do move up. Save yourself the hasstle.
  6. Hey Suburban. Nice of you to drop in. Have fiddled with the P's balance and posted my results somewhere on one of the boards. (Can't honestly remember where though: must be my age!)

    Err...are you telling me the J is neck heavy too? Gawd, I hope not. I'm not sure I can cope with this again. It's not so bad drilling holes in a second-user Squier P to relocate the strap capstan. But a new Jazz.... Nope. I think not!

    Hmm. Oh dear...

  7. Hi. Back again.

    You're telling me to check the quality, guys, but the quality of what exactly? Do you mean the construction, the strings, finish, setup, machines, what?

    I've never been in a shop and tried one but it sure seems odd that there could be so much quality difference between individual basses of the same make and type.

    And this humm thing. Is it down to the quality of the pups or is there a lack of shielding or something: has anyone tried to cure the hum without replacement pups?

    Thanks guys.

  8. John, if you can get two of the same model side by side you'll know what everyone is talking about. Other than finish, which is subjective, between the two basses, one will sound a little tighter, feel a little smoother, have less/no fret buzz, and just appeal to you at least 1% more. That's quality.
    Even if they're in two different stores, you'll say to yourself, " That black one was nice, but I liked the feel/sound/setup of the sunburst one better." This is why it's so important to try as many basses as possible; to develop as big a "Frame of reference"
    as possible. You might buy the first bass you try and it might feel good to you, then you try a friend's bass that's the same model, and it'll feel or sound a lot better. Someone once told me that there's something to do with how well the grains of the neck's and the body's woods mesh together sonically. I don't know if it's true, I just know that throughout my life I've owned a certain bass and then played someone else's and it either sounded or felt better or worse without any apparent visible reason. I'm sure you have a favorite shirt or jacket
    that's the same size as all you others, but, for some reason it just "fits" better.

    As for the humming, I feel it's a lack of shielding and the fact that Jazz Basses do have single coil pups on them, which all hum even a little bit. My MIM Jazz hums like crazy, but you can't hear it while you're playing. I have an old Ibanez with single coils, and it hums, but only about 1/3 as much as the Fender. The stock pups sound pretty good, don't get me wrong, but when I plug in my other bass that has a humbucker on it --- Whisper silence. Look,for about $300.00 U.S. brand new, the MIM Fenders are great. But, we all have to remember they are the economy models; as soon as you go to the next level, you notice little things that add up. Either get a MIM and do upgrades as you like, or spend more and get a bass that will please you now and forever. A few guys have said that their MIM don't hum at all. Play at least 3, one will stand out.

    Good luck,
    Mike J.
  9. Hi Mike.

    Thanks V much for your time and trouble. I'll have to get out there and give it a whizz. 'Try a few out and get a feel for the beast is probably the best idea. Then, assuming I still want to go for a J, I can make a choise.

    Just before I go, any comments, please, on the dead spot thing: does the J suffer like the P?



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