What kind of Jazz to get? Fender, Lakland, G&L...?? Help me out!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lespaulmarshall, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Hey guys,

    Now that I am starting to get more consistant gigs I have decided that I want to get a Jazz bass, as I love the tone and also the look of them. The only thing is that I'm torn at what brand to get.

    I think my heart lies with the American Fenders, as it would pretty much be like completing a childhood dream. But when looking though some of the forums here I see a lot of guys have various brands of Jazz basses. I played a G&L bass the other day and man it was great to play with a really punchy sound. BTW I'm playing through an Ashdown Rig with 1x15 and 2x10 cabs. Might be getting an iamp soon tho.

    So if anyone can help me out (even if matching the sound of my amp with the bass), or provide info on the basses they have that would be awesome. Am I really just paying for a brand name if I get the Fender? Not that I would really mind :p

    Also I live nowhere near where good equipment can be bought, so I have to travel for it.

    Cheers, Tom.
  2. The new US Fenders are top notch. You can't go wrong with any of the indtruments you listed they are all great.

    What sound are you going for. For vintage I would go with a US reissue jazz or a Skyline Joe Osborn.

    For a more modern sound I would pick a US Fender Standard or Skyline Darryl Jones.

    I don't know enough about the jazz flavored G&L's as I have never played one but the other G&L's I have played are top notch. My suggestion with G&L is go used as they tend to take a large hit and you can get used one for great deals.
  3. Ampeg SVT

    Ampeg SVT Son, I am disappoint.

    Sep 9, 2006
    I own a MIA Jazz bass (I have owned three total) and I have owned a Lakland Darryl Jones bass and played a Joe Osborn.

    The newer MIA jazz basses are pretty good, they are about as good as the Lakland Skyline stuff. I think the only weak part of the American Fenders are the pickups, I think they sound weak with thin lows and muted treble. Quality wise its very good, very solid however I could never get the action as low as the Laklands without have tremendous fret buzz.

    The Laklands were very good, built very well and sounded excellent. The pickups in the Darryl Jones (Aero pickups) were super aggressive and in your face, the action could get super low and the neck was much faster thanks to a satin finish. The Joe Osborn also had great workmanship and had a awesome B string, the tone was also pretty hot.

    I have not tried the JB-2, I heard they are very bright and aggressive sounding.

    IMHO I like the Lakland basses the most.
  4. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    Mike Lull. Top-notch fit and finish and great sound.
  5. mcm


    Oct 2, 2007
    Nashville, TN

    JEDI BASS Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    Fender (short run--only like 215 made) Hot Rod, and you can join the club I started :). They were $1499-$1799, now GC is clearing them out for $899! Or, you can't go wrong w/ a Skyline Lakland.
  7. funkybass4ever


    Dec 12, 2007
    The only one out of the three I have not played is the G&L which I have heard are top notch basses. I like the way the Fenders are easily customizable, the Laklands not so much from my experience since there are many companies out there that specialize in custopm Fender replacement parts.
    I would try out the G&L:bassist:
  8. that fender jaguar is basically a jazz bass. its really balanced, feels great, super-flexible with the preamp on or off. just from a broad industry perspective there are a lot of big touring players using them. give one a whirl.
  9. waynobass


    Feb 27, 2008
    Lakland Skyline Joe Osborn
    Fender Classic 60's Jazz Bass

    Re: traveling: Buy used from the Talkbass classifieds and have it sent right to you!
  10. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I used to think Fender's pickups were a weak spot, but the pickups on my 2008 Jazz V are fantastic. They're the equal of the noiseless Fralins in my 2003 four string.

    And, just last week I A/B'd a new American Standard Jazz against a Skyline Osborn, and believe me, the lows on the Fender were just as thick as on the Lakland, possibly thicker. It was a really heavy J-bass tone, like I get on my new Jazz V. I wouldn't call it weak. But the Lakland has greater clarity in the lows, which is a plus IMO, and I'll agree it has more treble.

    I've always preferred the feel of Fender's necks, and I actually think the U.S. Fenders might have better quality than the Skylines. But really, both are excellent, so it comes down to preference, or possibly price.
  11. The one thing that I've found is that the quality control on the Skylines is much better.

    Some of the 08 MIA Jazzes are AMAZING, and others are very much not. All of the Lakland Skylines I've come across are just below the most amazing of new US Fenders

    My best recommendation - find an old jazz bass. They can be had, and there's nothing new that comes close.
  12. +1 on the fact that G&L's have a lower resale. Buying used is usually a good idea in that regard except a) JB-2 don't pop up as often as the other two choices and b) G&L just announced the JB (more of a contemporary jazz-style body) and if that's your thing, there won't be any on the used market for a while.

  13. Cheap Fender and replace the pickups.
    If you want a fretless, I'd recommend the Squier version of the vintage jazz fretless.
    It's a great bass as is and around $300
  14. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    The decision is best made, IMO, by playing them all and deciding which one sounds and feels best to you. You can ask us, but we're all full of our own biases (and full of other stuff, too)

    I just picked up a Fender Jaguar, and I really like it since I generally prefer single coil pickups and active, onboard preamps. I also like the goofy vintage look of the thing. YMMV.

    Another thought, it's pretty hard to go wrong with a Fender, Lakland or G&L. They are all good instruments. So, don't stress too much, and post pics when you get it. We wanna' see! :)
  15. Cheers for the input guys! It's really clarified heaps for me.

    The whole resale aspect of the bass is a good point as well - the Fenders most likely will have a better resale price. It really sucks that I cant try this basses unless I travel 700km! And in saying that it will be hard to find a Lakland :(

    It's also good to hear that the pups in the new Fenders have better lows too!
  16. GassieBall


    Oct 15, 2006
    The Laklands I've been seeing around here don't seem to have a problem with resale value. If you can find a Fender that sings to you, by all means get it. But all around QC goes to Lakland IMHO.