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What makes a Geddy Lee Jazz so good?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassyBill, Mar 28, 2005.


  1. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Just thinking about picking one of these up from ebay if I can. Can any Geddy Lee players out there tell me what they like best about this bass?
    Is it the pickups - if so, how are they different to stock Jazz pups?
    Is it the neck - I understand this is even slimmer than a standard Jazz neck?
    Is it the Badass bridge?
    If it sounds different to other J basses, why do you think this is? Is it the bridge, or pickups......?
    Or do you just like the (IMHO) the really cool looks, with the rectangular markers? i can understand that. :cool:

    One last thing... an interview I read with Geddy said that he was playing a Jazz bass on some tracks where people assumed he was playing a Rick. Can a Jazz sound anything like a Rick? Does this one?
     
  2. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Since a LOT of people switch out the pickups for DiMarzio Model J's, I dont' think it's the pickups. The two most outstanding features of this bass are the neck (uber slim and looks great) and the price vs. construction ratio -- very cheap price for a great bass.

    Note: I'm not saying the pickups are BAD, because they're not -- I like 'em. Just, a lot of people replace them.
     
  3. cause Geddy Lee used one :D
     
  4. Joe Martin

    Joe Martin

    Mar 23, 2005
    Frederick, MD
    The biggest thing that I love, and probably everyone else, is the neck. It's soooooooooo smooth to play. It's slimmer and faster, and personally I like that alot, though it is a huge matter of preference. Some people fall in love with the smaller neck, some people hate it, you should try it before you buy it, and definately know the exact guitar you are gonna get. Because the necks are so small, some of them have a problem with bowing, so you might wanna check it out first.

    The badass bridge is a big plus too. TONS of sustain, I can hit that E string and listen to it ring forever.

    Yea the black bound on the neck and black block inlays look real nice too. :cool:

    Can't compare it to a rick, I have never had the pleasure of playing one.

    The stock pickups are aight, but mine buzzed a lot, which I later found out to be that I knocked a connection to the grounding plate loose, but I replaced the stocks with barts nonetheless, and it sounds phenominal.

    All in all, I <3 my Geddy, alot. It's a great bass and will not dissappoint.
     
  5. pdusen

    pdusen

    Aug 18, 2004
    It's got a somewhat growly, more trebley sound (which may be why people used to mistake it for his Rick in recordings.). I don't think this sound really originates from the pickups (I know of one TBer who replaced them with Dimarzios, but would have changed them back if he lost the original tone. He kept it.)

    It could be related to the bridge pickup being closer to the bridge, in the 70s position, as well as the badass bridge.

    I don't know for sure, but I have played it a few times and always love the sound and neck.
     
  6. pdusen

    pdusen

    Aug 18, 2004
    That's a rumor. The first batches of Geddys had a bad wood selection for the neck, and tended to be unstable. Some guy who saw this and knew that the neck was thinner figured there had to be a connection. It's been spreading like wildfire every since. Most Geddy owners are perfectly happy with the neck.
     
  7. I measured a Geddy and a Marcus Miller the other day, and they both have 70's bridge pickup placement. I think this definitely contributes to the sound of those basses. :)
     
  8. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    +1 I live in central IL where the weather varies wildly and often... not a problem at all after many months.
     
  9. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    First, if you love a great J sound, get one. Period. You won't regret it.

    Also, what is it? The total package and the value, which translates to awesome tone and playability, and at a great price, which is what makes a great bass. That kinda' tone/quality for only $600 or so? How can you pass that up? You can't. IMHO, the GL is the epitome of the Fender J. :)

    More specifically...

    IMHO it's the best pickup placement and selection. Growls like CRAZY, and even better, the more you dig in, the nastier it gets, but in a GOOD way! However, that said, it responds great to touch as well. Tons of great dynamics. You have to keep reminding yourself it's "just a Fender J". Then again, maybe it's not... :) Yeah, I replaced my pickups, but only to get rid of the single-coil hum. If there were no humbuckers out there that gave me a pretty much identical tone, I'd put the orig's back in and put up with it.

    Then there's the neck. Blistering fast profile, and excellent craftsmanship for awesome playability. Also, as far as I can tell, few or no dead spots in most of these... in other words, good wood!

    The BA-II bridge also plays a significant role, in that it guarantees improved sustain and purity of tone due to its superior coupling of the strings to the body.

    Appearance? Meh. I've never been a black J guy, but because of the GL, it's growin' on me. I mean it looks classy, but my fave's always been the burst. Yeah, I know, tons of them out there, but to me, black is just darn boring. Just after playin' this thing in the music store, there was no way I was leaving without it. I just happened to get a great deal on it, too, which helps. :)

    Because of Geddy Lee? Bah. Awesome musician, but I'd never buy an instrument just because it was like someone else's... no matter who they were. I'd say it's more accurate to say that I love it for the same reasons he wanted his set up that way. In other words, I'll buy it if I like it... regardless of if it's sort of a clone of someone else's or not. :)
     
  10. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    vics is dead on... Fundamentally, it's a great jazz bass at a great price, with the changes you probably would make to the bass anyway.
     
  11. srxplayer

    srxplayer

    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
     
  12. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    My guess is the neck, it seems very slim and fast feeling.
     
  13. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I'd have to say it's between the pickup placement and bridge for me. The best I ever played had a P-bass neck slapped on and I've been Gassing for a P-neck Geddy for a LONG time.
     
  14. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I actually removed the badassII bridge from mine! I just wanted an alder bodied maple necked jazz with black blocks. I already own a of couple of jazzes with BadassII's so off it came. I sense it has more low end now, something I welcome :)
     
  15. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
  16. FireAarro

    FireAarro

    Aug 8, 2004
    austr-
    +1 there, it's just a gnaaaaaarly bass and a gnaaaaaaarly price. It's so good it's EXTREME! (Don't think I can agree with the dead spot thing though, mine has them in the traditional spot)

    I think the pickups are fine as is, they're pickups that normally appear in stuff much more expensive (American Vintage RI series). They sound great too. I totally agree with everything you said about the pickups and how they respond to you digging in and all.
     
  17. Mike A

    Mike A Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2002
    Kentucky
    Well... some think it's the neck & some say it's the bridge, but what really makes it badass is the hype.
     
  18. lo lio

    lo lio

    Apr 10, 2003
    FRANCE 78930
    It's the résult of a combinaison : the neck and the gloss on it, the sound and the craftsmanship. I put a j rétro on it and keep the originals pickups.
     
  19. FireAarro

    FireAarro

    Aug 8, 2004
    austr-
    Actually I'd rather degloss the neck a little. I think a user here had done it to their Geddy before..