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What's the best bass for jazz?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Drucifer, Oct 21, 2020.


  1. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    Okay, click-bait title notwithstanding, I need some help. I have always lusted after the beautiful archtop jazz guitars, and have been dipping my toes in the jazz waters on bass. What's the equivalent bass guitar to these:

    Sadowsky Jim Hall
    upload_2020-10-21_10-56-52.png

    Gibson L-5
    upload_2020-10-21_10-57-2.png

    D’Angelico EXL-1
    upload_2020-10-21_10-57-9.png

    D’Angelico Style B Throwback
    upload_2020-10-21_10-57-20.png

    Washburn J7v
    upload_2020-10-21_10-57-37.png


    What I'm looking for:
    Four string bass guitar
    Archtop
    Hollow body (not semi-hollow body)
    Long scale (34”) preferably, although I may be willing to look at medium scale basses
    F-holes
    Trapeze tailpiece
    Single Venetian cutaway or no cutaway
    Fancy hardware, bindings, inlays, etc.
    Passive single neck pickup, although double is okay. Piezo only probably not.
    Presently made, or not overly rare, expecting to pay $1k+

    I've looked at the following:

    Possibles
    Gretsch G5440LSB Electromatic, G6136LSB Falcon
    D’Angelico Excel bass (discontinued) medium scale
    Dean B1 Stylist (discontinued) medium scale
    Hofner – Federal Bass, President, H500/18, H500/5 Reeperbahn

    Doesn't meet criteria
    Guild - Starfire is semihollow
    Gibson - No current models, EB-2 js semihollow
    Ibanez Artcode AGB200 – semihollow & short scale, Thundercat model – semihollow
    Epiphone – Jack Casady/Rumblekat are semihollow, Rumblekat is short scale
    Kay – no current models
    Fender – Coronado? doesn't match style, no current models
    Godin – A4/A5 doesn't match style
    Warwick - Star Bass II is semihollow
    Eastwood – Classic 4 is short scale

    Am I missing any?
     
    lomo likes this.
  2. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    I know you specified bass guitar.

    No doubt those are beautiful guitars you've pictured, and jazz guitarists like them. However, the guitarists who play them are likely to be playing with a double bassist. Of course you can play jazz on any bass guitar, but the bass guitars you'll hear on jazz records are likely to be solid-body Fenders. So I can only infer that you are drawn to the looks of those archtop guitars. In that case, it appears that you've answered your own question: The Gretsch G6136LSB or a Hofner. However, none of those has the deep body of the archtop guitars, so it's gonna look more like a Gibson 335 than a Gibson L-5.
     
  3. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    everything AGCurry said.

    also, IMO/IME: play a fretless for a nice jazz experience! ;)
     
    Joebone, Koog, jwoiton and 9 others like this.
  4. thabassmon

    thabassmon

    Sep 26, 2013
    New Zealand
    What is the best bass for jazz? Double Bass IMHO, but people do play jazz on electric, I know I do.

    Are you sure you want full hollow? Years ago, when I was learning to play double I thought I could use an acoustic bass guitar to stand in for the upright until I gained enough ability on it. It was only okay at best (and I'm being generous), It is the only bass I've ever sold.

    On a sidenote
    I really like the Sadowsky, D'Angelico (EXL-1) and the Gibson, they are nice guitars and I'd be happy to own and play any of them.
     
    OldFenderPlayer, smogg, eJake and 4 others like this.
  5. MD

    MD

    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    Misses on the piezo only thing...

    im31005173816dsc1091.jpg
     
  6. thabassmon

    thabassmon

    Sep 26, 2013
    New Zealand
    It does look cool though. What is it?
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
  7. eliascalles

    eliascalles Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2013
    Mexico
    too bad about the "style" requirement, as the Godin A4 fretless is a fine bass guitar for jazz duty. I really liked the one I had. seems like the gretsch 5440 meets all your requirements, even coming in 1 penny under $1k lol.
     
    Ric Vice, Lesfunk and thabassmon like this.
  8. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    Thanks MD, it's beautiful, who makes it?
     
  9. Best bass for jazz:


    401abd86b061143a9ff9117e7d1e23ec.jpg
     
  10. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    Yes, thanks guys, I should have included that I am an experienced bassist, and I have plenty of basses now, including Sadowsky, Fodera, Rob Allen, Lakland, pre-CBS Fender, both fretted and fretless, and an upright and EUB. I'm looking for the beauty of these jazz guitars in a bass guitar.

    EDIT: a pic from my practice room a few years ago.
    22713438_10156757923143957_5854200018436922344_o.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
  11. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
  12. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    I owned a Godin A4 and liked it, but it's not really what I'm looking for in the style category
    DSC_0054.JPG
     
    Doublesixes and eliascalles like this.
  13. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    Nunovsky, design, eadg98005 and 2 others like this.
  14. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    Jaco didn't need a double bass :D
     
    lomo, Koog, bozha and 3 others like this.

  15. Well you didn't specify it had to be a guitar:D
     
    Drucifer likes this.
  16. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    PoppaJoe, lomo, CoffeeLove and 2 others like this.
  17. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    kobass likes this.
  18. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    Edited (posted same link twice-new link to video)
     
    Drucifer likes this.

  19. Charles Mingus didn't need an electric:laugh:

    This is amazing solo.

     
  20. teh-slb

    teh-slb

    Sep 21, 2018
    Berlin
    Fender Precision and Fender Jazz.





    Something more modern:

     
    lomo, Doublesixes, Acoop and 9 others like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Dec 3, 2020

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