What's your favorite non Fender Jazz that you own?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jason Bonilla, Nov 29, 2022.

  1. Jason Bonilla

    Jason Bonilla Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2021
    Sorry for long winded post. It's a slow day at work.

    I've never been too much of a J bass guy, or at least I tell myself that. I've had a BBNE2 and a Kiesel BK-40 that had noiseless J pickups in it and I really enjoyed those 2 basses, so I guess I am somewhat of a jazz bass guy. but I had found my self wanting/considering a Jazz or "super jazz". y'know, just to see what the rage was all about.

    I went to my local used guitar store and tried out three Fender Jazzes, a Custom Shop J in candy apple red (my fav color is red :p) with active electronics, a Jazz active deluxe, and a Passive USA G&L jazz (whatever they call their version); all 5 strings. Funny enough I liked both the regular Active Deluxe and G&L better than the Custom shop, but I'll contribute that to strings and set up. what I didn't exactly "like" about either of them was the neck, while not impossible to handle they were much thicker than I imagined Jazz necks being. and the active fenders where the strictly active 3 band variety. In my opinion every active jazz, especially fender should have an active passive option (tone control is a HUGE plus). A few days later the same shop had Yamaha BBP35 come in and I snatched it up the same day. Awesome feeling and sounding bass, as to be expected. but a PJ doesn't really count as a Jazz.

    A few days later I went to Chuck Levin's with my brother to kill time, and came across a beautiful Brubaker JXB-5 in Metallic Tangerine, which to my colorblind eyes looks more red than anything else. It felt great! Nice smooth thin neck (this was what I imagined a jazz neck to feel like), beautiful color, didn't weigh a ton either, and did I mention the color? Rolling off the tone made for a nice smooth tone and the bridge pick up was nice and punchy (I'm typically not much a fan of Bridge pickups soloed). though, to me it felt like it'd be redundant to get it as i already had the BB. also at first glance I noticed it has a battery door and it was "passive" so I thought "I guess its got active pickups" which I was on the fence about, so I left without it. Then I remembered from @Quadzilla 's posting on face book that these Brubakers have switchable preamp modules! I called Chuck Levin's and they confirmed that those JXB-5s also had this feature, which explained the battery door, and that they also had some modules in stock. So long story short, that Metallic Tangerine JXB-5 is mine now, along with a OBP-3 Preamp module. So with this one bass I have both a traditional passive jazz, a super jazz, with a neck that fits my liking much more than the fenders, and looks beautiful and is hand made in my home state!

    I'll make a LNBD post when i get the chance later on and link it here.

    NBD Brubaker JXB 5

    But what's your favorite non-fender Jazz bass? do you like it better than Jazzes you've owned before or currently own? What about it makes you like it better?

    more pics in the NBD post
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2022
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  2. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    I own two non-Fender Jazz Basses, both 5 strings. One is a NYC Sadowsky and the other is a Spector Coda. They are both nice, but very different, mainly due to the preamps. As to which I prefer, it is pretty equal.

    Jason Bonilla likes this.
  3. Vanheusen77


    Nov 9, 2016
    Sandberg California TT. Amazing basses! Slightly less offset and the neck is so comfortable!
  4. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area

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  5. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Bootlegger guitars : S.I.T. Strings Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Florida USA
    Bluesman vintage

    Attached Files:

  6. FRoss6788

    FRoss6788 Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    Olympic Peninsula
    (2) Guild Pilots- (one foot, one cake server)
    Peavey Dyna with Super Ferrites...:bassist:

    Do those count?:whistle::D
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  7. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I have one non-Fender J, a 2010 G&L JB, and it's fantastic. With the 12" radius, Plek leveled frets, quartersawn neck, saddle-lock bridge, and lightweight tuners, I prefer it to almost all Fenders. Overall, it's my favorite four-string stage bass, though for some projects I prefer my SB-2.

    I think I've played better non-Fender J-basses though, including a couple of Mike Lulls and a Dingwall Super J, and, more recently, a Sandberg California TT five, which was easily my favorite five-string J out of those I've tried. The neck was just a perfect match for my hands, and if I were playing more these days, I might have bought it.

  8. Two 5 strings.

    My 1990s Fernandes LEB-J5 which is very accurate to Fender specs, and they were making Fenders around this time.

    My Guild Pilot with EMG J pickups and 2 band EQ, truly a monster in all ways.
  9. Jason Bonilla

    Jason Bonilla Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2021
    yea the G&L jazz I played at the shop was very nice! it was a nice baby blue. I suppose these are more so trying to emulate the specs of the older Jazzes? just assuming because they're 20 fret and have bigger bodies.
    dralionux likes this.
  10. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    Astoria, NY
    Of my J basses this is my favorite non-Fender. Had it since early 80's one way or another. Currently:
    DiMarzio one-piece Koa body
    Warmoth Padauk J neck w/Ebony fb
    Originally run with 3 DiMarzio PAF Model J's-
    It's been 2 Aero Model 1 pickups run passive (w/ hole filler) for many years.
    Stack knob for each pu + Master Volume w/pullup for series
    Schaller and Babicz round it out.
    It's really warm for a J but still has that authority you need. It all finally came together. I am still thrilled with it. KOA J FR CU a - 2014.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2022
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  11. Bass Man Dan

    Bass Man Dan Endorsing Artist: Ned Flanders' Bass-a-Reeno

    Oct 20, 2017
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  12. Jason Bonilla

    Jason Bonilla Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2021
    wow really digging that body! love the gold too. sounds like that bass went through quite a journey, glad you got it where you envisioned!
  13. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Central Ohio
  14. B-Mac

    B-Mac Happiness is a warm puppy and a great bass Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I have a few non-Fender J style basses that I enjoy. Some are passive and some are active.
    I'm going to have to say that, right now, its my Dean Razor NT
    IMG_8970.JPG IMG_8974.JPG
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2022
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  15. John Freeman

    John Freeman Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    G&L JB5. Tighter string spacing fits my hand much better than Fender 5’s and the B is nice and tight.

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  16. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    Astoria, NY
    Thanks so much! Briefly, I finally ran out of real estate for more experiments on my 1970 Tele bass. Late 70's, DiMarzio decided to go the Schecter route and began offering outboard bodies, necks and hardware. This body, along with a one piece Strat Brazilian Rosewood Body, were in Rudy's window on 48th Street. I rubbed my nose on that window for weeks, until I could stanz no more. It was $165- an exhorbitant sum back then!
    Put my Tele neck on it for some years. When it finally became time to resurrect the Tele, got the Padauk and it was the right choice.
    Hunt and peck does pay off!
  17. Davebass77

    Davebass77 Supporting Member

    My favorite non-Fender is this 2008 G&L CLF L-1500, though Leo did have a hand in designing this model. Quartersawn neck, MFD pickup. I've modded it a bit (added and changed caps & resistor) for more bass all the time and to tame the treble sizzle, but it can compete with EBMM basses very well.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2022
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  18. TrevorR


    Oct 3, 2015
    Near London, UK
    My Frankenjazz… body & neck off eBay, Catswhisker custom humbucking pickups, Audere preamp, Hipshot Ultralites, GraphTech saddles… love it!

    085AB1B6-E62F-4A25-897D-E5A3E2E69071.jpeg E8B6D30C-6338-4A5A-9D6C-A8AF394FB845.jpeg 9024AF9E-9281-48CE-A5A9-037198E6B156.jpeg 52221D50-9373-4CEE-A064-F2E316A5DF18.jpeg
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  19. pbass888

    pbass888 Up the Irons! Westham United FC--mile high irons Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Warmoth made by me during the pandemic. Now it has lollar blade pickups and is passive.Rosewood fingerboard, roasted maple unfinished neck with some gunstock oil . Roasted alder body, with hipshot tuners and bridge.

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  20. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx!

    Oct 31, 2006
    Western Hemisphere
    87D79239-957A-4805-B6E6-FF03423A5787.jpeg USA Lakland 4460. Fattest sounding J I've ever heard.