Where to find modernized jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Larzito, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. Larzito


    Aug 1, 2000
    Dallas, Texas
    I've been looking for a 4 string jazz bass with the following requirements:

    stiff multilaminate neck (satin finish)
    rosewood fingerboard (12 radius)
    smaller vintage style frets
    tilted headstock
    rounded or no heel
    downsized alder body
    less than 9 lbs
    18v 3 band preamp (OBP-3)
    mid toggle
    active/passive toggle
    jazz style dual coil pickups
    brass bridge

    Essentially, I am searching for vintage sound with modern playability (I dig in too much for trad jazz bass)...without weighing a ton. Modulus makes a jazz that fits most of these requirements, but weighs a ton and graphite is not the sound I'm looking for in this bass. I've looked at Sadowsky, Lull, etc, etc, but not found it. Sure, I could have a custom exotic top built to my specs for thousands, but I'm really looking for a simple workhorse with modern innovations that lets me spank it like I have with my Modulus and Roscoe, but with a more traditional sound.
  2. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    hhmm how about a modulus jazz!!! they are great..and just what you described

  3. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    With so many specs on your plate; have you considered ordering from Warmouth? Now I'm not so sure about that recessed heel, but all the other specs I think you could order and have assembled by a guitar tech. May set you back a few bucks but compared to, say, a custom Sadowsky or Lull or the like, I think you might make out well.

  4. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    you might want to get at least the neck from USA Custom Guitars (that's the branch off of warmoth, right?) In their necks, they use graphite reinforcement, not steel, which makes the necks a lot lighter.

    You could probably get the body from warmoth's thrift shop or USACG's, but i think the neck has to be an order.
  5. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I was checking the Fender site earlier. Though it doesn't really nail all your specs, have you considered the new Deluxe American Jazz basses? Given the down-sized body, flexible electronics, better upper-fret access, graphite reinforced neck, so and and on; maybe this could do the trick. I've only tried a New American Deluxe P-bass 5. and I must say after being quite biased against US made Fenders (I'm a G&L man) I was really impressed. These guys have really gotten their act together; as least on that model. Give them a try, you might be pleased.

  6. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Sadowsky rules!

  7. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    This guy will build pretty much whatever you want.

    His Vortex & Vintage Vortex basses make good platforms for neo-jazz basses.

    You can check with fellow TBer's Brian Barrett (lowendmffm@yahoo.com) or Adrian Garcia (info@accessbass.com), they're both Benavente dealers.
  8. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    That's a pretty extensive and specific laundry list, and I kinda doubt that you'll find everything you want in anything close to a production instrument. My bet is you'll have to either compromise or spend thousands on a custom.

    But that said, you might check out this guy, who has built a couple things for me:


    Check out the J models. Note also that he will sometimes do some options that aren't listed on the site. But you'd have to talk with him to see which ones. The price is quite reasonable for the quality involved. I dunno what the exchange rate is for the pound right now, but I think, say, 600 pounds is about $1025.
  9. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
  10. Larzito


    Aug 1, 2000
    Dallas, Texas
    Just in case someone wanted to know what became of my quest for a modernized jazz bass (read specs in original post). I FOUND IT! It is the August 2003 Custom listed on the Alembic web site. I've always been a bit shy of Alembic and had a precocieved notion of how they sound and the players that play them. But THIS ONE, it is like no other bass I've ever owned. Sure, its got the classic jazz configuration, but the tones that pour out of this thing are amazing. I'm in awe at how I can have so much clarity AND warmth AND defined low end all in one bass. It can go from Jaco to tubby dub and everything in between easily and without fuss. Oh, and the Alembic Q switch and knob....voodoo stuff that works...it adjusts the midrange character with the switch on, and functions as an overall tone control with it off. I've never been more impressed the electronics on a bass...then again, Alembic pioneered the active bass back in 1969...they've had a little time to figure it out. And the action and responsiveness are beyond buttery. The stiff neck (3 maple/2 walnut pinstripes) allows for low action AND digging in, something I've not found with most traditional Jazz basses...they always seemed to play too floppy or buzzy for my attack. With this bass, I spank it, it says "yes sir!" I'm also very impressed that Alembic uses hardware components that are designed to be adjusted for the long term. Exampe: bridge, nut and intonation are adjustable with hex screws. The two truss rods adjust with a box wrench as opposed to the "where's the hole" method of allen wrench "creak" adjusting. And this bass weighs jsut 7.25 lbs! My shoulder thanks me. The problem...I came home yesterday- my Modulus had the Alembic pinned down, the Yamaha had it by the neck, and the Pedulla was about to cut the Alembic's headstock off...
  11. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

  12. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    How about simple......

  13. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Hot Wire? Do these folks have a website? I'm afraid to even ask what this puppys go for.

    Oh, and Larzito; how's about a pic of this dream Alembic of yours? Not fair getting us all worked up about it and not allowing us to have a look!

  14. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    Hot Wire basses here.

    Alembic bass here.
  15. Larzito


    Aug 1, 2000
    Dallas, Texas
    Don't have time to post pics from work, but here's a link to it on the Alembic site. BTW, the Alembic Long History on this site is some interesting reading about rock history and the evolution of not just bass, but the quest for hi-fi in general.

  16. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Since we already have the Bennie and Nordie links in here, you can't talk about a "modernized jazz" without including the Eshenbaugh J Series with those two.... :D

  17. membranophone


    Mar 19, 2000
    Madison, WI
    This just SCREAMS Elrick NJS. I don't see one spec that isn't in the Elrick basses.
  18. Geeze, I WANT this bass!

    You might check out....


    They do fine work for good prices too!

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