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Which 70's Style Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by thisSNsucks, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. Used Late 70's Fender

    71 vote(s)
  2. Fender 75 RI

    50 vote(s)
  3. Fender Marcus Miller

    26 vote(s)
  4. Lakland Skyline DJ

    63 vote(s)
  5. Used Sadowsky Metro UV

    63 vote(s)
  6. Other

    23 vote(s)
  1. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    So I've come to the conclusion that I'm a Jazz Bass kind of guy. I'm comfortable on them, I love their tone, and they just seem to work in all the styles I play.

    That being said my current bass, a Sadowsky Metro RV4 is amazing and I couldnt be happier with it.

    I've been loving the look and the sound of those 70's style Jazzes lately. Something about the natural ash body and maple board with blocks and binding is just killer.

    Sooo within the $1,000-$2,000 range, what would be my best option?

    Used late 70's Fender
    Fender 75 RI
    Fender Marcus Miller
    Lakland Skyline DJ
    Used Sadowsky Metro UV

    Any others you can think of (used or new) in that price range?
  2. Simon Langley

    Simon Langley

    Jun 19, 2007
    Chico, CA
    I vote Lakland. A DJ has been on my GAS list for a while now. Built my own Fender style 70's jazz though from parts. Came out nicely and only about $950.00 with Nordstrand pickups and an Audere preamp.
  3. depalm


    Apr 22, 2004
    São Paulo
    Nordy: Pricey but one of the greatest JB around
    Sodwsky: Light, extremely well balanced and easy to play.
    Built from parts: Funny to do, cheaper but you'll have a little work find the right parts.
    Lakland: Never played one but there are so many good reviews around, can be a bit heavy.
  4. The used late 70's Fender will cost you a bundle, so that's probably not a good price/value unless you are really into the vintage thing.

    With your list, depending on the tone and feel you are after, it would be either the Metro UV or the DJ.

    Interestingly, the DJ has 60's pickup placement, but the original model with the aggressive Aero pickup really brought to mind the aggressive grind of what many consider the 70's J bass tone. If you are going passive, the maple neck DJ with Aero's would be my first choice for an aggressive, grindy J Bass.

    If you like a more modern, active tone with the look of a 70's J, the Metro UV is awesome. If you swap out the stock HC pickups for the Sadowsky singles, it will get a bit more 'Fendery' for you, but still have that unique Sadowksy tone signature. For a 5 string 70's type J without breaking the bank, the UV Metro 5 string is REALLY good.

    I have not been particularly impressed with the Marcus Miller J (fit and finish, playability, electronics).

  5. bThumper38

    bThumper38 brian ebert

    i've got an 85 MIJ jazz for cheap, and i'm lovin' it.
  6. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    Used mid/late 70s Jazz. Find an all original one with a straight neck and a light weight body, and you will have a great Jazz bass!
  7. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    I look at it the opposite way-it won't cost more than a new Metro (likely less), and it'll hold value better, as well as provide the vibe. I'd go this route and use an outboard pre if you need one, assuming you can find the right bass. Having said all that, IMO it may take a long while before you find a Fender from that vintage that doesn't either weigh a ton, have pronounced dead spots on its' board or some other issue.
  8. Used Modulus VJ or Genesis VJ.
    I hear G&L are making traditional Jazz basses now.
  9. I've had a consistent GAS bubble for a Geddy for more than a year now- I voted *other* :)
  10. ...since my experience is very limited based on your choices mentioned, I vote for the late '70s Fender J-Bass. I bought a '78 off the rack in early '79 and have been kicking myself for over 10 years because I didn't appreciate what I had at the time, and sold it in the early '80s. To find a good one at under $2K may be a challenge, so I would next be looking at the USA RI's. You can still get them for less than $1500 used.
  11. Mr. Ray

    Mr. Ray

    Feb 20, 2009
    You can't go wrong with any of those choices. Even the MIM 70's Fender's are nice. I've owned an original 75 Natural it weighed a ton, so be careful with the older used ones. The Daryl Jones is on my gas list. The natural ash with the black blocks (no binding) looks and plays killer. It has 60's pickup spacing but the ash/maple just gives it a great tone.
  12. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Why not a geddy?

    And I would NOT buy a real late '70s J bass - I owned one and it was awful. The late '70s were Fender's era of shame...
  13. g4string


    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    Why isnt Low End on the list.........You can score one used for under $2K
  14. blondmix3

    blondmix3 Supporting Member

    May 30, 2007
    Evansville, Indiana
    I love my DJ's, and the newer ones seem to be a bit lighter and the PLEK jobs take them up a level.....

  15. Buskman


    Apr 13, 2007
    Jersey Shore, USA
    Lordy, that is one sweet DJ5!
  16. Madcity Fats

    Madcity Fats Supporting Member

    May 28, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I recently acquired a US '75 Jazz RI (rosewood board though) and I have to say it's a really well made bass. Nicer than I expected actually. Reminds me of my old '68 Jazz but without the sloppy neck pocket and aggravating dead spots. I'm no Fender fanboi, but they got this one right.

    That said, with the Fender price hikes you might be better off looking at Lakland. Also, I'm a G&L fan and they're just releasing the new JB model, which has the old school body shape and pickguard, unlike the older JB-2 (no blocked necks to my knowledge, however). To be honest, if I were going to buy a Jazz clone new, the JB would probably be my first choice.
  17. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    if you want something that actually sounds like a fender, get a fender. if looks are the bigger draw, you cant wrong with any of your options.
  18. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    My '75 AVS (RI) J is better in every way than the many '70s Js I've played.
  19. johnnycat42


    Feb 27, 2007
    Denver, CO
    I'd buy a Geddy Lee Jazz used and save the rest for something else.
  20. Bassman7PM


    Mar 13, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    Slobber, slobber, drool, drool. Been Gassin for a DJ5 and man is that hot.

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