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Which Fender Jazz Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ubermonster, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. Ubermonster


    Sep 30, 2013
    Hi there all. I am looking to get back into playing. I've been looking at Fenders in the $550 flat range that I want to pair with an Ampeg Ba 115. I play all styles. I've been eyeing the Fender FSR Jazz or the modern player with the fourth knob for selection on the coil areas. But I'm looking for my best bang for the buck.
  2. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I say play the two you mentioned they are both great basses.
  3. Ubermonster


    Sep 30, 2013
    Thanks! I do they both had great reviews. I love the natural look on the FSR. Thanks for the input. What are your thoughts on the Ampeg BA 115 vs say a Fender rumble series. Im just playing at home and maybe with a friend or two in low key settings.
  4. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    Why the BA 115? Looks? It does not do anything that other amps do not do as well or better. Big, heavy as sin, not much SPL, lots of electronics hiss etc...
  5. Ubermonster


    Sep 30, 2013
    I just read some reviews that said it was good in the under $400 range. I like clearer punchier styles but amps I am not as familiar with. I am way open to suggestions. Again I dont need anything crazy loud. I may occasionally jam with a guitarist and drummer. Id majnly like options
  6. Ubermonster


    Sep 30, 2013
    Double tap.
  7. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    ... then that would absolutely mean buying used ... that FSR Jazz can be had for < $350, and although I am not sure about the modern player because I have no interest in them, I would bet they could be had for 60-70% of new if bought used as well ... JMHO
  8. Both basses mentioned here are for sale in the classifieds here, I have checked them both out, both look like excellent examples...
  9. High Camp

    High Camp

    Oct 3, 2013
    If you say BA115, I would say Ampeg Micro CL.
    Both 100 watts, but:
    - Micro Cl is more portable
    - No hiss-thing as far as I know of
    (the Micro CL is b.t.w. a sort of BA-kinda amp)
    Mind you, I do like the sound of the BA-series!
  10. Ubermonster


    Sep 30, 2013
    I like the looks of that little stack. I guess I like to play both picking and slap style. So would that serve fine? What are your guy's thoughts on the Fender Rumble series.
  11. Gougedeye

    Gougedeye Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Central Washington
    I have the Rumble 350 head and the 2x8 and 1x12 cabs. this little set up is pretty damn good, in my opinion. I've used it for several live shows and it fill the room with no problems. The Rumble series just receive an upgrade and a face lift for 2014. Take a look and listen.
  12. Rocky McD

    Rocky McD

    Jun 28, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    I have had two Fender Rumble amps. Both 100 wt with 1X15" speakers. I also had an Ampeg BA 115 which was very disappointing. Very little volume and a poor tone IMO. The Fenders were OK for the money But I personally would look for a used Peavey TNT. These are very tough, loud and sound good. My favorite in that price range is the Fender Bassman 150 wt with 1X12 Eminence Neo. These are hard to find. Best tone and fairly loud. I prefer the tone of 12" speakers over the 15".
  13. Ubermonster


    Sep 30, 2013
    This is the problem with amps. It seems subjective to the tone people like :/. I listened to this demo of the Ampeg stack and liked it. Although it is not in English.

    I also played a little Fender Rumble and thought it was decent. I like the look of the 2014 line. Nice retro look.
  14. Bassisgood4U

    Bassisgood4U Banned

    Jan 30, 2014
    You'll need at least 250watts to jam with a drummer. I say go out and look for a used Fender BXR300c or an older Peavey 15' combo that still has a healthy speaker.

    The FSR is probably made with better wood and hardware, especially if it happens to be ash(many are).
  15. Apolicious


    Jan 16, 2014
    I recently got a BA-112, and I'm absolutely enamored with it. The three-band EQ isn't much to write home about on its own (plus it's backwards - L-R: treble, mid, bass,) but coupled with the style switch I barely have to nudge it at all.

    The switch positions are (from the Ampeg site):
    1 = -25dB @500Hz
    2 = -12dB @500Hz
    3 = flat
    4 = +5dB @2kHz and above
    5 = -6dB @50Hz and below​
    which may seem a little arbitrary on the surface, but in practice give you a wonderful array of not just different, but useful tones.

    (As an aside, it's a great way to test your ears. I saw more than one review saying "I always leave the switch on four/five/anythingbutthree because it sounds the most natural," even though it's obviously not.)

    One thing I LOVE - which is a huge improvement over the older BA series - is the limiter. It works brilliantly. Back in highschool I had to do marching band gigs with an older BA-115 and it'd distort around one o'clock. I can dime this with an active five-string with no problem. And that's not been my experience with the rumble series. They have a good tone, but they break up like Taylor Swift on spring break.

    As for the bass, I'm a big fan of the good 'ol fashioned passive J. They can cover a lot of ground if you caress them just right. If you're looking for diversity, well, that's never really been Fender's strong point ;) (although I do love them so.)
  16. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    I tried the Fender's with the triple blade pups and I didn't really like the range of tones. If you go for basses with these pups get the 2 pup version - I suspect pup placement will give you the tonal range that a single triple blade pup can't. I would personally get a Fender J MIM, or a used MIA (or a used Geddy Lee which is what my main player is).
  17. I'd spend a little more, get a used MIA and never look back.
  18. TC.65


    Dec 20, 2008
    Carbondale IL
    On the amp side maybe you should check out the Ampeg PF 350 or PF 500 since you like the Ampeg tone and pair it with the PF 115. That should get you there. As for the basses I'm partial to the Fender FSR Jazz myself but get what you like that's what matters.
  19. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    Sounds like GK to me, or maybe even Hartke. You can pick up a used GK 700RB-II for $300 if you look around and that amp absolutely will destroy anything in its price range. If you don't want that much power, a used MB200 micro head will fulfill your requirements above for ~$180 used. I've seen several used Hartke LH500 units for ~$225, also a great amp (a bit warmer than the GK but not as much tonal variety, still very punchy).

    If you like "punchy", then you should err on the side of buying more power than you think you'll need. It's much easier to turn the volume down than it is to get dynamic headroom out of an underpowered rig.

    Pair any of those with an inexpensive cab to start out, then you can always upgrade your cab later if you need more. Used lower-end GK cabs can commonly be found in the $200 range, and are certainly punchy and clear. There are plenty of other cabs that will work great too. Try some used gear out at your local stores if possible.
  20. RyanJD


    Apr 19, 2011
    To everyone who asks about the FSR J, I say the same thing.
    I've owned mine for over a year. I love it. It's my go-to bass and I don't plan on ever selling it.
    If you're looking for a J bass in that price range, it would be very likely that you would be satisfied.

    I also just got a GK MB200. Really liking the sounds I can get out of it.
    Pretty modern tones, I think.

    Oh yeah, and I have a BA112. It's a great combo amp.