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Which J-Bass lookalike?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by davidpike, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. davidpike


    Apr 2, 2011
    London, UK
    Hi all,

    I'm just getting back into playing after some years. When I was young, I thought more was always better. Why have 4 strings when you can have 5 or 6? Why have 20 frets when you can have 24?

    The problem is now that I don't have a bass suitable for what I want. I will be playing some blues, some country and occasionally at church. I want a no-nonsense Jazz-style bass that I can really get to grips with.

    I want to buy a Jazz (or equivalent) that is good value (say under £400 / $600) that I can upgrade as and when I'm ready.

    I've looked at Fender, Squier, Bass Collection and others - I'm open minded.

    What does everyone recommend?
  2. Dragan


    Oct 5, 2009
    congratulations,you re 100000000000 which J bass thread starter!
  3. At that sort of money I'd be personally looking in to Fender Mexico and Japan instruments (whether new or secondhand) or Squier VM/CV series, but... That's me.

    What ever I recommend would be tainted with personal bias, the best option is to go and play a load in the price range and then go with the one that you connect with on the "how it plays in hand" as the electrics/pups can be changed down the line.
  4. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    I would also recommend a MIM Fender Jazz. Great basses for the money. A 4-string should be fine. Most every great bass player in history played a 4-string, so why not you.
  5. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Sean makes some very good suggestions. I would also add the G&L Tribute JB2 to that list (not sure what they sell for in the UK). As you are in London, there are a couple of bass shops in the area that may be worth visiting. I know it sounds cliche but go visit them and play everything in your price and see what speaks to you. You may be surprised at what you discover.

    Also, have you looked online to see what is available on the used market in your area? That make expand your choices and allow you to purchase something of higher quality at a lower price.
  6. davidpike


    Apr 2, 2011
    London, UK
    Thanks, I like to fit in! :)

    Thanks for the advice guys. The G&L option is one I've not considered.
  7. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
  8. Dragan


    Oct 5, 2009
  9. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    For bargain Jazz basses, besides the usual suspects - Fender and Squier - you might want to look at MIA Peaveys and Schecters... For a little more money than those, I'd highly recommend a used MIM Fender Active Jazz Deluxe...

    - georgestrings
  10. Formula144

    Formula144 Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    The Squier Classic Vibe and Vintage Modified series Jazzes are well worth a look.
  11. Geni758


    Nov 15, 2013
    South Jersey

    I'm a little biased though. If you buy a Classic Vibe you won't have anything that needs upgrading though. Of course you can if you want, you just won't need to. Sometimes less IS more.

    Spend the money you saved on a decent amp. You could get both with your budget if buy used.
  12. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    I recommend ebay search "bass Matsumoku."
  13. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Look around for Levinson Blade basses. You shouldn't have any problem finding them in London.

    The current line is made in Japan and set up in Switzerland. Excellent basses. They pop up used on Basschat from time to time. The older models are great basses.
  14. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    +2 for the Classic Vibe Jazz. I got one for a steal last fall and it's waaaaaay more bass than you'd expect to get for that kind of money. The only mods I've done so far is to change the pickguard and strings. Maybe down the line I'll do something more…radical, but for now, it's pretty snazzy on it's own.
  15. dcalde78


    Apr 17, 2012
    You can never really go wrong with a Classic Vibe model of Squier, and there's also the old Vintage Modified which were apparently very good as well, and there's the new Vintage Modified stuff come out recently as well. I played a Bass Collection Jive Bass in King Crimson, and it played and sounded pretty damn good. The pickup cover got in the way massively, but that can always be taken off.

    I'd be wary of Harley Benton stuff, I had one, admittedly it was only one of the very very cheap P-bass copies that they did before they got a facelift, and it was pretty poor quality. I've only recently managed to improve it with a big neck shim. The more expensive ones may well be better and I have been tempted by the HBZ2004 but I never took the plunge.

    There's good looking Squier artist models, and the Affinity lines recently got a big kick up the ladder in terms of quality too.

    My personal suggestion would be to get either a Squier Vintage Modified (my colour preference is Candy Apple Red with a maple board and black blocks, but there's loads to choose from) or the G&L JB2. Both can be bought from Thomann for less than £400 and I would always recommend them to buy from.


  16. LouieLouie16


    Jul 16, 2013
    G&L tributes. Best basses for the money in my opinion.
  17. Beatlejuice53


    Feb 15, 2013
    Another option as far as Jazz look-a-likes is Fernandez. Never had one but played some years ago. Very comparable to Japanese Fenders. But G & L ........ Oh yea, can't go wrong.