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Which Jbass for "jaco" bridge sound...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sparkl, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Sparkl


    Apr 23, 2011
    Hi folks :) I'm right in a buying phase of my next bass guitar.

    I already have the 2007 ceramic Stingray5 H/H model which works great for me (sometimes I would prefer a 4 string since the string spacing is bigger and everything is more simple on a 4 string bass lol).

    It works for almost anything just for one thing - that buttery single alnico coil bridge tone. For that I need a passive bass, with J pups, so basically I need a jazz bass.

    That's a really simple choice, so I would just buy the fender am standard jazz bass and I'm ready to roll. But.

    There are a lot of similar basses out there, from Carvins, to Sandbergs, Laklands, G&L's, Sadowsky's, Mayones, etc etc. All of them have the JBass series with alnico passive pups and stuff.

    Now what do you recommend? I would really like to have that buttery bridge "jaco" style tone, but also have that grunt and attack when switching both pups up. From what I hear, Sandbergs really do their job in this section, they always sound so mean. And their bridge tone also seems to be amazing (I'm from slovenia and noone sells sands here so I have to rely on YT vids), but what bothers me, that their JBass, the California TT4 version does not include a dotted neck. Which I find disturbing since I am very used to have those dots on.

    So what is there to do? The next "dotted" Sandberg with alnico jazz pups is the MarloweDK edition, but it is already priced at almost 1700eur on thomann. Which is too much for a passive instrument IMO.

    So here I write, asking you guys, what Jbass would you buy to get what I need? :)

    To cut story short, my demands are:

    Jaco bridge sound


    that grunty, attackish sound from both pups

    I'm looking forward to your answers and have a nice day :)
  2. I'd say just about any (higher end) jazz bass would get you the sounds you're looking for. Check out the Carvin for great value, I've never tried one, but hope to one day order an SB4000.
  3. Doesn't that Jaco sound come from any Jazz Bass with the bridge p/u soloed? IME, that's what works for me. Grunty, attacky sound with both pickups on? Most of the time, that gnarly sound you get is a tube amp being overdriven or something like that. Alternatively, a Warwick will get you a similar tone, though the growl might be a little too aggressive.
  4. Sparkl


    Apr 23, 2011
    Yeah well I love the agressive tone, but still I want to get that buttery, subtle "jaco" bridge tone.

    I just happen to have an opportunity to grab a Sandberg from thomann.de for just 1000eur (Sandberg California TT4) and I wonder if this would do the trick - the vids on YT are very persuasive, but does any1 here own one, to tell me from first hand experience? Plus, how hard is it to get used to a non dotted neck.

    I will also check that carvin SB4000 it's a crazy awesome machine. The 5 string SB5000 is actually how the original 5 string jazz should've sounded. :)
  5. bonga_rascal


    Sep 9, 2010
    Hey there!

    One thing I will say is - don't be so sure of getting that Jaco tone from a Carvin SB5000. One of the most critical things required to get that Jaco tone is to have the bridge pickup in the 60's position, whereas the Carvins have the pickup in the 70's position. That's not what you're looking for.

    I'd say what you're looking for is a straight ahead 60's style jazz bass with single coils. Alder body with a maple neck and rosewood fretboard with some ass kicking single coil pickups like the new Aguilars or the Nordstrands.

    Good luck!
  6. Any Sandberg bass can be ordered with dots on the fingerboard for a small upcharge.

    I just received my California TT4 a couple of weeks ago and it's amazing - great passive jazz sound and capable of some serious bridge pickup growl.
  7. Sparkl


    Apr 23, 2011
    Great :) Can you please also tell me if there is an option to get that smooth jaco bridge tone or is the only option to have an agressive growly bridge tone? If both can be achieved, than it's my dream bass :)
  8. tkozal


    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    Buy a passive, american made Fender. Std. 62 RI, Jaco, etc...all these other mfg'ers are just noise for what you are trying to achieve
  9. Try rolling the tone knob back a bit.
  10. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    If you want "attack" with full pickups on, Fender American Standard is best, otherwise, for a distictively bridge solo pickup sound I'd suggest Lakland 4460.

  11. Sparkl


    Apr 23, 2011
    Is there no bass that could give me attack + good bridge solo pup on one piece of wood?

    If that's not an option, then which jbass is the most rounded instrument so I can later in the future maybe even change pups?

    I'm actually deciding between Sandberg TT4, Carvin SB4000 and Fender Am standard.

    I don't like Lakland much, somehow they don't fit in my hand. But I'll check out that 4460 anyway :)

    I also have an offer for 1000eur and it's a sadowsky pre-metro uv70. What about this thing?
  12. Didn't he move the pick up back towards the bridge - I'm sure I've seen a picture of him using his normal Jazz bass showing something of that sort.

    Much of his recorded sounds like it's pre-amped - and especially with Weather Report. As did many other players in the 70s - remember at that stage many people were looking for a more punchy sound than could be achieved by 50s and 60s designed passive basses alone - hence Alembics, Stingrays and other basses becoming popular - along with people pre-amping (outboard), particularly for recording or even modding Fenders (eg Marcus Miller).

    It's a pity you don't have an HS Stringray 5 - I think the HS does allow you to use single coil at the bridge - you don't say whether you have a fretless currently - this helps (for quite a lot of Jaco stuff). Jaco's playing technique and awesome skills also play a big part.

    This might sound like sacrilege to many, but one of the factors that first attracted me to buying a Stingray (in the 70s) was the ability to get that punchy, naturally compressed sound which is part of Jaco's sound. My Stingray fretless is a good vehicle for playing Jaco material, even if it doesn't get quite the exact sound.

    Jazz basses will obviously get you in the same ball park but I doubt you will get the punchy sound that typifies some of Jaco's stuff from a passive one (and certainly not in a live setting).

    One other thing - I have several experiences of minor (or major)disappointment at bass sounds of favourite players when I saw them live - one of the ones that sticks in my mind is Jaco - when I saw Weather Report, they started the set with Black Market, and the bass sound was not like the recorded sound at all. The bass lacked the punch of the recorded versions - maybe the sound people were at fault - however I think it more likely it was because the signal chain was different from the studio versions.
  13. The sound of my passive Sandberg is IMO more smooth, balanced and less aggressive than most Fender jazzes I've played. It is when you dig in the burp and the growl becomes more present. But, the bridge pickup growl on my bass always sounds a bit tamed and it never gets overwhelming or "too much" like on some of the Fenders I've tried. :)
  14. tkozal


    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    Didn't Jaco also use a small amount of delay to fatten his sound? Also he boosted the midrange? IIRC

    Roundwounds also

    I remember trying such things oh about 30 years ago now...;-)
  15. Sparkl


    Apr 23, 2011
    Well yeah, you can use a lot of stuff, to get the punch later on, one of the popular solutions is a compressor for example.

    I do not own a fretless, tho it will son be on my purchase list :) I do know jacos fingerstyle techniques and I know fusion, but I need that jaco sound in general to play jazz, solo on jazz songs, you know what I mean :)

    @tkozal - jaco used many things, including chorus and stuff like that.

    @drTSTingray - I know, jaco actually used the 70's Jbass. The main difference was that the 70's used to have a 4'' spacing between the pups with bridge pup being pushed a little bit more towards the bridge.

    The 60's (and later models except the 70's) have the oldschool fender JB 3.6'' pup position.

    The 70's position therefore gave much more harmonical sound and a little bit more punchier.

    I wonder if that sandberg uses 4'' spacing... need to check.

    @Jaldegren: Can I count on this vid as a good sound overview of that model?

    I think that I will have to go blind shoping if I consider buying a sandy.
  16. Sparkl


    Apr 23, 2011
    Another sandy sound sample:

    what do you guys think of this? the bridge tone is definately "prettier" than the 2012 am standard JB for example... At least according to my experience. While I could try numerous Fender JB's I could not get my hands on a sandberg...
  17. Fender roadworn j-bass. Affordable and spot-on, especially if you upgrade the pick-ups to SD antiquity II or Fender CS
  18. Sparkl


    Apr 23, 2011
    Thanks for that, I'll check it out.

    Now what really attracted me atm is this:


    It's kinda expensive, but as far as I can see it has that 4'' pups 70's positioning, giving a bigger "burp" on the bridge pup.

    What do you guys think? Overpriced pile of crap or literally a damn good jbass?
  19. Sparkl


    Apr 23, 2011
    Is there a 70's roadworn aswell?

    And - what's the actuall difference between the american standard and roadworn? Which has better quality?
  20. Those two youtube videos are pretty good examples of a passive Sandberg sound.

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