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Why a Jazz bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Oobly, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    This is interesting. Now I want to go plug into my 18” Carvin and try stuff out
  2. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    These are two lovely examples of a Jazz type and a P type bass. The P has the nicer ash grain and a deeper richer finish — and yet the J is a sexier more attractive bass. P is still my preferred sound and aesthetic, but the offset waist and narrower neck is just beautifully proportioned.
  3. Resonance129


    Feb 15, 2011
    I've considered switching my Jazz neck for a P. Haven't done enough research to pull the trigger yet, but I think I'd like it a lot.

    Which neck did you use for yours? Was it a drop-in kinda thing where the screw holes lined up, or did you have to do some minor wood work?

    (That's a nice lookin Jazz, btw.)
  4. BeefPie84


    Mar 29, 2019
    I used a Mighty Mite neck. They are fantastic quality and starting with a fresh neck gave me a few advantages. 1st. No extra holes in the headstock since I knew I wanted to use the Ultralights. Also, I didn't want a typical 7.5 radius, and the MM neck instead gives me a flatter 12mm radius (a la MusicMan) which I prefer as I did the smooth satin finish, so this was the no brainer option for me. P width, and also not *AS bulky as some P necks. The logo is a water slide decal (can remove it later) and the block inlays are vinyl stickers (look great - none has moved even a hair.

    Also, with the fresh neck I fitted it with threaded neck bolt inserts and it is bolted on instead of straight screws into the neck for a stiffer connection between neck and body. And will make changing necks much easier without stripping and with virtual certainty it will setup correctly the first time. (This is for a fretless neck in future).

    Even though the neck was a perfect drop in fit, you can never be 100% sure and it may need a shim upon setup. I had a pro do the absolute final setup, which was worth it, IMO. For peace of mind at the very least. It's a blast to play, especially for the kind of music we perform. Also, don't leave out the Audere - It is truly magical.

    20180213_230123.jpg 20180213_230145.jpg 20180213_230236.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
    basmansam likes this.
  5. A mixture of everything:
    - Look - I think they look great
    - Timothy B Schmitt - plays one with the Eagles. Sounds great.
    - Feel - the main reason, the slim comfortable neck

    Sound also comes into it of course, but I can get a good sound out of almost any bass for my style.

    Ironically, the one thing I don't like about them is the "classic" burpy bridge pickup tone, and I never slap so another "classic" tone I never use is the scooped slap tone, although I like both pickups on full for fingerstyle....
  6. Conrad romeo

    Conrad romeo

    Jun 17, 2018
    It's good enough for Geddy Lee, nuff said!
    ACWild likes this.
  7. The Jazz looks really cool like a late '70s Fender. But it isn't one, correct? The P is an Ibanez, but what kind of Jazz is this?
  8. J-Mags

    J-Mags Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2018
    Durham NC
    I just got a fake Jazz (Tagima). It's totally fun. I wanted a smaller neck, and two lower-output pickups instead of 1 higher output! Mission accomplished, although the pickups are slightly overpowered (and undersized). Sounds great and it's really fun to play. Actual bass:

    Fun cheapo! Compared to recent Squiers it plays better out the door but has more non-standard components. Apparently it's made at the Chinese factory where they used to make the Classic Vibe Squiers.
  9. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    '77 Ibanez.
    DirkP likes this.
  10. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    I’m a little late to the party. I haven’t read this entire thread(but I will).

    But it ain’t no secret here on TB that I’m a Jazz guy. Have been since I started playing. And I been playing longer than I’ve been married and I’m coming rapidly up on my 30th anniversary.

    I’ve played a lot of instruments. Both off the rack and custom builds. Rickenbachers and Alembics.

    The Jazz Bass just gets it done.

    I tried a new Fender P a while back. Nothing useful tone wise. One trick pony mostly. Did not sit in a mix any better than a Jazz. In fact the Jazz beat it out on that point as well.

    This will not hold true for everyone. I was just destined to be a Jazz bass player.

    Thank you Leo.


    Both of these are forever Basses. Even if I am spending all my time on the five string these days that four string is something special as well and will all ways be with me.

    The four string (on the right) is a 2013 American Standard. All stock.

    The five string (on the left) is my new 2019 American Pro. Also 100% stock.

    And yes I am gas free.
  11. got_the_bug

    got_the_bug Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2007
    My reasons are similar to what others have already posted...tone, versatility, look and feel. A Jazz in a vivid color, rosewood board with blocks, and matching headstock to me is :drool:.

    I have had, and still do have, Precisions that I like very much, but I tend to gravitate towards the Js. I think it's just the combination of everything. In a band situation I especially like the tone I can get with volume up full on both pickups with the tone set about halfway -- still smooth, but with some bite when digging in. My experience is not at all that that Jazz is wimpier than the Precision. Pickups and active circuits notwithstanding, some Ps may have stronger low mids when comparing passive instruments, but EQ can help tailor your preference...either on the amp itself, or with a preamp pedal - I use a Darkglass Vintage Ultra V2 that is great for EQ shaping.

    I just purchased a new Fender Ultra Jazz the other day, and I'm really loving the active/passive option, as well as the single volume/pickup blend controls. :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  12. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    If you needed an option to muff up a J and enhance in your face frequencies then get a Tonestyler and some 1m V pots.

    I have the Tele J plate, so I can blend in goose honk instead of just full blast.

    Also J5 sits better than a P5 sitting, standing, etc

    No one says you couldn't build a J to your spec and throw a P in it however you like and be done. Same goes with whatever electronics payload.

    P5 feels like a big guitar no matter how I shift it.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  13. sterlingray34


    Jun 17, 2019
    I just bought my jazz bass a few days ago. It is a 35 year old Tokai bass, which is a copy of a 60s fender jazz bass. I absolutely love it.
    I tried a p bass before, but I just don't find the neck comfortable to play. the jazz bass just 'fits' and feels nice to play. I also love the sound, and the versatility I have with the two pickups. i mostly leave them both on full.

    one thing i noticed: the range of different tones i get just by changing the position of my right hand is much wider than on my other bass (a stingray).
    a reason for this might be that when I move the right hand position, the pickup nearest to my hand might be slightly more pronounced than the other. it adds to the tonal versatility of this bass ;-)

    and i love the look of the jazz bass. i much prefer it to the p bass.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019 at 6:36 AM
    lowdownthump likes this.
  14. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    ...because this is just sexy
    matthewwithanm likes this.
  15. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie Supporting Member

    My journey to the Jazz Bass was long, and not always successful...
    When I started playing bass, the first “real” bass I ever bought was a Stingray. Then I bought a Fretless Stingray a year later and had the two of them. Loved them to death.
    Then I wanted a 5 but had no money, so I traded the Fretless +$250 for a brand new G&L L2500.
    I stayed with those 2 basses for the next 15 years, and that’s all I knew and cared for. I knew a few guys who played Jazz basses, but never seemed to care for their tone...maybe it was the way those guys played.
    Then, I decided to try a Jazz bass out for myself, but a 5. I got a Squier Affinity and really liked how it felt and played, but not really what I was looking for, so I sold it. About 6-9 months later, I bought another one, and had the same reaction. But before selling it, I installed music-man style pickups and a preamp into it. This sparked a mad-scientist phase in me and I did that to more basses than I remember for about a spell, while wishing I could afford a Warwick ...

    It wasn’t until about 4 years ago that I I bought yet another Jazz Bass, this time a Squier Vintage Modified V, and it was supposed to be a beater bass that I kicked around. But it was that bass which made me realize what is so great about the design and tone. My want yearn for a Warwick has since faded.
    Since then, I have purchased a 2nd Squier Jazz V, and with my aforementioned mad-scientist ideas, have created two unbelievably wonderful instruments, one of them being a Fretless.



    I am also saving my pennies and purchasing parts for a Jazz V build that no one really makes as a readily available instrument.
    I want basically a passive version of a Fender Deluxe/Elite/Ultra style instrument with hum-canceling pickups, high-mass bridge, pearl block inlays and 22 frets.
    A computer-generated finished product of what I am going for:

    I love everything about the Jazz Bass; tone, ergonomics, and looks. Odd how it took me 20 years to figure that out...
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019 at 5:14 PM

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