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jet_powers
Senior Member
Username: jet_powers

Post Number: 500
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, July 19, 2010 - 5:39 pm:   Edit Post

I was in my local music shop the other day procuring a new set of strings for my acoustic guitar. I spotted a new Fender bass hanging on the wall. I don't know why but I had to pick it up and play it for a bit. It had a P body and a J neck with the PJ combo for pickups. It played really quite nicely and I looked the price tag. $800. Then I noticed it was MIM. Hmm... I thought that's where the Squiers came from. Has the quality improved on the Mexican models? Is it still possible to get a USA Fender without paying the same it would cost to add another Alembic to the harem? As one might deduce, I haven't kept up with the goings on of Fender for the past few decades....

JP
mike1762
Senior Member
Username: mike1762

Post Number: 596
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Monday, July 19, 2010 - 5:51 pm:   Edit Post

I have a MIM Jazz... it plays/sounds as good as any MIA model I've ever used. I'm guessing $800 was the MSRP, but you could have taken it home for $550-$600.
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 749
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, July 19, 2010 - 6:21 pm:   Edit Post

John;
Fenders are made in USA & in Mexico. They have been made in Japan &, briefly (like 1991-93), Korea, which stopped when the opened the Mexico plant - I don't know if they're still doing MIJ or not. Squiers were first MIJ, then MIK (for a while concurrently with Fenders), and now Indonesia. I have played all of the above except MIJ Fenders, and IMHO J, K, M, & I, Fender or Squier, are all better guitars than most anything Fender USA has turned out since about 1966. That's head-to-head - throw in the price factor & I'm amazed they can still sell anything USA.

Peter

(Message edited by cozmik_cowboy on July 19, 2010)
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1437
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, July 19, 2010 - 10:29 pm:   Edit Post

Yes, depending on the piece, there are nice buys at reasonable price points throughout their range. Of course their top line American axes and Custom Shop pieces are price-y, relative to the Mex and Squier articles, but remember these are supporting American labor and their highest spec parts and pickups.

Looking for a Jazz and want a real shock? Check out the Squier Classic Vibe 60's Jazz Bass (available in white only). Amazingly nice bass, can be bought almost anywhere for $350 all day long. Add a couple of Fralins or your favorite pickups just to fine-tune the tone if necessary, get a tweed case, done. I've always had a soft spot for Squiers, amazing how often they can shame their older brothers. And yes, the Mexican Fenders can be very fine.

I've always wanted to build a couple Warmoth or Mighty Mite, etc., 'parts' basses. That's what I love about fenders, ya just screw 'em together like building a hot rod. I keep daydreaming a silver PBass, black parts/pickguard w/ PJ Activators . . . . I guess you never completely leave home, huh?

J o e y
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1151
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Monday, July 19, 2010 - 11:24 pm:   Edit Post

Besides my 3 Alembics I also still have a few Fenders . The 1971 Precision Maple neck/ Ash body is stock. The 1983 Jazz Ash body/Maple neck was stock when I picked it up in '93 but I modified it a bit my self a year afterward. I installed a Schaller roller saddle bridge, replaced the stock Jazz pick ups with Bartolini 9W4 units and also a graphite string nut. The Stock tuners were fine. I noticed what I thought was a very favourable outcome and always got compliments on the sound in particular from other musicians and engineers. I also have other customized Fenders with similar mods but fretless. On the one with the Rosewood fingerboard Jerry Dorsch ( Co partner with Geoff Gould at one time with Modulus ) finished the lined fretless finger board for me with a epoxy like coating similar to a Pedulla Buzz Bass.

As far as the MIM ones go , I picked one up around 93( don't remember the date of manufacture) as well BUT I could really tell the difference between the MIM and USA. The 83 USA was a keeper and I sold the MIM.

(Message edited by sonicus on July 19, 2010)
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 750
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, July 19, 2010 - 11:36 pm:   Edit Post

"Add a couple of Fralins or your favorite pickups just to fine-tune the tone if necessary..."
Before you drop the $ on new p/ups, try upgrading the pots & caps; you don't need to go Alembic-quality parts - indeed, if you're looking for a vintage Fender sound, you don't want to. You can keep it under $50 for a Strat, a lot less for a P-Bass, & it may be enough to make the stock p/ups work for you (and especially do this if you are going for the new p/pups).
And I guess I should have said, my judgement in the previous post was based on build quality - the MIAs do have better guts.

Peter

(Message edited by cozmik_cowboy on July 19, 2010)
white_cloud
New
Username: white_cloud

Post Number: 3
Registered: 6-2010
Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 8:54 am:   Edit Post

I'm generally not a big fan of MIM Fender's as the quality is very inconsistant. The build quality (check out some of the loose neck pocket joins) electrics & pups seem to be poor - but then again for instruments that fall into that certain price range they are pretty good value & not much else can be expected.

I think it says it all about USA Fenders when a company like Lakland can produce Korean built basses (admitedly at a higher price point) that arent just better than modern US Fenders...but also probably as good as sought after vintage Fenders.
rami
Senior Member
Username: rami

Post Number: 923
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 9:25 am:   Edit Post

Fender really has no competition in the Bass market other than it's own Japanese and Mexican branches. I'm very impressed with their quality and I can see that Fender USA is motivated to improve their quality if they're going to lose sales to their own foreign divisions.

Sure, there are many companies, American & foreign that can make a better and/or less expensive Bass, but nobody has a hold on the market like Fender. The Jazz & Precision Basses are still (and likely to remain forever) the industry standards.
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 801
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 9:52 am:   Edit Post

I have a soft spot for Fender Japan - I grew up in Tokyo, and those were all I could afford. But turns out they were great instruments! I still use an MIJ Strat that I picked out with my dad over 20 years ago. And when I took my Jazz Bass RI (bought in the late '80s) to Jim Mouradian in Cambridge, Mass. for a setup, he was really impressed with the stock pickups.

They are still making instruments, for a long time they were marked "Made in Japan" (MIJ), then switched to "Crafted in Japan" (CIJ) (something to do with a change in factories?), now I hear that they have gone back to MIJ. A few are officially sold in the States (like the Marcus Miller 4-string, Mustang reissue, and Geddy Lee), but they offer many more varieties. They used to be easily bought, since one of the major retailers in Japan (Ishibashi) had English speaking staff so they would ship them out, but Fender in America put a stop to it. There are a few people that somehow go around the regulations, though.

Another thing to realize is that Fender Japan makes a lot of basses at different price points, from beginner to custom, and can range from around $600 to over $2000. Oh, and right now the dollar/yen exchange rate is terrible, so they are way more expensive than they were when I was living there in the '80s!jazz bass
briant
Senior Member
Username: briant

Post Number: 424
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 10:25 am:   Edit Post

If you dig through the pile of MiM instruments that any GuitardCenter has at any given point in time it is very possible to find the proverbial diamond in the rough. Iíve played a few MiM Jazz basses that sounded and played as good or better than any of their made in America stuff.
tmoney61092
Senior Member
Username: tmoney61092

Post Number: 408
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 12:03 pm:   Edit Post

i personally like the MIA Fenders the most, i played a MIM Precision and didn't like it, then i played an MIA and loved it, same way with their jazz basses, i love the MIA but not the MIM, i can hear a small difference but it's the attention to detail that i like about the MIA and the way they play and feel, just my opinion

~Taylor
spose
Advanced Member
Username: spose

Post Number: 311
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 2:29 pm:   Edit Post

the USA Fender basses have graphite reinforced necks, you can really feel and hear a dif IMO

the hardware is better and the electronics are better...again IMO
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1442
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 10:11 pm:   Edit Post

For me, Fender is the 300# gorilla due to their size and distribution and resulting market share. I would suggest that they do indeed have competition on the top end from the likes of the Laklands and Lulls and Sadowskys and so on. They also have to deal with their 'first cousins', in particular a very resurgent Music Man, as well as G + L. And in my experience, Fenders are not the automatic choice for young guys, I see LOTS of Soundgear Ibanez and Schecters these days.

Due to their 'spending spree' on so many other brands in the last 10 years, their prices have continually crept upward to almost-Gibson pricing; this was not the case previously, when Fender prices across the board (save for Custom Shop pieces) were very reasonable. Gibson's prices have never recovered from Henry J's acquisitions; at least Fender doesn't run its new brands out of business quickly !

Also, Fender will always seem like Harley to me: They only seem to adopt seemingly-obvious-to-everyone-but-them improvements way behind the curve, after everyone else has stolen a march on them.

I will always admire the job that Fender did recovering itself from the edgoe of the grave in the early 80's. Bill Schultz and his staff did an amazing job, and the MIA basses are very fine axes, but I hardly see anything that would keep me from looking at Laklands or Sadowskys . . . or a P/J Elan ! Hey, I gotta get me one of those ! !

J o e y
svlilioukalani
Member
Username: svlilioukalani

Post Number: 73
Registered: 6-2008
Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 9:39 am:   Edit Post

I bought a Fender P-Bass deluxe American from BassNW last month. I set out to get a Mike Lull or a Sadowski. But after picking up this bass, itís been my main gigging ax. The frets on this bass were plecked by Mike Lull. If played side by side with a Mike Lull bass, or the other high end fender copies in the shop; it holds itís own. Amazing rich deep tone. And I bought it for itís tone. But it also plays nice. Fender improved neck, much thinner. Ultra low action. And the tone. A used 2 year old deluxe goes for under $900. I like it as much as my Essence, Vector of EpicĎs.

I play in rough bars. There is a bit of a fear factor traveling around with 2 Alembicís. But there is no fear throwing around a fender, or using a gig bag.

I sold off several 1970ís fenders when I first bought an Alembic Bass. I became very anti Fender. Much like many of the readers of this form. But not as extremeÖ..

The guys at Fender have learned from the others. They may be slow. But their current American Deluxe Basses are the greatest work.

To a pro, there a major difference between the American made Fender basses and MIM. Thatís why there cheaper . Kind of ironic the Mexican copy of the American Deluxe is $700 new. And a year old used plecked American deluxe was $800.

When I picked up the Mexican Bass it felt great at first. And is a very good bass. But the tone isnít there. Cheaper wood and materials were used, and it shows.

I think I may sell off my vintage Gibson EB-O, to get the bass, on the link I posted, as my back up. If anybody wants a Gibson?

http://bassnw.com/Used%20Basses/fender
rami
Senior Member
Username: rami

Post Number: 924
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 9:58 am:   Edit Post

I know ALOT of Bassists. I don't know one who owns a Lakland, Lull or Sadowsky. In the "Fender class", I personally own a 20th Anniversary Stingray, a couple of G&L's, and a ridiculous number of Fenders. It's the same with most (at least 95%) of the Bassists I know. The main Bass is usually a Fender, everything else is either for show or prestige. I can easily sell off everything else. My Fenders....hmmm....not so easy to part with.
jet_powers
Senior Member
Username: jet_powers

Post Number: 501
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 2:20 pm:   Edit Post

We seem to be running pretty much even on the MIM issue. It's not like I "need" a Fender as I have an '80 fretless P that rarely sees the light of day. The one I saw hanging in the local shop was this funky greenish color that looked to me better suited for a Volkswagen than a bass guitar. I figured they painted it because they didn't want you to see the particle board it was made from or something. If it's still there when I go back I'll plug it into something and talk price....

JP
poor_nigel
Intermediate Member
Username: poor_nigel

Post Number: 102
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 4:04 pm:   Edit Post

Most players I know have a Fender or two laying around. Even I do, and I got very bad impressions from a couple of early 70's models I bought new back then. So Fender is not high on my list of great basses. About a year ago, I bought an American Deluxe Precision, 200X (Pick a year) with the four bolt pattern neck and it seems to do OK. These retail at over $2,200 (Huh?!) and I would not say it keeps up with any of my Alembics in any way (This IS the Alembic Club, right?). However, it does one thing better than any other bass I have ever owned. For some strange reason it plays harmonics louder, clearer, and sweeter than anything I have ever plucked one on. Why? I don't know, but if I want to play some harmonics, I grab this bass and they are always there. Also, possibly worth noting, it has no dead spots, at all.
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1445
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2010 - 10:49 am:   Edit Post

OK, let's try this: Am I the only person here who's never/ever owned a Fender?

J o e y
benson_murrensun
Advanced Member
Username: benson_murrensun

Post Number: 309
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2010 - 11:35 am:   Edit Post

Now that you mention it, I have never owned a Fender (that I have actually used; I have some that I bought for an investment that have never been used.), but I have owned and played several Precision- and Jazz-style basses over the years.
Because they are not actually Fenders I would hesitate to comment on the comparative quality of Fender basses, but I can say that in an ergonomic sense they are quite usable, easy to pick up and play comfortably.
benson_murrensun
Advanced Member
Username: benson_murrensun

Post Number: 310
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2010 - 11:41 am:   Edit Post

I have owned and played two Fender guitars, however, one MIA Strat and one MIM Tele Thinline. The Strat exuded much higher quality than the Tele.
dadabass2001
Senior Member
Username: dadabass2001

Post Number: 1460
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2010 - 11:45 am:   Edit Post

Hey Joey,
I never owned a Fender. My first bass was a St. George, a rough copy of the Fender style body, but I could never get past the Jazz neck profile, and the P-bass neck was too big for my high school hands. Gibsons and Guilds for me, until I got my first Alembic in 1997 after lusting for about 25 years. (still waiting for the funds to drop from the sky and grant me a Series - sigh)
Mike
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1157
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2010 - 12:44 pm:   Edit Post

My first Bass in 1971 was a poor EBO copy, then in 1973 my Mother said that I could search for a good used Bass for my High School graduation present and that was the Guild Starfire that I still own today. I later went through a Fender phase in compliance to an "Old School" band leader who wanted that sound , I did so under duress so I would modify them . Bottom Line ______I would rather play a Alembic!

(Message edited by sonicus on July 23, 2010)

(Message edited by sonicus on July 24, 2010)
pace
Senior Member
Username: pace

Post Number: 587
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2010 - 4:52 pm:   Edit Post

Joey, I've never owned a Fender bass either.....

Several years ago I was about ready to pull the trigger on a Roscoe Beck 5'er, I played a 4 string in the shop, but when my buddy called the rep, he said they were having problems w/ the bridge on the 5, so I said F^&K it....

I have a bunch of Fender guitars, out of all of them, I keep coming back to a '88 Am Std Tele, and a '96 MIM Tele (the model w/ the hb in the neck).... all the others are 'test beds' for different wiring & components....
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1446
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2010 - 6:58 pm:   Edit Post

After a lot of research, Mike, I really thought about a Beck Five for quite a while (I can NOT believe those nitwits discontinued it). Lot of thought went into it, Bill Lawrence did the pickups, assymetric neck, all passive, etc.

IF there was a weak spot, it was that inexplicably they spec'd that Gotoh locking bridge. I don't know what problems they were referring to, but I owned a BB Yamaha that had the same bridge. Being the setup nut that I am, and being a used bass, I took it apart to shine it up. Gotoh engineered these things to be adjustable AND lockable for string length and spacing and saddle height . . . and to be entirely maddening if you ever had to move anything! It took a couple of hours, it was like field stripping a Swiss watch. But it was quite a piece of engineering... I could not imagine being the poor guy on the production line that had to intonate and adjust these things when they came thru. When Fender later introduced the Beck Four, it did have a DIFFERENT style bidge.

J o e y
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1447
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2010 - 7:02 pm:   Edit Post

BTW, a nice site for this stuff is www.21frets.com, The Squire JV forum with lots of stuff about Squier, Fender Japan, etc.

J o e y
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 9471
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2010 - 7:54 pm:   Edit Post

Joey; in the mid '70s I had a Gibson SG body with a Fender Strat neck that a friend of mine (great guitar player) put together from parts he had lying around the house. Does that count? As I recall, the body had no finish on it, one humbucker, volume and tone. Other than that, I don't recall ever owning a Fender (unless you're counting G&L).
mike1762
Senior Member
Username: mike1762

Post Number: 607
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2010 - 10:18 pm:   Edit Post

A SG body with a Strat neck??? Aren't those different scale lengths (and the SG is set-neck isn't it?)?
pace
Senior Member
Username: pace

Post Number: 588
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Saturday, July 24, 2010 - 5:31 am:   Edit Post

Joey, IIRC, at the time they were moving away from the Gotoh, in favor of something like what was on the 4-string.... I don't know because I never saw it... lol....
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 9474
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, July 24, 2010 - 6:48 am:   Edit Post

Mike F; I have no idea. I do remember that it played well. Again, there was no finish, it had been stripped, so the bridge may have been relocated to get the proper scale length for the neck. And I have no memory of the neck/body joint, other than it worked well. I was quite pleased with it.

(Message edited by davehouck on July 24, 2010)
mike1762
Senior Member
Username: mike1762

Post Number: 608
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Saturday, July 24, 2010 - 8:10 am:   Edit Post

Sometimes a router can be a good thing I guess!!! I remember back in the early days of Music Man people used to try and swap out the neck with a Fender. My understanding was that you couldn't set the intonation.
dadabass2001
Senior Member
Username: dadabass2001

Post Number: 1465
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, July 24, 2010 - 11:36 am:   Edit Post

This thread needs more Mikes!
LOL

Mike A (yes, I'm a dad)
mike1762
Senior Member
Username: mike1762

Post Number: 609
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Saturday, July 24, 2010 - 12:26 pm:   Edit Post

All the best people are "Mikes"
mikeyswood
New
Username: mikeyswood

Post Number: 6
Registered: 4-2010
Posted on Monday, July 26, 2010 - 7:57 am:   Edit Post

Agreed :-)
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2053
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, July 26, 2010 - 8:55 am:   Edit Post

I've never owned a fender bass either and only played one maybe a handful of times in my life. The ones that stand were a very old one that was owned by the bass player in my previous calypso band and then last year I played a Victor Bailey signature bass that sounded great. If I was in the market to buy one that would be first on my list.

I do have two Fender Strats that are wonderful.

Jazzyvee
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1451
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, July 26, 2010 - 11:33 pm:   Edit Post

All right, I thought it was just me. Thanks, fellas. Dave, I have a friend of mine who is utterly devoted to building Frankensteins, and that would be right down his alley.

J o e y
crgaston
Senior Member
Username: crgaston

Post Number: 602
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 9:12 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Jet Powers...

I've owned 2 Fenders... a 1973 P and a 1969 J. I bought the P in '94 for 700, and a few weeks later was in Nashville and saw a gorgeous walnut Europa for 1450 (brand new) in a music store there. They told me they'd give me 750 trade value for the P. Unfortunately, the OHSC was back at home, 6 hours away, and I would have had to max out my credit card to do the trade. Since I had just bought the P (and it was VERY minty and sweet-sounding) I didn't end up making that trade....something that I still regret. I ended up trading it for a Modulus Quantum 5 a year later. The band I was touring with tuned to Eb and capoed a bunch of songs and often switched keys for the songs depending on how their voices were feeling("No, no, 3rd fret!"), so a graphite-necked 35" 5 string was pretty much a necessity for that gig.

The J I picked up for 250 bucks...(!) My girlfriend at the time worked at a pawn shop; it had been pawned and she was watching for it to become available and hooked me up as soon as it did. This was late '95 or so... I played it out and it was noisy as hell most of the clubs we played. I installed some EMG JV's but it just couldn't provide the versatility that I needed. Shortly thereafter, the girlfriend and I had a nasty breakup, and everytime I took the bass out it seemed she would call me and start something. It definitely felt cursed!

I ended up swapping it for a G&L SB-2 that was hanging on the wall at Guitar Center Atlanta. It was in dire need of some TLC, but it is an absolute tone monster and I still own it 14 years later. It's the best of boh worlds... the best P tone I've ever heard, lightweight body, J neck, and has a bridge pickup for the punchy, throaty J tones, too. Although if I still had the J, it'd be worth a pile of money, I do not regret making that trade at all. I have made some wonderful music on that little SB-2.

The point of all this... If you're interested in a Fender, take a hard look at G&L, espcially the older ones. They are the best Fenders available, if you ask me. The SB-2 is the model closest to the Fender you looked at.

And if you're looking for a bargain, the Tribute series uses foreign manufactured bodies and necks but USA made electronics...

A smoking deal...

http://cgi.ebay.com/G-L-Tribute-SB-2-Bass-/330455834464?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Guitar&hash=item4cf0b3df60

Hope this helps,

Charles
88persuader
Senior Member
Username: 88persuader

Post Number: 405
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 10:16 pm:   Edit Post

Fenders are like Harley motorcycles. They aren't the really the best when it comes to function or high tech but they are the ICONS of their markets. Most bass players at least have had one Fender and most bikers either have, had or want a Harley if they're into cruisers. And Fender like Harley is slow to change or improve anything. And if you outsell everyone in your markets without much change and R&D like they both do why WOULD they even want to change? Fenders haven't changed very much from the beginning. P and J basses have improved a little but really they are all based on the same models invented 50 years ago and the same can be said for Harleys. They have changed over time but aren't night and day different than the Harley's of the 40s and 50s. It's kind of ... if it's not broke don't fix it. Harley may not be the best motorcycle in regard to cutting edge technology and neither is Fender. But THEY ARE the ICONS in their prospective markets and that will not change in our lifetimes!
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1178
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 11:01 pm:   Edit Post

Harley Davidson is responsible for more then just" Cruisers" The "Knucklehead' was at the top of it class at the time and broke the land speed record ! How about the XR-750. How about an "FXR" with a 96" S&S ! No, in my opinion I do not think that Harley is a good comparison. You might be surprised if you really dig in to the real facts . And now you can build 131 cubic inch ( and bigger !)fire-breathing dragons in the HUGE after market of custom parts. No I think the comparison is Like" Apples and Oranges" I can see how someone would make this comparison from the outside looking in though . But that's OK ______

Sonic Regards !
tmoney61092
Senior Member
Username: tmoney61092

Post Number: 415
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 11:15 pm:   Edit Post

as i said, i like Fenders, the next bass i buy is going to be a Fender Aerodyne jazz because i love the tone and playbility of it, it's not because it's the icon of basses or anything it's because of the sound and playablilty, maybe it's just me but that's how i pick my basses

~Taylor
88persuader
Senior Member
Username: 88persuader

Post Number: 406
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 11:21 pm:   Edit Post

Fender P and J basses were top of their class when they came out too. They invented their class. I actually ride a Harley (2008 Fatbob) and love it and you're right they did make big break throughs in their history, so did Fender. BUT IMO both companies spend a lot of time sitting on their hands and purposely avoid making big changes because their customers love the living history they represent. I really don't disagree with anything you said about Harley except I do believe my compairson is on track. BTW I'm not only a Harley fan, I also have all the respect in the world for Fender! Peace!
lidon2001
Senior Member
Username: lidon2001

Post Number: 438
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 11:45 pm:   Edit Post

New All Parts J bass I put together (with help) to replace my stolen reissue. Oddly intriguing chunky neck and plays great.

APJB
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1179
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 11:52 pm:   Edit Post

88persuader, I can see your points and they are valid such as far as corporate marketing I agree . I just wanted to make note of the fact that Harley can be anything what you make them . I have been an enthusiast as well building and wrenching on my own since 1977 and I also own a few Fenders & Alembics ! , so we both have something in common ! that's cool brother ! Peace ______
Sonic Regards
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1180
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 12:07 am:   Edit Post

Tom , Nice job on that All Parts Bass. have you ever checked out
Stewart- MacDonald parts? I built a Jazz Bass from their parts once as well
http://www.stewmac.com
tmoney61092
Senior Member
Username: tmoney61092

Post Number: 416
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 12:23 am:   Edit Post

Wolf, can you not do that with a Fender? put some Bartolini pickups and active electronics? or even Alembic electronics? just saying

~Taylor
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1181
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 12:35 am:   Edit Post

Yes, Taylor you can , You could even get the Alembic Activators http://www.alembic.com/prod/pickups.html
tmoney61092
Senior Member
Username: tmoney61092

Post Number: 417
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 12:39 am:   Edit Post

i guess i understand brand loyalty to a certain extent but it's always good to have an open mind, was just trying to prove a point that you can also customize a bass much like a Harley

~Taylor
lidon2001
Senior Member
Username: lidon2001

Post Number: 439
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 12:48 am:   Edit Post

Yes, I am familiar with them. I wanted a maple with pearl blocks neck, so I shopped around. Bought the body and neck off EBay and the seller was kind enough to get me a very light body so this weighs about 8-8.5 lbs. After I screwed up the first nut I punted and took it to the shop for final steps. They were surprised how well it went together; no fret work was needed, very tight neck pocket. They actually enjoyed it as much as a Sadowsky they had in at the time. Of course, a few weeks after it was done the neck pickup died, so I bought a set of Fender '75's and still have the original concentrics from my reissue so they will be going in shortly. And yes, I put a decal on there - sue me! lol
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1182
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 1:03 am:   Edit Post

Taylor , I agree . I Like to Customize things , It is quite rewarding . look what Berry Oakley did with his Jazz Bass with a Guild/ Hagstrom pickup. That would also work with a Darkstar Pickup! http://www.allmanbrothersband.com/index.php?module=My_eGallery&do=showpic&gid=15&pid=3605&orderby=dateD
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1183
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 1:17 am:   Edit Post

Tom , I have a Jazz bass that ended very Sadowsky like . I replaced the Fender bridge with a Schaller Roller Saddle bridge and replaced the stock Fender Jazz Bass pickups with Bartolini 9W4 pickups. Last I installed a graphite stringnut. It worked out swell .It sounds even better through an Alembic SF-2.
jet_powers
Senior Member
Username: jet_powers

Post Number: 502
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 5:30 am:   Edit Post

I had a MIJ 75 Jazz that I traded along with a fretless 80 P Bass for my 1st Alembic. I got the fretless back when my ex bought it back for me for a Xmas present. I put Barts and a Badass bridge on the Jazz and it had a very good tone. Somewhere I still have the original Jazz PU's.

I can't say I have really missed the Jazz as the Persuader has served me quite well over the years, but lately I have been having this strange urge to acquire a Jazz or at least a fretted Fender. I thought about kits but I hadn't considered the pawn shop angle.

I saw a Marcus Miller model in a GC the other day but I wasn't impressed. It seemed somehow to be kind of cheesey! Especially for the money that were asking. I guess I've been spoiled by my Alembics!

I'll keep my eyes open and look at the G&L's next time I see one....

JP
bassilisk
Member
Username: bassilisk

Post Number: 73
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 6:45 am:   Edit Post

I must confess - of all the basses out there my favorite type is the Jazz Bass. I was weaned on a Fender - bought a 1970 Tele bass brand new and used it through my formative years. At this point I have a slew of customized Jazz variants capped with an amazing all original '66.

I also have 2 G&L's (L2K, ASAT) and a Musicman Sterling (one of the best necks I've ever played and tricked up with a Lane Poor pickup).

The last relatively new Fender I had was an '05 Stu Hamm Urge II. I found that overall it was constructed and thought out pretty well, a nice bass with a lot of versatility. I also thought the price for a new one was crazy - I got a great deal for this one used on ebay. I flipped it because I already had enough J's and P's to fill my needs and didn't need a combination that was not quite either, though I must say Fender took pains to get tones that were very close to each.

Yes I really like my Alembics, but for me they're like Ferraris in a garage full of old muscle cars. They each have their draw for me with the Rogue being my most favorite to play. It is the most comfortable by far. I think the MK sounds the best (all in a relative way - I'm only comparing my Alembics to each other) though it's also the heaviest and most cumbersome. The Distillate with the basic Spoiler electronics is just a lot of fun to play, neck dive and all.

But its Jazz basses that will always have a hold on me. I love what Warmoth has to offer (I have 4) and my latest addition is this CAR J with Nordstrand Big Singles run passive. Warmoth CAR J
rjmsteel
Member
Username: rjmsteel

Post Number: 91
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 7:32 am:   Edit Post

bassilisk:
Those Nordstrand Big Singles must sound awfully round and warm. Love those block inlays on that dark fingerboard, nice!

I too own an all original '66 Jazz Bass! Can`t believe I paid only $350.00 for it.

Obviously I`ve also chosen to go with the Rogue body shape as well .
Distillate and neck dive... yeah, but it sure IS fun to play and sounds great especially though an SF-2. Haven`t tried my jazz through the S-filter yet.
bassilisk
Member
Username: bassilisk

Post Number: 74
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 9:10 am:   Edit Post

Thanks - Yeah, the Nordy's can be warm but they are single coils and are designed to give the jazz tone in spades. Highs are not harsh, low mids are right with the right amount of crunch and defined lows. Seems a lot of folks use an active pre with them but I don't see the need.
It's wired like a stacker V-T, V-T - I just couldn't get a double 250K pot that I was comfortable with and went with split CTS's.

The neck is maple with an ebony board and the body's alder. It really sounds and plays killer.

My '66 cost substantially more, but I must say it was worth every nickel. I got to pick it out of several 60's era J's and this was clearly the one to take home.

I have an F-1X but I'm finding myself liking all my basses (including the Alembics) through my 20 year old GK800RB better. Not as "soft" sounding with the sound more in-your-face (to me at any rate). I really like a low mid bump and I love how the Alembics respond to that without using the Q. I may be putting that on the block and going back to my Ashdown pre.
toma_hawk01
Intermediate Member
Username: toma_hawk01

Post Number: 109
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 9:33 am:   Edit Post

Oh my goodness, that bass looks like this bass Lewis Johnson was ripping... (I wonder...)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enIzgC5E7Hk&feature=related

Peace and Love,

Hal-
rjmsteel
Member
Username: rjmsteel

Post Number: 92
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 9:49 am:   Edit Post

I do not own either the F-1X or F-2X for that matter; just run my Alembics/ other basses straight into the front preamp jack on the SF-2 and then into my Eden head, (and Hartke head also when I`m running two heads: splitting my lows and highs). I get that "soft" tone, (low freq.) when rolling off on the SF-2 mixed with the tube pre in the Eden then fast attack with the solid state portion: sounds great!

Still need to run my Jazz ('66) through the system, since I got my SF-2. I do have a Fender, (Japan) hollow body Fretless with Lace p/ups that I occasionally play run in the system and it sounds pretty cool.
crgaston
Senior Member
Username: crgaston

Post Number: 603
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2010 - 10:48 pm:   Edit Post

Will, those old G-K's sound phenomenal...really pushes the bass up front. Shoot me an email if you're serious about seling...
bassilisk
Member
Username: bassilisk

Post Number: 77
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - 10:05 am:   Edit Post

Charles, you will be the first to know. This move may be closer than further away. I'll be in touch.

(Message edited by bassilisk on August 04, 2010)
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1456
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - 10:03 pm:   Edit Post

Every time I think of 'new' Fenders, I actually start thinking of Bacchus, Atelier-Z, STR, Moons, Navigators, etc. Something like this, maybe:

http://www.deviser.co.jp/modules/features/index.php?content_id=3

J o e y
rockbassist
Intermediate Member
Username: rockbassist

Post Number: 174
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2010 - 7:08 pm:   Edit Post

I have owned many Fenders and would not buy one unless it is made in the U.S. The Mexican made basses are generally of much poorer quality than those from the U.S., Japan and Korea. They do not use the same electronics, nut, bridge, fret wire, etc. They often have problems with intonation and staying in tune. Not a bad bass for a beginner, but an experienced player will be disappointed.

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