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New Bass Day: J&D Vintage 1975 review: Good!

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well, I received mine today.

Beautiful. The green is a bit more "yellow" than I wished, I would have liked it more if it were a more faded tone... I guess I'll have to keep it by the window and wait a few decades :P

But it is pretty. One cosmetic thing that annoys me: if you're going to make a copy, can't you measure the original a little better?
This one is like the Westfield Jazz in that the control plate (and the end of the pickguard) is farther from the edge than it should, which -to me- looks a bit disturbing (ocd?)... as it looks right, but something is not quite right and it's hard to pinpoint. UNtil you find what it is. Then you see it all the time. Considering I bought this for esthetics mostly, it's a bit disappointing. But only a bit. :)

My first impression upon unboxing it is that it seemed very well made. The finish is good, it feels solid... It felt a better instrument than the Squier VM Jazz I used to have... except for the fret ends and the scratchy pots. And the nut. But those are pretty minor details really considering this costs about £160 or so less than the VM Jazz.

The fret ends are a little sharp. It's not terrible, I will not cut myself with it, but it's not nice either. I'll have to get a file and spend some time on them, carefully.

The nut just looks a little rough, but it's well cut on my bass. The A string has not been wound well so it barely angles at the nut, so it rattles a bit there. I'll rewind it as I think there's enough room to wind it down and create enough of a break angle to remove the rattle. I actually like the strings it came with! So if I can wind the A properly, the strings are staying.

I plugged it in... slightly scratchy pots, all of them. It doesn't seem bad... I think contact cleaner will fix it.

The action was high on mine as I took it from the box, but I played it a bit as it was, after tuning it (it was almost in tune, but one semitone down). Punchy. These pickups are not weedy at all. Both pickups on sounds unmistakeably Jazz, with enough of a scoop but not so much that loses definition. The pickups were very well balanced on this bass.

I decided to adjust the relief, as there was too much. I turned the truss rod about 1/2 - 3/4 of a turn. The result was immediate, nice action without fret buzz all over the fretboard as far as I could tell... Nice. The saddles turned out to be adjusted just right and the intonation was good as far as I could measure with my basic tuner, so I guess this bass had been set up like this, and then the truss rod loosened as I don't think the wood would have changed so much by climate alone.

It now plays very nicely. I could bring the action a bit lower perhaps, so that it "clacks" when I dig in hard, but it feels goos as is.

I'm not in love with the neck pickup sound... but the bridge one is really good! It's meaty, fat, and rolling the tone control a bit irons out the edges beautifully. I'm pretty surprised at this. I had a set of Fender pickups in my drawer that I though I might use here, if I liked the bass... but no need. Nice slap tone as well.
The tone control has a nice range, all positions are useful, bit it does not get too dark. Perhaps a different cap would be nice if you want deeper tones (thing reggae), but as it is it's a great funk machine. Like all the other "70s inspired" Jazz basses that have come out lately, the bridge pickup it's at the "60s" position... But that's cool by me, as I am not sure I like the 70s position much, as I feel the pickup is a bit too close to the bridge and the tone a bit too thin.

I wonder who makes these basses. The headstock and finish is very reminiscing of SX. I am not sure they had the control plate farther from the edge than normal... but Westfield basses had, and I was also surprised at the pickups on the Westfield Jazz I used to have (I still sort of have it, it's with my brother).

For £119, pretty good!
In fact, if someone had spent a little time with a file sorting out the edges before selling it, I would think it clearly deserves a price tag of around £300-350.

I think it's a bargain, even if you don't do anything about the fret ends.

I removed the pickguard to have a look, as it had been reported that the routing of the neck pickup was neat.
Well, it isn't. I was a bit disappointed there as I was considering using it without a pickguard. The routing does have the pickup shape, with the ears and all... but it's oversized. A little oversize is ok. This is *quite* oversized. Still, it looks a lot better than the usual rectangular routing.

I think I will get rid off the black pickguard. White looks good. Tortoiseshell is not bad at all either. Or... maybe a strange anodised cyan pickguard I bought a while ago but never used... going with the "sea foam" marine theme :)
I'll post pictures later.

I don't need this bass, at all. But it looks awesome and I have pedals that I barely use that cost a lot more...

When I was a kid, a budget instrument meant you had an instrument that was decidedly inferior. Now I buy a budget instrument and I'm just being picky about fret ends and pots being a little scratchy, all stuff that can be fixed easily. Lucky kids today, eh? :lol:

edit:
scratchy pots are gone. All I did was turn them up and down fast for a few seconds, and it went away. How long it'll stay scratch-free? who knows? But whatever the dirt was must have been little and not really stuck.
I brought the action a bit lower, and it's smoother and still buzz free :)
I still like these strings!

Edited by mcnach

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1390514780' post='2346414']

tax?

I thought there was no import tax between EU countries...
[/quote]
And I thought the tax collectors from revenue service can't barge into your home and take all your computers, USB flash drives and girlfriends ;)

But more seriously - yeah, silly me, it ain't no tax indeed. We've been talking about the taxes, revenues and repo-men that I see taxes everywhere! I'd say more about it, but more than 370 letter texts are taxed here. :P

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1390517221' post='2346457']
I wonder who makes these basses. The headstock and finish is very reminiscing of SX. I am not sure they had the control plate farther from the edge than normal... but Westfield basses had, and I was also surprised at the pickups on the Westfield Jazz I used to have (I still sort of have it, it's with my brother).
[/quote]

J&D instruments are made by Yeou Chern. A company based in Taiwan, which has at least one factory in China.

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a few pictures, without pickguard, and with various ones overlayed...
I think I actually like it without, despite the wider routing on the neck pickup.











the auto colour correction is a bit annoying, but...

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Nice!!

Which of those pics is the most accurate version of the colour? Looks incredible without the guard!

EDIT:

[quote name='Lee Carter' timestamp='1390577460' post='2347147']
So getting one of these as a mod toy. Which would you say is the closest to the actual colour? I have to say the tort guard is my favourite.
[/quote]

Great minds think alike!

Edited by theyellowcar

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[quote name='Lee Carter' timestamp='1390577460' post='2347147']
Which would you say is the closest to the actual colour?
[/quote]

Probably the one with the white pickguard, but it's still not quite correct.

It's somewhere between the white and the tortoiseshell, but closer to the white.

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1390576299' post='2347120']
a few pictures, without pickguard, and with various ones overlayed...
I think I actually like it without, despite the wider routing on the neck pickup.











the auto colour correction is a bit annoying, but...
[/quote]

I like this one :)

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Everything Mac says is right.
Mine is getting collected on tuesday because the neck has levelling issues and buzzes quite a bit. I have experience setting up basses and I can't get near with this one so they are sending me a new one and collecting the old one at the same time.

I have to say DV247 is an excellent company to deal with, my emails are replied to very promptly and they don't mess you about, 10/10 B)

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[quote name='clashcityrocker' timestamp='1390582971' post='2347270']
So if the,I assume fender,pick guards fit around the neck snug it looks hopeful the neck pocket will be similar, fancy a blue one to stick my CV jazz rosewood neck on you see.
Mmmmm
[/quote]

Yes, it does look like a Fender sized neck would fit. I actually like the neck on the J&D except for the slightly sharp fret ends. I wish it had no binding... but what can you do? One thing I like about maple fingerboards is having black fret markers on the side on a pale background. When you have black binding, I lose that.

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[quote name='tom1946' timestamp='1390632868' post='2347708']
Everything Mac says is right.
Mine is getting collected on tuesday because the neck has levelling issues and buzzes quite a bit. I have experience setting up basses and I can't get near with this one so they are sending me a new one and collecting the old one at the same time.

I have to say DV247 is an excellent company to deal with, my emails are replied to very promptly and they don't mess you about, 10/10 B)
[/quote]


ah, sorry to hear that, but great that you can get another one so easily!

I have now played with it a little more, and tweaked the truss rod a *tiny* bit more, and brought all saddles down a fraction. Getting to the point I really like it. Still no buzz. Frets seem pretty well levelled, so hopefully your next one will be like this.

what files do you use for the fret ends? I'd really like to do mine.

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It turns out I had another pickguard, a cream one, and cream knobs too... I just places the knobs over the original ones, they're not installed, but you can see what it looks like... I think I like this. Also the green tone in the picture is closer to the real thing.

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1390658873' post='2348017']
what files do you use for the fret ends? I'd really like to do mine.
[/quote]

This will do your bidding ... [url="http://www.swanseatimber.co.uk/shop//ck-t0124-2-file-needle-no2-flat/prod_2108.html?gclid=CJfo26H9nLwCFeKWtAodEFAAuQ"]http://www.swanseatimber.co.uk/shop//ck-t0124-2-file-needle-no2-flat/prod_2108.html?gclid=CJfo26H9nLwCFeKWtAodEFAAuQ[/url]

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1390774728' post='2349443']
It turns out I had another pickguard, a cream one, and cream knobs too... I just places the knobs over the original ones, they're not installed, but you can see what it looks like... I think I like this. Also the green tone in the picture is closer to the real thing.


[/quote]

That looks great with the white p/g and white knobs. I'd go with that.

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[quote name='Bassman Sam' timestamp='1390782038' post='2349563']
That looks great with the white p/g and white knobs. I'd go with that.
[/quote]

Agreed! Yum!

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[quote name='Bassman Sam' timestamp='1390782038' post='2349563']


That looks great with the white p/g and white knobs. I'd go with that.
[/quote]

stunning!

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Used the bass at rehearsal tonight. It doesn't sound half bad! I'll be using it live on Wednesday B)

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1390864176' post='2350793']
Used the bass at rehearsal tonight. It doesn't sound half bad! I'll be using it live on Wednesday B)
[/quote]

That's when mine arrives!

How did it sit in the mix?

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[quote name='theyellowcar' timestamp='1390864233' post='2350794']
That's when mine arrives!

How did it sit in the mix?
[/quote]

Well, it's a Jazz... so like a Jazz :P

I used mostly bridge pickup alone, with a couple of times both pickups on, and tone always rolled off a little bit. There is only one guitar in this band, and one trumpet, plus drums and two vocalists... so it's easy to make the bass sit well. These pickups are quite meaty. I'm not a big fan of the neck pickups on jazz basses, so I tend to disregard it a lot... but the bridge one sounds very good. You get the mids-rich nasal tone that cuts through so well, but it's also fat. These pickups will stay in the bass.

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[quote name='Bassman Sam' timestamp='1390782038' post='2349563']
That looks great with the white p/g and white knobs. I'd go with that.
[/quote]
True. :)

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1390865284' post='2350811']
Well, it's a Jazz... so like a Jazz :P

I used mostly bridge pickup alone, with a couple of times both pickups on, and tone always rolled off a little bit. There is only one guitar in this band, and one trumpet, plus drums and two vocalists... so it's easy to make the bass sit well. These pickups are quite meaty. I'm not a big fan of the neck pickups on jazz basses, so I tend to disregard it a lot... but the bridge one sounds very good. You get the mids-rich nasal tone that cuts through so well, but it's also fat. These pickups will stay in the bass.
[/quote]
It did sound just like a Jazz, didn't it? There's no way I would have figured it for a cheaper instrument by the sound in a band setting. (If anyone is wondering, I was playing guitar last night).
Also, isn't "Jack and Danny" cockney rhyming slang for something I probably can't say on Basschat? What on earth were they thinking?

Edited by Beer of the Bass

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