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ianrendall

US made super jazzes

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Posted (edited)

What would you get that’s not Fender? I’m talking classic setup - two single coils, 34”, no fancy tops. I’m saving hard for a dream bass and I am solidly set on a classic American built J type. I’m thinking Sadowsky NYC, Lull, anything that isn’t ‘factory’ built. 

Edited by ianrendall

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I can vouch for Sadowsky and Lull Jazz basses. IMO they're just a class above all other J basses I've tried. Sadowsky now have the Satin series which is a lower cost NYC bass. Lower cost only because of the reduced options available. They also have the new Metro Express range which is their first factory bass and made in Japan.

You could check out Moon, Moollon, Atelier, Suhr, Low End and all the European basses, the list is endless. Everyone's got a J bass in their catalogue.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, chris_b said:

I can vouch for Sadowsky and Lull Jazz basses. IMO they're just a class above all other J basses I've tried. Sadowsky now have the Satin series which is a lower cost NYC bass. Lower cost only because of the reduced options available. They also have the new Metro Express range which is their first factory bass and made in Japan.

You could check out Moon, Moollon, Atelier, Suhr, Low End and all the European basses, the list is endless. Everyone's got a J bass in their catalogue.

How could I forget Suhr! Didn’t Victor Bailey play one on Weather Report’s Procession album (a Pensa-Suhr?)

Edited by ianrendall

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Spector Coda deluxe. Handbuilt by Suart Spector and his team in the USA,  incredible quality for a very decent price. 

Even if it is not American, I have to say my Atelier Z M265 is the best super J I've ever played (used Spector Codas, Sadowskys etc. before)

 

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Just now, therealting said:

Sadowsky for sure. Immaculately made, and the preamp makes them sit SO well in a mix. 

Despite everything I look at, I always keep coming back to Roger’s finest. I COULD get a Metro but I know I’ll still be hankering after a full-blooded NYC. 

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I have a Metro (an MV4), and the only advantage of an NYC to me is the chambering. Still, mine is 3.9kg so hardly weighty. 

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45 minutes ago, ianrendall said:

Despite everything I look at, I always keep coming back to Roger’s finest. I COULD get a Metro but I know I’ll still be hankering after a full-blooded NYC. 

Then there isn't really anything to do other than get a nice  Sadowsky. I really liked the Sadowskys I had / tried  but when it came down to the small little personal taste-related details I went different ways.  Roger is one of the nicest luthiers in the world and his creations are some of the best basses ever produced. The Metro line is fine but his NYC basses are those kind of basses where you stop looking for something else.

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I had a couple of early Allevas with the DN boards - both outstanding basses.  Celinders are also worthy of consideration - again, some of the nicest Js I've tried.  I had a US Sadowsky too - a very well-built bass with a great pre (and light) but it didn't match the Allevas or Celinder for me - just an issue of personal taste

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Does it have to be a USA made thing?  I have a simple UK made super J, no fancy tops, two slightly over-wound single coils and a flexible EQ.

1628167386_StandardJType03.jpg.653847df64e3e1fb4cbef648f7667276.jpg

 

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4 hours ago, ianrendall said:

Despite everything I look at, I always keep coming back to Roger’s finest. I COULD get a Metro but I know I’ll still be hankering after a full-blooded NYC. 

I will add that secondhand Metros hold their value extremely well. You could get one, then sell up to upgrade to an NYC if you decide to. Or keep it as a backup or second option. 

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When you've checked out everything else, look at the Overwater J and Hybrid series. Theses are great sounding instruments.

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I would go with a Sadowsky every one I have ever tried has been fantastic and I am seriously eyeing up something special for my 50th in a few years time (got the Wife saving up). But to echo the thoughts above, why does it have to be American?

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Again, if it doesn't have to be US, Shuker should be on your list to take a look at.

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I own a Metro and an NYC. Metro is four string and NYC is five. I don’t feel that the Metro is an inferior bass, it just lacks the bells and whistles of the fancy quilted top, Birdseye maple figuring on the neck and the body chambering that the NYC does which make the NYC basses look really special. In terms of fit and finish the Metros are great, they just don’t look like a special ‘dream bass’ because of the generally plain finish. I would never sell mine though.

Lots of top end super jazzes about though and plenty of them are not made in the USA. 

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It’s difficult to try some of the brands we are talking about, but if it was me I would be looking at the following:

Pensa, Stenback, Suhr, Moollon, Lakland, Celinder, and actually of your ok with passive (although you say super jazz so maybe not) Fender Custom Shop.

On a side note, I have played Sadowsky, Alleva and various other high end jazzes and the best two I think I played were Sei and Goodfellow. I have fallen madly for two of Bernie’s GB Spitfires, phenomenal but I know that in a secondhand market they won’t hold value like a big US made jazz bass.

 

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8 hours ago, JBP said:

I would go with a Sadowsky every one I have ever tried has been fantastic and I am seriously eyeing up something special for my 50th in a few years time (got the Wife saving up). But to echo the thoughts above, why does it have to be American?

I think it goes back to my early playing years when I really wanted a Fender and I had this idea that the MIA ones were the ‘real’ ones. 

Its not just rose tinted glasses that make me want a Sad, I genuinely love their tone too  

I’ll certainly broaden my horizons though and have a look at Overwater, Celinder etc and definitely Goodfellow. 

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Don't forget Fodera NYC if you're looking way up there. 

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Posted (edited)

Roger Sadowsky advises customers that if they don't want a fancy top or a chambered body then they should buy a Metro. Man has faith in his product!

Edited by Bigwan

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Posted (edited)

Thank you everyone. Lots of useful information. I was worried I might rub people up the wrong way with my US only caveat, but this is based on childhood romanticism. I will definitely consider other makers, perhaps I should have a look at Dingwall too. 

Forgot to mention, I would be buying pre-owned, as I always do.

@LeftyJ I would dearly love a Fodera. I think even pre-owned would be beyond my means though. 

Edited by ianrendall

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, ianrendall said:

Thank you everyone. Lots of useful information. I was worried I might rub people up the wrong way with my US only caveat, but this is based on childhood romanticism. I will definitely consider other makers, perhaps I should have a look at Dingwall too. 

My Super J5 really is the best Super Jazz I have played. Incredible balance, feel and ergonomics. I have had it fitted with a Sadowsky pre, so it has the best of both worlds.

Pre-owned is definitely the way to go if you can be patient for the right one to come along... or just keep trading until you find the one. 

Edited by therealting

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