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Jaydee Basses


joe_geezer

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, joe_geezer said:

Ive often looked at that very bass and marvelled at it! Do the pickups any different from the standard wooden covered ones?

No they’re standard ones, I just opted for plain ebony covers rather than the usual striped. The 3 micro switches are coil tap options and instead of the usual rotary selector I opted for the 3 button selector.

Edited by Captain Bassman
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I was down there just yesterday afternoon to collect my bass (not a Jaydee) from having a fret dressing and new saddles cut. The bass plays like a dream now and the action is a fair bit lower than it was previously which is good. They do still have a long waiting list for new basses.

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When I bought my first Jaydee it came with a single pick up. Phone call to John - very polite and helpful - and despite the waiting list he encouraged me to send it to him where he installed the second pup and the electrics. Turn around was a couple of weeks IIRC.

I can't remember the charge but I know it was very reasonable.

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I used a Jaydee roadie active  for many years, indeed I preferred to the Supernatural bass.

Ticked all the boxes and currently priced at €1650, which IMO has got to be one of the best bang for buck basses out there. Excellently crafted, original design and just a beautiful bass.

 

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I do love a Jaydee (was the first proper "high-end" bass I ever played).

But it'd be nice if Mr Diggins would come up with something new occasionally. The current designs have been in production for 40 years and it'd be nice to see something a bit more contemporary and modern. Things have moved on a lot in terms of aesthetics, weight, playability, electronics and so on. 

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On 19/05/2021 at 21:53, Russ said:

I do love a Jaydee (was the first proper "high-end" bass I ever played).

But it'd be nice if Mr Diggins would come up with something new occasionally. The current designs have been in production for 40 years and it'd be nice to see something a bit more contemporary and modern. Things have moved on a lot in terms of aesthetics, weight, playability, electronics and so on. 

I guess it is the case of if it ain't broken don't fix it. The waiting time is considerable, which is frustrating for customers, but an indication that the business model is working. Wal are similar in terms of sticking to a winning formula, but very expensive. As I said in a previous post, Jaydee prices represent incredible value. I have owned both a Jaydee and a Wal. I preferred the Jaydee

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On 19/05/2021 at 07:36, Skybone said:

Always loved the look of the JayDee's, made an enquiry about getting one built a few years back, but the build time put me off. Still want one though.

This is something I was going to ask about when I saw the date of the first post on this thread. Does John build everything himself? I'd not heard of these before but I can see why they're in demand! 🤤

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On 19/05/2021 at 21:53, Russ said:

I do love a Jaydee (was the first proper "high-end" bass I ever played).

But it'd be nice if Mr Diggins would come up with something new occasionally. The current designs have been in production for 40 years and it'd be nice to see something a bit more contemporary and modern. Things have moved on a lot in terms of aesthetics, weight, playability, electronics and so on. 

They made the Calibass & Celeste (spl ?) but didn't sell many, so don't seem to offer them any more. The 6 string Calibass was a lovely beast!!!

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Jaydee will build you whatever you want. I've seen photos of a couple of Js built by John.

Years ago, the driver who collected my car, which needed to repaired after being hit, owned a Flying V guitar built by John, so the customer can have whatever they want. IIRC @Red Dog has a LP shaped Jaydee.

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9 hours ago, Sonic_Groove said:

They made the Calibass & Celeste (spl ?) but didn't sell many, so don't seem to offer them any more. The 6 string Calibass was a lovely beast!!!

I'm sure they'd still make one for you if you ask. Looks like their website hasn't been updated in well over 10 years. 

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On 21/05/2021 at 21:16, TheGreek said:
  On 20/05/2021 at 22:10, leroydiamond said:

I have owned both a Jaydee and a Wal. I preferred the Jaydee

No disrespect meant to the folks who own and love them, But I could never understand  why Wals fetch such high prices compared to Jaydee & others!

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, BoomTing said:

No disrespect meant to the folks who own and love them, But I could never understand  why Wals fetch such high prices compared to Jaydee & others!

I think there's a few very prominent players out there (I'm thinking Geddy Lee, Justin Chancellor, Mick Karn, etc) who have a tone that can't be easily replicated using any other instrument. Plus, there's the scarcity thing - the fact that Wal were out of business for quite a few years after Pete Stevens got sick (and eventually passed away) meant there was a lot of pent-up demand after Paul Herman started things up again.

The funny thing is, there are other ways to get that Wal tone, possibly with less of the issues some people have with proper Wals (weight, neck shape, etc) - ACG's filter preamp and multi-coil pickups gets you very close. Bassculture make the Bigbucker pickups, that, when combined with ACG's preamp, also nail the tone - there's a video of a lovely custom Maruszczyk Frog on Youtube with this setup. But I guess people also want to see Wal written on the headstock.  

EDIT. There's also the fact that the prominent musicians who got well known for using the likes of Jaydee eventually moved away from those instruments towards others - Mark King is a good example. He's far more associated with his Statii and his Alembics than his Jaydees these days, plus his brief dalliances with Fender and GB. 

Edited by Russ
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Posted (edited)
On 19/05/2021 at 21:53, Russ said:

I do love a Jaydee (was the first proper "high-end" bass I ever played).

But it'd be nice if Mr Diggins would come up with something new occasionally. The current designs have been in production for 40 years and it'd be nice to see something a bit more contemporary and modern. Things have moved on a lot in terms of aesthetics, weight, playability, electronics and so on. 

His design has become quite iconic! Despite it's starting as a "poor mans" Alembic. John Diggins has made other types of bass. I once played a jaydee Jazz with EMGS it was fantastic,but really heavy. There was once a bright pink Jaydee Stingray for sale on here many moons ago! That was a sight 😁

And the Calibas was an extremely gorgeous bass.

Edited by lee650
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1 hour ago, lee650 said:

His design has become quite iconic! Despite it's starting as a "poor mans" Alembic. John Diggins has made other types of bass. I once played a jaydee Jazz with EMGS it was fantastic,but really heavy. There was once a bright pink Jaydee Stingray for sale on here many moons ago! That was a sight 😁

And the Calibas was an extremely gorgeous bass.

They are very much iconic. However, even Alembic have updated their product offerings over the years. Yes, a lot of people still go to Alembic looking for the classic Stanley Clarke or Series I/II shape, but they've added new, more modern shapes over the years too (eg, the Balance K).

I'd quite like to see a proper 2020's take on the classic Jaydee design, possibly something a bit slimmer and lighter with better balance, whilst retaining the identity (headstock design, wooden pickup covers, etc) and elements of the outline.The Calibas (which was, I agree, a lovely instrument) was nice and a reasonable attempt to do just that, but even that is 30 years old now and didn't address the weight or balance issues. 

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Posted (edited)

I had a fretless Roadie 1 back in the dim distant. I fitted a Hollis preamp to give a bit of a boost, and then later the original humbug pickup died -- well, half of it did anyway. So I fitted an EMG-35 in its place, which sounded a lot better I have to say. The neck sadly developed a slight back-bow which meant that, whilst playable, the action was a lot higher than I would have liked, so I moved it on. The fingerboard was the hardest piece of ebony I have ever seen in my life -- I only ever strung that bass with rounds, and in all the years I used it they didn't leave a single mark on the fingerboard at all.
The second hardest piece of ebony I've seen is on the fingerboard of my current fretless... the neck of which was made by Jaydee. :)  They certainly have some good wood.

Edited by Rich
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On 15/05/2021 at 21:16, Captain Bassman said:

Shaping up nicely, lucky chap!

Here’s my GA24 custom. Pics from JD website (better than my own!). 14 years old now but has been gigged very regularly over the years.

So versatile and has a more tight focused sound to my ears than the Classic.

3C7CAD27-B62D-4556-8A78-3AEE67DA7C23.jpeg

That is a proper stunner. The GA has always been my favourite JD, and that headstock shape is to my mind far more attractive than the old 'peace sign' one. 

 

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On 19/05/2021 at 16:53, Russ said:

I do love a Jaydee (was the first proper "high-end" bass I ever played).

But it'd be nice if Mr Diggins would come up with something new occasionally. The current designs have been in production for 40 years and it'd be nice to see something a bit more contemporary and modern. Things have moved on a lot in terms of aesthetics, weight, playability, electronics and so on. 

Mr Diggins is in his seventies and basically semi-retired; he worked at John Birch for a few years before setting up on his own in '77.  Jaydee Guitars is now run by his sons with a grandson doing a lot if not all of the finishing work.  Why would they bother coming up with something new at this point.  I think they sell as many SG copies to Iommi and AC/DC fans as they do Classic basses to MK fans.

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Posted (edited)
On 19/05/2021 at 10:40, TheGreek said:

When I bought my first Jaydee it came with a single pick up. Phone call to John - very polite and helpful - and despite the waiting list he encouraged me to send it to him where he installed the second pup and the electrics. Turn around was a couple of weeks IIRC.

I can't remember the charge but I know it was very reasonable.

Many years ago I needed to replace the circuit board in my Jaydee and Mr. Diggins posted one out to me. I remember the cost was very reasonable. However, it got lost somewhere in the postal system and without hesitancy, sent another one free of charge. 10/10 customer support.

Edited by leroydiamond
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42 minutes ago, GeeCee said:

Mr Diggins is in his seventies and basically semi-retired; he worked at John Birch for a few years before setting up on his own in '77.  Jaydee Guitars is now run by his sons with a grandson doing a lot if not all of the finishing work.  Why would they bother coming up with something new at this point.  I think they sell as many SG copies to Iommi and AC/DC fans as they do Classic basses to MK fans.

I just think if they want to keep the company relevant and not just cater to 1980s nostalgia, then they should attempt something new. But it's up to them, of course. Things have moved on a lot in the custom bass world, and their other 1980s contemporaries (the likes of Overwater, Status, and even Wal) have at least attempted to move with the times. 

I really hope they do. I'd love to see it. I might even buy some!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well the Series 3 is smaller and lighter than the first two versions, albeit essentially more or less the same shape. And really, that’s all Wal have done, come up with three variations of the same thing. The difference is JD historically would build you pretty much anything if you asked. And may still, who knows. And if we’re splitting hairs they actually do more models than Wal, with potentially more options. 

Edited by 4000
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