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hooky_lowdown

Jazz basses - they all sound the same

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Following on from a thread about P basses all sounding the same. I believe jazz basses pretty much all sound the same. Bad!

I've never got on with any jazz bass, I've had many fenders and a couple laklands, although I like the thinner necks, the sound just leaves me underwhelmed.

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I’ve played little else other than Jazz basses for years (currently three in the arsenal) but I’ve been playing my self built Precision constantly for the last couple of weeks and am feeling the urge to get a good used P now.

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These threads are gradually boiling down until the Basses - they all sound the same thread.

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To create a musical mood, over Christmas I've been listening to a lot of older music and the overriding thing is how underwhelming the bass tone is across pretty much all of it.

Obviously I have no idea what basses were being used, but statistically there has to be some Precisions and Jazzes in there, not that you'd be able to identify them.  Man alive, it's all just ponk ponk ponk.

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This forum is weird. It goes from people arguing over the differences in tone that you get from maple vs rosewood fretboards or different body woods, to all Precision & Jazz basses sound the same... 

Make your minds up people!! 

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The jazz is my choice of instrument because of the tonal variations that are available, I’ve had over 35 of them and I now have 7 that I wouldn’t part with, and of that 7 none of them sound the same 🙂

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I played a jazz bass from 2003 until I bought a 5 string ibanez in January 2018!

It's a sunburst MIM and it's had a couple of modifications, I kind of stuck with it through loyalty and I like the look of jazzes but as soon as I played the Ibbie 5 string...BOOM! It was like I ditched the Mrs and ran off with Scarlett Johansson 😊

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47 minutes ago, hooky_lowdown said:

Following on from a thread about P basses all sounding the same. I believe jazz basses pretty much all sound the same. Bad!

I've never got on with any jazz bass, I've had many fenders and a couple laklands, although I like the thinner necks, the sound just leaves me underwhelmed.

I respectfully disagree, Jazz basses sound crap when I play them because their sound just doesn't work for me on stage but seem to sound fine when you are in the audience, so, in theory, the further you get from a Jazz bass the better it sounds?

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41 minutes ago, Frank Blank said:

These threads are gradually boiling down until the Basses - they all sound the same thread.

Which to 99.9% of anyone listening to them is 100% true. My band are far more likely to notice differences between flats and rounds or 2x10 and 1x15 than which bass is actually creating the notes, and all other things being equal, most half decent players can make a Jazz sound like a Precision and vice-versa. I suspect tone is only a small factor in preference; I prefer the simplicity of Precisions but mostly like fat necks. Had Jazzes come with fat necks as standard, I might have preferred them.

Edited by Beedster
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23 minutes ago, Beedster said:

Which to 99.9% of anyone listening to them is 100% true. My band are far more likely to notice differences between flats and rounds or 2x10 and 1x15 than which bass is actually creating the notes, and all other things being equal, most half decent players can make a Jazz sound like a Precision and vice-versa. I suspect tone is only a small factor in preference; I prefer the simplicity of Precisions but mostly like fat necks. Had Jazzes come with fat necks as standard, I might have preferred them.

This is so true, most folk In civvie street no nothing of the microcosmic intricacies we go into!

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Surely to a degree all basses of a certain type/style sound the same, ie a jazz sounds like a jazz, a P like a P, a MM like a MM, you get the drift. They should all have that certain characteristic the gives them their trademark sound. Then all the usual things that change the tone will come into play, strings, construction of pickup, tone controls, wood type, (yeah right :ph34r:😁), etc. 

You could take ten different Jazz basses, or P's or whatever, and make them all sound extremely alike with strings, pickups EQ, etc, or you could take one Jazz bass and give it ten different sounds with strings, pickups, blah, blah, blah. 

Take a Rickenbacker 4001/4003, they're all clanky and aggressive aren't they? Roll the tone off, fit flats, play with your thumb and hang on, it's gone all thumpy. Not at all like that aggressive Bruce Foxton tone on a lot of The Jam recordings. What's that? A Precision? But they're those thumpy things on all the Motown and Stax recordings. 

All basses sound as alike, or as different, as you want them to. 

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Isn’t the whole point of Jazz basses that they sound like Jazz basses?

If you wanted something that didn’t sound like a Jazz then you wouldn’t make a Jazz.

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1 hour ago, DoubleOhStephan said:

This forum is weird. It goes from people arguing over the differences in tone that you get from maple vs rosewood fretboards or different body woods, to all Precision & Jazz basses sound the same... 

Make your minds up people!! 

They all sound the same to the audience, but they often sound different to us

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34 minutes ago, Bassfinger said:

Jazz basses do all sound the same, that being AWESOME!

Mine doesn't 🥺

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1 hour ago, DoubleOhStephan said:

This forum is weird. It goes from people arguing over the differences in tone that you get from maple vs rosewood fretboards or different body woods, to all Precision & Jazz basses sound the same... 

Make your minds up people!! 

Just gently reminding you of the raison d'être of most online forums, in fact one might argue, the whole Internet. Endless, endless debates between people who can’t make their minds up 😁

Edited by Frank Blank
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1 hour ago, hooky_lowdown said:

've never got on with any jazz bass, I've had many fenders and a couple laklands, although I like the thinner necks, the sound just leaves me underwhelmed.

I used to go through Jazz bass stages where I bought lots of Jazz basses cos they look awesome ... and then sold them cos I didn't have the low mids I was used to with a P bass and struggled playing them live. 

The best two were a 70's Japanese Cimar that cost £40 and was just so fun to play, and my current Sadowsky metro will lee which is my main bass at the moment (with a tiny bit of bass boost)
So I found a couple I liked eventually. :)

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I love Jazzes when other people play them. I also really like tinkering around on my Squier VM77 Jazz at home every now & then, however I’ve never used a Jazz bass at a gig as I’m a Precision player through and through. That said I’m trying to expand my ways of playing, so the Jazz is getting some use at present. I keep thinking that as I’ve no desire to be in a band for a while having a good Precision, Jazz and Stingray is the way to go, and just play whichever I feel like at the time.

Edited by Lozz196

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1 hour ago, Reggaebass said:

The jazz is my choice of instrument because of the tonal variations that are available, I’ve had over 35 of them and I now have 7 that I wouldn’t part with, and of that 7 none of them sound the same 🙂

They're no good for reggae (if you have normal fingers that is, which you obviously don't). 😃

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39 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

The best two were a 70's Japanese Cimar that cost £40 and was just so fun to play

I've tried several jazz Japanese copies from the 70s, all had super low output, and were useless in the mix. 😥 

If you ever want to sell your Cimar, I'll happily match the £40. 😉

Edited by hooky_lowdown

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35 minutes ago, Ricky 4000 said:

They're no good for reggae . 😃

 

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Photoshopped by Fender. He's playing a 1967 Hohner 'Reggae Special'. 😑

Edited by Ricky 4000
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This is something I've been thinking for a while. 

I've owned 4 Jazz basses in my time (Squier Standard, Japanese Geddy Lee, Mexico Standard and now I have a Japanese Marcus Miller) and the differences were minimal. The Marcus Miller naturally has the Jazz sound on roids but they could all get in that ball park using amp EQ.

I feel the same about P-basses. Pretty much sound identical to me, from Squiers to Custom Shops. One might sound a smidge brighter, one slightly bassier, but nothing a decent amp EQ system couldn't even out.

Maybe I just don't have the ears? :)

(There are obviously major differences in other aspects between basses, my opinion is purely on sound/tone).

 

Edited by 40hz

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