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Ceebs13

Help me choose a Jazz

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Hi all

I've recently picked up the bass again after years having not. The only bass I have left is an Ibanez 6-string which I bought when I was a teenager, and I'm quite keen to sell off and move onto a solid 4-. I've landed on the Fender Jazz, and would quite like some help choosing a model please! Would love to go around playing every model, country of origin etc going, but I don't have that luxury right now in the current situation...

I'm looking at around the £800 mark, with flex up for the right guitar (3 of the below are £900), and happy to go second-hand. I'm looking past the Player and Vintera series, so my options from what I've found in the market are as follows:

- Brand new deluxe active MIM in Sunburst, I've found for £750

- Also found a used 2014 model in red for £450, but it's local pick-up only and it's 200+ miles away from me. Seems a good price though

- Brand new American performer in Arctic White, for £900

- Used great condition Aerodyne MIJ 2017 in Dolphin Grey, for £900 (feel drawn to this atm. Not your standard jazz)

- Brand new 70s 3-tone MIM in Sunburst for £900

Seems to be a lot of different models out there, with even different years separating one from another. I've researched a lot, but would love to hear some live thoughts on Fender Jazzes in this region. Thanks a lot

C

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If that’s your price mark I’d buy Japanese in the marketplace here 

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5 minutes ago, Geek99 said:

If that’s your price mark I’d buy Japanese in the marketplace here 

Wot he said. You really can't go wrong with a MIJ Fender. I have bought quite a few from Basschat and they've all been great.

Or you could buy a new, top of the range Marcus Miller Sire V7. I've never played one but they get ridiculously good reviews and owners on basschat love them.

 

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I'd get the performer, nice basses. I wouldn't look past the player series personally, they deliver everything you'd need from a passive bass. 

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41 minutes ago, gjones said:

Wot he said. You really can't go wrong with a MIJ Fender. I have bought quite a few from Basschat and they've all been great.

Or you could buy a new, top of the range Marcus Miller Sire V7. I've never played one but they get ridiculously good reviews and owners on basschat love them.

 

Yep, my last bass purchase was a second hand (bought from Guitar Guitar though so had that back up if it was a dud) Geddy Lee jazz bass MIJ and I have to say it’s a pleasure to play. It turned out to be in perfect condition apart from a truss rod adjustment and the quality of fit and finish is amazing. The paintwork, frets, everything is amazing. Even smells nice!  The only niggle i would say (and am lead to believe is the same on any jazz) is that if you have one pickup less than full there is some hum depending on your surroundings. Not really noticed at home but do in the rehearsal room. 

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American isn’t worth the extra ££ in my humble opinion 

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None of the list would be a bad choice, and everyone will have a favourite. 

Personally huge fan of aerodynes. The lightest bass Fender make, versatile PJ, and quite rare - esp in grey. £900 is top end for used though (Bass Direct currently have red one @ £800) 

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Of the Fender catalogue my favs have been:

  • MIJ Geddy
  • MIJ 65RI (but hard to find), 62RIs also excellent
  • Preloved American Standard

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35 minutes ago, bassix said:

I'd get the performer, nice basses. I wouldn't look past the player series personally, they deliver everything you'd need from a passive bass. 

Exactly what I was going to say, the Player range is very good indeed.

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Thanks guys for all the detail here. There was no disrespect meant to the Player and Vintera series - I just figured pushing up to the £1k mark would mean I'd be better off looking at the more expensive models. A bit of an assumption, maybe.

 

Marcus Miller Sires look great, too. Seem to have blown up a bit while I've been out of the game..! 😄

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The MIM Flea is shell pink. I have one, it's awesome.

I haven't gigged it for over 2 years now (not gigging on bass for a while)

I think about selling it but it's the best sounding Jazz bass I've had. Great '64 fender pickups.

I'm in Kent if you fancy a blast on it, when we're allowed to

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5 hours ago, Geek99 said:

American isn’t worth the extra ££ in my humble opinion 

The current models are actually very well made basses. 

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“Current American” or “current mex when compared to American “?

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22 minutes ago, Geek99 said:

“Current American” or “current mex when compared to American “?

I don’t entirely understand what you mean!

Current Mexican Jazz basses are great (I’ve had two) but I was so impressed with the Special run Fenders (I forget the model) that I bought one. I also tried out US standard fenders and they’re fantastic instruments now.

This is my view etc etc.

The Player Series are exceptional entry level basses but personally I’d say they would need nodding and upgrading if I were to gig one regularly.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Burns-bass said:

I don’t entirely understand what you mean!

Current Mexican Jazz basses are great (I’ve had two) but I was so impressed with the Special run Fenders (I forget the model) that I bought one. I also tried out US standard fenders and they’re fantastic instruments now.

This is my view etc etc.

The Player Series are exceptional entry level basses but personally I’d say they would need nodding and upgrading if I were to gig one regularly.

I meant that I’d expect the current American models to be “very good indeed” anyway as they are £££, And that by “current models” did you mean mex as it’s fairly common ground that they are really very good these days but didn’t used to be 

Edited by Geek99

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I’ve got US and Player basses (Precisions). I’ve upgraded a few things on the Player, such as nut, pots/capacitor and added a 3-way string tree. I had expected to want to swap out the tuners and the pickups but I found both to be more than up to the job. For some reason I can’t get away from needing to own US made Fenders but the reality is that the Players more than fit my needs. Sure the US ones are better, but not as much as the difference in price tag would suggest - all imho of course.

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1 hour ago, Geek99 said:

I meant that I’d expect the current American models to be “very good indeed” anyway as they are £££, And that by “current models” did you mean mex as it’s fairly common ground that they are really very good these days but didn’t used to be 

The US Fenders are, in my opinion, worth the additional price over a Mexican jazz bass. The components are better, the build quality higher, you get a hard case and the resale value is better. 

Mexican jazz basses are brillint but even US ones justify their premium.

Previously they didn’t as they were awful!

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I’d go with a second hand American Standard - that way you’ll more than likely get a great instrument and also be able to sell it for more or less what you paid when the GAS attacks again.

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, thebassist said:

I’d go with a second hand American Standard - that way you’ll more than likely get a great instrument and also be able to sell it for more or less what you paid when the GAS attacks again.

This also gets my vote. If you go for the 2012 version on (until they replaced that series with the ‘Professional’ or whatever) you get the custom shop pickups which I really rate. Graphite reinforcement for the neck, rolled fingerboard edges etc make for a fine playing and very stable bass. They are also in budget. Olympic white is the one to go for 😉

Edited by mr zed

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Posted (edited)

You want to go at, or above, mid range, so high end Mex Fenders will be good (e.g. Flea '61 shell pink, I own one and is the best Jazz I have played at the price). USA standards, now professionals, (I own a RI '64 P Bass, awesome guitar) are great and MIJs rock as well. Have a look and try on the Sandberg basses, they are less subjective in their sound but will fit all genres and they defo play well. Sire V7s (yes, I had one of those) are indeed great instruments and punch well above their weight, so also worth trying out. Tuners are lower quality but can be swapped out at a reasonable spend. My advise is to go for the vintage model. For less classic jazz, you could look at a lot of the newer korean made like Cort - great instruments and basically the same quality as mid range Ibanez and Yamaha - talking of which a Yamaha BB certainly shouldn't be disregarded either 🙂 And then you have all the odd ones, Bassmods from the US, Bacchus from Japan/Koera, Tokai, G&L etc. So many options ...

Edited by JACOB BARRETH
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Thanks all for your advice. A lot to go at. Much appreciated 👍🏼

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