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Similarities: Fender Bass VI - Fender Jaguar Baritione?


Siggimund Blue

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Ok hey you guys :)

I'm going to risk my first thread - with a quite sensitive subject (I guess) the apparent mutation between a guitar and bass :eek:

Yesterday I came across Fender's website and my eyes fell upon their Fender Jaguar Baritone Custom guitar (blasphemy?) Well just thought if anyone around here has tried the new one, old one or even better both - how do they compare? I thought it could be a worthy addition to my collection - eventhough it's not a "real" bass but hey Jack Bruce played one!

Once you're lost in twillights blue you don't find your way the way finds you

My Band: http://www.vanityfair.dk

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Thank you Mr. Blue, for letting me know about this product. It's not a sensitive subject at all.

 

I'm looking at pictures of the original Fender Bass VI and the new Fender Jaguar Baritone.

 

The main differences seem to be that the Bass VI had three pickups and a tremelo bridge and the Jaguar has two pickups and a fixed bridge.

 

The Jaguar also has some switches on the upper horn side of the pickguard which the VI doesn't. I haven't been able to figure out what they do yet.

 

It also looks like most places are selling the Baritone for $699.95. I just found an ad in Vintage Guitar showing someone selling a beat up Bass VI for $6500.

 

So if you really wanted one of these instruments and weren't a rich collector the obvious choice would be the Jaguar.

 

p.s. I played an original Bass VI in a store many years ago. For a bassist, the strings are awfully close together and the scale is short. It would be a lot easier for a guitarist to play this instrument. Playing it with a pick would probably be a good idea. It got a passable bass sound and was fun to play.

 

You could tune it E to E or A to A. The strings that sell for this instrument go from 95 to 25.

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I think there is some difference in scale length between the Jaguar Bari and the original Bass VI.

 

Danalectro makes/made a Bari, so does/did Ernie Ball/Music Man (Axis model I think).

 

I've been interested in the Baritone guitar as an addition to my bass tones for quite some while. If anyone who owns one chimes in I'd like to hear what your opinions are.

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I actually played a Bass VI reissue in Scam Cash a few years back. I had seen John Lennon play one in "Let It Be" as well as seeing and hearing Jack Bruce play one in the early Cream days. Truthfully, it didn't sound that bad!

 

Like Jeremy said, it's probably much better suited to pick playing. I agree, because when I played one, the string spacing and how it affected my right hand technique was noticeable. I don't know how Jack Bruce managed to play his fingerstyle, but I'm certainly impressed that he was able to do so.

 

I would definitely say that this would be a "novel" instrument to acquire. I couldn't see myself using one as my main instrument, but it could definitely be useful if you're going for a certain kind of sound.

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Hey guys

Well first of all thank you for replying guys, I'm glad that it caught interest :thu:

The singer in my band has a MIJ Jaguar guitar so he might have an idea on what the circuits are for. I'll ask him at next practice session. Just found an old picture of the Bass VI and yes the new Jaguar Baritone lacks the third pickup and the tremolo - quite a shame. Well I can do without it.

As to playing the instrument - Pick will be the choice and should be no problem, I've been adding pick playing to my "technique" over the last 2-3 years as a supplement - I must say that it helps me cut through our bands to guitars.. Those Marshall stacks!! :mad:;)

I actually don't know how I would use it since I've never tried the instrument - But it's an idea which is inspired by the fact that I've been writing more and more songs and therefore I sometimes feel that I'm in need of a guitar :eek: But especially the option of playing chords seems cool as it would be a way to combine my bass playing with my would be guitar playing :D I'm also considering a sideproject band with one guitar, drums, keyboards, and myself on the Jaguar.. Well if anyone else around here has ideas & oppionions then let's hear..

Jonathan

Once you're lost in twillights blue you don't find your way the way finds you

My Band: http://www.vanityfair.dk

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Originally posted by jeremy c:

You could tune it E to E or A to A. The strings that sell for this instrument go from 95 to 25.

If I understand correctly, a 4-string bass guitar is one octave below the bottom 4 strings on a standard guitar, right? Or is it 2?

 

If you tune the Jag E to E, would you be tuning it an octave below a guitar? Like a bass only with B and high E strings?

 

If you tune it A to A, would you be tuning it a 4th higher or a 5th lower?

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Yes, tuning the Jag Baritone E to E would put it an octave below a guitar. That's the way the Fender Bass VI was originally tuned and intended to be played.

 

A to A would be a fourth higher than a bass and a fifth lower than a guitar.

 

A to A lower than a bass would not work on an instrument with that short a scale.

 

It could work on a 35" scale 6 string bass.

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  • 4 months later...
Originally posted by jeremy c:

I've played one....the spacing is really tight....pretty hard to play with fingers.

Not thinking about the right hand - I'll have the bridge much wider than that - but the left hand - looking to have the nut really narrow, like a narrow 5-string rather than a typical 6-string. So wondering about the pros and cons of narrow spacing for the fretting hand, not the plucking hand. Any further elucidation?

 

Alex

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Originally posted by jeremy c:

I've played one....the spacing is really tight....pretty hard to play with fingers.

You gave me pause to wonder what body part(s) you were recommending for this :)

 

Tom

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Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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I have a Danelectro baritone (reissue) - anyone ever try converting those to a Bass VI? At first glance, it looks like the bridge wouldn't be able to accomodate a thicker bottom string. Just thought I'd ask before dropping the cash on an otherwise useless set of Bass VI strings.

 

For what it's worth, I wouldn't recommend playing a baritone guitar though a bass rig -- it sounds way cooler with a splash of reverb and vibrato -- dark, sinister, and SWEET. I think it sounds pretty weak with just a dry signal through a bass cab.

 

As far as technique goes, though, I'd agree that they play (and sound) better when you use a pick.

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Originally posted by Tom Capasso:

Originally posted by jeremy c:

I've played one....the spacing is really tight....pretty hard to play with fingers.

You gave me pause to wonder what body part(s) you were recommending for this :)

 

Tom

Tom,

 

Since Hendrix probably played a six string bass at some point, I guess you should play it with your teeth.

 

Alex,

 

If you are going to have narrow spacing at the nut and wide spacing at the bridge isn't the neck going to look like a big trapezoid?

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Brian Fox,

 

The essential difference between a guitar, a baritone guitar, a Fender VI and a 34" scale bass is SCALE LENGTH. So no conversion from say a 27-28" baritone is going to make a 30" Fender VI really.

 

I might also note that one can easily use reverb and vibrato in a bass rig ; }

.
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Originally posted by jeremy c:

If you are going to have narrow spacing at the nut and wide spacing at the bridge isn't the neck going to look like a big trapezoid?

Well, somewhat... But no more so than the really multi-string basses out there. I don't think the increasing string spacing as you head up the neck will have a detrimental effect on left hand technique - in fact it might be beneficial as it'll open up the fingering space as the fret spacing gets closer. Right now 7mm c-c nut and 15.5mm e-e bridge look like an excellent compromise: 1.75" nut width and 3.1" 24th fret width.

 

Anyway, with the fanned frets that'll throw off the trapezoid thing: 33"-35.5" scale length...

 

Alex

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My only experience of a 6 string was with a Futurama 6 string bass (http://www.hagstrom.org.uk/images/FuBass6/fubass.jpg) which I played for a couple of years (until I got a Fender Jazz Bass - I'd have got a Fender Bass VI but it was not in very good condition). It was tuned from E to E. Unfortunately someone decided it would be a fun idea to repaint it and smooth out the shape below the strap button. I still have it. There is a crack in the neck, but it has survived for over 30 years. One day it would be nice to try to restore it.
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