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Fender USA Deluxe Jazz Bass V: Opinions please


Graham Jacobs

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Hi Folks

 

First of all, this is a great forum and thanks to all who have made me feel so welcome. :wave:

 

Being on the other side of the world from most of you, and with seriously limited access to any mid- to upmarket basses for trying out, I would appreciate opinions on the Fender USA 5 string J-bass DLX. (Cape Town stores generally stock oriental models because of the exchange rate).

 

I have always wanted to own a Fender J-bass ever since I first played a friend's many years ago. (I already own an old fretless P-bass which I will never part with).

 

How does it compare with the standard J-bass for a start? Are the Samarium Cobalt pickups and all the other fancy bits (tuners, nut etc) worth the extra money? I have the money to import one, if necessary (up to $US 1400 if I can get a good deal). Obviously, importing blind is risky so I do need to consider carefully first.

 

I play a wide range of music, from rock to jazz so the wider the tonal palette the better. Also, what tonal difference can I expect from a maple vs rosewood neck? Will the maple neck be brighter? The only necks I've played have been rosewood.

 

You guys don't know how lucky you are living in a land of bass abundance :rolleyes:

 

Thanks in advance.

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i've tried the fender jazz bass deluxe qmt (quilted maple top) and they sound sweet. i was actually intending on purchasing one, but then i remembered i needed money for that. :D they have the same pickups, and they do hum, especially when you fully boost the treble knob, which is unnecessary action for me anyway. this bass has a pau ferro fingerboard, which is somewhat in between maple's brightness and rosewood's warmth.

if you're looking for a brighter sound, go for one with an ash body and maple fingerboard. if you relish the warmth then go for an alder body with a rosewood fingerboard. pick your poison.

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I'll admit that I don't know if I've played that exact model; but when I first started looking for a 5-string I played a bunch of Fenders. I really wanted to like them as I have a 4-string J that I love. It wasn't until last summer that I found one that I even remotely liked, either the tone plugged in, or the feel. However...

I will recommend the Lakland Darryl Jones 5 string. It's bassicly a passive Fender Jazz, with Aero pickups that are really quiet- I only noticed the slightest bit of hum on when using headphones. Body is ash, neck is single piece maple w/rosewood fretboard. Really nice construction, good punch, and the tone knob can mellow it out quite a bit when rolled off. Plus, it is an import (Skyline series) so it will probably be a good bit cheaper than the Fender. If the one you're looking at is active, and that's what you really want, then this might not be for you. But see if you've got a dealer nearby who carries Lakland and try it.

"Am I enough of a freak to be worth paying to see?"- Separated Out (Marillion)

NEW band Old band

 

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With the active controls near flat, you get the good ol' Jazz. The pan between the pickups is a nice feature for varying your tone.

 

Crank up or down the active tone controls and you get a lot of variation. A friend I know was listening to a recording and asked me when I started playing a Ric (!).

 

I'll never part with mine.

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Depends bass-to-bass.

 

Fender can make a fine instrument. Plenty of others can make fine instruments as well. One of the major complaints people seem to have about Fender is consistency from instrument to instrument. I'm usually not a person to buy into that, and I generally like to touch my instruments before I buy them, but I tend to agree with the thought that two random Fenders are rarely as similiar as, say, two Yamahas or two Warwicks.

 

I've seen better nut work than what I have on my Fender, but then again I'm kind of picky. It's passable but not perfect. That's a quick and relatively cheap fix, so I wouldn't let it be a deal breaker.

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my RB5 has an unusual nut in that it has a high profile, so the strings look like they sit lower than they really do. the grooves on it aren't as low as what's normal. even my friend says he's never seen anything like it, and he owns a 70's jazz bass. my other friend's RB5 has a nut that has been worn down considerably, and the strings sit in nicely. i might consider having work done on it or replacing it all together, but i've always wanted this bass and somehow it doesn't compromise my technique and comfort, so it matters little. and i agree, look into lakland skyline and sadowsky metro basses as well.
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"I tend to agree with the thought that two random Fenders are rarely as similiar as, say, two Yamahas or two Warwicks". (Can someone please tell me how to get these quotes in bold like on other threads?).

 

Getz, this is serious food for thought, seeing as I would be ordering the Fender untried, while I could get an Ibanez, Yamaha or Warwick locally (albeit at a hefty premium).

 

I guess I'm spoiled by the one J-bass I have played. Maybe my friend who owns it is just lucky.

 

Decisions..... decisions.....

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