Looking for Jaco
By: Charlie from Lake Tahoe, NV
Would you consider this product to be made well? How dependable?
The build, fit and finish are very impressive; pretty much flawless.
What do you consider to be the best features of this product? What features would you add to this product if you could?
This bass has the sound and attack, response, etc, that only a Jazz bass has. That is the main feature; it's got that whole Fender thing going on. The more years I play Fender basses, the more I appreciate their design. If there were anything to upgrade the bass, it would be to do what I did to mine. I changed out the good but not great HMV bridge to a Hipshot "A" which is much more solid, and heavey. That added a lot of drive and sustain. I also epoxied the finger board on mine, as did Jaco Pastorius. (Check him out on utube if you aren't familiar with him.)
Your general opinion of this product.
I used to have a Ken Smith fretless 6 string bass. It was a monster sounding bass. But after 10 years with it I could never really get the "Jaco" sound and attack. So I went from an exotic $4,000 bass to an "off the rack" Fender. (FYI, to make sure I would be happy, before selling my Smith, I bought a Squire fretless Jazz as an experiment, which I sold when I got the American Fender version. The Fender Jazz is considerably better than the Squire, in most regards.)I miss looking at the Ken Smith bass, but I don't miss playing it at all, now that I have my Fender.
Bright and snappy? Dark and smooth? Were the pickups hot, mellow, thick, thin?
The fairly slim 4 string jazz neck means it has a certain mass that other basses don't have. That, along with the kind of woods used (stiffness, density, etc) give the bass it's typical attack and sustain. The single coil pickups are very good. They have a clear, punchy, and even volume and tone. I really only boost the low frequencies and a slight hump in the mids, around 5-600 HZ, slightly with %90 rear pickup volume full volume. Presto, sounds like Jaco!
How did the stain or paint job look?
It's a "looker". Beautiful indeed. It has a super durable poly finish. Fender connoisseurs of vintage instruments prefer the old nitro cellulose finish. They say it allows the wood to sound more resonant. It's probably true. Never the less it sounds great and will hold up for decades. If it's that important, buy a vintage bass. Personally, I think it is a great quality modern upgrade in most ways.