Gear Discussion Forums > Fender Basses

Brains trust: Jazz bass help

(1/3) > >>

I should probably just post this on TB but it's like asking a question in a subway at peak hour.
I need some wisdom regarding the good old jazz bass.
I recently picked up an early production MIK squier j bass, solid body (probably basswood), really nice neck. I took it to a blues jam and IMO it sounded terrible, all top and bottom with no mids ( no fundamental thump).
I've had a couple of j basses over the year and sold them off because i just prefer the tone of my P bass and Ripper.
I really want to have a J bass in my collection just for the tonal diversity.
My dilemma is whether to upgrade the pickups and pots or just flip it and make a little money on it.
Upgrading the pickups will cost close to what i paid for the bass.
I'm sure if I had a 60's J bass i'll love it.
Do you think this is worth upgrading?

IMO nothing makes more difference in sound than strings. If it's too bright you want more mids and low end, my suggestion is to install flats and roll back the bridge pickup a bit, leaning more on the neck pickup. It may take a couple of months to settle in, but it will definitely sound different.

Full disclosure: I am a Fender player and fan, and I am a habitual flats player. My preferred string is the Labella Deep Talkin' flats, light gauge.

I agree with Pilgrim's comment about strings. Having said that, you have a low level bass. It might take more than a string change to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. There are reasons the bass was $250 - and one them is cheap pickups. Over at TB there's a very strong Squier contingent and I get the bang per buck thing, but ultimately it's a beginner instrument. An economical platform that leaves room for upgrades.

If you really like the bass (it plays like a dream and fits you like a glove) then I say get a decent set of pickups for it. You can always put the originals back if you decide to sell it.

Otherwise I'd say flip the bass, make some money and get a better one that won't need much improvement, if any.
Let someone else take on a project.

I always keep at least 1 Jazz strung with flats. My flats of choice are GHS Precision flats, 55-105.

You could try putting a P bass pup in the neck position, but then you're looking at a new pickguard, AND pickups. Or maybe a heavier brass bridge would help in the mids department? Just throwing ideas out there. If you love the neck, it might be worth some upgrades.

Well I've started stage one - set of DR flats definite improvement


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version