Fender American Deluxe 5 string Jazz bass
Great Bass. Love active and passive
Great Bass. Love active and passive
one of the nicest Bass guitars that you will ever own!
not only that it sounds great and feels, plays and looks great! it actually makes you play better! and it motivates you!
What a great bass. I didn't believe you could have a great B string in a 34" scale bass, I was wrong. I've been playing a 35" Elrick 5 for the last 4 years and it is a wonderful bass but the G string is too tight and I was never satified with it. I also did not like the extra reach of the 35" scale. I mentioned to a friend that what I wanted was something that sounded like my old 4 string Jazz but with a 5th string. He said "Doesn't Fender make that?" Yea they do and I have to say I couldn't be happier with this bass. The only negative is that the action was a little high but it took less than 10 minutes to set it up the way I like it. If you want a great sounding and playing 5 I would highly recommend you try this bass before you drop big dollars on a custom made boutique instrument.
I waited 6 months for this Bass to arrive (back ordered from Fender), but it was well worth the wait. Beautiful finish, HOT 18 volt pre-amp with tons of headroom (the mid control is very VERY sweet). Classic J-neck. 3-tone sunburst and block inlays make this bass just awesome to look at. Bullet proof flight case and sounds soooo sweet....if I had to pick one bass to play and couldn't play another, this would be it! I own a few Fenders, but this one is my very favorite. Thanks Brian and staff for putting up with my weekly calls to see if it was in yet!
She came in a day early thanks to FedEx and Sweetwater! Shipped Thursday and arrived Monday afternoon. Can't beat that!
Here are some initial impressions:
For reference, it's Alder/RW 5-string in sunburst. It's spec'd EXACTLY as I was about to custom order one from a Fender-copy luthier. I'm glad I saw this when I did! After setting her up to my liking, I played her for about 4 or 5 hours solo and with a bunch of the tracks my bands play. For reference, in my bands I play a bunch of funk, a lot of soul, a hefty amount of neosoul, a good amount of jazz, and started playing backup for a local rock cover band as well. That covers a good amount of ground.
This bass is put together extremely well from what my eyes can see. I've owned several Lulls, a Sadowsky, and Musicman basses way back in the day, and just recently started playing Fenders again. I've given her an acute visual inspection (from a bassists eyes, not from a luthier's eyes, FWIW) and this bass looks just as well put together on the outside as said basses. Haven't looked inside yet. The pocket is as tight as I can imagine a pocket getting, almost like the body and neck are one piece. Good stuff! The blocks and binding look perfect from what I can see, and the frets look superb just sighting down the neck. On the strap, it balances wonderfully and weighs on par with the Lulls and Sadowskys I've played. Extremely comfortable playability. Action gets low and is a joy to play. The B string is awesome! It sounds tonally just like the other strings. It's nice and tight and doesn't feel floppy at all. Definitely on par with my 35" scale Lull B, which I've been using as a reference for great B strings. I'm now a believer in 34" scale 5-string basses!This is also one of the most tonally versatile basses I've ever played. It sounds great in passive. Using the vintage tone control and by switching between pickups I can get really darn close to all of the old skool tones on the records I was playing along with. Flipping the active/passive toggle switch on gives me a great variety of tones from modern vintage to modern-esque. The EQ is usable from the lowest to the highest settings, unlike the Sadowsky and Aguilar 2-band pres I've used in the past that are boost only and are only usable up to about 25% on (unless playing dub reggae, then maybe 50% on the bass). The highend is snappy enough with EQ flat that I don't feel I need a second 70's style slap bass (now I can sell that 75 RI that just came in on Saturday). I can get about 90% or more of the slap tone from a bunch of the old records I played along with by tweaking a little EQ here or there. But like most Alder/RW basses, it has a slight dip in the upper midrange that Ash/Maple basses are famous for.
Also, it's a warm sounding bass (alder/RW version) with plenty of midrange punch for fingerstyle. Has a nice bite to it, as well, but is easily tamed by rolling down the treble a bit. Just so it's known, the vintage tone control does not work while in active mode. One thing though, is that the active/passive switch is located in not the most convenient of places. I don't have terribly big fingers, but they're still large enough that it's not super quick to get it the way it's placed so close to the VTC. I have to use the very tip of my finger or my fingernail. Not a big deal, but just having one was a must for me to put money on this at all. The lack of that switch on older models was a deal breaker for me.
For those of us who have played and gigged higher-end boutique jazz basses, I have to say this one gives them a run for their money. It's 95% of the way there for 50% of the cost. And I don't have to worry about dinging my $3500 Alleva-Copollo at the rock gig on a crowded stage! In fact, I could buy a second one of these if I break the first (not like that's going to happen) and still come out on top. I think there's a kind of value in that by itself.
Bottom line: This is a beautiful-looking workhorse bass that will get the job done and done well in a variety of styles and situations at a very reasonable price. I'm super-stoked! So far, my favorite bass to date overall! But I haven't taken her out on the gig yet. Got a rock gig coming up this weekend and a funk/soul gig at a large casino the next, so I'll be back to report the details.
I rarely buy guitars mail order..but because of the consistency of the Jazz and an inability to actually find one..also add the fact that you guys gave me a great deal w/no tax, it was worth the risk. The risk paid off! This is a very nice bass. I also purchased a UA LA-610, QSC amp and a TC BC series 4/10 cab. This was the wisest move I've ever made regarding a bass rig. Used the preamp in a session with Richard Dodd engineering. I can't mention the producer but everybody's very happy with what we got. I have Kurt Martin to thank for that decision. I still would love to have a Vintech product but for a fraction of the price I am able to "belly up to the table" here in Nashville with real confidence and lay down a great track from a strictly engineering quality standpoint and I really appreciate that.
As a professional bass player, I'm not in the habit of buying a bass off the rack but having the experience I do with Kirt Martin and Sweetwater, I felt very comfortable making this purchase. The product was awesome as usual. I will not make a significant purchase with at least calling Sweetwster first. They have been able to take full care of me 99% of the time. I won't make a move without them!
Sweetwater's Sales Engineers are regarded as the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the music industry, with extensive music backgrounds and intense training on the latest products and technologies. They are available to offer you personalized product advice any time you need it.