American Jazz Bass review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (109 votes)
Fender: American Jazz Bass

Sound — 9
Thanks to the S1 system, you can get a really wide range of tones out of this baby. On one hand you have the classically bright Jazz Bass sound, while on the other hand you have a rich, P-Bass-like sound. You can pretty much work this into any style of music. I use the fatter tones when I'm playing a bit heavier rock, and the brighter tones when I'm doing popier stuff or straight up jazz. There's a whole lot of variety. Depending on what settings you use, there can be a little bit of noise, but a quick turn of a knob or two will cut the noise completely. Also, the bright tone goes great with the effects I pass my bass through sometimes (flanger, delay) and the fat tone works great with distortion.

Overall Impression — 10
I've found my one true bass love, and I'm not afraid to admit it. Other than maybe a Rickenbacher, I don't think I'll need another bass ever as long as I Live. If this one broke beyond repair, I'd run out and get a new one in an instant. Though I hope that never happens, because I feel so connected to this one already. I love everything about it, from the tone to the action to the look and back again. All other basses just seem well, wrong now. This one is so "right." I only wish that maybe I had a better bass amp so I could fully enjoy it.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Despite the fact that it's safely tucked away into its hardshell case whenever it's not being played, this little bad boy's taken more than enough beating for one bass' lifetime, and even then I'm positive I'll still be using this in twenty years. Everything's built solidly, and I feel like I can always depend on this bass to pull through. I would definitely use (and have used) this at a gig without a backup. Even though it's got a few nicks now, that's my fault, not the bass'. It looks more unique with the dings anyway.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
When I got it it was set up perfectly. I haven't had to adjust it yet (and I've had it for about a year). Everything was properly routed and bookmatched, and the bass had no flaws or anything. Nothing was loose, nothing was poorly fit, nada. Really high quality parts. Not to mention the fact that this guitar is, well, pretty sexy. A true masterpiece of luthiery.

Features — 10
So this is an American-made Fender Jazz Bass. Let me start by talking about my favorite part: the neck. A lovely 20-fret maple neck with a creamy-smooth satin finish. The neck is ultra-thin yet rounded out nicely, so as to have "body" while still being thin and fast. The nut width is tiny (though I don't know the exact measurements), adding to speed and comfort. Mine came in black with a standard black pickguard, which looks really classy compared to the buttery maple neck and the silver of the control panel. I get complimented on it all the time! It really is a sight to behold. The body is string-through, allowing for some pretty long sustain. In terms of pickups, you get two single coil pickups that you can Switch from parallel to series using the built-in S1 Switching System, allowing you to Switch seamlessly between the great traditional Jazz Bass sound and a fatter, Precision-style sound. My main praise of this is that you can have the fat P-Bass tone without the chunkiness of the P-Bass neck. In terms of control, you get two volume knobs (one for the bridge pickup and one for the neck pickup, on which the S1 button is installed) and a tone knob. I love turning the neck pickup off and leaving the bridge pickup on, and then pressing the S1 button, which pretty much cuts the signal because when the switching system is active, the bridge pickup has no output. The tuners are great traditional Fender tuners, which help keep the bass in tune for a long time. Unfortunately, the bass didn't come with any "accessories," though I didn't really need any of that anyway.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Dude, if you're playing a Peavey, you clealy have no idea what your talking about. I've never played a Peavey, bass or 6 string, that wasn't a total piece of crap.
    That bass would be dead sexy in black on black and a rosewood fret board. Great review kingurth....
    A) If it's made in Mexico, it's not American. B) Fender basses kick ass C) My Fender bass is better because it's a 1972 American P-Bass, three tone sunburst. My dad bought it back in '76 when he learned to play. It's sexy.
    I hate these basses. The volume knob is the only knob that does anything. It has one basic sound. You can find cheaper basses that are made better, sound better (and different), and have better action. You just have to look. I can get the same Fender Bass sound through my Peavey which blows my mind. Fender Jazz = Decent bass, One basic sound, And Expensive.
    LPDave wrote: If it's an American jazz bass.. why is it made in Mexico??
    it is still made in north (or south for that matter) America therefore American
    its an american jazz, i own one myself, made in u.s.a not mexico! amazing bass love everything about it, i got mine customised with bartolini's and makes such a nice tone!
    mine says made in california on the neck plate i love it so much!
    could be gettin one of these soon. i hav an epi thunderbird but they're too neck-heavy so i need 1 of these.
    flea_is_my_god wrote: mexico is part of the North American continent....
    Yes, that is true, but in Fender's naming scheme only products that are made in the United States of America are given the name "American." "Standard" is official the name used to refer to products made in Mexico and other countries. Therefore a bass HAS to be made in the United States of America to be called a "Fender American Bass."