Sound — 9
This bass is perfect for the styles I play. I play every kind of music imaginable. I've dialed in funk tones, classical tones, rock tones, pop tones, rap tones, jazz tones, blues tones, metal tones. This bass' EQ is absolutely perfect. I now keep my amp's (Rumble 100/115) EQ at flat running through no pedals at all. No cutting or boosting on the amp whatsoever. To be honest this bass' tone is so perfect that I am often very light with the EQ and let the bass' personality do the talking. Again, I must dock points for the awful buzzing. Other than that, this bass achieves such a wide variety of sounds, and achieves them so well, that the sound itself coming out of the bass is, at this time, exactly what I want.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for 2 years and own, a Jay Turser beginner bass and a Rumble 100. This bass is a perfect match for anything really. Aside from some quality defects here and there it's a pretty solid bass. If this were lost. The ultimate review question. If this were lost, I would seriously think about getting a Deluxe Active Jazz MIA. The differences are fairly minor but definitely there. The preamp is 18 volts as opposed to 9, noiseless pickups etc. Honestly though, I would more than likely just buy this one again. I know when I said Jay Turser everyone thought Oh God. But when I tried this bass out I also tried out three different Yamaha models, two Schecter models, two Peaveys, a Swing custom shop bass and 3 other Fender models. The only bass that I MIGHT have liked better than this was the Swing custom but considering the price differential, no dice. The only thing I can honestly say I wish it had was Samarium Cobalt Noiseless pickups. Just to get rid of that damned buzz. In the very distant future it might be fitted with a J-retro preamp but that's pretty distant.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This bass is built like a tank. I have bashed it against the wall myself a few times (never mind the showroom horror stories this bass could tell) and haven't seen a dent, nick or scratch. I have heard stories about the electronics going in these basses within the first month or so but I haven't seemed to have any problems with it so far, other than buzz of course, and don't count on replacing the preamp without my full deliberation any time soon. What can I say? Fender builds basses to last and this one is no exception. One complaint I do have is the input jack, at times, comes loose. Not a huge deal if you have a wrench handy, just a pain in the arse sometimes.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Not a lot of complaints here. The bass came from the store with a straight neck, low action, and negligible fret buzz. The pickups were adjusted to a T as standard J pickups are set and there was no flaws in the how this bass came that I am aware of as of now.
Features — 8
This model is the Jazz Bass 24 V made in Korea in 2005. At first the Korean label bothered me a little but after playing you kind of forget the technical details and just focus on the quality of the instrument. This (obviously) has 24 frets, to which I would normally say: "Big woop you can't reach the last frets anyway it's just an easy access 21 fret bass." Not at all. The neck has a contour that allows for perfect access up to the 23rd fret and pretty good at the 24th. Two things kind of stick in my craw about this bass' neck. First is the fact that it has a 34" scale, which makes the B string a little floppy, although a lot better than other 34" 5 strings I've tried before. The second is Fender tends to keep the string spacing on their necks the same for 4 and 5 string necks. This makes the neck a little thick, but the contour really helps and it never feels like a chunk of wood. The best thing about this neck is NO gloss finish. It's a satin finish neck, the closest to being silk under your fingers. The neck seems to just slide under your thumb. The woods on this bass are the old standbys: alder body, maple neck, rosewood board. One thing I do wish was for a maple fretboard but it's not a huge deal. The most attractive thing aesthetically about this bass is the flame maple top. It's in a beautiful tobacco sunburst (or cherry sunburst); it just shines and seems to shimmer in the light. Gorgeous. The body style is a standard Fender jazz offset hip, double cutaway bass. The bridge is a high-mass string-thru. This bridge is absolutely ridiculous, in a good way. It is a very heavy bridge which adds a tonne of sustain, along with the string-thru, in it's own right adding sustain, this bass is a sustain monster. In the same breath, I will also add that it decays nicely. The tuners are alright at best. They are Hipshot "licensed" tuners, which means god knows what. They hold the tuning at a mediocre level. I'll only tune it once if I play for two hours, but if I put it down for an hour and come back it's way out of whack. Not a huge deal, just to be kept in mind. The electronics. This is where me and this bass don't see eye to eye. More on that later. The pickups are Seymour Duncan Basslines. Active pickups, active electronics. The controls are: volume, pan pot, low knob/high knob stack (30 Hz and 5.1 kHz respectively), mid knob (650 Hz), slap switch (-5dB@633Hz +5dB@83Hz). Overall, the controls are nice, if unorthodox. The bass EQ is in a nice spot for a five string, it adds a lot of boom, a nice placement. The high EQ is where it starts to get funky. The 5.1 kHz is a little odd in comparison to an 8 or 10 kHz placement, but I think it adds a lot of character, a lot of bite, without adding that scratchy noise higher placements make. The mid at 650Hz again is a little odd compared to, say a 500Hz mid. Some say that the 650 adds honk but I find the difference to be adding punch with the 500 and clarity with the 650. The thing that I don't like about these electronics is the amount of buzz. Even now, 6 months and 1 monster cable later, I'm trying to find the buzz emanating from these pickups. It's really obnoxious, especially when trying to play a sweet piece like Portrait of Tracy, and having this coming out in between notes. It is especially bad with mids and highs. I know there is a fix to this and am trying to find it, but to me, it shouldn't come out from the factory like this.