Highway 1 Jazz Bass Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 09/17/2010 category: Bass Guitars
Fender: Highway 1 Jazz Bass
An American made Jazz Bass borrowing from the successful formula of the Highway 1 guitars. Features include a resonant Alder body finished with light satin lacquer, coupled to a Maple neck with a 20 fret Rosewood fingerboard.
 Sound: 9.7
 Overall Impression: 10
 Reliability & Durability: 9.7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.2
 Features: 9.3
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (6) 12 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.4
Highway 1 Jazz Bass Reviewed by: 83lespaulstudio, on november 11, 2005
11 of 13 people found this review helpful

Features: Mine was built in 2003, made in usa. It has the standard Jazz set-up, alder body, maple neck, rosewood fretboard, with 20 med/jumbo frets. The hardware is chrome the tuners are Fender stamped, the bridge is Fender Vintage style, and the pickups are Fender Alnico(passive). The chrome control panel has 2 volumes, and 1 tone. It has a satin lacquer finish in 3-color Sunburst. I have removed the white pickguard from mine, 'cause I like the look. // 9

Sound: This bass will play any style needed. I play several different styles including punk, metal, rock, blues, country, and contemporary gospel. Plugged directly into my Ampeg B2R amp and Ampeg 410LHF cab, it can sound as mellow as a stand-up bass, or rumble like thunder. You can dial in a "slap yo' momma" bright sound, or hang with a local AC/DC copy band. The sound can change to fit the mood or the style. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: This bass was very well constructed. It played very nice, right off the rack. As far as the setup, the music store I purchased from did a pro setup, including neck, attinuation, and pickup adjustments. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This bass was designed for playing live. Although the Jazz Bass is not light, it is very well balanced. This will be my fourth Fender Jazz Bass. I have never had a bass related equipment failure. I use Shaller strap locks. I did have to re-glue the strap button holes. And I lost a saddle adjustment screw from the bridge, but found it on the stage, a week later. // 9

Overall Impression: The Fender Highway 1 Jazz Bass is a perfect match for my varied tastes in music styles. I've been playing bass for close to 30 years. It's easy for me to understand why the Fender Jazz is the industry standard for bass guitars. They simply pawn the rest. A Bad Ass II bridge would be a nice upgrade. // 10

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overall: 9.6
Highway 1 Jazz Bass Reviewed by: slap-a-bass, on march 25, 2008
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Features: I have a 2006 Fender Highway 1 Jazz Bass American Made. The features are quite normal, everything you'd expect from a Highway 1, it's incredibly versatile. It has a nice sunburst finish and looks great. Overall has great features and may contain what you would be looking for. // 9

Sound: You can almost literally get any sound out of this thing. I can get very close to Rush's Geddy Lee's tone, then I can witch over to a warmer RHCP sound, if I spent some time with it, I might even be able to get a nice Jaco Pastorius sound as well. There really are no boundaries. I like to change the strings every 5 months. I recommend rotosounds because the bright sound you get when you slap those puppies on is an incredible tone. in 2 or 3 months..you start to get a really nice warm sound that retains some of it's bright sounds even after those many hours of pummeling your bass with that pick or finger. Looking for a versitile sound? Fender Jazz bass. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I actually got this bass with some action problems but I immediately got it fixed and it was great. I doubt that every highway 1 will be like this so don't let it discourage you. When you get the action you went, it's an amazing thing. I have mine relatively low because I play a lot of Iron Maiden so there must be that clanking noise. Here is why I got an American made rather Mexican made. The finish is much different even if not initially realized. The sound is so much different in a Mexican made rather than the American made simply because of the parts used in each based. Now, Americans have just a slight more of a chance to having some kind of flaw upon purchase, but as long as you efficiently test out the bass and examine it before buying it you have nothing to worry about, where as the Mexican made Highway 1's are manufactures, so obviously, there is less of a chance of there being some kind of flaw. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I have had this bass for 2 years and each and every day it sounds better. I do recommend that you clean it and give it a nice shine down every two or three times you change the strings. I personally clean it every time I change the strings but it's not necessary. I plan to keep this bass for decades to come. It's an amazing weapon to use(musically) during gigs and just delivers. // 10

Overall Impression: I play a lot of rock: any from classic to heavy metal. I also like funk and some blues hear and there. There is not another bass that could deliver me tones for all of these genres. Well, maybe there is but I mean within my price range. I have been playing for 3 years, almost. I started out on a crappy bass. After I realized I was serious about bass, I got this immortal piece of machinery and it's kept me happy. I kind of wish I had bought a hard cover upon purchasing the bass. I settled with a soft case and my bass has more scratches and/or dents then it should. Obviously I have a hard case and it keeps my bass nice and cuddly out of harms way. To whom it may concern, don't you dare put this bass in a soft case things will happen to it then things will happen to you. There is no doubt I would buy it again if it were stolen. // 10

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overall: 10
Highway 1 Jazz Bass Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 22, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: This is an USA made Jazz bass guitar. An alder body, maple neck, rosewood fretboard, and 20 medium jumbo frets. The finish was great mine was a transparent red. With a nice satin finish to make this bass sharp looking. Three controls 2 volume and one tone. the only thing different is mine came with new DiMarzzio pickups, which is a huge plus, but the Fender pickups are great it just matters what you like. And with Rotosound 50-110 strings make this bass a kick ass one. // 10

Sound: I play things from metal, rock like Rush stuff, to jazz. And this bass can bring out more sound than what you would ever think about. This is a very quite bass very pleasing to play, the richest and fullest sounding bass I have had. And with like a nice delay or a nice synth it sound great. I playit threw a Crete MXB100 and the amps effect sound great with this. So if you have a wide variety or play basicly anything this is a great one to have. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: This was a great guitar from the moment I picked it up really no flaws in it wood was great looking and frets still setted. Perfect! // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guiatr will get you through a tour or the rest of your life. Its will be there when you need it Hey its a Fender. You can play these forever and all you may have to replace in the long term is the pickups or the wiring just normal stuff. // 10

Overall Impression: This is the most comfortable guitar I have ever plad in my 10 years of playing. It matches great with everything I play, and it will be there when I need it to be with a big bottom end which well all love right. If this was stolen I would kick some ass but if it ever got away I would have to go and get me a new one just to good to not get again. I was looking at 3 others before I got this. A Warwick Thumb, Music Man SUB, and Warwick Corvette. And the Fender just was more comfortable, Better sounding much bigger sounding, and I knew it would last me and I love the look of the jazz bass always wanted one so the moment I found it I got it and so sould everyone else. // 10

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overall: 8.8
Highway 1 Jazz Bass Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 26, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: Made in 2003, feateres a 20-fret rosewood fretboard, maple neck with a rosewood skunkstripe, alder body with a red nitrocellulose finish (matte and transparent instead of shiny and solid), Fender US tuners, Fender US bridge, Fender US pickups, standard J-Bass control layout, white pickguard. Came stock with Fender superbadd .045-.110 strings. Passive electronics. Pretty standard J-Bass fare. // 8

Sound: This is a great all-around bass, but what do you expect from a company that has been building basses for 50+ years. Handles funk, blues, jazz (obviously), rock, country, punk, even some decent metal tones. One really interesting feature is the greasebucket tone control. basically, unlike most passive tone controls, when it rolls off the high end it doesn't add in any bass, so your tone changes in a much purer way. I swapped the strings for GHS .050-.115 boomers and the pickups to Seymour Duncan quarter pounders. The stock pickups are very tame, if you want something more aggressive, take them out. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Guitar came set up really well, as I said earlier I swapped a few things. No complaints. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The only major concern I have is the nitrocellulose finish. Since it is a thinner finish, it comes off much more easily. However, since it allows more of the natural resonance of the wood to come out, I think it's a small price to pay. Everything was top notch, very impressed. I would never consider bringing a backup, this is a remarkable instrument that has been dropped, bashed around and sat on, yet it still keeps its tuning and sounds amazing. // 9

Overall Impression: You know by now my impression. Why are you still reading this? Haven't you gone out and bought one yet? No? Well get on that! // 10

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overall: 9.6
Highway 1 Jazz Bass Reviewed by: _timbo_, on august 06, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: Not sure what year this is made, I would say 06/07 due to newer features. USA highway 1, I think these retail around $1800 aud but got my on sale. Alder body, maple/rosewood neck. It actually has a thicker headstock than others. This is due to it's '70s styling, i.e. the logo is '70s (which I rather like). Mine is honey blonde with satin finish, so you can see the timber grain, sexy! People seem to dislike this for two reasons, it doesn't "shine" and they believe Fender is skimping on the better finish. I admit it is thinner, but in theory it would not colour the sound as much, plus it's easy to keep clean! One of the main reasons I chose this bass over others is that fact it came stock with a BadAss II bridge and Vintage pickups. It has a certain growl to it that others like the S1 switching basses didn't. I'm giving it a 10 due to the features compared to price. // 10

Sound: I play rock. Then end! The jazz bass has been associated with rock for a long time, thanks to people like Geddy Lee and John Paul Jones. My favourite bass player is Tim Commerford, so of course had to have a jazz (previously had a P-Bass) I do muck around and slap sometimes, among other things, and with two volumes it's easy to dial in a great tone. Plug it straight into an Ampeg combo and B2R head with a 2x15" cab. Sound is unreal! Like I said before, it has a certain growl to it, and it has sustain like a neck thru bass thanks to the badass. Another 10, it's a versatile instrument. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Ok, so it looses points here, only for the set-up. I guess this is why it's a cheaper bass. The action wasn't too bad, but I did have to replace the strings and lower the action. I'm guessing the strings were Fenders, thank god for that Ernie Ball fella! However this wasn't a big inconvenience, the bass tech that sold it to me re-strung it and set it up for no extra cost. However the intonation was perfect, but was adjusted obviously. I'm giving it an 8 this time only because I had it set-up and the fact it didn't have a hard case but for the price (it did come with a gig bag though). // 8

Reliability & Durability: I haven't had the chance to show off this baby live yet, but I would imagine it would be more than capable of pulling it off with out a hitch. In saying this, I always take a backup just in case. Hardware is solid. I went over the whole thing at home with a philips head, and unless you're a human drill, I don't think you could tighten the screws anymore! I try and look after my gear, so the finish is still perfect, but ask me in 10 years! // 10

Overall Impression: I was and still am very impressed with this bass. I am a Fender person through and through, so I will always be happy with it. I've been playing for 6 years now and this was the first new instrument I have had, so it really blew me away. The only question I wish I had asked was, "give me a hard case!" // 10

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overall: 10
Highway 1 Jazz Bass Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 17, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: Standard Jazz Bass kit, this is a 2010 model, has Vintage alnico pups and a "greasebucket" tone control, more on this later, the truss rod(s) are graphite rather than steel and make a good contribution to weight loss, the maple neck and rosewood fretboard are as expected but it no longer has the skunk stripe, which is a shame as I like that touch, I guess the graphite does the job of the mahogany fillet. Mine is the 3 tone burst, which I think looks best, and finish in nitro, which takes a bit of getting used to but looks fabulous. The Badass 11 bridge is a great upgrade and I would have changed this but Fender did it for me. Tuners are stock and in keeping with the Vintage vibe (unlike the Badass!) // 10

Sound: Huge tonal range, from simple but gutsy single coils, you can blend the two, via the volume pots, to get an infinite variation, unlike my previous bass (a mid range Yammy)you can actually tell when you make a change! I find myself selecting different pups for different songs, which is a whole new experience. The tone pot is a joy, again I have never used this on my old bass, the "greasebucket" works and is great for rolling off the highs with out finding yourself in a puddle of mud a very handy little extra. I play a broad range of stuff and it handles it all, I use a number of pedals and they have all come to life, even the fuzz pedal, you really can tell which pup you have on. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The fit and finish is top notch, no complaints. The intonation was off but not too far, took me half an hour to sort, that Badass is a silky smooth bit of kit and that helped. The action is low, no buzzing anywhere and the wonderfully slimline neck with rolled edges to the fretboard makes it effortless to play (I tried a 50's P Bass at the same time, very cool guitar but like gripping an oak tree!). Everything is where it should be, tight and works as expected. The nitro finish is satin rather than gloss but will Shine up in the right places with age, I am told that the thiner coating allows for more resonance, hard to tell but I love it. The 3 tone burst is the one to go for in my opinion, its traditional/retro/whatever just fits this guitar like a glove. The pots are smooth and noiseless, no humm from the pups, even at gig volume, I swapped the strap buttons for schallers before I plugged in, if you are gigging do this without fail, its like insuring your car, just make sense. (why don't manfacturers do this as standard on their more expensive guitars?) // 10

Reliability & Durability: This is a working guitar, its looks like it will last a life time (with care and attention, like anything its going to let you down if you abuse it). I will gig with it with out a back up - I just sold my other bass - and will do so with confidence, the nitro will gain a worn in feel over time but that will add to its charm, I don't plan to part with this one, resale value is not important to me. // 10

Overall Impression: I have been playing guitar for almost 30 years, bass for the past 5, gigging in a new band for a year, this bass has lifted my playing and the bands sound more than I could have hoped for, we play covers from the 60s up to today's stuff and there is nothing this bass can't handle, its a no frills bit of kit, just all the right bits, its easy to maintain, easy to play, has wonderful tone and flexibility, it responds to your playing style and inspires you to play better, it will last you a life time if looked after. Add one to your collection or if you are upgrading from a basic axe, you could do a lot worse than get one of these and they don't break the bank. // 10

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