Sound — 9
Suits my style perfectly, I play anywhere from classic rock to jazz and blues. It works well with any genre you can throw at it. I'm using it with a Line 6 Lowdown modeling combo, which I use to get some good '60s tones. I generally turn the tone up all the way and leave both pickups on full. This gives a good balanced tone and cancels the hum as an added bonus. Occasionally I will solo one of the pickups and when I do this, I turn the tone knob all the way down to help with the hum. If it really bothers you that much you could get a noise gate, but I don't think most people care too much. You can get a variety of sounds, anywhere from deep Jamerson fingerstyles to blistering slap and pop with just about everything in between. No bass can adapt to any situation as well as the Fender Jazz.
Overall Impression — 9
Considering that the majority of what I play is influenced by John Paul Jones and Noel Redding, it is no accident that this bass suits my style. I have been playing a couple years and my only other bass is a starter kit Dean that wasn't really intended to last me too long. I saw this bass as the perfect upgrade because there are so many things you can do to it to suit your sound and personality. This is already a great instrument, but with new pickups and a new bridge it would be at least as good as a Geddy Lee or maybe a Highway One. Down the road if I decide to go with something more expensive this will be the most perfect and reliable backup bass you could possibly have. If it was stolen I would probably get an American Jazz Bass, only because I have more money now than when I bought this one. I knew before I bought it that I didn't want anything but a Jazz Bass. The only one I compared it to was the deluxe active, and while that one looked nice and had a good active EQ, I couldn't justify the difference in price.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar has and will withstand Live playing, and I have gigged it without a backup. The hardware is sturdy and secure. The strap buttons worked, but I fitted a homemade pair of straplocks just to be extra secure. The finish seems nice and thick, I have bumped the body on chairs and walls and stuff and nothing has chipped off yet.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I can't vouch for how it came from the factory because I bought it used, but it came to me with very nice low action and hardly any fret buzz. Everything else seemed to be set up tip-top as well, I think the previous owner may have payed to have it set up. The strings were intonated perfectly and the pickup height was spot on. No flaws were found except for possibly the most minor blem possible: One of the two white PVC dot markers on the side of the 12th fret is missing, however, I do not know if that is how it came from the factory, the previous owner may have lost it.
Features — 8
Made in Mexico. The serial number indicates it was made in 2007, so even though I got it used it was essentially Brand New. Has 20 frets, like most Fender basses. Body is made of alder, and the neck is maple with rosewood glued on. The finish on mine is "Midnight Wine" which is a deep red with a little bit of metallic quality to it. Most internet pictures do the color no justice at all, the finish really is gorgeous in person. Bridge is still standard Fender. Has 2 passive standard jazz pickups, with individual volume and master tone controls. Tuners seem to be standard Fender stuff. Everything was still completely stock when I got this bass. Can't say that it has too many features, but it doesn't have anything I don't need, which is convenient.