Friday, January 8, 2010

Building the uber-J. Part One.

OK, what I'm going to do is to put an end to my whining over what is good and what is not so good about the Fender Jazz and build one I hopefully have nothing to whine about. I am well aware of the iconic status this instrument has achieved and I'm taking this task with the utmost respect - plus a healthy dose of rebel spirit. Bear with me and see where this takes us.

BTW, to spice things up I have given myself a deadline: 15th of February...ops

Part One: Why.

First off, here is the hero in the woods and metal - an American Delux Fender Jazz straight from the Fender website. Ain't that a beauty?

These are the good things for me.

- The body shape is a great classic.
- The P-U positions are genius.
- One think this bass gets really right is having only 22 frets. I don't need more - unless I'm playing fret-less - and if I did I would switch to a six strings. It's a matter of personal preference, but to me this bass is a groove machine. You don't need 24 frets to groove. M Miller doesn't. Pastorius could make less then 24 frets fingerboards sing. When I slap the 24th fret gets in the way and I dislike the harmonics produced. So, long live J's 22 frets!

These are points that I'll try to address. They are very personal, nevertheless they are:

- The body has little contouring and I find it a bit uncomfortable.
- Access to the 22nd fret is not very comfortable especially on the E string.
- It is still a bit on the heavy side.
- The neck joint feels week and the heel looks chunky.
- The neck is too thick.
- The string spacing is too wide at the bridge and too narrow at the nut.
- I am not keen on the fingerboard radius.

- The distinctive headstock always strikes me as slightly too large.

There. I said it.


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