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.