I recently helped one of my students purchase a Fender Standard Jazz Bass guitar. He is going to be using it in his live band. Even though the Standard Jazz Bass is made in Mexico I was very impressed with the quality of the build of the Bass that he purchased. The Standard Jazz Bass has all the components that made the Fender Jazz Bass famous. It has two single coil pickups each with their own volume control and a single master tone control. This gives you the ability to mix the sound of the two pickups together in a multitude of different ways. It gives the Jazz Bass a lot of tonal options that you wouldn’t get with the Fender Precision Bass.
I was really impressed with how comfortable the modern C profile neck felt in my hands. It is a very smooth and fast neck. The neck is rosewood and has 20 medium jumbo frets. The rosewood works very well for slap and funk bass. It really gives the strings a good hard surface to bang against. The sound of the Jazz Bass has been described as a growl and that’s a pretty accurate description. The Standard Jazz bass has that distinctive Jazz Bass growl as well. The pickups are described as “New” Standard Jazz Bass pickups although I couldn’t really tell what was new about them. We played an American Standard Jazz Bass and the main difference I noticed was that the Made In Mexico Standard Jazz Bass pickups had a bit more hum but still not an excessive amount. That really surprises me about the single coil pickups on the Jazz Bass because the single coil pickups on the Made In Mexico Stratocasters really hum. But the Jazz Bass was nice and manageable and when you have both pickups turned up all the way, the hum cancels out. That’s the way the Jazz Bass is designed to work in regards to single coil hum. I really appreciate that, so thanks to Fender for wiring it up properly.
The other things that came up a bit short on the Standard Jazz Bass Guitar when compared to the American Standard Bass Guitar are the bridge and the tuning keys. The American Standard Jazz Bass has a heavier bridge than the Mexican Standard Jazz Bass and the tuning keys on the American Standard felt more substantial and seemed to turn more smoothly. I also liked the rolled edges on the American Standard neck.
So that being said, here’s the deal breaker. The price of the American Standard Jazz Bass is $1449.99 compared to $479.99 for the Standard Jazz Bass. So for a young and learning live musician you just can’t go wrong buying the Standard Jazz Bass. It’s just a killer bass guitar for that low of a price. So I’m recommending the Standard Jazz Bass for all students of the bass guitar. It’s a bass that a full on professional can us live, onstage and not feel ashamed about as well.