Fender Flea Signature Jazz Bass

What's Hot
BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 279
Been out recently on trying out different P basses and as usual I end up playing the Jazz Basses : > The Flea signature really stood out for me, lightweight, lovely neck and the bridge pick up sounded like it had been dipped in voodoo special sauce. It's also the first time I have come across the old style tone pots, which I liked and wondered why Fender got rid of them in the first place?

Regards P Basses I was a bit underwhelmed by the American Pro and got a fatter tone from a Yamaha BB type bass which cannot be right.


0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Comments

  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 1463
    Read a Yamaha bass guitar endorsee artiste list. Some of the very biggest names of the last sixty years regularly play Yamaha instruments.

    Why did Leo drop the Jazz Bass stacked pot controls in 1963? Ergonomics? Maybe. To save production time and costs? More likely. (Compare and contrast the schematic wiring diagrams for the 1960 and 1963 circuits. Guess which one takes twice as long to assemble as the other?

    How the Fender American Pro P Bass sounds would depend in part on what pickup Fender has installed. I have yet to try one. Over the years, I have tried the old American Standard, the Elite and assorted versions of the AVRI '62 and '63. 
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 279
    Yes, wasn't meant as a negative comment on Yamaha as I'm a big fan of the LL series acoustics and SA2200 semi acoustic guitars. I was just surprised that they were basically outdoing the Precision at its' own game.

    The pickup in the American Pro is called a V Mod and was designed by some geezer called Michael Bump (Mr Bump?). It's got quite a hefty neck on it for a modern American series type bass/guitar.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 6029
    Those Yamaha BB's are nice, nice necks too.  They do generally sound fatter than a stock Fender Precision but I actually prefer the Fender overall, you can add more low end at the amp if needed and the Fender has a specific tone/texture that I felt the rails pickups in the BB's I tried didn't have.

    I got quite lucky and ended up with a US Standard P with a thin neck.  It's still wide, but considerably thinner than most P necks I've tried making it easy for me to play.  I wonder if it is even the correct neck profile for the instrument as I know they had a different model with a thinner neck (possibly previous American Special) but it works for me.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 279
    Those Yamaha BB's are nice, nice necks too.  They do generally sound fatter than a stock Fender Precision but I actually prefer the Fender overall, you can add more low end at the amp if needed and the Fender has a specific tone/texture that I felt the rails pickups in the BB's I tried didn't have.

    Yes, I do like the ones with the pick guard, this was a lower end BB can't remember the model number, but it was nicely put together, laminated neck for strength. If it had a negative it was a bit neck heavy and not as ergonomic as a Jazz Bass.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8607
    What other Fender P's have you tried?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 279
    What other Fender P's have you tried?
    Mex standard P (2 of) Squier CV, Squier VM, American standard P and a 1958 AVRI with a tree log for a neck. Those are the ones I can remember anyhow.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8607
    What other Fender P's have you tried?
    Mex standard P (2 of) Squier CV, Squier VM, American standard P and a 1958 AVRI with a tree log for a neck. Those are the ones I can remember anyhow.
    Did any of them float your boat more than any others?

    Is it the Jazz sound, or the neck that draws you that way?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 279
    What other Fender P's have you tried?
    Mex standard P (2 of) Squier CV, Squier VM, American standard P and a 1958 AVRI with a tree log for a neck. Those are the ones I can remember anyhow.
    Did any of them float your boat more than any others?

    Is it the Jazz sound, or the neck that draws you that way?
    Probably a Lake Placid Mex Precision.
    I saw Lambchop recently and the bass player had what looked like a 70s P bass into an Ampeg half stack and it sounded really fat and tremendous and I think that is the core Precision sound which is hard to get, if not impossible, from a Jazz Bass.
    However, the more I play them the more I realise I prefer Jazz Basses. It's the versatility and the ergonomics of both the neck and body shape for me, plus the different sounds you can get.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8607
    @BigLicks67 - the eternal debate. 

    As a bass player, the adaptability of a Jazz is really appealing. But the reality is that in a band context, the precision tone often fits better and complements more.

    I guess it's dependent on what you want to do with it.

    For you and your playing at home? Get what feels better and makes you smile.

    In a band or for recording where bass needs to fill the sonic hole? A P will fit better most times, not always, but most times.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 6029
    Maybe the best option is to buy a Jazz bass you like and have it modded for a Precision pickup at the correct position?  

    Be aware with some of the off the shelf Jazz shaped PJ's the P pickup isn't in correct position, and if you want to get the P sound the placement is important, some of the models have the P pickup moved closer to the neck.

    Compare this Aerodyne which looks right aesthetically with the J pick guard but the pickup is actually closer to the neck



    To the Reggie Hamilton bass - which has the P pickup in the right position, right at the bottom of the Jazz pickguard.





    I think Warmoth do pickguards with the cutout in the right place, but I've never bought one.  I'm not aware of other manufacturers stocking one, but you could get one made in the UK if necessary.

    --- 

    With sounds, it really depends on the music.

    The way I look at them is if the bass is supposed to drive the guitars along then a Precision sits forward and has that recognisable fat sound to it.  It pretty much works for anything.

    If the bass is supposed to wrap around other instruments then the natural scoop of a two pickup Jazz works better, pulls the mids back naturally leaving a nice bit of top end to cut through as necessary (which you can tame with the tone knob if you want) and plenty of low end to support the music.  The sub low is also deeper on a Jazz, much more actual deep bass on a Jazz than a Precision, once you get them to the same volume levels (a Precision is typically louder).  

    Definitely merit in having one of each, but if you prefer the ergonomics of one more than the other then routing the body might be worth exploring, as otherwise the specs are pretty similar.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 279
    Interesting, I have not seen the Reggie Hamilton bass before. Tbh I have decided to stop thinking about another bass until I can play Teen Town at full speed on the old Jazz Sound.☺
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 6029
    edited October 6
    There's a mexican version of the Reggie bass but it's discontinued. The US one currently available is very expensive
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • PhilKingPhilKing Frets: 57
    I love my 66 precision, but the last band I was playing in was a 50's & 60's Blues and R&B band, and my Bravewood 56 Precision worked much better, as it held the bottom end but in a keyboards, 2 guitars, drums and bass lineup, it had a little more cut through.  The 66 is great at driving the band in a 3 piece (it has a BK 62 precision pickup in it, as the original 66's were a little weak). 

    I've always had a love/hate relationship with Jazz basses.  I have a Bravewood 62 stackpot replica, which sounds great, but it always seems to be a better recording tool than live bass (for what I play, which is classic rock and blues).
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.