Monday, November 22, 2010

FENDER JAGUAR BASS

I realize this post will only be of interest to a small group but I'm too happy to not talk about it.

Recently Mei and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary. She got me a Fender Jaguar bass for my gift and I got her some shoes she was wanting. That's what she wanted! I believe I came out ahead on that deal. I asked her I don't know how many times to tell me what she REALLY wanted instead of shoes, but she REALLY wanted shoes.

My stringed instrument army is growing.

In the past I bought basses and guitars solely based on their looks. This is the first time I think I did it the right way. I took my old BC Rich bass into the guitar store and compared it to the other basses they were selling all on the same amp so I could get a good comparison. This Fender bass was my hands down favorite. It was so much better than my old one I was kind of ashamed to ask if they'd take it as a trade in.

I like that all the strings seem to be evenly volumed, and each string seems to be pretty evenly volumed across the length of the neck on any fret. That was a frustration on my old bass. This Fender has a thick growling tone with lots of low end bassy tone, but also enough treble to hear the frets clicking and crunching if I want that. It's got steady sustain too.


The tuners are so big and cartoonish I didn't like them at first, but now they've grown on me. These photos seem to bring out the fingerprints. I'm looking at this bass in real life right now and I don't see the fingerprints. I don't know if that means my camera is good or bad.

There are lots of switches and knobs providing mucho variety in tone. So much in fact, sometimes I can't settle on a sound. The more choices I'm offered, the more doubts and indecision I'm faced with. Every button click seems to make a completely different sound which is equally as nice as the last setting I thought I liked.

These are battery-powered active EQ dials. The switch on the right turns them on or off. The 2 dials are for bass and treble.

These switches are pickup selectors.

Then there are the master volume and tone knobs. All of these knobs and switches combined make too many combinations for me to add up, and the nice thing is the combinations all sounds pretty good. On my old bass I had basically 2 settings: (1) kind of usable and (2) everything else which was all unusable.

If I had to name one complaint about this Fender Jaguar bass it would be the cord jack being in the face plate rather than in the edge of the body. That puts the cord more in the way. It's not a huge inconvenience and can be rendered less intrusive with one of those 90 degree jacks.

I feel like a heel for finding anything at all to complain about though. Not only is this a good sounding bass, I like the way it looks.

In the past when I recorded music, the old BC Rich bass would kill my guitar tracks. It didn't matter if it was an acoustic guitar or an electric, or if it had light or heavy distortion. I could get a guitar to record exactly how I liked it, and then when I added the bass, the guitar would suddenly disappear into the song, or just sound like fuzzy and puny toneless white noise.

The pickups on the old bass were creating a signal which invaded the guitar's realm on the EQ band, cutting into the midrange rather than staying down in the lower bass levels. I could fight with EQ settings for a while and eventually get a sort-of sound from the guitars, but I was never completely successful. It was danged aggravating and unsatisfying. I've recorded a few songs with the new Jaguar bass and the Danelectro guitar and it's fun to record music now. I can just run a wire straight from the instruments to the recorder with no effects pedals or amps in between and they sound great, and they don't bleed over the tops of each other.

Maybe in the future I'll be able to put a music CD together and then if you guys have the stomachs and tolerance for it you can punish yourselves by listening to it. Hopefully afterwards you'll still want to be my friend.

11 comments:

  1. Sure is a sweet Bass guitar Keith!
    And Happy Happy Aniversary for you and Mei!
    All the best --

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  2. Good Gourd ! She's a beaut. I like the way this bass has that late 50's early 60's vibe to it, and the color blending is really nice. Now all you need is to ask for a cool retro Jukebox next anniversary to play 30 years worth of Seifert Bros. tunes !

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  3. I'd say you owe her another pair of shoes.

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  4. Thanks everybody! Lysdwxicuss, a juke box would be the next logical choice.
    9If I could find a place to put one in the house.)

    Mykal, as of last night she has another pair of shoes coming in the mail. You were right.

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  5. "Mykal, as of last night she has another pair of shoes coming in the mail. You were right.

    good man.

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  6. Hey happy anniversary!!

    Great looking bass..I used to have a six string Jaguar a few years back..always regretted selling it.

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  7. Willy, I have some regrets like that too.

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  8. Sir my good, welcome you are

    ReplyDelete

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