Review: Fender 1962 Jazz Bass Reissue
And so we begin…
Item: Fender 1962 Jazz Bass Reissue
Inspiration: Before getting this bass I’d always played either a Rickenbacker 4001 or a Fender Precision bass – although I had generally changed the Precision neck for a Jazz neck. I just always felt a little more comfortable with the narrower neck. Obviously it was a crime to only have P-basses, so finding the right Jazz was always on the cards. For some reason the stacked controls of the ’62 always appealed so I grabbed it!
Image: I do love the look of the Jazz. One of my favourite bass players – Damon Minchella – uses a white Jazz with tortoise shell guard, and that was a good start!
Investment: This one was very cheap – if only for the fact there’s a big “chip” on the body just above the pickups. It was shipped from Japan but still came in well under $600 so a pretty good deal.
Intrinsic Qualities: Mine’s a 1993 model so it is getting on a bit. It has also had a set of Bartolini pickups installed that sound wonderful. They get that nice warm and fat sound but still retain clarity. It’s also got a great neck that feels incredibly comfortable to play. As I do with all my instrument necks, I give them a light rub with wet and dry 1200 grit sandpaper every now and then. I have always liked a silky neck feel.
Intangibles: This is another instrument that simply belongs in a standard bass player’s quiver. About the one knock I’d have against it is that it can get a bit heavy – hence the fact I mainly use it in the home studio where I can sit down!
If not this then: I’d still want to have some form of Jazz bass if I didn’t have this one. I think I’d always go for a reasonably basic model though.
The new format for doing a brief reviews of the various bits of great that I use is called the “I” Test: 7 categories that are a bit different from the standard review that reads like it’s lifted from a guitar magazine. My “I Test” takes into account not just the performance characteristics (as normal reviews do) but also addresses the real reason we buy stuff: the 7 “I”s – what’s the Item, Inspiration (why did I get it), Image (what’s it look like), Investment (bargain or just lust), Intrinsic qualities (what does it do), Intangibles (sometimes the reason you got it doesn’t fall into any other category!), and If not this then… (did I look at alternatives).