Fender Jazz Bass Buyer's Guide

Fender’s Jazz Bass is one of the most recognisable instruments of all time. Offering a more versatile sound and curvier design than its Precise counterpart, it’s defined countless records and musical genres.

But which Jazz Bass is best for you? There’s plenty of choice on the market – in this guide, we’ll explore the main features and differences between models to help you make your decision!

Fender Jazz Bass Key Features

One of the defining aspects of the Jazz bass is its offset design. Compared to the Precision Bass, it’s curvier and arguably more ergonomic.

Next up, the neck profile. Again, with the Jazz Bass being designed as a streamlined alternative, you normally get a relatively slim neck.

Finally, you’ll often see Jazz Basses with 2 single-coil pickups in the bridge and middle positions. This offers more treble response and a richer midrange, perfect if you want your bass to stand out in a mix.

Fender Jazz Bass range

The Jazz Bass has come a long way since its inception in 1960. There are the models that pay homage to the classics, but as you might expect, there are plenty of modern takes. Here’s a rundown of what’s what:

The Fender Player Series is their most affordable. Mexican-made instruments with a great selection of funky finishes, alnico-powered pickups and plenty of variety including 5-string and lefty options.

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As the name suggests, the Vintera Series channels some of Fender’s most iconic classic designs. For the Jazz Bass, these are plucked right out of the ‘60s and ‘70s with period-accurate specs to match.

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This is Fender’s most affordable US-made range. With a number of upgrades (emphasis on hardware, circuitry and pickups), the Performer range is rugged and reliable enough for even the most rigorous of gigging schedules.

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Arguably their flagship range, the American Professionals have been a go-to for serious players for years. For the Professional Jazz Bass, features include Michael Bump-design V-Mod pickups, easy Narrow Tall frets and Hi-mass bridge for excellent sustain.

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Like the Vintera, the American Original Series aims to capture the magic of the earliest Jazz Bass designs. US-made, these instruments feature Pure Vintage ’64 pickups and Nitro finish for Motown honk and stunning looks in equal measure.

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It’s in the name; the cream of the crop. While not necessarily faithful to the original Jazz Bass blueprint, the Elites opt for precision and versatility instead. An 18V preamp offers chest-thumping tone, with 4th Gen Noiseless pickups and a hybrid neck profile to boot.

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Squier are known for reproducing some of Fender’s most popular models for the budget/beginner market. In recent years, they’ve taken bolder steps in tweaking these classic designs. Their range spans vintage-style models to their cutting-edge Contemporary Series.

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Famous Jazz Bass Players

Aside from being one of the longest-in-production instruments of our time, the Jazz bass has been brandished by countless players throughout the years. Here are a few highlights:

  • Flea
  • John Paul Jones
  • Geddy Lee
  • Duff McKagain
  • Jaco Pastorius
  • Marcus Miller

Summary

There you have it - the Fender Jazz bass range broken down into edible chunks. You should be feeling a little more informed about your decision - which one will you choose?

If you've got any questions about our Fender Jazz bass selection, please don't hesitate to contact us. In the mean time, happy shopping!

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