Motorway ExitAfter the Highway One, updated in 2006, Fender comes back again with new affordable products from its American production center: the revisited versions of the Precision Bass and the Jazz Bass. Read more…
Fender American Special Jazz Bass tech. sheet
Model: American Special Jazz Bass
Series: Jazz Bass
Category: 4-string bass guitars
Added in our database on: 09/29/2011
We have no technical specifications for this product but your help will be much welcomed
A friend of mine bought it for his home studio, he wanted a basse that would be easy to play so as to play it himself on demos when producing other artists. Considering the Jazz Bass as THE reference for that purpose, he jumped on this model which was available at the nearby shop.
He bought it new for slightly under the 1000€ mark. The model in question is white with a black pickguard and rosewood fingerboard.
Rather on the lightweight side, this bass is well balanced and the neck is pleasant and comfortable to play. However, when you play in unplugged you notice a lack in volume and a rather unpleasant, twangy sound. OK, it’s not plugged in yet, but you’d expect a certain “bare” sound quality from a passive bass at that price. Well, that’s not the case so you’ll have to depend on the pickups, which do manage to compensate a bit yet can’t do miracles.
Technically, I must admit this US Fender doesn’t give me the same feelings that other instruments from the same range that I’ve tried did. I even find it less charm than a Mexican model and a less convincing look compared to a made-in-Asia “Classic Vibe” one (which is way less expensive)! I won’t even bother comparing it to my ’71 Jazz Bass, and I tell myself that for the same price you’d get a much better instrument from other brands.
I’d already been disappointed with recent Fender instruments, and i feel that the brand has its customers play lottery for getting a great instrument from them, and that’s a real pity.
I’m sure you can find American Special instruments that sound amazing, but that’s not the case of this one, which is a little so-so considering the price.
Fender has been known to take a popular and re-introduce it to the public with minor variations and changes to impress you enough to buy the same thing twice. Well since the economy is in the state it is in Fender made their new Special series that is still made in America it just doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the US model.
I demo'd this bass at my local music shop. I owned a Standard Made in Mexico Fender Jazz Bass as well as a Made in America Standard Fender Jazz Bass. When I picked this up and saw the $980 price tag I wanted to compare the differences between all my basses.
The Special has the same 70s retro throwback logo as my MIM Jazz Bass and a near identical finish on the neck. I love the look and feel of that neck so that was a big plus.
The bass was a light and comfortable weight also like my MIM Standard.
I didn't notice much of a difference between the new Grease Bucket tone circuit nor do I see why it is applicable to a bass.
The bridge is a cheaper bridge similar to what is also found on the MIM Jazz Basses and the bass is not string through the body like most American Jazz Basses.
Alder body with a glossy Urethane finish. The one I tried out was black, I have also seen them in Candy Cola (Red) and a 3-tone Sunburst.
The neck is maple with a maple fretboard. 20 medium jumbo frets in a satiny smooth finish.
Now for my rant on the Grease Bucket Tone Circuit; it claims to not add bass to the signal when your tone is rolled off like the old Fender tone knobs, yet if you know anything about passive circuitry you can't add anything anyway you can only remove frequencies. That is just what the Grease Bucket tone circuit does it cuts bass frequencies, I don't know about you but I don't see a need for that in a bass!
After a long demo I decided I felt this bass was too much like a Fender Standard Made In Mexico Jazz Bass to warrant spending the extra dough. Still an excellent playing and sounding bass it just wasn't right for me.