Fender American Special Jazz Bass
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Fender American Special Jazz Bass

American Special Jazz Bass, 4-string bass guitar from Fender in the Jazz Bass series.

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MGR/Billy 11/28/2011

Fender American Special Jazz Bass : MGR/Billy's user review

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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.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com