Distributed by: Fender Music Australia | RRP: $3,299
The world of audio and musical equipment can be a tricky one to navigate at the best of times. With so many different products, conflicting opinions and confusing reviews, it’s hard to know what’s actually the best product for your needs.
Luckily, the team at Mixdown have put in the legwork for you, sifting through the spec-sheets and putting the products through their paces to bring you Mixdown’s Picks – a new series of expansive, category defining product guides across our digital channels. Anything that has made the cut has rated highly across the board with the Mixdown staff, garnering a unanimous tick of approval from our staunch critics.
For this special, we’re turning our focus to one of the most essential aspects of any genre: the bass. Whether it’s jazz, punk, pop or beyond, it’s all about that bass, and to celebrate, we’re spotlighting the finest instruments, amplifiers, tools and effects available to the modern bassist today.
Fender American Professional II Jazz Bass
Key Features: There are few (if any) bass guitars in the world with a reputation quite like that of the Fender Jazz Bass. The lithe, nimble brother to the Presicion’s meaty clunk, the Jazz Bass has gone through many permutations through its long and storied history, riding its trademark detailed mid-range and endlessly workable tone onto thousands of hit singles and iconic albums.
Like the P-Bass, it’s a sound so etched in the foundations of Western popular music that you probably hear it several times a day without even realising it. It’s just that versatile.
The Fender American Professional II Jazz bass is an instrument 60 years in the making. The evolution of this classic design is evident in all its features, which include the popular Slim “C” neck with smooth rolled fingerboard edges, a “Super-Natural” satin finish and a newly sculpted neck heel for an extremely comfortable feel and easy access to the upper register.
The new V-Mod II Jazz Bass single-coil pickups are more expressive than ever while delivering the bass response and clarity the Jazz Bass is universally known for.
This new version of the well known classic Jazz delivers instant recognition and sonic versatility heard from the outset, with a broad range of improvements that add up to a new standard for Fender professional instruments.
A key feature of this Professional series bass is the inclusion of Posiflex neck graphite rods to reinforce against movement that can occur with fluctuations in any climate. Embedded beneath the fingerboard, they improve reliability onstage, in the studio, or at home.
This bass will be available in either alder or roasted pine, with both of these woods being treated with Fender’s upgraded roasting treatment, which greatly improves overall instrument resonance.
This bass also includes precision manufactured string-through or top-load bridge, adding extra sustain and improved attack due to a cold-rolled steel baseplate, high mass brass backstop, and chrome-plated brass saddles.
20 narrow-tall frets leading to a bone nut help to increase player response, and help to make intonation issues non-applicable.
The bass comes loaded in classic Fender colours Mystic Surf Green, Olympic White & Three Tone Sunburst, all standard with Gloss Urethane finish. Other classic features include a 3 Ply Mint Green or Tortoiseshell Pickguard with vintage-style black plastic control knobs.
The V-Mod pickups use passive circuitry, so there are no batteries or active controls. This provides pure Fender tones and an easy way to change the sound of the instrument, but it does mean that you can’t boost frequencies like you can on an active bass, only cut them. The overall frequency range of the pickups will always be critical to the sound.
The Professional Jazz has a pair of newly designed pickups from Fender hardware designer Michael Bump. Alnico 2 magnets are used for the bass frequencies, while Alnico 5s take care of the treble side. The result is a balanced sound that lets the quality of the wood and the overall quality of tone on shine through unimpeded.
Mixdown Says: A big, bold Jazz Bass from Fender’s American Professional series. Lots of player-friendly features with extremely versatile J-Bass sounds.
Overall: There is a reason the Jazz Bass is such a recording studio mainstay, and with the American Professional II Jazz, Fender have served up a bass dripping with professional confidence, a vintage aesthetic and state-of-the-art hardware, perfect to suit the needs of the modern player.
Check out all the specs over at Fender’s webpage today.