Fender American Original ‘70s Jazz Bass: A Review From Novice to Pro
The Fender American Original ‘70s Jazz Bass is a piece of musical history, resurrected for the modern era. This iconic instrument harks back to an era when funk and disco were at their peak and bass players needed an instrument that could keep up with the evolving music scene. The question remains, does this vintage-inspired bass live up to its legendary name? This comprehensive review will explore this instrument from both the beginner’s and professional’s perspectives.
The First Impression
Unboxing the Fender American Original ‘70s Jazz Bass is like stepping into a time machine. Its design is an homage to the original 1970s Jazz Bass, with vintage-tall frets, a period-correct headstock logo, and a slim “’70s C”-shaped neck profile. The classic aesthetic is appealing to both beginners who are drawn to its historical significance and professionals who appreciate its timeless design.
Build Quality and Design
Fender’s reputation for high-quality, durable instruments is well earned, and the American Original ‘70s Jazz Bass is no exception. It features an alder or ash body, depending on the finish, with a lacquer finish that not only adds to its vintage appeal but also allows the wood to breathe, enhancing resonance. The four-saddle Pure Vintage ‘70s bridge provides excellent intonation and string stability, crucial for both beginners learning to play and professionals performing on stage.
The slim “’70s C”-shaped neck profile is comfortable and easy to navigate, making it an excellent choice for beginners still developing their technique. Meanwhile, seasoned players will appreciate the speedy neck for quick runs and complex bass lines. The block inlays and binding on the maple fretboard add a touch of class and nostalgia, setting this bass apart visually.
The Fender American Original ’70s Jazz Bass boasts two Pure Vintage ‘75 single-coil Jazz Bass pickups that deliver that sought-after vintage tone. These pickups provide a warm, punchy sound with just the right amount of clarity and growl. For beginners, this bass offers a broad sonic palette to explore, while professionals will appreciate the versatility of tones at their disposal.
The volume controls for each pickup and the master tone control allow for a wide range of sound customization. Beginners may find this system more straightforward than those on more modern basses, while professionals can make nuanced adjustments to fit any genre or style.
The playability of the Fender American Original ’70s Jazz Bass is where this instrument truly shines. Its slim neck and 9.5”-radius fingerboard make it comfortable to play for extended periods, crucial for beginners building endurance and professionals during long gigs. The vintage-tall frets are a joy to play on, offering excellent note definition.
The bass has a good balance, both on a strap and seated, making it comfortable to play in either position. This is an essential feature for beginners who are still figuring out their preferred playing position and professionals who need to switch positions frequently during performances.
Value for Money
While the Fender American Original ‘70s Jazz Bass is not a budget instrument, its high-quality build, exceptional playability, and vintage tone provide excellent value for the price. Beginners investing in this bass can be confident they’re getting an instrument that will grow with them and last many years. Professionals, on the other hand, are investing in a versatile workhorse that can handle everything from studio sessions to live gigs.
The Fender American Original ’70s Jazz Bass is a well-crafted instrument that pays tribute to a legendary bass model. Its vintage aesthetics, quality build, and versatile tone make it an excellent choice for both beginners and professionals. Beginners will appreciate its playability and straightforward controls, while professionals will value its durability and tonal versatility. Despite its higher price point, the value it offers makes it a worthy investment for anyone serious about their bass playing journey.