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15 basses - sound test and comparison

jazz bass fodera sadowsky fender

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#1 Miki Groove

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 04:11 PM

Hi guys!

I've posted a topic in a Spanish forum, which I think it can be interesting for you as well.

We did a bass meeting in Barcelona a few months ago and I recorded 15 of the basses, 3 sound tracks with each one (a walking bass line with the neck pickup, jaco style with de bridge pickup and slap with both pickups).

The basses are recorded straight to my M-Audio Fast Track audio interface. No EQ, compression or amp simulators.

Here are the audios:

https://soundcloud.c...ss-day-bcn-2013



- Fender Jazz Bass 1962:
Alder body, brazilian rosewood fretboard, maple neck. All original, it had a problem when using both pickups, that's why the slap sounds weird. Aprox value: 8000€ (used).
https://soundcloud.c...962-neck-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...2-bridge-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...-1962-slap-neck

Posted Image

- Fender Jazz Bass 1965:
Alder body, rosewood fretboard, maple neck, original pickups. Refinished. Aprox value: 4500€ (used).
With old strings, but a very nice neck.
https://soundcloud.c...965-neck-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...5-bridge-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...er-jb-1965-slap

Posted Image

- Fender Jazz Bass 1977:
One of my basses. Ash body, maple neck, maple fretboard. Original pickups. Aprox value: 2200€ (used).
https://soundcloud.c...977-neck-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...7-bridge-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...er-jb-1977-slap

Posted Image

- Fender Jazz Bass 1976:
Ash body, maple neck, rosewood fretboard. Original pickups. Aprox value: 2200€ (used)
https://soundcloud.c...976-neck-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...6-bridge-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...er-jb-1976-slap

Posted Image

- Fender Jazz Bass 1972:
Ash body, maple neck, maple fretboard. Fender custom shop pickups. Aprox value: 2200€ (used)
https://soundcloud.c...972-neck-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...2-bridge-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...er-jb-1972-slap

Posted Image

- Fender Jazz Bass Custom Shop 64 Limited Edition:
Alder body, maple neck, brazilian rosewood fretboard. Custom shop pickups (original)
Limited edition Candy Apple Red. This bass is amazing!!! Aprox. value: 2200€ (used).
https://soundcloud.c...om-shop-64-neck
https://soundcloud.c...-custom-shop-64
https://soundcloud.c...om-shop-64-slap

Posted Image

- Fender Jazz Bass Custom Shop Relic 60:
Alder body, maple neck, rosewood fretboard, custom shop pickups (original). Aprox value: 2000€ (used)
https://soundcloud.c...om-shop-60-neck
https://soundcloud.c...-custom-shop-60
https://soundcloud.c...om-shop-60-slap

Posted Image

- Sadowsky metro UV70:
One of my basses. Ash body, maple neck, maple fretboard, sadowsky pickups and preamp. Value: 2975 USD (new)
https://soundcloud.c...v70-neck-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...0-bridge-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...owsky-uv70-slap

Posted Image

- Fodera Emperor:
Ash body, maple neck, rosewood fretboard. Fodera JJ pickups, Mike Pope preamp. Aprox. value: 5000€ (used).
https://soundcloud.c...rch-neck-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...h-bridge-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...ra-monarch-slap

Posted Image

- SX 57 modified:
This is a cheap jazz bass replica with upgrades like Fender Noiseless pickups. Maple neck and fretboard. Not sure about the body's wood. Aprox value: 300€ (new with upgrades).
https://soundcloud.c...ass-neck-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...s-bridge-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...-jazz-bass-slap

Posted Image

- Fender Jazz Bass Road Worn:
Mexican Fender. Alder body, maple neck, rosewood fretboard. All original. Value 1100€ (new).
https://soundcloud.c...d-worn-mim-neck
https://soundcloud.c...worn-mim-bridge
https://soundcloud.c...d-worn-mim-slap

Posted Image

- Fender Jazz Bass Marcus Miller:
Japanese Fender. Ash body, maple neck, maple fretboard. All original. Value: 1100€ (new).
https://soundcloud.c...us-miller-mij-2
https://soundcloud.c...us-miller-mij-1
https://soundcloud.c...rcus-miller-mij

Posted Image

- Yamaha BB1600:
One of my basses. Made in Japan. All original from the 80's. Alder body, maple neck, rosewood fretboard, PJ Yamaha pickups. Value: 500€ (used).
https://soundcloud.c...600-neck-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...0-bridge-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...aha-bb1600-slap

Posted Image

- MusicMan StingRay 1989:
Ash body, maple neck, maple fretboard. 2 band EQ. All original. Value: 1200€ (used).
https://soundcloud.c...stingray-1989-1
https://soundcloud.c...n-stingray-1989
https://soundcloud.c...ngray-1989-slap

Posted Image

- Pedulla MVP:
Maple body, maple neck (neckthru), Ebony fretboard. P/J Bartolini pickups and preamp. Value: 1200€ (used).
https://soundcloud.c...992-neck-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...2-bridge-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...a-mvp-1992-slap

Posted Image

- Pensa Custom Jazz Bass:
Ash body, maple neck, birdseye maple fretboard, Pensa pickups and preamp. Value: 3500$ (new).
https://soundcloud.com/mikisantamari...om-neck-pickup
https://soundcloud.com/mikisantamari...-bridge-pickup
https://soundcloud.c...nsa-custom-slap

Posted Image

In my opinion all jazz basses sound really similar (Fodera, Pensa and SX included). You can easily hear the difference between the 70s and 60s models.

The huge difference is the feel. In that aspect I think the SX is the worst. The Fodera has a super fast neck and makes any technique easier than the rest of the basses in this test. The feeling when you play the 62 is just magical, you can feel the vibrations better than any other bass in this test, the custom shop 64 and 60 are amazing too. I love my 77, for me it's the best 70's Fender I've ever played, the slap tone is perfect, just like Marcus Miller... But for me the best in this test is the Sadowsky. This bass has it all!!! Clear sound, super easy to play, it has a perfect adjustment, real vintage tone... It's just PERFECT.
Ah, and about the Yamaha... that's the best vintage bass for the money that you can buy today. I've paid only 500€ for this great bass.

I hope you like it!!!!

See ya!

Edited by Miki Groove, 25 August 2013 - 04:11 PM.

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#2 Ou7shined

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 04:17 PM

Bravo.
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#3 hamfist

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 06:04 AM

Oooooooo ....... excellent. Will have a listen later !
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#4 skej21

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 06:34 AM

I'm surprised at how close the Road Worn matches up against the original jazzes and the CS stuff. I actually did a blind test with her indoors loading up the sounds and I could tell a distinct difference between the 60s jazzes and the 70s jazzes. I was shocked at the Fodera. I had that down as one of the cheap basses as I thought that the SX was the nicer sound out of the two. I also thought the Marcus Miller was the sound that I liked the least and spotted it a mile off!

Edited by skej21, 05 August 2013 - 06:37 AM.

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#5 White Cloud

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 10:23 AM

View Postskej21, on 05 August 2013 - 06:34 AM, said:

I'm surprised at how close the Road Worn matches up against the original jazzes and the CS stuff. I actually did a blind test with her indoors loading up the sounds and I could tell a distinct difference between the 60s jazzes and the 70s jazzes. I was shocked at the Fodera. I had that down as one of the cheap basses as I thought that the SX was the nicer sound out of the two. I also thought the Marcus Miller was the sound that I liked the least and spotted it a mile off!
I was shocked at the Fodera also - I thought it was one of the cheapo's as well!

My personal favourite is the Musicman...by a distance.

Edited by White Cloud, 05 August 2013 - 10:59 AM.

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#6 JTUK

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 01:17 PM

Will deffo listen to these samples when I get more time.

thanks...

#7 jimbobothy

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 01:24 PM

Yeah, cheers for doing this. It's nice when you can cut some of the hype that surrounds a particular model/year/bass and just do a audio comparison B), if we only bought with our ears lol!!
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#8 leroydiamond

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 02:04 PM

This is fantastic. Thanks a million. look forward to giving them a good listen

#9 Dingus

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 04:25 PM

Hi Miki, I have seen your videos on YouTube before now and I think you are a superb player . Thanks for taking the time to make these clips and post them . They are fascinating listening , especially in respect of how close the less expensive basses sound to their high -end and vintage counterparts ! Really interesting to hear the differences between the different Fenders , too . Great stuff .

#10 Miki Groove

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 08:42 PM

View PostDingus, on 05 August 2013 - 04:25 PM, said:

Hi Miki, I have seen your videos on YouTube before now and I think you are a superb player . Thanks for taking the time to make these clips and post them . They are fascinating listening , especially in respect of how close the less expensive basses sound to their high -end and vintage counterparts ! Really interesting to hear the differences between the different Fenders , too . Great stuff .

Thanks man!!! I really appreciate your support!

And yeah, the sound of the Musicman is punchy, big, aggressive... I love it. But I prefer the versatility of the Jazz Bass. Musicman has been always my second option. Its a must-have bass!
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Posted 05 August 2013 - 10:10 PM

Super! Will sit down calmly and listen carefully when I get a few hours for myself.
Thanko mucho for posting them.

best,
bert
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#12 stevie

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 10:23 PM

Oooh - only just found this. Great stuff. Well done!
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#13 OliverBlackman

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 10:34 PM

I've always found that vintage fenders have a certain "dark" quality to the sound, no matter what pick up configuration and where you play. Something that I've never found on a modern bass no matter the price tag. Still to check out an Alleva Copollo though. Really have GAS for the tone of a 70's J but I love the feel of playing a Sadowsky! So much GAS

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 10:37 PM

Great fun! The 77 JB neck pickup did it for me, deep, rich, warm, lovely harmonic resonance, chorusey. The one I found most disgusting was the Stingray neck pickup. That was vile to my ears. Very disappointed with the Fodera and the Sadowsky, lifeless. Surprised by the good sound of the Yam.

Brilliant stuff, a great thing to have done. Thank you!

#15 risingson

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 10:54 PM

It was a toss up between the '62 and the '77 for me. I liked the MM tone too, but then I just like the MM tone anyway, great instruments. I'd actually argue to my ears that the Fodera might have sounded the worst!
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#16 Miki Groove

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:02 AM

I've added the aprox value of all the basses and my personal opinion.
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Posted 06 August 2013 - 05:47 AM

This is a great test. Well done.

I have never liked the sound of a Jazz bridge pickup - too trebly for me. Also, I don't like slap (either the look or sound of it) - so I'm focusing my comments on the neck pickups.

I luuuuurve the sound of all of the Jazz basses in this one. It's very close, but if I had to choose one, I'd have the JB 76. Proper Jazz sound that.

I was underwhelmed by nearly ALL of of the Un-Fenders. I didn't like the Sadowsky sound. Too thin and brittle to me. The Music Mans sounded too plinky - probably okay if you are a slap player, but not for me.

The Yamaha made a good sound mind you. The Pedula was a bit "muffled" sounding.

Good test.

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 08:38 AM

This makes it easy to assess the differences and similarities. For me, the 76 and 77 were the pick of the bunch :)
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#19 Miki Groove

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 09:29 AM

View Postxilddx, on 05 August 2013 - 10:37 PM, said:

The one I found most disgusting was the Stingray neck pickup. That was vile to my ears.

This Stingray has only one pickup so all three files (fingers1, fingers2 and slap) are recorded with the same configuration.

Edited by Miki Groove, 06 August 2013 - 09:30 AM.

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#20 xilddx

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 09:33 AM

View PostMiki Groove, on 06 August 2013 - 09:29 AM, said:

This Stingray has only one pickup so all three files (fingers1, fingers2 and slap) are recorded with the same configuration.

Oh of course it does :) I meant the Fingers 1, sorry. I think I called it neck because it was the first one.

Nasty ol sound though :D

It's a fantastic set of comparisons, very interesting to listen to, thanks again.

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 09:40 AM

For me it just goes to show that a jazz sounds like a jazz. The only differences really are between pickup spacings.

The SX however sounds just as good as the rest, and the fodera doesn't sound like it cost 10x the amount of the SX.

For me the it's between the SX and the 62 jazz.

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 02:28 PM

Fascinating. Apart from the Musicman (which sounds different), the others are so close in sound that it would only take a tweak of eq to get one to sound like another. I liked the Fodera followed by the Yammy. The SX sounded a bit thin to me.

There's a lesson in there somewhere.
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#23 dood

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 02:53 PM

Miki, this is great! Thank you for taking the time to post. I'm going to make this thread a sticky as I think it's an invaluable resource.

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 06:17 PM

Great work Miki!

I have to say my '66 Jazz Bass sounds a bit better than the '65 on your recordings, specially when slapping, it has more ring to it, closer to your '77...could be down to the strings being to old maybe?

#25 Miki Groove

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 07:26 PM

View PostPauBass, on 06 August 2013 - 06:17 PM, said:

Great work Miki!

I have to say my '66 Jazz Bass sounds a bit better than the '65 on your recordings, specially when slapping, it has more ring to it, closer to your '77...could be down to the strings being to old maybe?

Yeah sure, the strings on the 65 and 72 were old, and the fodera as well, but not that much... they should sound much better than that. Sorry about that guys!
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#26 OliverBlackman

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 07:34 PM

View PostPrime_BASS, on 06 August 2013 - 09:40 AM, said:

For me it just goes to show that a jazz sounds like a jazz. The only differences really are between pickup spacings.

The SX however sounds just as good as the rest, and the fodera doesn't sound like it cost 10x the amount of the SX.

For me the it's between the SX and the 62 jazz.

View Poststevie, on 06 August 2013 - 02:28 PM, said:

Fascinating. Apart from the Musicman (which sounds different), the others are so close in sound that it would only take a tweak of eq to get one to sound like another. I liked the Fodera followed by the Yammy. The SX sounded a bit thin to me.

There's a lesson in there somewhere.

I thought the jazzes had different sounds. For example, to my ears a maple fingerboard will always produced a slightly brighter tone to Rosewood, on a fender bass.

#27 hamfist

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 06:45 AM

That SX is a monster ! As good sonically as any of the others.
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#28 Miki Groove

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 07:18 AM

View Postdood, on 06 August 2013 - 02:53 PM, said:

Miki, this is great! Thank you for taking the time to post. I'm going to make this thread a sticky as I think it's an invaluable resource.

Great man, thanks a lot, I'm gonna record more basses in the next days, so this is gonna get even better! Thanks!
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Posted 07 August 2013 - 06:23 PM

Amazing job, Miki! Thanks a lot!

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 09:28 AM

It's very easy to get bass fatigue listening to all of these in one go. Rapidly flicking between neck pickups on the various Jazz basses resulted in me concluding that they all sound much and such the same, in that they have the same characteristics (which you would expect) but have subtle differences that to be honest got lost on me after a while because they're also so similar. Surprised by the variance in bass and overall output of the various bridge pickups, even with the different positioning taken into account - the MIM one sounding particularly anaemic to my ears.

Honestly I have to say that I think my favourite out of all that was the Yamaha neck pickup. A Goldilocks tone for me, not too bassy, not too middy, not too trebly - just riiiiiiiight and therefore a great place to start when EQing.

Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I've done this sort of thing before on request for particular basses and I know how tiring and monotonous it can get. Cheers!

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'04 Epi Les Paul (not so) Standard - '15 G&L Tribute SB-2 - '15 Epi Jack Casady ...this century

'75 Gibson Ripper - '79 Gibson RD Artist - '81 Gibson Victory Artist - '86 Yamaha BB350F ...last century

BFM Omni 10.5 - RedSub BT5110 - Laney HCM30B ...ampage

"Gibson have never made a pretty bass, fact." - waynepunkdude






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