Re: Original Jazz Bass Control Plate
On Nov 21, 8:37 am, MegaSwing <MegaSw...@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Nov 21, 1:25 am, "js" <noth...@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I remember being very enamored with the "detente" control when I first
stated playing (probably because I was playing a P Bass). But as I got
older, I realized what a MASSIVE tone suck they were.
As for why they went VVT as opposed to VT VT, I think it was cost (stacked
concentric pots are not cheap) Plus the fact that they figured most people
would play with both PU full on, if only to avoid the searing buzz...
Each pickup having its own tone control it the big benefit. Even if
you play the pickups full on, being able to tweak the tone of one
pickup or the other is huge. The variations in tone you can get that
way are ear-opening, particularly on a passive instrument. I'm just
Massive tone suck? Well, yeah, having re-wired my Jazz long ago to
V,V, MV, it had a lot more um, *tone*, almost more like a Jack Bruce
(modded) EB3 when run wide open and hammered.
I went back to stock because I wanted control of treble bite-- yup,
"just like Goldilocks", not too little, not too much, but just right
<g>! Controlling tone just on the amp didn't make it for me, and I
gave it the old college try, for sure, because that vol's-only "open"
tone is very nice indeed.
This was what, 1974 and we didn't know about shielding. And yeah, I
ran both V's almost all the way up, matching like you had to, and
adjusted the tone knob for "the edge of crunch" attack, putting it
where I liked it best, after optimizing amp settings.
The sad thing is, although I haven't modded my 1971 Jbass any further
since it is now "vintage" <g>, a well-shielded, noise-free 3-knob Jazz
has a pretty wide choice of voices, once you don't have to match the
vol's so you can hear them (ha ha). Which I have sampled while
ignoring the searing buzz, at home where no one else had to listen. A
useful layout, short of the mark in execution.
The stacked knob original is undoubtedly a cool bass being, which I
would love to get acquainted with. ("why we need lots of basses", for
However, I can also see where that setup would be complicated and
somewhat "error prone" in operation on stage. I wouldn't be surprised
if that were one reason, way back in 1960 when Leo & Co. might have
still been listening to Fender customers, that the stacked knob setup
went away-- "great on the bench" but not the easiest to keep on top of
in the field. Just supposing there, and Wiki says that the 3-knob
actually began in '61, with both models produced simultaneously until
'62. The buying market spoke?
The "solution" obviously is to buy a nice MIM Jazz and shield it,
since those don't have collector value (yet, boys and girls!) or maybe
buy two of them and have shielded 3-knob and 2-knob iterations at the
Both of them with a nice, neat rout on the front of the body for free
and easy access to the truss rod adjuster*. Please.
These mods are just picking up the ball from where Fender's production
rush left it, if you want to look at it that way.
*Forgive me, please, one more time: Taking the neck off is bad.
You break the adhesive neck-to-body union (listen to the crack when
you take a well-seated neck out)-- that's not helping tone or sustain!
You lose a little something in the body wood every time those mounting
screws go out, and then back in. Then one day they don't tighten.
Whoops! Toothpick time? No thanks!
You risk chipping body finish around the neck pocket or under the
number plate, or even chipping the wood out on the end grain in the
neck pocket. I've seen a few divots taken there.
You can't get as good an adjustment, or, more important sometimes,
anything near as fast-- "dismount time", plus it takes at least a
little more time for strings and neck to "settle in" after a dismount
for tuning as well as adjustment. Not something I want to deal with or
even think about as the first set commences <g>. IME, "neck on"
adjustments are over and done with pretty quickly.
If there is any advantage to "neck off", I can't think of one (but I'm
open to discussion and correction).
"Cosmetics"? give me a break! I mean, really. Not even if you're one
who keeps the ashtrays on and wipes your bass shiny clean between
sets <g>. Color or black out the rout, if need be.
"Collector value"? The one possible exception I can see: the "closet
queen" Collector Special Virgin Edition. "Never been played and must
never be played!!!"
Otherwise, see "hallmark" immed. below.
In my very humble but correct opinion: 1) a neat rout, first and
foremost, is a hallmark of a professional instrument, played (in well-
tuned condition) by a professional, and 2) shows a potential buyer
(perish the day of selling!) that indeed, this neck may and most
likely might not have been taken out and put back in many times--
maybe twice a year, seasonally, for ten years, so 20 times? 30? OW!
think about it! And further, perhaps (or probably), this neck was
looked after-- that is, not allowed to "take a set" for a prolonged
period of time with an extreme bow in it. In contrast to some closet
(Rant concludes and thank you) --D-y
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