« -Fender '62 Reissue Jazz »

For about 10 years my primary stage & touring bass was a modern, souped-up active Fender Jazz Deluxe.  It was great, but as I transitioned to doing more sessions, I found I was really missing that classic passive-Jazz sound.  This '62 Reissue nailed the tone and response I was looking for!

This stack-knob is now my main touring bass, as well as seeing a lot of session duties.  The early 60's "stack knob" arrangement (dual volume & tone) adds a second capacitor which lends a subtly 'darker' overall tone to the bass.  I generally run everything wide-open and it sounds amazing!  Tight, punchy and a little less aggressive than my '57 Precision - plus I can dial in that archetypal bridge pickup 'burpy-tone' that lots of bassists dig, but I usually stay away from (personal taste).

I played a lot of Jazz basses before I found this one.  I even played many of this identical model, but for some reason the neck on this instrument just felt perfect in my hands.  It's a little deeper, but still narrow at the nut- slightly more 'U' shaped than 'C' in cross-section.  I don't usually play with the covers installed (picture above), but it certainly 'classes things up' for photo's & let's face it- I need all the classing-up I can get! ;-)

While I haven't owned this '62 reissue very long, it has accompanied me on many shows across the U.S., Canada and Europe.  Despite increasingly cro-magnon treatment by airline baggage personnel, she's held up beautifully and rarely requires neck adjustments due to changing climates.  That's a relief with such a thin neck! (Pun-intended for the tech-oriented among you!)

I haven't experimented much with aftermarket pickups yet on this Jazz & I really love the darker sounding electronics, so I think they'll stay.  I have, however, installed one of these ingenious Hipshot detuners on the 'E' string. (note tuning key with additional lever below) It's a clever little device that changes the tuning instantly & accurately of the string it's connected to.  I generally keep it tuned so that it drops my 'E' to 'D' with a flick of the lever.  It's more of a live-performance convenience when I either want to hit a big, deep low note at the end of a song, or am playing a tune that has guitar-driven drop-D licks.  The device functions perfectly & lowers and returns the pitch accurately in a fraction of a second.  There's a trick to setting the detuner up, but it's easy and detailed in the installation directions that come with detuner.  The engineers at Hipshot make really useful devices for bass and electric guitar that function well, are intelligently designed and even open up creative potential on the instrument.  Hipshot is also great at returning emails and phone calls regarding installation and they offer custom modifications when needed.  

There's really only 2 basses that a professional working bassist needs, in my opinion- a good Precision and a good Jazz bass.  My Fenders are serving me well on stages and studios around the world.  I'm thankful to have them!


Tech Talk:

American Vintage Reissue '62 Jazz

check it out at

 Strung up with D'Addario XL170 Nickel Roundwounds 

at D'Addario

 Utilizing the Hipshot BT3... Check out the line of Hipshot Bass Xtender keys

at Hipshot Products, Inc

 I also use Schaller-style straplocks on all of my performing basses:

now distributed by Fender

I recently upgraded this bass with a set of Jason Lollar's great sounding replacement vintage-style pickups. It's the same essential tone, but clearer, louder and with a lot more low end! 

Lollar Pickups