Modern Player Jazz Bass & Telecaster Bass
Sourced, just like the hugely popular Squier Classic Vibes, from China, the new Fender Modern Players aim to take traditional designs and shake things up a bit. Review by Gareth Morgan
Recent times have brought us some genuinely forwardlooking Fenders, and bass players have benefitted just as much as guitar players. A favourite of Guitar & Bass was the Classic Series ’70s Precision, a fine instrument which we selected as a Bass Of The Year in 2011. For this issue we have an interesting pair from the Modern Player Series, the re-introduced Telecaster Bass and, first up, a comfortingly familiar Jazz Bass.
Modern Player Jazz Bass Familiar, yes… but these are Modern Player Humbucking Jazz Bass pickups, and though all Fender bass fans know that the original Jazz’s pickups were connected in humbucking mode, sceptics are bound to be nervous at how a pair of chunky dual-coils will affect the much-loved Jazz Bass sound.
Otherwise, the MPJ follows standard Jazz lines with a trans black finish over an alder body, a three-ply scratchplate, a bolt-on neck and a rosewood fingerboard with 20 frets. Hardware comprises standard open-gear tuners and a Vintage bridge with brass saddles. The electronics are passive, with the usual two pickup volumes and one master tone on a chrome plate.
Big headstock, open tuners, narrow nut width: the MPJ’s neck is all Jazz
The body is alder and the all-up weight on our review sample is a hefty 9.9lbs
Sceptics are bound to be nervous at how a pair of chunky dual-coils will affect the much-loved Jazz Bass sound
Sounds If you compare the MPJ to a standard Jazz Bass (we used an early ’80s JV series Squier), you might feel a little let down. Sure, there’s more output level, but where the JV Jazz is has a full-range sound with biting lows, clean midrange and well-realised highs, what you get here is closer to a Precision than a Jazz. The bottom end is earthy, and the
FINAL SCORE MODERN PLAYER JAZZ BASS Build Quality 18 /20 Playability 16 /20 Sound 15/ 20 Value for money 15 /20 Vibe 15 /20
FACTFILE Modern Player Jazz Bass DESCRIPTION: Solidbody bass. Made in China PRICE: £526.80
BUILD: Alder body, bolt-on maple neck with 20 jumbo nickel frets on a rosewood fingerboard. Vintage 4-Saddle bridge with brass saddles and standard open-gear tuners. Chrome hardware ELECTRICS: Passive with two Modern Player Humbucking Jazz Bass Pickups, two volumes and one master tone control LEFT-HANDER: No FINISHES: Three-colour sunburst, olympic white, black transparent RANGE OPTIONS: Modern Player Jaguar Bass, £442.80
SCALE LENGTH 864mm/34" WIDTH OF NECK Nut 38mm 12th fret 56mm DEPTH OF NECK First fret 20mm 12th fret 23mm STRING SPACING Nut 10mm Bridge 20.5mm ACTION AS SUPPLIED 12th fret treble 2mm 12th fret bass 3mm WEIGHT 4.4kg/9.7lbs
CONTACT: Fender GB&I 01342 331 700 www.fender.com
FEBRUARY 2012 Guitar & Bass 91