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Huge range of tones, plays easy.
I love this bass, just wish it were a tad lighter. I like to blend the P and J pickup tones, but it's nice to be able to twerk one over the other when slapping, picking, etc. Stays in tune really well, very rarely to actually have to tune during a set, and that's mostly after a lot of slap.
edited almost 3 years ago
4.5 Stars. Nothing is without room for improvement, but this would be my desert island bass.
Playability: This bass makes advanced techniques easy to pull off. I like the action just above fret buzz territory, and the frets on this bass feel thinner and lower than most, which allows me to get my action nice and low. The satin, maple neck, with its 7.25" radius fingerboard is so comfortable and easy to play that I wonder why this classic bass fingerboard radius has not remained the standard. Additionally, it is lighter in weight than other Jazz bass models and very comfortable to strap on for extended periods of time.
Electronics: The P-style pickup is solid and while the J-style pickup in the bridge position is a little thin on its own, it complements the P nicely when both are wide open and the tone knob covers a wide range of possibilities.
Aesthetics: Its most immediately apparent strength, of course, is its stunning good looks. The contoured black body and matching headstock, natural binding and smoked chrome hardware, are all beautifully unique features of the Aerodyne Jazz Bass, as is the stained rosewood fingerboard, which is consistently dark and rich in appearance and a perfect match to the black finish of the body. And as the body's aesthetics are improved by the lack of pick guard, so is the fingerboard improved by the lack of fret markers (side dots only). Even if the build quality were not as solid as it is, Fender would sell a good number of these on looks, alone.
Hardware: The smoked chrome hardware looks great, but it is difficult to find replacement and upgrade parts to match. So, if you want to replace the stock bridge, which is a little thin and cheap looking for my taste, with a more robust version from Fender, a high-quality Wilkinson bridge, or one of the consistently impressive Babicz models, you won't find them in smoked chrome, so you will have to choose between replacing the rest of the instrument's hardware to match, or making peace with the distracting look of unmatched hardware. The low, skinny frets (which Fender calls "medium,") which allow for such a nice low action, may require replacement more often than most.
Electronics: The stock pickups are a good quality, overall, but when both pickups are engaged, very little tonal impact is made unless both pickups are wide open.
Aesthetics: While the stained rosewood fingerboard looks great, using genuine ebony would not add significantly to the manufacturing cost and would be an improvement to just creating the look of ebony with a dark stain. Oddly enough, while this instrument's good looks are one of its biggest strengths, it's gorgeous black finish is also the biggest drawback I've experienced in owning this bass. It shows absolutely EVERYTHING! If you want to keep it looking as good as new, have a microfiber cloth handy and be prepared to use it every time you pick up the instrument to wipe down the inevitable smudges it will attract any time you even think about touching it. Seriously, those good looks don't just happen. Be prepared to provide constant love and attention to keep it that way.
- Hipshot D-tuner in chrome
- Elixir 50-105 Nanoweb strings
- Loxx brand strap locks (black)
- Babicz FCH4 bridge in chrome
- Matching chrome control knobs
- Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder P/J pickup set
- Matching chrome tuners
First of all, I've never been a Fender fan, and I just don't get why the hell people are so obsessed with the brand name on the headstock, but! This particular model (well, mine is a Japan non-export Dolphin Gray, but there's not a lot of difference apart from pickguard) is so damn good. The P/J configuration gives you a lot of settings, the slim neck, the light weight - everything is wery well balanced. Definitively a keeper!
Solid and Sounds Great
This is my main 4-string bass. I've used it for everything from jazz to metal to pop-punk and have been able to get any sound I want out of it. Very gig-worthy and sounds fantastic. A little heavy so it's not necessarily the best choice for long gigs but still.
Best Shot In The Dark I've Ever Taken
This bass is truly remarkable.
I bought it based on youtube videos and fender's videos, and I was blown away with how well crafted this piece is. It's been my main stage bass for three years running.
the tone is very focused; razor-sharp highs, super punchy mids and very controlled and focused lows. I love it.
I replaced the bridge (like we all do on Fenders) with a Babicz FCH4 bridge. Drove the mids home. Loads of sustain.