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Geddy Lee Fender J-Bass Question Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 3rd September 2007
  #1
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smoore98's Avatar
 

Geddy Lee Fender J-Bass Question

I just sold my Ibanez EDB 600. It was an OK bass, but I am looking to get something that is a little more classic. I have been reading a lot of previous postings here and other places and I think for what I am doing, the Geddy Lee Fender J-bass seems to be the ticket.

I want a 4-string, passive pickups, classic Fender sound. Hopefully that makes it a little easier to get a decent bass sound. I am going to put it through an API 512, and then into a Keeley 4-knob compressor pedal, into a Fireface 400 to track it DI.

Questions:

1. Does this sound like a decent rig and signal chain?
2. When I try out the bass (several of the same kind), what am I looking for in the guitar that lets me know it is a keeper and not a dud?
3. Are there any other basses in that range that gives me the same stuff as listed above? The street price is $799.
4. What kind of strings would you recommend for pop/rock?
5. If you had another bass that could compliment this one for other styles, more progressive, jazz, etc in a 5-string, what would you recommend?

Most of the time I will be simply taking this on the road. Even when I am home this is how I will probably track bass. On the other hand, I have thought about getting a bass amp head and 4X10 with an extension ca (15" maybe). I thought an SWR head with an Eden cabinet would be a good choice. Anyone have any ideas on that?

Thanks!

Scott
Old 4th September 2007
  #2
Moderator
 
Blast9's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoore98 View Post
I just sold my Ibanez EDB 600. It was an OK bass, but I am looking to get something that is a little more classic. I have been reading a lot of previous postings here and other places and I think for what I am doing, the Geddy Lee Fender J-bass seems to be the ticket.

I want a 4-string, passive pickups, classic Fender sound. Hopefully that makes it a little easier to get a decent bass sound. I am going to put it through an API 512, and then into a Keeley 4-knob compressor pedal, into a Fireface 400 to track it DI.

Questions:

1. Does this sound like a decent rig and signal chain?
2. When I try out the bass (several of the same kind), what am I looking for in the guitar that lets me know it is a keeper and not a dud?
3. Are there any other basses in that range that gives me the same stuff as listed above? The street price is $799.
4. What kind of strings would you recommend for pop/rock?
5. If you had another bass that could compliment this one for other styles, more progressive, jazz, etc in a 5-string, what would you recommend?


Most of the time I will be simply taking this on the road. Even when I am home this is how I will probably track bass. On the other hand, I have thought about getting a bass amp head and 4X10 with an extension ca (15" maybe). I thought an SWR head with an Eden cabinet would be a good choice. Anyone have any ideas on that?

Thanks!

Scott
The only ones I can answer:

Yes you'll get a great passive tone out of a good Jazz Bass -- Nice mid-range growl from bridge or both pickups, nice round deep "dub" tone from neck pickup.

If its a dud, it will sound dull, thin, lack sustain/body and will have dead spots on the neck --- you need to play up and down on each string to see how the notes ring out.

Also unplugged it should be nice and zingy/lively.

Wasn't too keen on the SWR my bass player tried out. He uses an SVT Mk 4 I think (tube front end solid state power amp like the SWR), and it was a much more authoratitive big punchy warm sound (he has an SWR Goliath 4x10 cab).

Apparently Edens are great!

Geddy gets a nice live sound (a bit clackity because of aggressive technique) --- He uses and Avalon DI and a Sansamp RBI
Old 4th September 2007
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

The only shortcoming to the GL Jazz bass is it still comes with the MIM lower grade pickups. If you drop a couple of 62 reissue pickups in it, it will be a whole different animal. I have a 60's reissue MIM jazz bass, and when I swapped the pickups out, it made all the difference in the world.

cheers
g
Old 4th September 2007
  #4
Gear Addict
 

The advantage to this bass is the looks and the neck. Not that its not a great bass, but it has the SLIMMEST neck ive ever played. Comming from an ibanez this may be more appealing to you. I wanted a 75 jazz for so long till i played one, i felt like i was gonna snap the neck like a twig. I find that all bass players fall into 2 camps, p bass necks and jazz bass necks. No matter how nice a bass is, or how good it sounds, the neck is the biggest factor for me. I learned on a spector with a baseball bat neck and thats what ive had to stick to.

The setup sounds great. I agree with replacing the pickups, thats the weakest part of that bass. Other options in that price range are a used american standard j or p, or a highway one jazz or P.
Old 8th September 2007
  #5
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smoore98's Avatar
 

Thanks for all the advice guys!!

I just came home with the 4th one that I tried. I was surprised at how varied the experience was from bass to bass. It sounds great to me with the stock pickups. But its strong point is how well it plays. It feels so natural. i am not really that great on bass, but I absolutely had a ball playing this particular one, and I did not want it to be the one that got away.

Now - the next logical question would be, how will these 60's reissue pickups affect the sound from what it is now?

Where would you suggest I get them from?

I am thrilled. My keeley compressor should be here monday. I am ready to rock!

Scott
Old 8th September 2007
  #6
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast9 View Post

Also unplugged it should be nice and zingy/lively.
Yep. I always say that if it doesn't sound good without an amp, there's no amp in the world that can make it sound good.

Listen to the bass unamplified. It should have nice resonance with no dead spots.

If you're close to buying an instrument, put your brand and gauge of strings on it first.
Old 10th September 2007
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Not that I have alot of knowledge on the subject, but if your looking at new pickups Id just be a little careful. The single biggest complaint I get from Jazz users is that they are noisey. Im not sure how the 60's reissue pickups stack against the newer noiseless pickups, but in a recording situation, having a silent bass is worth its weight in gold.
Old 28th September 2007
  #8
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smoore98's Avatar
 

There -is- a slight buzz/hum on this bass that is irritating me right now. It is the kind of hum that disappears when you lay your hand on the strings. So when you are playing it is not a big deal. It is when you stop that it comes back.

Does anyone have any suggestions on pickups and/or ways to get rid of this hum altogether?

S
Old 28th September 2007
  #9
I really enjoy the Geddy Lee, I don't have any complaints. It is a very versitle sound, and easy jump from guitar to bass is easy with the insanely smooth neck. The BadAss bridge is a nice bonus as well. I bought one when they first came out for $500 new, but it didn't come with a case. I don't know if I'd drop $800 on one.
Old 28th September 2007
  #10
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allencollins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestarbass View Post
The advantage to this bass is the looks and the neck.
What advantage do the looks provide? Is that a tonal advantage or do chicks dig the shape of a J

just kidding


When I think of geddy I think 4001
Old 28th September 2007
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
When I think of geddy I think 4001
Thats funny cuz when I think of geddy I think of Wal. Wal basses are the best basses ive ever played.
Old 1st October 2007
  #12
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
When I think of geddy I think 4001
I was puzzled by this "Geddy Lee J-Bass" thing, too. For me, Geddy Lee = Rick bass with a Badass bridge. But maybe that just means I'm old.
Old 1st October 2007
  #13
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chrispick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
I was puzzled by this "Geddy Lee J-Bass" thing, too. For me, Geddy Lee = Rick bass with a Badass bridge. But maybe that just means I'm old.
I'm not 100% sure, but I think Geddy jumped to a Jazz on "Moving Pictures." So, he's been using one for a while. Since the 80s.
Old 1st October 2007
  #14
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smoore98's Avatar
 

Does anyone have any suggestions on pickups and/or ways to get rid of this hum altogether?
Old 1st October 2007
  #15
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geddy used a jazz really early on, and then when they got their advance bought a 4001 b/c that's what Chris Squire played. heh

the jazz has always floated in and out of their recordings since.....but he's floated through the 4001, steinbergers, the Wal's in the late 80s/early 90s, and brought the jazz back out for Counterparts. it's stuck since.

i like the GL Jazz that they're making these days--super fast neck and nice sounding, but there is indeed a lot of variance. can't speak to the pickups, i always try basses unplugged. if i were buying a bass, i would definitely have the GL Jazz in the running.

bluestar, where can i try a Wal? i've always loved the sound geddy got out of them and have always been intrigued.....


cheers,
wade
Old 1st October 2007
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoore98 View Post
and/or ways to get rid of this hum altogether?
hum is a problem with single coil pickups. it's worse if you play around a TV or CRT monitor.

try a shielded cable. or a cable with the ground/shield lifted at one end. i know people around here hate monster cable, but when i started using Monster 500 cables, all of my buzz/hum problems went away. and i don't notice any problems with high end roll off, etc., either. i don't buy into their marketing BS, but i do like the cable.....

i'm sure you can get the same results with a Mogami, George L's, etc.


cheers,
wade
Old 3rd October 2007
  #17
Gear Addict
 
smoore98's Avatar
 

I am using GeorgeL's, custom sautered by Steve at Cryptic Globe here in Nashville. It's not the cable. It happens via DI and through an amp. It's definitely the pickups. Are there no wiring/grounding tricks for the pickups themselves?

S
Old 3rd October 2007
  #18
Moderator
 
Blast9's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrface2112 View Post
geddy used a jazz really early on, and then when they got their advance bought a 4001 b/c that's what Chris Squire played. heh

the jazz has always floated in and out of their recordings since.....but he's floated through the 4001, steinbergers, the Wal's in the late 80s/early 90s, and brought the jazz back out for Counterparts. it's stuck since.

i like the GL Jazz that they're making these days--super fast neck and nice sounding, but there is indeed a lot of variance. can't speak to the pickups, i always try basses unplugged. if i were buying a bass, i would definitely have the GL Jazz in the running.

bluestar, where can i try a Wal? i've always loved the sound geddy got out of them and have always been intrigued.....


cheers,
wade
But as i understand it he continued using it on stuff we thought was Ricky ---

I bekieve it was used a lot on Moving Pictures
Old 3rd October 2007
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast9 View Post
But as i understand it he continued using it on stuff we thought was Ricky ---I bekieve it was used a lot on Moving Pictures
yeah, that's exactly what i was trying to say, albeit poorly. heh

anyway, hard to find a better bass for the price they're charging for these.....


cheers,
wade
Old 3rd October 2007
  #20
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
bluestar, where can i try a Wal? i've always loved the sound geddy got out of them and have always been intrigued.....
You really cant. Bass central used to stock a few. The owner has fallen ill and stopped taking orders. They are getting SUPER pricey on the used market. Seeing one of those come up used is extremely rare. The pickups are key and those are proprietary. Ive played a few of people ive known over the years. There are harder to get ahold of then a carl thompson these days. There is word that the owner wants someone to step in his place and keep building them, though.
Old 3rd October 2007
  #21
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Bob Ross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrface2112 View Post
where can i try a Wal?

Is the LA Bass Xchange still in business? Or wait, maybe it was the LA Bass Center? Crap, now I can't remember... But way back in 1991 I wandered in there while wrapping up a tour and they had two Wals in stock. I'd never seen one in the flesh before. I think I may have messed up my pants.
Old 3rd October 2007
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

I've got one and I love it, and prior to owning it I wasn't a big Fender guy.

The neck is super slim and the bass is quite light for a Jazz. Swap out the white pickguard for something different (mine is vintage red, but tobacco brown would work well too) and it's a neat looking bass.

I like the BadAss bridge a LOT, much better sustain and great adjustability, the stock pot metal bridges on Fenders have always bugged me.

I paid $625 with case and tax about 8 years ago.....funny it was supposed to be a limited production, one year model only but it's still around 8+ years later....

I run mine through either an Ampeg SVP-Pro, a Sansamp RBI, or an old Ashly BP-41 (Geddy actually used Ashly bass preamps through the first half of the 1980's) and it works great, I just run through the bass pre, out into a toggle switch Symetrix 501 and the sound is there.

Analogeezer
Old 3rd October 2007
  #23
13036
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoore98 View Post
I am using GeorgeL's, custom sautered by Steve at Cryptic Globe here in Nashville.
Soldered, perhaps?

Ben
Old 4th October 2007
  #24
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Blast9's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Analogeezer View Post

I run mine through either an Ampeg SVP-Pro, a Sansamp RBI, or an old Ashly BP-41 (Geddy actually used Ashly bass preamps through the first half of the 1980's) and it works great, I just run through the bass pre, out into a toggle switch Symetrix 501 and the sound is there.

Analogeezer
What does the Ashly add tonally? Always wonderd what the "Ashly sound" is

PS here's a description at talkbass forum: TalkBass Forums

Just looking at the features and specs, you can see that this thing is quiet and has other features similar if not better than newer preamps. The two inputs are voiced differently. The A input is flat from 10hz to above 25khz according to the spectrume anylizer readings, while the B input is voiced with low/mid bump. The presence switch is a low/high boost. I normally just have the presence button engaged and the EQ left flat. I do sometimes use the parametric to find a rooms "gut rumble" and boost that a little. The unit features both mic and line level output at all output points; DI(pre-post+gnd lift), Stage output and Effect loop. The cross-over outs are line level ony of course. The EQ is perfect for bass or guitar for that matter. The DI can be muted for getting stage balance and tuning. There is also a headphone out that can be used to connect tuner without it being in line. I have a Sabine tuner that is microphonic when it is in line and affects my tone so a separate out works much better. Or you can put the tuner in the effect loop without egaging the loop. Very versitile. Unfortunately, it has been discontinued for years so ...They really don't make em like that anymore!
Old 4th October 2007
  #25
Gear Addict
 
smoore98's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studilaroche View Post
Soldered, perhaps?

Ben
touche'!

I never did like that word.
Old 15th June 2011
  #26
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Waxavub's Avatar
 

So these are going for $1000 new now.
Are the pickups any better yet?
Old 15th June 2011
  #27
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_Ludovico's Avatar
 

I tried one in a store in Quebec city once and ordered one from my local shop the following day. I'm mostly a guitarist but I sometimes play bass tracks on my own stuff.

The neck just sold it to me. I just had to have it, plain and simple. One of the best playing/looking bass I've ever seen, and I've seen alot even if it's not my main instrument. Very thin, laser straight and incredibly easy to play neck. Perfect action. Instant love on my side.

I didn't really care about the pups because I can always buy some nice ones afterwards. The bass can go from very fat to very bright because of the two pickup controls, so yes alot of variety on this one. The stock pups do sound really good actually, though i'm not sure what they are exactly... Great sustain, awsome and DEEP lows, though a little more on the bright side overall because of the maple neck.

It's made in Japan, and it feels like quality, at least as much as my 2006 USA American Standard P-Bass which I love dearly. It looks awsome in black! I love it. I think it's a winner!
Old 16th June 2011
  #28
Lives for gear
 

I did a lot of cherry picking and settled on a MIM Jazz bass. It sounded better than any Geddy Lee I tried in stores.
Old 16th June 2011
  #29
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Firebaugh View Post
The only shortcoming to the GL Jazz bass is it still comes with the MIM lower grade pickups. If you drop a couple of 62 reissue pickups in it, it will be a whole different animal. I have a 60's reissue MIM jazz bass, and when I swapped the pickups out, it made all the difference in the world.

cheers
g
This is actually incorrect. The Geddy Lee comes loaded with American Vintage Jazz Bass Pickups which sound quite nice for that classic J Bass growl. With that being said, I replaced mine with a set of active EMGs. While it did lose some of its midrange it's now dead quiet and sounds great plugged directly into the board.
Old 16th June 2011
  #30
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ears2thesky's Avatar
You might also try running the bass into the compressor before the API.
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