Last update 5/2/2024
The Fender American Elite Jazz Bass is a great bass that wants more than mediocre bass. This bass is worth consideration for any genre: jazz, funk, rock, and even metal. This bass guitar will have you covered. Its tonal range and seamless playability are outstanding. For decades, the Fender Jazz Bass has held a throne in the bass world, its familiar silhouette and growling voice gracing countless stages and recordings.
But Fender isn’t one to rest on laurels, and the American Elite Jazz Bass represents a bold evolution for this iconic instrument. With innovative features, sonic upgrades, and a meticulous focus on playability, the Elite aims to redefine the standard for modern J Basses. Does it succeed? Let’s find out.
Fender American Elite Jazz Bass review
What I Like about the Guitar
One of the standout features of the Fender American Elite Jazz Bass is its impeccable craftsmanship. That will be evident from the moment you first lay eyes on it. The overall fit and finish of the instrument exude quality and elegance. This bass is comfortable to play; this bass’s ergonomic design also allows extended playing sessions without discomfort, making it a true workhorse for stage and studio use.
The tonal output of the Fender American Elite Jazz Bass won’t disappoint. The low-end frequencies resonate with warmth and depth, while the midrange punches through the mix with clarity and articulation. The bright and lively trebles allow for expressive playing and tonal shaping. Whether playing with a pick or your fingers or employing slap techniques, this bass guitar maintains its sonic integrity, providing a robust, well-defined tone.
Crafted from premium alder or ash (depending on the finish), the body of the American Elite Jazz Bass contributes to its tonal character. The instrument’s weight is well-balanced and should lessen any strain during those long gigs or studio sessions. The comfortable contours hug your body, giving easy access to the upper frets.
Straight out of the box, the Fender American Elite Jazz Bass impresses with its impeccable setup. The action is perfectly adjusted. The fretwork is flawless, and a high-quality bone should enhance the tuning stability and sustain.
One of the highlights of this bass guitar is its supremely playable neck. The “C”-shaped profile feels natural in your hand. The satin finish prevents stickiness, allowing your hand to glide smoothly along the neck. With 21 medium-jumbo frets and a 9.5″ radius, the neck accommodates various playing styles, making it a dream to play intricate passages or lay down powerful grooves.
The Top, Back, and Sides
The Fender American Elite Jazz Bass features stunning finishes that showcase the beauty of the wood used. The top, back, and sides are flawlessly applied, highlighting the natural grain of the alder or ash. The finish is durable and enhances the resonance of the wood, further contributing to the guitar’s exceptional tone.
The 34″ scale length is a defining characteristic of the Fender American Elite Jazz Bass. This length strikes the perfect balance between playability and tone.
Does the Guitar Include a Hardcase or Gigbag?
With the Fender American Elite Jazz Bass, you get a quality hard case that should help protect the bass when traveling.
In conclusion, the Fender American Elite Jazz Bass is a true masterpiece that lives up to the Fender legacy. Its impeccable craftsmanship, versatile tone, comfortable playability, and premium features make it a top-tier choice for bass players looking for a high-end bass.
Alternative Guitars to Consider
While the American Elite Jazz Bass is undeniably exceptional, some alternative options exist. If you’re looking for a vintage vibe, the Fender American Original ’60s Jazz Bass is an excellent choice. The Music Man StingRay Special offers great playability and tone if you’re looking for tip-top features and aesthetics. The Sire Marcus Miller V7 5-String Bass also delivers outstanding value and performance for budget-conscious players.
Incredible tonal versatility is suitable for various musical genres and playing styles.
Impeccable craftsmanship and top-tier build quality.
Comfortable and ergonomic design for extended playing sessions.
Premium features, including Fender Noiseless Jazz Bass pickups and an 18-volt preamp system.
Flawless neck setup and fretwork, promoting effortless playability.
A durable hard case is included for added protection.
Premium price tag, potentially limiting access for budget-conscious players.
Weight may be a concern for players seeking an ultra-lightweight bass.
Limited finish options compared to other models in the Fender lineup.
The Fender American Elite Jazz Bass is, inarguably, a masterpiece. It retains the core DNA of the J Bass while pushing it further than ever before. The Noiseless pickups offer a universe of tones without a hint of hum, the compound-radius neck makes acrobatics on the fretboard a breeze, and the active/passive preamp grants unparalleled versatility. It’s an instrument that inspires confidence, begs to be explored, and delivers sonic satisfaction in spades.
Is it for everyone? Perhaps not. Its premium price tag and modern leanings might deter purists. But for players seeking a J Bass that transcends tradition, pushing the boundaries of tone and playability, the American Elite is a revelation. In this elite league, the Jazz Bass reigns supreme once again.
While it comes with a higher price tag, you’re getting a lot of high-quality refinements for your money.
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