Bass Collection Jive Bass

Back when Leo Fender created his now iconic Jazz, or J, and Precision, or P, basses they cost little more than these entry level Jive Bass instruments now cost today, while a vintage 1960s or 70s Fender start around £5K and then rocket up to dizzying five-figure sums. But the options for entry-level musicians have never been better. The Bass Collection Jive Bass is a case in point – retailing between £249 and £295 these instruments offer players of all abilities truly stunning instruments that are more than adequate for getting to grips with the finer points of becoming a working musician, or a proficient hobbyist for that matter. Taking the ‘collection’ tag for drawing together the best bits of Leo Fender’s definitive bass designs the Islington Blue Jazz style bass we tested sounded great straight out of the box.

Sporting a silver ‘ashtray’ neck pickup cover it looks every inch the cool retro bass, but to really get to grips with it we removed this to try to achieve the full range of tonal possibilities across both pickups. These are surprisingly varied considering the control set up simply includes a volume knob for each vintage style single coil pickup and a single tone control to add or remove brightness. All those classic tones are there, with a back pickup selected that Jaco-style ‘burp’ is easily achieved, while fuller throatier tones including a thick slap sound, are there with both pickups turned up or just the neck one soloed. A good bass lives or dies by the quality of the neck and fingerboard and this is where the Jive Bass excels, the matt-finished maple, vintage ’60s neck profile and 22-fret rosewood finger board offering an incredibly fast playing experience. What this bass may lack in sheer depth and variety of tone, it more than compensates for in extreme playability, stylish looks and lightweight design. With a range of designs that include sunburst and sparkling red gloss finishes in both ‘P’ and ‘J’ style basses, these brilliant instruments are a steal at this price point, in fact it’s hard to think of any bass range that offers so much quality for so little money.

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