What is a Jazz Bass? Well, the legendary Fender Jazz Bass arguably set the standard for ergonomic bass guitar design in 1960 and beyond. It quickly became a viable and equally popular alternative to the Precision Bass, which was released a few years prior in 1951. From its tapered neck to the curvy body and elegant cutaways, the Jazz Bass guitar just oozes class. It’s also supremely versatile, thanks to a flexible dual pickup configuration. Trust us, you’ve heard Jazz Bass players everywhere — recorded on countless blues, rock, metal, folk and jazz records!
Despite its long lifespan, the Fender Jazz Bass has retained pretty much the same specs from over 60 years ago — with only a few minor adjustments made in the years since for certain product series, signature models, etc. So, in what new direction can you take such an all-encompassing and successful design?
Well, bass manufacturers Sire might have something to say about that! They teamed up with former Fender signature artist Marcus Miller to create the V Series. This suave line-up of 4-string, 5-string, fretless and left-handed bass guitars don’t try to hide their origins — but do put a new twist on proceedings. Miller is a renowned composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist — so he knows what makes a good Jazz Bass — and Sire definitely picked the right man to help them through the creative process! For this head-to-head, we’re going to take a look at the Sire V7 bass model in particular, which is closest in price to the popular Fender Player Series Jazz Bass.
What Features Will We Compare?
- Neck & fretboard
- Build quality
Fender Player Jazz Bass
Most bassists know the Fender Jazz Bass specs off by heart, so you could have a pretty good guess at what the Player Series version has to offer! This replaced the venerable Mexican Standard model in 2018 (where it is still made), but comes overhauled with modern updates that include a satin-finished neck and redesigned pickups for improved playability and sonics respectively. The alnico single-coil pickups sound great using either a pick or playing fingerstyle; producing a tight and punchy tone that you could easily use across a spectrum of musical genres.
In essence, this is a real workhorse of a bass. It’s not overflowing with premium features, but it is packing serious Fender tone and feel — all from an affordable instrument to boot. Its predecessor was the benchmark for quality at a modest price point, and the Fender Player Jazz Bass continues the trend. It has the same unmistakable feel, from the Modern “C” Maple neck to the 21 medium jumbo frets, slim 1.5″ nut width and 34″ scale length.
What more can you say about a bona fide legend? It’s a no brainer if you want that classic Fender name on the headstock without spending big bucks. Fender have an excellent reputation for quality control, so you know it’s going to be a well-made and superb-sounding instrument.