The Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Four-String Bass Guitar Review

Even if you don’t have a whole lot of experience playing bass guitar or any musical experience at all, chances are you’ve probably heard of the brand Fender. Fender is one of the most famous guitar manufacturers across the entire globe and is known for producing high-end, high-quality guitars for a range of budgets.

We’re going to talk about all of the little details, the strengths, and the weaknesses of the Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass guitar today. Let’s get started!

Overall build

The Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Four-String Bass guitar is a bass guitar that falls into the price range that’s right into an intermediate level bass guitar. This bass guitar is an active/passive bass guitar. Owning an active/passive bass guitar really opens up a whole selection of tonal possibilities that you can create with your instrument.

In order to change your guitar between passive and active, there is a toggle switch that you have to flip. Fender put their Dual-Coil Ceramic Noiseless Jazz Bass with Nickel-Plated Pole Pieces in for the neck and the bridge. The other controls that are on this jazz bass guitar are a three-band active EQ with boost and cut for treble, middle, and bass, as well as a volume control, and a balance control.

Personally, one of the best features on this guitar is the HiMass bridge; the build of this bridge is incredibly solid. There really isn’t any space for air to get in between the body of the guitar and the strings, which helps to increase the transfer for vibrations from the strings to the body.

As for the body, you’re going to be getting your hands on the classic Fender jazz bass body shape, with the body being comprised of alder; the finish of your instrument is going to be protected with high gloss polyurethane.

The ‘C’ shape one-piece neck has a 12-inch radius; having a neck that is a singular piece increases the stability of your instrument, which is especially important if you are planning on doing a lot of traveling with your bass guitar or if you live somewhere that have a climate that is constantly changing. The stock strings that come on this four string guitar are Fender USA Nickel gauges .045 – .015.

Features of the Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass Guitar

While the Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass Guitar isn’t the most expensive guitar that you can buy, it is a guitar that leans on the side of a high-end instrument. There are high-quality components that were used in the creation of this guitar, which really help to add to the overall luxury look (and feel) of the guitar, without having to pay a luxury price tag.

Here is a quick look at the features of the Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass Guitar:

  • Alder body
  • Gloss polyester body finish
  • SS pickup configuration
  • Dual-Coil Ceramic Noiseless Jazz Bass with Nickel-Plated Pole Pieces bridge pickup
  • Dual-Coil Ceramic Noiseless Jazz Bass with Nickel-Plated Pole Pieces neck pickup
  • Master volume control, pan control, three-band active EQ with Treble boost/cut, Middle boost/cut, and Bass boost/cut.
  • Fender HiMass bridge with chrome plated zinc saddles
  • Nickel/chrome hardware finish
  • Standard open-gear tuning pegs
  • Vintage Style Black Plastic Jazz Bass control knobs
  • Four-bolt asymmetrical neck plate
  • Maple neck
  • Satin polyurethane neck finish
  • ‘C’ shape neck
  • 34-inch scale length
  • Maple fingerboard
  • 12-inch fingerboard radius
  • 20 frets
  • Medium jumbo frets
  • Synthetic bone nut
  • 1.5-inch nut width
  • Black pearloid dot position inlays
  • With the purchase of your guitar, you will also receive a deluxe gig bag

The use of Alder for the body of the guitar helps to increase the resonation of active electronics. The scale length of this bass guitar is 34-inches, with a 1.5-inch nut width, 20 frets, and black pearloid dot inlays.

As for the active electronics on the Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass, you have two Dual-Coil Ceramic Noiseless Jazz Bass with Nickel-plated pole pieces at the bridge and middle positions. Installed with this instrument is a full-on three-band EQ with Treble, Middle, and Bass controls.

Having access to all three of these controls allows you to go in play with a large variety of tones, which will really allow you to play your sound depending on what type of style you’re looking to get into or experiment with.

Performance rating

After playing the Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass, I personally believe that this guitar would be best used for live performances, rather than just as a personal hobby bass guitar. If you’re shopping around for a bass guitar that you want to use for your own personal playing, I would highly recommend that you look into a different jazz bass guitar. However, if you’re looking for a bass guitar to perform solo or in a band or even if you’re looking for an extra jazz bass guitar to travel around with for your live performances, this would be a great bass guitar for you.

This bass guitar is very responsive to even the smallest changes you make in the way you play your strings. With the Fender Deluxe Active, you are getting a guitar that has the power to deliver a lot of power and strength to its middle-powered sound.

While a lot of people claim that this guitar is ready to play as soon as you pull it out of the box, I found that I needed to adjust my truss rod in order to stop the fret from buzzing. If you don’t know how to adjust your truss rod, there are plenty of tutorials available on YouTube. If after watching a tutorial on YouTube you’re still unsure about how to go about adjusting your truss rod, you can take your instrument to your local guitar store or a luthier to get your truss rod adjusted.

Pros of the Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass:

  • Produces a warm and punch sound
  • Outstanding use of active electronics
  • Incredible durability
  • Comes with a deluxe gig bag
  • Unique design and the influence of this unique design will start to show up in new guitar releases around the world

Cons of the Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass:

  • Unstable neck
  • Fret buzzing
  • Some users felt like the sound with this guitar was very flat and hard to create any dimension with

Pros of the Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass

Cons of the Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass

Incredible durability

Straight out of the box, the neck feels very unstable

Comes with deluxe gig bag with purchase

I had problems with fret buzzing, but I was able to adjust my truss rod and the fret buzzing went away

Produces a warm and punchy sound

Some models experienced buzzing with pickups both in passive and active modes

Outstanding use of active electronics

There are people out there who bought this guitar and didn’t feel like they got a high-quality Fender guitar; an improvement in consistency and in overall craftsmanship could be made

Other alternatives to consider

If the Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass guitar isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, here are a few other options of jazz bass guitars that you could consider!

Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Jazz Bass Guitar- $350

The Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Jazz Bass Guitar produces a traditional jazz bass guitar tone, conveyed by two Fender single coil pickups. While the physical build of this guitar may not be something to impress the average guitarist, the vintage tinted gloss neck with block inlays can really excite a vintage guitar lover!

Fender American Elite Jazz Bass Guitar- $2,000

The Fender American Elite Jazz Bass Guitar is the active bass guitar you want to go with if you are looking for a fast playing, smooth guitar with a modern twist. New innovative tone technology that is installed in the American Elite Jazz Bass guitar makes this instrument’s sound incredibly versatile.

Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass Five String- $1,000

That’s right, the four-string bass guitar that we reviewed today is also available in a five-string version! This bass guitar has the active electronic, including the three-band Active EQ we talked about earlier in this article. The Fender Deluxe Active Five String bass guitar is almost the same instrument as the Deluxe Active Four String, it just has another string on it!

In comparison to the four-string Deluxe Active Jazz Bass guitar, the fifth string on this guitar isn’t too chunky or too in the way. This is a common problem that a lot of instruments run into when the design of the guitar was built for four strings, but manufacturers add on a fifth string; the fifth string will often become chunky, be too bass-driven, and the overall sound of the fifth string will stick out from the rest of the strings.

The five string Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass doesn’t have this problem and that extra fifth string fits really well in with the other four strings and doesn’t stick out from the other strings.

Conclusion

The Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass guitar is available in both a four and five string model, so if you only have experience playing a five-string bass, you can still get your hands on the Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass guitar! The Deluxe Active Jazz Bass guitar is a classic bass guitar with a modern twice on it that helps for this instrument to excel during live performances.

Both the four string Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass guitar and the five string Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass guitar are available in a large variety of finished and fingerboards for musicians to choose from. Included with your purchase of the Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass guitar, you also will receive a deluxe gig bag, which is just another little incentive to buy this amazing jazz bass guitar!

About the Author Danny Trent

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