The Fender JMJ Mustang has landed - now with photos

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SpankyAndy
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Re: The JMJ has landed - initial verdict

Post by SpankyAndy » 17 Apr 2018, 21:42

bigswifty wrote:
17 Apr 2018, 02:21
Aw man, this hurts to read. Have you had a chance to try it in a band situation?
Mike
Hi Mike,

Im not in a band at the moment, but im confident that the flats alone would ensure it fills its own sonic space in a band.

Cheers

Andy

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SpankyAndy
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Re: The JMJ has landed - initial verdict

Post by SpankyAndy » 17 Apr 2018, 21:49

veebass wrote:
16 Apr 2018, 18:05
SpankyAndy wrote:
16 Apr 2018, 11:24
I’ve never really experienced a negative “meh” feeling about playing a new instrument, but i am with this one. It’s a nice bass, but it’s not nicer than the PJ Mustang. Im hoping this will prove to be a reverse honeymoon period and in a few weeks i will be gushing, but after an hour of playing it, i am completely underwhelmed. The tone control is no different in sweep and effect than my PJ, the neck is nowhere near as fast as the PJ and the JMJ pickup seems weak. It does give an Uber compressed P bass slap, far more compressed than the PJ, but that’s the only different tonal flavour i can spot immediately. Maybe i need to experiment with the height adjustment on the JMJ pickup. Time will tell.

BTW, I’m not a stranger to Fender flats either. At the moment i have Fender flats on a Gibson oversized body Les Paul bass that i purchased back in 2014/15. Aside from being the heaviest bass I own, the Gibson made me a convert to Fender’s flatwounds.
Sorry to hear the new one doesn't excite you. I, like everyone else, thought they looked pretty cool.

I missed that you bought a LP OSB. Congrats- I love mine. Great bass- I run mine with Fender Nickel Rounds, which after a while sound like Fender Flats anyway, but I like the feel better. It gets a fair bit of gig time with my TBirds. The Fenders just don't so it for me ATM.
You mention yours is heavy. What does it weigh? My Goldtop is a touch over 10 lbs, which is not much more than my LP DC Bass which has a standard size body and a cut out. It weighs 9 and a quarter pounds.
Hey Vee,

I went down to Melbourne years ago with my son to pick up Mr Mow’s (Russell) black Thunderbird. When i was there i kept admiring his beautiful OSB Les Paul bass, and was smitten, and not really interested in the black Thunderbird - I’ve already got a cherry red ltd edition T’bird. Anyway, i we left with the T’bird, and drove a few KM and Russell phoned me and agreed to swap the OSB Les Paul instead of the T’bird. He had the OSB for sale at the time, for a bit more than i paid for the T’bird, but he didn’t ask for extra cash. I think Russell got it from Guitar Centre in the USA. There is a ding in the bookend headstock, but aside from that, the bass is pristine. It sounds like an active jazz with the Fender flats, when using the bridge pickup alone. Has a real honk, which i love. I’d have to reweigh it, but i think it is almost 5kg in weight, but feels heavier. I also have a goldtop Les Paul 6-string guitar which is about 4.5kg.

Andy

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Re: The JMJ has landed - initial verdict

Post by bigswifty » 17 Apr 2018, 22:12

SpankyAndy wrote:
17 Apr 2018, 21:42
bigswifty wrote:
17 Apr 2018, 02:21
Aw man, this hurts to read. Have you had a chance to try it in a band situation?
Mike
Hi Mike,

Im not in a band at the moment, but im confident that the flats alone would ensure it fills its own sonic space in a band.

Cheers

Andy
No worries. The only reason I mention it is because I've had basses which have been pretty underwhelming at home and almost never get played, but for one reason or another I've taken them to a live situation and found that they were fantastic. I was hoping that might be the case with your JMJ.

Mike
I've gone Stingray mad 8|

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SpankyAndy
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Re: The JMJ has landed - initial verdict

Post by SpankyAndy » 17 Apr 2018, 22:19

Fender JMJ Mustang - Day 2 UPDATE

Put another hour into playing the JMJ Mustang last night, another half hour this morning, and another half hour tonight.

I did an A/B comparrison with my Fender PJ Mustang to try to set a benchmark.

Popular internet wisdom dictates that the J pickup on the Mustang PJ bass is weak. When soloed, using the selector switch, it is. The output of the J pickup alone is (obviously) significantly weaker and thinner than the full-size split Precision pickup on the PJ Mustang.

When testing the two basses, i noticed that the output/volume of the Fender JMJ Mustang is approximately the same as the solo J pickup in the JMJ Mustang. Obviously, the output of the JMJ is not thin, but it is still weak. The pickup looks accurately adjusted to my eyes.

Once again I looked up all the Talkbass, Sweetwater and other forum posts where JMJ owners are claiming their itty bitty Seymour Duncan Mustang pickup was hotter than the pickups on the PJ Mustang. The pickup on my JMJ is not even remotely in the same ballpark. My PJ Mustang has a mighty full size split Precision pickup and really thunders.

Concerned, i phoned The Bass Centre at lunchtime today, and spoke to Darren.

Darren was in the process of packing up the only JMJ Mustang they had sitting around and kindly agreed to perform the same test as i did, using a PJ Mustang in the store.

While i listened, Darren played a lick on the PJ Mustang, then soloed the rear J pickup and played the same lick. The soloed J pickup was weak. Darren then plugged in the remaining JMJ Mustang and played the same lick. The JMJ had approximately the same output volume as the solo J pickup. Darren the plugged the the PJ Mustang back in and played the J pickup again to be sure, then soloed the PJ Precision pickup, and it thundered, just like mine does. Darren 100% confirmed my findings/experience.

Given the scarcity of the JMJ bass, it would be fair to say that if two of them have the same output then it could be construed as being a relevant control sample and therefore indicative of the product, or the batch that reached our shores.

I also discussed with Darren my concern about the lacquer checking and spidering on the headstock of my JMJ bass. Darren advised that no two had been the same in the batch of 9 that Bass Centre got.

I must have been extremely unlucky as the back of the headstock looks blistered, and there are 9 “scales” that have lifted in the corners. Darren advised me that all wood reacts differently to the treatment and that mine was just a bit more extreme than some of the others. When i got home tonight, i picked up the JMJ to see if the “blistering” on the back of the headstock was as bad as i thought it was.

It is hideous, and to add insult to injury, when i picked the bass up, one of the flaky scale bits fell off, leaving a 3mm x 3mm x 3mm triangle hole in the finish.

I took photos of the JMJ last night and have yet to upload them to Photobucket, but will attempt to do so tonight.

Is the JMJ Mustang bass worth $1,799? Absolutely not. It’s double the price of a new MIM PJ Mustang or a used MIJ.

Is it a better bass than the PJ Mustang? IMHO, absolutely not. The PJ is almost half the price and is far more versatile.

Is it worth seeking out? Only if you absolutely must have a blue Mustang with lollipop tuners and a gig bag.

Personally, i would hands down recommend buying the Fender PJ Mustang, as the build quality is identical on both basses. Both basses also have Alder bodies. The PJ has a Pau Ferro fingerboard, which is what Music Man have used for years. The fingerboard on my PJ is lovely. The fingerboard on the JMJ Mustang is rosewood, with clay dots. Spend $30 on ebay for set of Fender flatwounds, and you’ll be rocking the same tone, but with a hotter output.

Andy
Last edited by SpankyAndy on 17 Apr 2018, 23:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The JMJ has landed - initial verdict

Post by SpankyAndy » 17 Apr 2018, 22:44

The rear of the headstock:

Image

When viewed in light, the rear of the headstock looks blistered, which isn’t evident in this flat shot and lighting.

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Re: The JMJ has landed - initial verdict

Post by SpankyAndy » 17 Apr 2018, 22:47

Capri Orange PJ Mustang and Daphne Blue JMJ Mustang:

Image

basshack
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Re: The JMJ has landed - initial verdict

Post by basshack » 17 Apr 2018, 22:49

Sad to hear the bass isn’t what you expected. Where to from here then?
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Re: The JMJ has landed - initial verdict

Post by SpankyAndy » 17 Apr 2018, 22:51

Headstock thickness comparrison:

Image

Body comparrsion:
Image

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Re: The JMJ has landed - initial verdict

Post by SpankyAndy » 17 Apr 2018, 22:55

Front of body:
Image

Rear of body:
Image

Image

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Re: The JMJ has landed - initial verdict

Post by SpankyAndy » 17 Apr 2018, 22:57

Front of headstock:
Image

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Re: The JMJ has landed - initial verdict

Post by SpankyAndy » 17 Apr 2018, 23:21

basshack wrote:
17 Apr 2018, 22:49
Sad to hear the bass isn’t what you expected. Where to from here then?
To be honest, i dont know.

I phoned The Bass Centre today concerned there might be issues with my example, but I didn’t ask for a refund. I read The Bass Centre’s Refund Policy today, and they are under no obligation to offer me a refund.

To be fair to the store, about a month ago, Guy sent out an email to all the folks who had paid the deposit, offering them a chance to back out and obtain a refund, as the product was taking so long to be delivered. I was very tempted to pull out several times, but i ultimately didn’t.

I was intrigued by the bass, especially the “hot” custom Seymour Duncan pickup that i had been reading about. None of the few YouTube videos impressed me in the least, and that should have been warning enough, but i chose to be swayed by the user reviews i had read. My bad.

It’s not The Bass Centre’s fault that the product they sent me didn’t live up to my expectations.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice bass, but it’s not a great bass. It’s certainly not a better or nicer bass than my PJ Mustang.

My capri orange PJ Mustang is great bass. It excites me to pick it up and play it and i always come up with something new each time i do so. It makes me grin. It’s a fast neck and it is punchy. For the price, it is outstanding value. Actually, i think it is a great bass at any price, as it makes me want to play it and i always have fun.

I think the thing i really like about the Daphne Blue JMJ Mustang is the feel and tone of the flatwounds. Nothing else stands out as being outstanding on the instrument. I’m certain that if you put the same flats on a basswood body MIJ Mustang it would sound the same, at half the price.

Andy

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Re: The Fender JMJ Mustang has landed - now with photos

Post by basshack » 17 Apr 2018, 23:29

Selling it isn’t going to be an option I’m guessing but what about fixing it up a bit? Get the neck re-done so it’s not so sticky or busted finish wise? Different pups maybe and it’s a player with the looks your after. I know that’s good money after bad but you’re not going to play it as it is it seems.
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Re: The Fender JMJ Mustang has landed - now with photos

Post by SpankyAndy » 17 Apr 2018, 23:45

basshack wrote:
17 Apr 2018, 23:29
Selling it isn’t going to be an option I’m guessing but what about fixing it up a bit? Get the neck re-done so it’s not so sticky or busted finish wise? Different pups maybe and it’s a player with the looks your after. I know that’s good money after bad but you’re not going to play it as it is it seems.
Hi mate, i think the sticky ness will be resolved with a bit of cleaning and/or fine grade sandpaper. I think (i hope) it’s residue from the finishing process.

I don’t think a new pickup would make much difference, unless i get it rerouted and put a BiSonic in there. Actually, that’s probably where i got my expectations from - I used to have a Lackland DPLE II Precision with a huge BiSonic pickup, forgotten the maker’s name, but that was a hot, dynamic pickup and it rocked in so many ways. I guess i was expecting something along those lines, which is probably ridiculous in hindsight.

For the time-being i will leave it be. I’ll play it daily, and at least i won’t have to worry about dinging it. I’ll see how i feel in a few weeks.

One thing though, i would be VERY interested in hearing from anyone else who bought one of this initial batch from The Bass Centre. I’m curious to hear other owner’s thoughts.

Andy

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Rocksolid
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Re: The Fender JMJ Mustang has landed - now with photos

Post by Rocksolid » 18 Apr 2018, 00:33

To be honest, if it is advertised as a hot pickup, and it's weak as piss, that is grounds for refund, regardless of it being the same across the batch that BC got. That's not a criticism of BC, it's the reality of the product Fender have provided in this case.
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Re: The Fender JMJ Mustang has landed - now with photos

Post by SpankyAndy » 18 Apr 2018, 00:51

Rocksolid wrote:
18 Apr 2018, 00:33
To be honest, if it is advertised as a hot pickup, and it's weak as piss, that is grounds for refund, regardless of it being the same across the batch that BC got. That's not a criticism of BC, it's the reality of the product Fender have provided in this case.
That’s the thing. Fender advertise it as being a custom wound Seymour Duncan pickup. Fender doesn’t claim it is a “hot” output pickup, it’s user reviews on Talkbass and Sweetwater etc, that claim it is hot.

I’m certain that the average production varience tolerances would legally allow for the volume/output i am experiencing.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice bass. The tone isn’t thin, it’s just not punchy and “hot” as i had expected. Expectation management is a very subjective and inexact science lol

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