Maton JB4 Lives Again! (The Proof Is Here)

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Aussie Mark
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Re: Maton JB4 Lives Again! (The Proof Is Here)

Post by Aussie Mark » 04 Oct 2010, 09:04

I like the black pup covers over the cream ones on the originals.

It won't matter if the duty concesssion for bass guitars is removed, as long as you import US made basses - they will remain duty free because of the US-Oz Free Trade Agreeement.

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Re: Maton JB4 Lives Again! (The Proof Is Here)

Post by mkat » 04 Oct 2010, 09:22

ROON wrote:Fender adapt their designs to suit the demands and expectations of the modern musician. A 1960's Jazz bass is NOT the same as a 2010 Jazz bass. Don't forget there are also Deluxe, Custom Shop, Road Worn, Highway 1 and countless other variations of their tried and true designs. The Jazz and Precision are two basses that have stood the test of time not only because fundamentally, they're great designs, but also because Fender keep things feeling fresh, contrary to what Maton are doing with the JB4.
I respectfully disagree here. With the exception of the Deluxe, the JB hasn't really had any significant design changes at all since it was introduced. It is still the same old out dated design in pretty much every component. The only freshness I've seen other than in one or two models, where they were forced to show some progress and forward move due to modern players justifiably looking elsewhere for basses that provide solutions for modern requirements, is laughable price increases and their marketing. Design involves a lot more than a "look" and entails every aspect of the instrument - it has nothing to do with marketing and empty "vintage" hype. IMO, there are Fender knock offs that have progressed beyond where Fender have been willing to go - even when Leo was around. One such maker is Sadowsky, who has taken a Fender design and improved it to it's logical direction.
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Re: Maton JB4 Lives Again! (The Proof Is Here)

Post by bugsy » 04 Oct 2010, 10:13

in the world wide scheme of things, i think its unfair to compare what fender have done to maton.

Fender will always have a good slice of the bass market no matter what.
Its up to the competitors to attract a bigger slice.

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Re: Maton JB4 Lives Again! (The Proof Is Here)

Post by stoneboy26 » 04 Oct 2010, 10:24

Rhystard wrote:probably will mean the tax concession as there were no aussie manufacturers will be gone too.
This was the first thing that came into my head...
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Re: Maton JB4 Lives Again! (The Proof Is Here)

Post by Rude_Mechanical » 04 Oct 2010, 11:33

mkat wrote:With the exception of the Deluxe, the JB hasn't really had any significant design changes at all since it was introduced. It is still the same old out dated design in pretty much every component.
Not sure what you'd classify as significant, but I believe it was '96 / '97 when they brought in the posiflex necks, and they've since done the odd tweak to hardware & wiring. To my mind, the biggest strength of the Fender platform is it's ability to be easily customised after purchase. The second thing is predictability :)

Actually - and I'm in NO WAY being facetious here! - I'd love to hear what the various luthiers here consider to be the significant design advantages of the various high-end Fender inspired instruments.

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Re: Maton JB4 Lives Again! (The Proof Is Here)

Post by mkat » 04 Oct 2010, 12:54

Rude_Mechanical wrote:Not sure what you'd classify as significant, but I believe it was '96 / '97 when they brought in the posiflex necks, and they've since done the odd tweak to hardware & wiring. To my mind, the biggest strength of the Fender platform is it's ability to be easily customised after purchase. The second thing is predictability :)
Yep, the hardware is minor but saves the buyer in modding it. The rods, in a 4 string... :cool: , well if it solved their noticeable dead spot problems maybe...but all these things fall short of the inroads other makers have been dabbling in. Don't get me wrong here, I like Fender instruments, but I well know their limitations because I'm a player as well as a maker.
Rude_Mechanical wrote:Actually - and I'm in NO WAY being facetious here! - I'd love to hear what the various luthiers here consider to be the significant design advantages of the various high-end Fender inspired instruments.
Neither am I, but I have to :lol: Take a look at what other makers are doing and you'll see where things have been moving since the 60's, no one needs a list, even though luthiers are very well aware of them. The reality is that Fender was in business to make a simple, relatively easy to repair and setup, middle of the road instrument. Many of those things have been superseded by better techniques and designs. Forget about mass production using figured wood, construction with laminates, much improved electronics and a host of other things. Not that they didn't know and hadn't thought about most of this ;).

As I mentioned here before, Fender designed the first electric bass, but this new instrument (back in the 50's that is) obviously had not been explored to it's fullest potential by mostly upright bass players, guitarists and new learners picking up the bass for example because there was no precedent. It has taken bass players a few decades to do that, and it's not over yet. It's a testament to the design, but hell, things have to move forward for many players 'cause music has been changing fast and people can be very creative when they put their mind to it.
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Re: Maton JB4 Lives Again! (The Proof Is Here)

Post by jezzamac » 06 Oct 2010, 16:32

I am very happy with my JB4 which I have had for 29 years. I don't play it much these days because I have little call for a fretless. When I do play it, it has a marvelous feel. It is really well made. It is comfortable to hold and is really easy to play. Personally, I don't mind the look of the wood but then again I'm not so keen on all the gaudy figured tops out there unless I see one I like. I particularly dislike spalted tops. In other words it comes down to taste and i think $1,995 is quite reasonable for a well made and easily playable bass and it sounds like a PJ. A friend had an MB4 which was the active version and it sounded great too.
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Re: Maton JB4 Lives Again! (The Proof Is Here)

Post by atrn » 06 Oct 2010, 21:05

I've had my, fretted, JB4 for 26 years, its a great bass. Mine is a little different to most. It was one of the later ones (serial number 789), black with the hardware from the MGB4 - gold plated bridge and tuners and originally had those Select pickups the MGB4 came with. I bought it new in 1984 for $1044, it was next to a cherry red one in the shop. I have never seen another black JB4, or a cherry one for that matter, but they might out there.

A few years back I installed an EMG P/J set which gave it a new voice. Typical EMG sound but it works very well with the JB4 wood. Wonderful recording bass, plug into a DI and it just works. It's especially good for the bright, stainless steel round wound sound.

For comparison I've got an Alembic, a Sadowsky, a Musicman, various Fenders including one of the new American Deluxe jazzes (which is quite sweet, I love binding and blocks, not sure about the N3 pickups) and some others. The JB4 with EMG's is easily as good as any of the others tone-wise, especially the Alembic, Musicman and Sadowsky.

So I'm very happy they're bringing them back and a new fretless JB4, as long as they're half decent, will be the next acquisition.
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Re: Maton JB4 Lives Again! (The Proof Is Here)

Post by Smokocaster » 12 Jan 2011, 17:03

Why the hell wouldn't they redo it? The 478 or so JB4s are highly regarded and much sought after. I've friends, who are ridiculously great bassplayers/bass guitarists, who swear by them.
As do I. Light, comfortable, great sound, great neck, what's not to like?
From a marketing viewpoint, Maton are really onto something here. It's silly to compare technological updates (or the lack of) to a guitar when great bassplayers are still hammering the 1962 Precision they've owned for 30 years. If you want the latest and greatest, grab a Sadowsky, a Warwick or similar.
Having said that, they could have replaced those ugly knobs with furled brass fittings.
Last edited by Smokocaster on 12 Jan 2011, 17:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Maton JB4 Lives Again! (The Proof Is Here)

Post by Eberbachl » 12 Jan 2011, 17:12

They look horrible... surely they could have tried a bit harder. Seriously - those basses look like first effort jobs built in someone's back yard shed.

Look at the matching of the timber on body of the fretless - horrible. I think the guy who built my fence did a better job.

I'm not saying they shouldn't have made the jb4 - but maybe they could have made it nicely... look at those flash guitars in the background - they all look beautiful.

Oh well... I guess Maton is testing the current market with poo brown back yard looking basses and will be surprised when they don't see a huge market for them. Then they'll say there isn't a market for basses in Australia and stop making them again.

... a shame.
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Re: Maton JB4 Lives Again! (The Proof Is Here)

Post by 22pauld22 » 12 Jan 2011, 18:11

ah why did you dig this up guys .
it annoys me just looking at them ahhaha
I'm with you eberbachl were they short of timber when they put that fretless body together ? hhahah
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Re: Maton JB4 Lives Again! (The Proof Is Here)

Post by acmeman » 12 Jan 2011, 19:03

Oh well... I guess Maton is testing the current market with poo brown back yard looking basses
maybe they could call it the PB4 ?
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Re: Maton JB4 Lives Again! (The Proof Is Here)

Post by Eberbachl » 12 Jan 2011, 20:08

I like the cut of this man's jib! :lol:

That's beautiful... the Maton PB4.

:D

Really, they make a Wishbass look like a Fodera...
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Re: Maton JB4 Lives Again! (The Proof Is Here)

Post by Smokocaster » 12 Jan 2011, 23:21

Oh, so what's your problem, babies? Afraid the tough kids might beat you up if you don't have a fluoro sunburst?

Don't sweat it, the tough kids are too busy playing music to worry about colour.
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Re: Maton JB4 Lives Again! (The Proof Is Here)

Post by ROON » 12 Jan 2011, 23:45

acmeman wrote:
Oh well... I guess Maton is testing the current market with poo brown back yard looking basses
maybe they could call it the PB4 ?
:lol:
- Josh

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