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Many bassists believe low-end perfection was attained decades ago with the introduction of the Precision and Jazz basses. So I’m guessing that working in the R&D department at Fender must be a challenging endeavor as time passes and technology improves. How do you better a rock-solid design with such worldwide acclaim and still show enough restraint to maintain historic integrity by not trying to reinvent the wheel? Say hello to the American Professional Jazz bass, one of several popular body designs introduced in a line of instruments to replace Fender’s American Standard Series. Rather than just change the name and add some new paint options, however, Fender has packed the American Professional Jazz with some innovative features that should make a number of players quite happy.
The American Professional J bass comes included with a Fender Elite case, which boasts TSA-certified locks. Flying with an instrument is always a spin of the wheel, but I would have no problem trusting this solid, molded case if my usual flight case was not available.
Our test bass was finished in a sharp-looking sonic gray, but the American Professional Jazz is also available in black, olympic white, and a 3-tone ’burst. Not that the instrument isn’t a stunner already, but I’d selfishly love to see the bass offered with a matching finished headstock.
At first glance, the American Professional Jazz looks, well, like a Fender Jazz. The new features are ones you might not notice right away—or even know are there—but once you get to playing this bass, you’ll figure it out. The slim, C-shaped maple neck is super thin, which will help bolster its appeal to both younger players and those who appreciate the conservation of motion. The satin-urethane finish on the back of the neck equates to lightning fast play, and embedded in the comfy neck are two “Posiflex” graphite rods for reinforcement to combat environmental fluctuations.
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