Fender's redesigned Hoppus Jazz Bass hits the mark
(Dave Molter | Posted 2011-04-01)
Call me caught in the middle. I grew up in the era when P Bass was THE bass, but the Jazz Bass body, with it's radical aerodynamic shape, always attracted me. But ... the Jazz had two pickups and, being somewhat of a basics guy back then, I didn't see the need for two PUPs when the P's single split coil worked just fine. And I knew that many Jazz users, like Joe Osborn (who was all over the hit singles charts in the 1960s) used only the front pickup of his 1960 Jazz.
Plus, I liked the chunkier, wider P bass neck on the '59 P that was my only bass at the time. So, over the decades, I longed for a P bass with a J body. Sure, I could've had one made, but back then, cost was a big factor.
Enter Fender's Mark Hoppus Jazz Bass, which is everything my heart desires ... almost. For 2011, Fender and the blink-182 bassist (and indie producer) redid the Hoppus Jazz, which initially appeared in 2002. The original Hoppus had a single P bass PUP on a Jazz body couple to a 1.65"-wide P bass neck. The redesign consists of a trick that many tinkerers had already discovered -- reversing the single Seymour Duncan Basslines P bass split coil so that the D and G string side was closer to the neck, and the E an A strings side was closer to the bridge. The result -- more bottom for the D and G, more punch and clarity for the E and A.
The new Hoppus is available in White Blonde with a tort pickguard (one piece, with a single Volume control mounted on the pickguard rather than on a separate metal plate as on the standard Jazz) or Surf Green with a white pickguard. The maple, C-shaped neck has a 9.5" radius and comes only with a rosewood fretboard.
Remember when I said above that this is "almost" my heart's desire?? That's because I prefer a 1.75"-wide neck and I've been longing for a Candy Apple Red bass for 46 years. But, all in all, the new Hoppus looks great and should sound great as well.
The new Fender Mark Hoppus Jazz is available at an MSRP of $999 USD.