Fender Jazz Special FL 1987 Reviews 3

It's all black, including all the hardware, except that the back of the neck is natural maple. It's a Japan PJ with a P-type body but a J-type neck. FB is very dark, but I think it's rosewood. It's 'full size' for a P-bass not smaller like some Japan Fenders. No pickguard on this model. I play small ensemble in small venues, no drummer, so I prefer the fretless tone ... less metal involved equals more mellow. This ax really delivers on that score.

I got it used, they are long discontinued, for $400 at Parkway Music in Clifton Pk., NY. It has some visible signs of use, but a 20 yr old 'piano black' bass is gonna show everything. It's not beat up, just used. It was hanging in the shop looking like someone ought to play it, so I did.


It looks cool, and sound just like it looks ... deep and dark. It's not too heavy, and pretty well balanced. The 3-way PU selector switch in addition to two seperate PU volume knobs is a nice feature. I think it's series wired when both PU's are in use, as it has that 'Gibsonesque' weirdness to the voulume controls, which seem to work in tandem ... dial either one to zero and both PUs go mute ! I like the series sound, but not the control effect.

The volume control knobs operate Gibson-style when both PU's are in use. Thaz annoying. The J-type bridge PU can be prone to hiss, depending on your control settings and operating environment.

It's a typical Japan Fender, which means nicely done. Wiring in the control cavity is somewhat a rat's nest, but it works. Body is, I believe, poplar or basswood. Tuners are good, not great. Bridge is typical stamped Fender unit. Overall it's quite well done.

It's not an outstanding model. I dig the FL tone on mine. They don't cost much, and are reasonable versatile, so if you see one, plug it in and check it out.

Golem rated this unit 3 on 2010-03-10.

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