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$499 Jazz Bass Vs $3499 J Bass… Can You Tell the Difference?!

Hey Groovehacker, Scott here...

Ok, we all dream about expensive, suuuper sexy basses, right? I know I do... Probably WAY too much ;)

With this in mind, I thought it'd be fun to see if you can tell the difference between a $499 Jazz bass and a $3499 Jazz bass...

I think it'll be harder than you think! ;) So... are you ready for this challenge?!

Good luck, and make sure you comment below the video BEFORE you see the results... and then after your initial guess, comment again and let me know whether your guess was right... or wrong!

As always, see you in the shed...

Scott :)

PS. If you're a bass geek like me, check out our Bass Maintenance and Set Up Guide within the membership here at SBL. You'll love it!

  • Hubert Ried

    I’m quite sure, bass 2 is the sire-bass. the active electronic just sounds bigger, specially when slapped … aaaah: you are solving it !
    I was so in hope, I can win the custom shop… (c:

  • Alexandre Gouin

    My guess is that bass 1 is the costum shop and bass 2 is the sire one ;)

  • Hersey BassAndpics

    One of my music teacher used to say ” When you are a musician, you can to make a log sound terrific ” All you need is in yourself ! ^^

  • Alexandre Gouin

    so.. I was right! :P I did think that bass 2 sounded more modern.. more precise sounding and bass 1 was more of a vintage sound.. I prefer bass 1.. ;) wishing to get a flea signature witch is really similar! but for half the price!

  • Armando Vasquez

    Bass 2 is the Fender Customer Shop

  • Rick Allingham

    I guessed that bass 1 was the fender and I was correct. Similar sound but bass 1 was more vintage sounding.

  • Carlinhos Oliveira


  • Amanda Clement Barber

    Bass 2 wrong

  • James Wade Daughety

    I guess 2 is the sire

  • David Mochen


  • John

    bass 2

    • John


  • John

    bass 2 wrong

  • Albert Buchatskyy


  • Jack McDougall

    Bass 1…….. but I slightly preferred 2 !!!

  • Roy van der Pals

    Bass 1 is the fender

    • Roy van der Pals


  • Charlie Schofield

    Bass one Fender, bass two Sire.

  • Balázs Koós

    Hey Scott,
    The bass #1 should be the Fender in my opinion, that sound like a passive bass for me.

  • Vi Li

    Fender Jazz is bass no. 2.

  • Fedor Spaan

    1. Sire 2. Fender

    • Fedor Spaan

      And I was wrong :-)

  • Andreas Steffens

    Bass 2

  • Ruben de Wilde

    sire =bass 1…fender=bass 2

  • Joseph Pitivier

    Bass 2 for me any day. If it’s not the Fender, then somebody needs to shut up and take my money. 1 is ok though.

  • Patrick Gallagher

    bass 2

    • Patrick Gallagher

      I was wrong

  • Dave Coomber

    I think that bass 2 is the fender

  • Skott Harrington

    love the greyhound!!!!

  • Mark F. Pahilanga

    Bass 2 is the fender. Warmer more precise sounding.

  • Kenneth Lloyd

    Howdy Scott, I believe that bass 1 is the Fender,… Hehehe. They both sound great. I have played Fender MiM basses and American Standards and Custom shop instruments. If you can play, you can make either sound great. One note,.. try a number of instruments and pay attention to the setup. My experience with MiM basses is, setup varies. But, if you get a well set up MiM, it will play like the most expensive Fender. Ha!, I was right! Bass 1 was the Fender!!!

  • Giancarlo Taglia

    Bass 1 Fender

  • Larry Thomas

    my initial guess is the white bass is the $3499

  • Larry Thomas

    right! The Fender pups are unmistakable

  • Ian Wheeler

    number 1 fender me thinks

  • Ian Wheeler

    right but really dont care both sound great

  • Kai Sanchez

    Scott will you please let us know if you recorded the Sire bass passive or active. Thanks!

  • Stamatis Dragoumanos

    Bass 1 must be the fender. I think I can hear some crackling noise when you play Bass 2 but that can just be the setup. Also Bass 2 has mid freq a bit boosted.

    • Stamatis Dragoumanos

      :) I was right.

  • Frazer Twyman

    Bass 1 definitely!

  • John Karsok

    Bass 2 is the Fender.

  • Ronald van Wensen

    Bass 1 is the Fender

  • Yannick Slick Chassay

    bass 1 the 1964 jazz
    bass 2 The scier jazz bass (white)

    i prefer bass 2 sound, it sounded a little clearer.

  • Yannick Slick Chassay

    haha i was right! :D

  • Ian Wood

    I was wrong! I actually preferred the sound of the Sire, and I’ve played my 1974 P bass since I bought it new…….in 1974!!! Thought I knew my Fenders. It just shows how instrument manufacture has come on over the years. Great vid Scott.

  • Federico Fernandez


  • alex alexanderman123

    just goes to prove, as you said in another lesson, if you are a beginner and you want to up-grade something, spend the money on a new amp. it will make any bass you play sound better.

  • Ian Ross

    Bass 1 Fender Bass2 Sire

  • Ian Ross

    Got it right :)

  • Graham Jacobs

    Got it right too…..but then I recognized the Sire tone from the 7 Sire bass video.
    For me, the much bigger discriminator between high and low end basses (apart from the sound and build/finish quality) is playability…..particularly how low one can take the action without buzzing, how well it keeps its tuning, intonation up the neck (I do use the dusty end a lot) and general playing comfort.

    I personally preferred the more modern sound of the Sire but would certainly not dismiss the Fender Custom if it were to offer significant improvements in playability. (They would have to be SIGNIFICANT improvements, though). I must say, I’m very impressed with the Sires from the videos I’ve seen, even though I’ve never had the opportunity of playing one.

  • Awek Blues

    Bass 1 is the Custom shop … warmer and more precise !
    Bass 2 is a modern MM active sound, clearer

  • Mark Sadlik

    I prefer the sound of Bass 2 so I will say that is the Fender.

  • Mark Sadlik

    I was wrong.

  • Hubert Ried

    compare an active to an passive bass is also not REALLY fair …

  • Cenk Tezel

    1 Custom
    I guess

    • Cenk Tezel

      Guesed right

  • I guessed bass 2 …

  • Lionel Morrell

    Bass 1

  • Lionel Morrell

    Yes, I got it……

  • P Kris

    Bass 1

  • c u

    I think bass 2 is CS

    • c u


  • michael abner

    I thought that Bass 1 was the SIRE and Bass 2 was the FENDER CUSTOM. What a surprise!

  • Zachary Thomas

    My initial guess is that the bass 2 is the custom! I’m at 8:42.

    • Zachary Thomas

      wrong :/

  • Pete Greenfield

    Bass one is the Fender I think. The Sire V7 pre amp is monster!

    • Pete Greenfield

      I was right, but then Scott said the pre amp was off :) . I have a Sire V7 Jazz and it’s an excellent instrument. Gets lots of positive comments.

  • Chris Thompson

    Bass one – Fender for sure!

  • Paul Munters

    Oeps, wrong! I had to listen twice, and liked the 1st one better, but it was very hard to tell the difference ….

  • Paul Lifsches

    Between expensive and bargain basses, I’m mostly paying for the feel and playability. Of the two basses, the second one has more high end; but you can also tweak the EQ on either to get the sound more to your taste. I just happened to prefer Bass 1 and I think that is the blue one.

    I was mostly writing to comment on the colour of the “orange” neck. The old basses may (or may not) have arrived from the factory that colour, but they turned quite dark fairly soon… at least by the time they got to me. I like the feel of that finish–especially because it naturally wears off and does not grab your fingers on a gliss. Also, I heard that when it does wear off, the wood is still sealed for its protection. When CBS took over, they used a clear finish on the necks that they claimed was more durable; but did not allow for smooth sliding. Many of us would sand it off for comfort — whether or not it was the healthiest thing for the bass, it worked for us.

    Hence, I LOVE that colour of neck on the blue bass… if not for the aesthetic, for what it brings back in memories! I’m guessing it’s the same finish as the pre-CBS, but I’d have to feel it. It DOES look a little more orange than my ’65.

    This was a worth-while video; it helps the less wealthy players to appreciate the bass they can afford. It’s like the diminishing rate of return on most expensive things; once you have covered the cost for decent quality, improvements cost substantially.

    Thanks Scott!

    Paul Lifsches

    Montreal, Canada


    Woops , listened to a couple of times , changed my mind a few times , and in the end , Wrong :) I need to add a Sire to my shopping list :)

  • Alec Macintosh

    I guessed right, Fender was bass #1, but I actually preferred the sound of the Sire. I own a 2006 Fender Jazz V and find the pickups to be rather lacklustre, I’ve just been rocking it all these years because as is the point of this video it’s not about the tool but the artist. I’ll definitely be replacing the pickups sometime soon to get a fuller, punchier sound though. Thanks for this video Scott!

  • Juhani Juurik

    I think the blue Fender is #1. In fingerstyle they both sounded pretty much the same, perhaps #2 being ever so slightly darker and boomier, but in slapping #1 sounds more hi-fi for my ears, which I prefer for this style. In any case, point proved :)

  • Tgreen

    Bass1, I haven’t seen the result yet but loved the sound of bass 2, so hope b2 is the sire, think my jazz bass is going up foresale!

  • mikmckn

    The thing I love is that the Sire basses offer a well-made and well-finished bass for the money. And because of this, tinkerers like myself have an excellent starting point and a strong aftermarket from which we can draw when we feel like modding a bass.
    The only Fender I own is a Frankenstein’s monster of parts including a lefty MIJ Fender jazz neck on a right handed P-Bass body covered in pearlescent paint with a healthy dose of glitter in it, a Seymour Duncan SPB-1 and it’s strung for BEAD tuning. It’s a goofy thing to look at when I bring it on stage for a metal show.
    But boy it’s fun to play.