FNA Jazzman VS FNA Jazzman LTD2002

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I am taking delivery of a FNA Jazzman 2006 tomorrow. I have just been offered a 2002 FNA Jazzman LTD at twice the price (but can't play it before I buy it).

I see the wood is different (walnut/bubinga top on the LTD, swamp ash with flamed maple top on the standard). I also see that the fretboard is different (Rosewood on the LTD, Wenge on the standard).

Are there any other differences? The pickups and electrics I believe are the same?

I am not too familiar with the different woods either so don't know if the LTD's Walnut is a good thing or bad thing. I love the fret markers of the LTD too which help me play as my other basses have block inlays.
 
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The LTD has a passive tone control, but the basic 3 band MEC preamp is the same.
So besides the woods used and that tone pot they should be exactly the same. (correct me if im wrong people!)
 

Henrythe8

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Google, Warwick Site :
Specifications: FNA Jazzman
Nut: Just-A-Nut III
Neck Wood: Ovangkol
Fretboard: Wenge (fretted), Tigerstripe Ebony ( Fretless )
Bodywood (Topwood / Backwood): US Swamp Ash body with bookmatched AA-Flamed Maple top
Pickups: Passive MEC J/MM pickups with open pole pieces
Electronics: Active MEC 3-way electronics



Specifications: FNA Jazzman LTD 2002 - 4
Nut: Just-A-Nut III
Neck Wood: Ovangkol neck
Fretboard: Rosewood fingerboard
Inlay: Block - Trianlgle inlays
Bodywood (Topwood / Backwood): Walnut body with Highly figured Swirly Bubinga top
Pickups: Passive MEC J/MM-style pickups with open pole pieces
Electronics: Active MEC 3-way electronics
 
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The woods involved are rather different, but electronics-wise they're very close. The pickups should be identical in every way, and the preamps are also the same, except the LTD has a passive tone too.

We can go back and forth about what gives a bass it's sound, but the same pickups in the same spot with the same preamp set to the same settings are going to sound nearly identical. I'd assert that if you could tell an audible difference between the two basses in a blind test, you might have difficulty telling which is which (and frankly, you might even encounter that when comparing two of the exact same model).
 

Henrythe8

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Yup. Walnut may be a bit heavier and with a higher density, hence resonating a bit less than a lighter Swamp ash. But on the other hand, the Maple is harder than Boob-Inga. If i was able to tell a difference - which I'm not - I'd say that the LTD would be warmer and the FNA would have more resonnance. But like Fitz said, not sure you could tell.
 
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Thanks for your help everyone. The passive option is pretty redundant as far as I am concerned, I want that 'active' sound all the time (having had a Warwick $$ NT Bubinga with active/passive switch). I agree about the wood, I don't think I would notice. So the answer to my question is, "is it worth x2 the money to have a bass which has a swirly bubinga top as essentially they will sound the same?" - Probably not. I could spend that £600 on another bass or some other gear I think.
 
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Think of all the internet style points you would be getting with a LTD Warwick though.... :roll:
 

golem

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All around agreement.

OTOH If you ever want an FNA JM thaz distinctly
different, I'd hold out for a 2004LE. I've had the
normal FNA JM twice in the past. The 2004LE is
is my present tense version, and you'll just hafta
find your own cuz this one is going nowhere else.

Yes, it DID cost me some hundreds more than the
others, and I have zero regrets. I got to play it at
a local shop, so I didn't hafta buy it blind [deaf?].
It was "love at first note".

But I gotta agree, if the electronics are the same
between the 2002LTD and the standard version, I
can't imagine the wood alone being worth all that
extra cost.

BTW, I don't dislike the sound of the normal FNA
JM. My fondness of that was the reason the 2004LE
caught my eye in the shop. My earlier examples of
FNA JM were both 5-string and I feel very clumsy
on a Wick 5 of that era. The '04LE being a 4-string
told me "3rd time's the charm", while the noiseless
J-PU and 3-band EQ justified the extra cost. If my
earliest one had been 4-string, it would very likely
still be here !
 
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So the answer to my question is, "is it worth x2 the money to have a bass which has a swirly bubinga top as essentially they will sound the same?" - Probably not.

My mantra. However, there will be placebo takers that will tell you that there's a stark tonal difference that's worth the 600 extra quid.
 
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I took delivery of the standard FNA Jazzman yesterday and after a restring I have to say it sounds very very much different from the Rockbass Corvette I had as a tryout for a week. The corvette sounded more like a fender Jazz to me. I thought the FNA Jazzman would sound the same with the single coil switching etc, but it doesnt. One thing I noticed is how badly the humbucker distorts on the E string. I read a few other people having the same problem. I personally don't like the sound of the humbucker at all, so it will be permanently on the single coil... in that case, I could have just bought a german corvette!
 
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One other question, when in 'passive' mode and the stacked switch pulled, does it still drain the battery if plugged in?
 
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You can run that particular instrument without a battery in passive mode, but given the nature of the way all input jacks are wired, I can't imagine how pulling a pot out would actually disconnect the battery. However, batteries last hundreds and hundreds of hours - you'd have to be a bit of a miser to pull out the battery when playing passive.

As far as how it sounds - the pickups are passive and in different spots. How similar were you expecting the sounds to be? I bet if you put a passive Jazz side by side with the Jazzman and a Corvette Standard, you'd be surprised how it actually sounds more similar to the Jazzman in certain settings.
 
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Thanks for the info about the passive stuff. I thought the LTD FNA Jazzman had this, but didnt realise that the standard had it too.

I think I need to have a play around with the settings. This thing has all sorts of tones from the electronics! I had a demo Rockbass Corvette for a while and thought that it would sound more or less the same as the Jazzman with the HB switched in single coil mode. I have to wind the pickup blend a way more round than the middle to get the sound more like that I was expecting. It sounds great though ;-) Very happy. The action is set very very low and there is some fret buzzing about, but will raise it up a bit to sort.
 
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IMO, if both basses are run with the EQ flat, pickup blend in the middle, with the Jazzman's humbucker in single coil mode, they shouldn't sound COMPLETELY unrelated.

Unless, of course... which coil gets solo'd when the bridge pickup is in single coil mode? My current Corvette NT solos the pickup's bridge-side coil for the bridge pickup (and neck-side coil for the neck pickup), but my old Streamer $$ soloed the neck-side coil of both pickups. If your Jazzman solos the neck-side coil, yeah, it'll sound different. If that's the case, maybe consider rewiring it so that the bridge-side coil is soloed.

Going from true active pickups to passive pickups with an active preamp can be pretty stark, however, IMO not as stark as going from a 2-band EQ to a 3-band. Being able to cut/boost 800Hz and 8.7kHz instead of 2kHz is huge, huge, huge, especially if you cut or boost aggressively.
 

golem

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IIRC the FNA JM coil splitter solos the bridge coil.
 
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Oh, I misunderstood what Golem was trying to convey.

I don't remember. With the bass plugged in, and the amp turned on, one could touch the coils with a piece of metal, or the string, and determine which is active in single-coil mode.
 
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Which coil of the bridge though?

(Was my Streamer $$ messed up in the factory or something, soloing the neck coil of the bridge pickup?)

On my P-Nut, which uses Jazzman pup configuration, the bridge coil is solo'd when split.
 
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