Our bass guru, Matthew Khomsi, gives an in-hand review of the new Fender Road Worn 60s Jazz Bass:
On the whole, this bass reigns in all of the most important attributes when deciding on an instrument:Â tone, playability, comfort and looks.Â First, the overall tone is extremely flexible – this is the most versatile Jazz bass from Fender I’ve heard or played to date.Â When I refer to the versatility of this bass, I’m talking about how different the pickups actually sound when you slightly adjust the volume on the neck vs. bridge pickup, how that relates to the master tone knob and how the player’s style, whether with fingers, thumb or a pick, alter the sound.Â The harmonics are killer.Â Oh man, was I surprised when I started playing some Jaco and the parts just sang!
When analyzing the playability of this bass, it became obvious very quickly this Road Worn is easy to play.Â The slightly worn in neck gives it just enough of a “broken-in” feel to understand why “relic’d” instruments are so popular.Â Your hands fall right into place when you pick this up; it really separates itself from a run of the mill standard Jazz bass.
I can accept that purchasing a beat up instrument may not be everyone’s cup of tea.Â However, I’d suggest looking at how the instrument is going to be in 5 years, when you start to put your own dings and nicks on it – the relic will absolutely start to feel more your own.Â Beyond the cosmetics, no one can deny that the relic hastens the comfort one feels when picking up a new axe.
Now I can acknowledge the “Made in Mexico” stamp may deter you when checking out this bass, but let me reassure you, if you’re interested in excellent tone and feel, this is demonstrably a better bass than virtually any other Jazz even close to this price point.Â – Matthew Khomsi