About 6 months ago I decided to take a chance with a Glarry GJazz Bass. So how is it going now, 6 months later? Today we go over everything, and talk about my experience.
Table of Contents
Glarry GJazz Bass: Too Good To Be True?
Every good studio usually has a few guitars and basses around for artists to use. They can be used for overdubs, or they can provide a sound that the artist’s instruments just don’t have. When I remodeled my studio, I was lacking a decent single coil bass guitar.
Basses with single coil pickups just seem to sit in the mix differently than actives or humbuckers. The Glarry GJazz Bass was extremely inexpensive, yet had a ton of great reviews. So I figured why not?
I hit the “Buy Now” button and hoped for the best.
Even if the bass was totally awful, I could always strip it for parts, or return it since Glarry has a great return policy. So I took a chance and ordered one. I did not expect it to actually be GOOD!
But there is something that we call the “honeymoon period” when it comes to new guitars. This is usually the first week or two after you get the guitar, where you try to justify your purchase. If you just shelled out some cash, you want to feel like you made the right choice.
Well the honeymoon has been over for quite a while, and the Glarry GJazz Bass has been used by myself and others in the studio. So is it still holding up, and better yet is it as good as the usual budget guitars?
Glarry has had some really great reviews, but the company has also been absolutely trashed by some reviewers. I am used to playing some pretty high-end guitars these days, but I also remember when I couldn’t afford expensive gear.
Today, I have a healthy mix of both high-end, as well as budget gear in my studio. The Glarry GJazz is a keeper, and it lives in my studio now.
Today we will go over why the Glarry GJazz bass guitar might be a good option for home recording enthusiasts, as well as people that are just learning to play. Beginner instruments are often looked down on, but they are making a big comeback lately.
Budget gear is a huge topic for musicians since the post-pandemic prices have continued to climb. It seems like every company has been affected by inflation, and once prices go up, they don’t go down.
Those higher prices are here to stay, unfortunately.
Lots of experienced musicians are trying out budget gear (some for the first time), and a lot of us are using cheaper instruments as mod platforms. But regardless of the price, the “bones” of the guitar needs to be decent enough for beginners, mod platforms, as well as experienced musicians.
The neck and the body are the main “bones” of a guitar. Many things can be changed on a guitar or bass to make it better, but the neck and body have to be stable. Pickups, and hardware can easily be changed, but necks and bodies can be expensive.
So we are going to look at the Glarry GJazz Bass as both a beginner instrument, and as a bass for experienced players on a budget. As far as it goes for being a mod platform, all of the parts are “standard import size”.
This means that new parts will be easy to find, if you ever wish to upgrade the bass. Squier and many other companies make parts that will be a direct replacement for the GJazz. So if you need to fix it, or want to mod it… it will be VERY easy.
Note: Glarry did NOT send me this bass to review, I bought it myself to have a secondary bass in the studio. So they had no idea this bass was going to a professional reviewer. This has since caused me to form a relationship with Glarry Musical Instruments, since the quality was so solid for the price (spoiler alert!).
So the real test is how well has the Glarry GJazz bass held up these last 6 months? Today we check out the basic specs, and go over how the bass has performed in a pro studio environment over the last 6 months.
Glarry GJazz Bass: Specs And Features
The Glarry GJazz bass is clearly taking some cues from a classic, iconic design, and it works just like the legendary 4 string made by “The Big F”. The two single coil pickups give the Jazz-style bass its signature sound that we have heard on recordings for decades.
The features and specs are going to seem very familiar, since this is such an iconic design. There really isn’t much that should be changed. The Jazz Bass style has been popular among players for years, and the simplicity is what attracts so many bassists to this design.
- Color Choices: Burlywood (Natural); Sunset; Transparent Yellow
- Number of frets: 20
- Nut width: 1.656 in.
- Scale length: 34″
- Number of Strings: 4
- String Gauges : G-0.045, D-0.065″ A-0.08, E-0.100
- Pickup: Single-Single Pickup
- Guitar Bridge System: Fixed 3 Barrel
- Controls: 2 x Volume, 1 x Tone
- Body Material: Basswood
- Fingerboard Material: Rosewood
- Neck Material: Maple
The Glarry GJazz Bass comes with everything you need to get started playing. Mine came with a light gig bag, a strap, amp cord, picks, and the wrenches needed to make adjustments. This is pretty standard for Glarry and all of the guitars and basses come with the same accessories.
The Jazz Bass design is very simple, so there are not many features to really talk about. The design is unique because even though there are two pickups, there isn’t a control switch/toggle for them like you would see on a dual-pickup guitar.
You have to use the two volume knobs to either blend the two pickups, or turn the volume down on one to hear the other. For example, you can turn down the first volume knob all the way, and have just one of the pickups actually producing sound.
Most bassists already know this trick, as this is how a lot of two-pickup basses work. The bridge pickup sounds better for certain sounds, where the neck/middle might be better for other applications. I like to blend both pickups, to get a fat sound.
Where Glarry differs from many other budget brands, is there is a great return policy. If there is shipping damage, or anything broken when the instrument arrives, you can contact the USA or UK customer service to sort out any issues.
Glarry GJazz Bass: Full Review
We usually do reviews in an “out of the box” format, but since I have had this bass for 6 months that kind of format will be a little… difficult. But I can fully remember the day that I received the Glarry GJazz Bass, and it sat in the box for about a week, as we finished setting up the new studio.
I remember being a little taken aback upon opening the box. The finish looked much better in person than it did on the website. The Basswood body makes this a very lightweight bass guitar, which is usually not the case with larger offset basses.
Out of the box, I remember doing some minor setup tweaks. The string height needed a quick setup, and a few turns of the truss rod had the GJazz Bass almost exactly the way I like it. It was playable out of the box, but I prefer a lower action.
The accessories are a nice touch, but the gig bag is pretty thin. It works to transport your bass, but it lacks padding to really protect it. The amp cable and pick are nice, though. As a professional musician, I can always use some extra cables!
I ALWAYS check the frets before anything else, and I was taken by surprise with the fretwork. I was expecting to do some serious work on the Glarry GJazz Bass right out of the box. I even had my fret files out, and ready to go.
There were no high frets, and zero fret sprout. You very rarely see fretwork this good on budget instruments. I checked three times for high frets, because I couldn’t believe it. The frets were a little dirty, but a quick polish took care of that.
The Glarry GJazz Bass comes with the Allen key tools that you need to make these adjustments, and it is very easy to follow tutorials online if you have never set up a bass before. The pickups were also a little high for my taste, but they are easily adjustable with a screwdriver.
I checked the intonation, and it was extremely close to being correct. I didn’t fix this right out of the box, but when I started recording with the GJazz, I fixed the intonation. It just needed a few turns of the screwdriver to be perfect.
Bolt-on construction can be hard to get right, but the Glarry GJazz bass has a perfect neck pocket. The neck plate has a plastic washer between the plate and the body. I imagine it was built this way because Basswood is a softer wood, and the pressure from the plate can damage the body.
The neck has a very thin satin finish, to the point that it almost feels like raw wood. I really like this feel, and Maple is a very solid wood for instrument necks. Maple is so commonly used because it is a hard wood, and keeps the neck straight (Leo Fender got it right in the 50’s).
The two way truss rod works the way it should, and one of the only imperfections I found was the truss rod cavity on the headstock. It could definitely be sanded better, as it was a bit rough. The truss rod WORKS, so that is all that matters to me.
Otherwise, there were absolutely no flaws, and I thought that the finish looked excellent for such a budget instrument. The sunburst color is just beautiful. I seriously doubt that this is a one-piece body, but I couldn’t find any seams where the pieces were glued together.
Budget guitars are usually 3-4 piece bodies, and I imagine the Glarry GJazz Bas is probably 3 pieces at least. Some people think this matters, and has an effect on tone. Personally, I think the pickups matter more than body wood.
Neck dive is a little bit of a problem when playing with the strap, standing up. The body is so lightweight, that you definitely have a bit of neck dive. This can be fixed with a different strap, but to be fair, I have had this problem with basses that cost 10X this much!
All of the hardware is standard import, generic-branded stuff. Although the open gear tuners look really nice, and they have vintage-style tuning buttons. They feel really solid, and this is what causes most of the neck dive.
While I haven’t changed anything on this bass yet, I might in the future if anything were to break. being regular old standard import parts, it will be very simple since these parts are easy to find.
The nut is plastic, but it was cut well for the stock strings, and the string retainers are the big vintage-style circles. When I did my first string change, I had to file the nut slots slightly, since I changed the gauges.
So while I cannot do a “fresh” out of the box inspection, there were no glaring flaws on the bass at all. I probably would have noticed something in the last 6 months or so, if there was something wrong.
So far, it has been used (by several people) without any problems at all. In fact, it gets a lot of compliments from musicians that visit the studio! It is a very “striking” in appearance, and plays great.
The only thing I can complain about as far as construction goes, is the logo has started to rub off. This is because in the studio, we use a clip-on tuner for the headstock. The Snark tuner pad seems to have rubbed the logo off a little bit over time.
But other than the logo, there have been zero issues with the Glarry GJazz Bass over the last 6 months. I have changed the strings, of course. I have also had to set it up more than once, as the seasons changed, which is totally normal.
besides these few things, I have also polished the frets twice to keep them nice and shiny. But this is all just regular maintenance, and the GJazz has lived and performed in the studio just fine! So… how does it play?
The Glarry GJazz Bass is going to feel very familiar to experienced players. The Jazz bass shape and feel is going to feel like “home” for a lot of players, and I know that was MY first impression. I do like the fact that it is so lightweight, when standing up to play.
The neck is a familiar “C shape” profile that you will definitely recognize. The neck is not quite as thin as my Ibanez bass neck, but it still plays very well. The neck size is about “medium” in feel to me. This makes it perfect for beginners and experienced bassists alike.
I have heard reviewers say that the neck is “chunky” several times. Maybe the older models had chunkier necks, but this one feels right in “the middle” to me. I have recorded for hours, and never had any hand pain/issues.
The frets are just a little bigger than what you will find on a Fender-style bass, and I think this is a good thing. When you are doing walking-style runs, it feels much more accurate. This is a personal preference, but I like it.
If you are a beginner, then this is a great bass to start with. It plays very well, and the lightweight feel is great for younger players just starting out. You can play just about any genre of music with the Glarry GJazz, so if you are just starting to play bass, the GJazz will do just about anything.
However, Jazz Basses are famous for playing heavier music because they have a “punchy” midrange tone. I have seen a lot of Doom/Metal players use a Jazz-style bass with a pick. I definitely understand why they tend to favor these basses now!
As for mods, while you get better at playing bass you might want to buy some nicer hardware. The Glarry GJazz Bass has standard parts, so it is easy to upgrade. Likewise, if you already know how to work on guitars, the Glarry can be a fun project.
If you are an experienced bassist, then you will probably LOVE this bass because of the weight. Your shoulder will thank you after a long jam session! If you already have a bass that you love, the Glarry will be a great backup as well.
How Does It Sound?
The pickups are surprisingly good, and a lot less noisy than I was expecting. These are medium-output single coils, so they are very versatile. They sound really good clean, and the bridge pickup sounds absolutely nasty with a little bit of growl through an Ampeg Amp Sim.
You control the pickup selection by manipulating the volume controls. If you want to use just one pickup, then the volume knob needs to be turned up, while the other volume has to be turned all the way down. Personally, I like to blend the two pickups most of the time to get a fat tone.
The bridge pickup is especially punchy! It sounds great with a little bit of gain and distortion, and sticks out in the mix when recording. Both pickups are very mid-heavy, which is exactly what I look for in a bass. Sure, you want to hold down the low end in a song, but you also don’t want to be “muddy”.
The volume and tone controls are smaller, dime-sized pots that you see in most Chinese instruments. So I didn’t expect to have a whole lot of control when it came to the knobs. To my surprise, both volume pots work really well! The tone control is just “ok” in my opinion, but it works fine.
But when it comes to the sound, I recorded a snippet of a song for YouTube videos with the Glarry GJazz Bass, and friends complimented me on the bass tones! I didn’t tell them which bass I used, but I am sure my friends would be surprised.
I absolutely will not be changing the pickups in the Glarry GJazz Bass, although you definitely could. I measured every piece of this bass, and you could spend some money to upgrade it easily. I checked, and Fender import parts are a direct fit.
I also noticed that Musiclily bass parts will also be a great option. The Glarry GJazz Bass has very common measurements, so you will have no problem upgrading the bass. But I think you should give the pickups a chance before swapping them out!
The important thing, is the body is lightweight and looks great. The neck would be easy to sand down if you wanted a thinner neck. Either way, it is cheaper to buy the whole bass than a neck and body separately. This can really go three different ways, as I see it:
- Beginner players may want to “grow with the bass” and they can upgrade the bass as they become more knowledgeable about bass parts and setup. They may want different pickup sounds, or change the aesthetics over time.
- Experienced players that know how to work on basses can make the Glarry GJazz Bass “tricked out”. You can really hot-rod this bass, and make it professional quality. It would make a great backup bass for gigging with just a few pro-mods!
- Players who want to learn how to work on guitars and basses can use Glarry instruments for practice. This way, you will not be “experimenting” with mods on your MAIN guitar. You can learn how to work on frets, and do setups at home with the Glarry.
I will not be doing any mods to my Glarry GJazz Bass unless something breaks. I may eventually buy a new nut for this bass, since the regular plastic one does slip out of tune from time to time. But otherwise, it is just perfect for me!
TIP: If you do plan on doing some mods to your Glarry GJazz Bass, maybe look for some used Fender/Squier parts. You can find some killer deals online for bridges, tuners, and pickups for CHEAP.
Glarry GJazz Bass: Final Thoughts…
So I took the plunge and bought the Glarry GJazz Bass, despite the things that I have heard online about the company. I have seen a lot of people trash this company, and I think that is very unfair for the price you are paying.
After playing the Glarry GJazz Bass for the last 6 months in the studio, I decided to contact Glarry directly to ask for products to check out.. They have sent me a guitar to review, and I am very excited to share that experience as well.
I think the people that complain are expecting a “perfect” instrument right out of the box. I have bad news for you, if that is your expectation when buying a new guitar.
I have reviewed almost 150 stringed instruments over the last two years, and all of them needed a little bit of setup work right out of the box. That is just the nature of being a guitar/bass player. You always need to tweak a few things on a brand new guitar.
The climate changes, the guitar is shipped, and there are a million other factors as to why you have to do a little work on a new instrument. Learning how to maintain your guitars/basses is just as important as learning how to play them.
Budget instruments have come a long way in the last few years. If you were playing guitar or bass in the 1990’s then you know how far we have come with inexpensive instruments. Back then, a $100 guitar would have been totally unplayable.
But CNC technology has come so far, and the result is a much more consistent product. We see this in furniture, buildings, and definitely in guitars. Mass produced instruments are much more consistent in quality.
The Glarry GJazz Bass was a great surprise for me, since I had such low expectations going in. I usually don’t review my personal instruments, but this sparked a relationship with Glarry. I would love to try some more Glarry instruments, and show you how to make them play their best!
If you are a beginner, and you have been thinking about trying out Glarry then I say go for it. These are great instruments for the money, and for beginners it may spark a lifetime of music.
If you are a pro, then this might be a great project bass, or a backup. Better yet, if you are a guitar player that wants to learn bass then Glarry is a PERFECT option. If you end up liking bass as much as guitar you can upgrade your Glarry, or buy a nicer bass down the road.
So if you were wondering if the Glarry GJazz bass is worth picking up, no matter what your level of playing, I would say YES. This is definitely a budget bass, no doubt. But it plays well with just a few adjustments right out of the box.
If you are unsatisfied with anything, Glarry has a fantastic return policy with the USA and UK warehouses. Customer service is actually really great, and they will fix any problems your instrument may have. Glarry is no longer a “China Only” company.
So what do you have to lose? For the price of a couple of PlayStation games, you could have a new bass! I will continue to use my Glarry GJazz Bass in the studio, and might buy another one soon. If you’re in the market for a decent instrument for a low price, you can’t go wrong with these basses!