Bass Direct - Xotic bass guitar XJ 1T4, four string, fretted, bolt on, active, passive, USA, Hand made, Masterbuilt, Custom Shop - UK Basses specialist



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Xotic XJ-1T 4 bass, Black Cherry, Rosewood f/b (List £2750)


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If you are looking for the ultimate custom built Jazz style bass then the Xotic XJ series should be on your list. Featuring selected tone woods, exquisite pickups and hardware, flexible pre-amp and unparalleled versatility these basses have made for an uncompromising approach to a classic design and brings it squarely into the 21st Century!

Actual instrument shown - please click on images to enlarge;

Inheriting the feel and the tone of Vintage Jazz Bass, this 4-String bass will broaden your performance possibilities and with it's high quality preamp, it provides modern sounds that will enable you to perform in any environment. Within this bass reside 2 different sounds, vintage and modern. We are now able to offer you the sound quality proven through vigorous professional use, and precise craftsmanship at an affordable price.

Inheriting the feel and the tone of Vintage Jazz Bass, this 4 -String bass will broaden your performance possibilities and with it's high quality preamp, it provides modern sounds that will enable you to perform in any environment. Within this bass reside 2 different sounds, vintage and modern. We are now able to offer you the sound quality proven through vigourous professional use, and precise craftsmanship at an affordable price.

Trusted for its quality and precision, we chose the Hipshot Ultra lite for the machine heads. They are durable and lightweight, which helps for longevity and prevents head dive.

For the XJ-1T, adjustments can be made at the end for the neck with the special hex Allen wrench. There is no need to remove the neck or the pick guard to make the adjustment.

Xotic's manufacturing process improves the stability of the neck. Under normal conditions and use, the neck's consistency should remain strong and steady, but minor adjustment of the Truss rod may be required under harsher environment or changes in season. We've made the adjustments very easy with the placement of the Truss Rod.

The XJ series uses Hip Shot A Style for the bridge because its brass alloy doesn't lose any vibrations from the strings, giving it fat and solid tone. This bridge provides adjustments to the pitch and tension of each string giving you your own custom set-up.

A medium-weight alder/ash materials are used for the body. These woods give the XJ series a solid low and low-mid range tone. Something lighter weighted bodies can't achieve.

Our alder bodies feature 2 piece construction, while our ash bodies are 3 piece. The 3 piece ash body construction is more reminiscent of 70's jazz type ash bodies.

The XJ 5-string series pickups are positioned with vintage 60's style in mind. This makes the XJ versatile for both slap and finger style playing.

The XJ's body style is based on an original Jazz Bass design, but Xotic's vision and enhancements are reflected throughout its design. For example, the rounded heel of the neck joint and the cut away. These improvements significantly improve playability in higher positions and give a stress free feel.

We wanted a finish that was strong and would look great after many hours of playing. Our polyurethane finish accomplished our goal and we can now offer a variety of colours, from vintage to more modern shades.

Our hand carved C-shape neck is finished with a light oil rub, using our own Xotic XP-OG1 oil. The shape and finish provides a smooth texture and stress free playing

The XJ fingerboard tone wood options are Maple or Rosewood. These tone woods are carefully selected and chosen for their hard-grained material. Our fingerboard features a 10" radius, which is a gentler curve than vintage spec, and is adorned with Luminova phosphorescent position markers. These markers are a perfect choice when performing on a dark stage as they glow 10 times brighter and last longer than other comparable materials.

Our 5-string models are accommodated with a 22F neck, better adapted for modern style playing. The rigidity of our 5-string necks allow for a solid ringing of the low B, something lacking on other 5-string models.

Jescar Fret Wire is an industry standard fret wire that is chosen for its high quality and used by makers such as Gibson, Martin and Tom Anderson. It is trusted for its superior precision and durability. We used the FW9665 model for the XJ-1T series, which has the proper height and trusted stability in pitch. The fret is carefully finished, providing you a stress free feel.

For the XJ-1T pickups, we used the traditional Alnico 5 rod magnet, AWG-42 formvar wire, and Vulcan fibre bobbins. Both 4-string and 5-string model have vintage flavour as its base, but with higher gain. The higher gain offers richer sound in both passive and active modes.

Our standard pickup configurations include Lindy Fralin custom pickups. We strengthened the magnetic force to improve overall response. This resulted in quality of the tone being brighter with a more solid bottom, which makes these pickups more compatible with our newly developed Tri-logic 2 preamp.

We used our world renowned Tri-logic 2 preamp, which has been our choice since the Evolution model. The preamp is designed to minimise the change in tonal quality and incorporates a 3 band EQ. The preamps and EQ makes it ideal for covering a wide range of musical styles.

We improved the preamps functionality by positioning 2 mini toggle switches, just below
the bridge, so you can instantly switch between high-mid/low-mid and various treble EQ frequencies.

The Tri-Logic 2's electrical circuit is redesigned with amplifying element for reduced electric al consumption and noise, for better tone and longer battery life.

As with our previous models, it is also equipped with 2 series-connected 006P battery for the

The new and improved Xotic Gig Bag version is more convenient to carry around! Heavy-duty, completely safe and you can now enjoy the slim design of the Gig Bag.

18V drive,

This flat pickup cover also functions as a finger ramp.

There are also thumb rests on the side that are helpful for stabilising your picking.

And since the pole pieces are not bare, this visually attractive cover also eliminates the noise from fingers or pick which are prevalent for the Jazz Bass.

New control layout for 2011

1)Volume (Push: Active, Pull: Passive)

2) Pickup Balance (Pan)

3) Tone

4) Bass EQ

5) Mid EQ

6) Treble EQ

7) Mid EQ Frequency Selector

8)Active Output Gain Control

(located in back panel for easy access)

>PDF Download


BODY: Alder

COLOR: Blackcherry gloss

NECK: 22F Maple/Rosewood

NECK FINISH:  Oil Finish

NUT: Pure Bone

FRET: Jescar Silver Nickel (#6150 type)


TUNER: HipShot Ultra Light

BRIDGE: HipShot A Brass Chrome

CONTROL: 1 Vol, 1 x Pan, 1 Tone, 3-Band EQ Xotic Bass Preamp, 2 x mid frequency Switches, (Output Gain Control on rear on bass)

SWITCH: Pull 1st Vol for Passive/Active



STRINGS: D'Addario

Weight: 4.3kg/9.9kgs

Xotic Bass Preamp: Three Band EQ (high, mid, low) boost & cut. Centre position produces flat, unaltered sound, with no added tonal coloration.

* Mid selector switches for a choice of four different pre-set mid frequencies, from low-mid to high-mid

* Pre-set gain control to boost gain by one to three times (located in back panel for easy access).

* 18V drive is for more headroom, which allows incoming signals to pass through cleanly, without clipping the high-end or low-end frequencies. (Requires two 9V batteries)

Xotic Bass Preamp Frequency Specification

HIGH: @10kHz, +14dB, -12dB

MID1 (Mid select switches: sw1-off, sw2-off): @3kHz, +9dB, -9dB

MID2 (Mid select switches: sw1-on, sw2-off): @1kHz, +12dB, -10dB

MID3 (Mid select switches: sw1-off, sw2-on): @800Hz, +4dB, -4dB

MID4 (Mid select switches: sw1-on, sw2-on): @400Hz, +8dB, -10dB

LOW: @20Hz, +10dB, -10dB

Neck Scale: 34 inch

Weight: 4.65kgs, 10lb 3oz

Nut width on 5 string: 46.9mm (1.848 inch)

Neck width at the last fret on 5 string: 73.9mm (2.913 inch)

String Spacing at the bridge: 19.0mm (0.748 inch)

Xotic XJ-1T 4-String Bass Review (July 2012)

Sean O'Bryan Smith

Xotic's import J-bass clone packs additional features and tons of quality


Download Example 1

Active - Bridge

Download Example 2

Passive - Neck

Download Example 3

Active - Both

Download Example 4

Active - Humbucking

Since starting out in 1996, instrument manufacturer Xotic has earned a reputation for high quality among discerning professionals. Touring pros like Keith Horne, Ric Fierabracci, Michael Rhodes and even bassist/actor Malcolm Jamal-Warner have relied on Xotic basses to cover their gigs. In 1999, Xotic branched into the world of effects and ended up sharing the love with a number of professional guitar players like Scott Henderson and Andy Timmons. Seemingly more focused on their pedal line over the past few years due to its popularity, Xotic recently returned to the bass world with a bang when they offered their XJ-1T 5-string bass. Reacting to the massive response that model received, Xotic released its cousin, the XJ-1T 4-string, at the 2010 NAMM show. The XJ-1T embodies what Xotic refers to as an “uncompromising harmony of tradition and advancement,” and the new 4-string demonstrates their commitment with conviction.

Flair for the Xotic

The XJ-1T is more than just a classic Jazz-style bass. Even though the body is inspired by a timeless classic, the bass is pure Xotic. There are some traditional features that players would expect, like a bolt-on 22-fret neck, offset body and all the appearance of a high-end J-bass clone. Features that distinguish the XJ-1T from other offerings on the market are the eye-catching Lindy Fralin pickups, Hipshot UltraLight tuners and bridge, a custom-shaped pickguard and the secret weapon of any Xotic: the electronics. Xotic has always been known for their pedals and preamps, and bassists can revel in the fact that their popular 3-band preamp is onboard the XJ-1T. The system runs at 18 volts for extended headroom and is a tone tweaker’s delight. The chrome knobs are the same as a traditional J-bass: an individual volume control for each pickup and a master tone. The mini-knobs are for the active preamp and control bass, mid and treble.

This is not all that dwells deep within the XJ-1T. Both of the volume knobs on the bass are push/pull. The first allows the bass to go into passive mode for going completely classic J sonically. The second is a unique humbucking mode that combines both pickups as one big pickup. In this mode, your front volume control now becomes a master volume for some serious thunder. For the tweaking obsessed, we’re still not over with the Xotic. Accessible through the back panel are additional mid-frequency switches and even an output gain control. You can literally spend hours dialing in the bass to whatever you fancy. Granted, the stock settings are top notch, but this is a super-cool option nonetheless.

Feature-wise, the bass is very similar to the 2009 Xotic XJ-1T 5-String—the most obvious difference being the fact that it’s got one less string. But due to its wood combination, the XJ-1T 4-String has the heart of a ‘70s J-bass. It sports an oil-finished maple neck with a maple fretboard, unlike its 5-string cousin. Both basses do use 6150 Jescar nickel-silver frets. The other difference is the ash body on the XJ-1T. The instrument just has the feel of a ‘70s gem… without the disco music and large collars.

Just taking it out of the case, I was seriously impressed with the overall craftsmanship, and after hours of inspection I was honestly quite surprised not to find any real flaws. The stock setup was nice and even, but due to my lighter playing style, I dropped the action. Luckily, the bass didn’t need any other tweaks and it was set up like an absolute dream. The oil-finished neck has a wonderful worn-in feel. Most surprising was how resonant the bass was even unplugged. Sustain and articulation was off the charts, and there was just the right amount of midrange bark, which was surprising since maple and ash combinations have the potential to be overly bright sounding. To test the bass, I used it on a number of live dates as well as master and demo sessions. In every aspect the bass delivered completely. You can really tell that Xotic has done some serious homework on this bass, and I’d venture to guess they’ve been asking players for their needs as well. Every tone setting proved to be useful for a number of needs. Slap players can get a very Marcus Miller-like tone from the active electronics, and the Fralins are seriously clean and easy to record. What I particularly dug was the fact that I could also dial in a good Jacoesque tone out of the soloed bridge pickup. J-basses can usually cover one or the other well, but not both.

The Final Mojo

Is it worth the funds for this bass in comparison to other, US-built J clones? Absolutely. It sounds as good, if not better than, any other contender out there. Even more important is that it’s more flexible than most. This bass is a Swiss Army knife and could be considered a main axe regardless of what genre you’re in. I myself am already enjoying being able to leave a number of other basses in my studio and just taking the XJ-1T to sessions. If you’re a lover of high-end J-basses, this may very well be your axe. 

Buy if...

you’re into great-sounding, high-end J-basses.

Skip if...

you’re not ready to drop more than $2K on an import.


Xotic XJ-1t 5-string Bass

Stuart Clayton gets to grips with the latest offering from us-bass builder, Xotic.

Bass Guitar Magazine 51 (Feb 2011)

The select three-piece maple neck attaches to the body via a four-bolt joint

Having started out as a custom bass manufacturer in the mid 90s, LA bass builders Xotic followed the success of their flagship XB model with the XJ-1T 5, borrowing from the time honoured Jazz Bass blueprint. Tricked out with Lindy Fralin pickups and a seriously well appointed control set, the XJ-1T 5 looks set to appeal to the working pro who needs to cover a lot of different stylistic ground, and has already been well received by the likes of Nashville session ace Michael Rhodes and Ric Fierabracci. Let’s take a closer look.

Body & Neck

The one-piece alder body features the familiar Jazz-style shaping and feel, but it’s a look that is brought firmly into the 21st century courtesy of the uniquely shaped scratchplate with circular cutaway, ebony pickup covers and extensive control set. Our review model was finished in gorgeous black cherry with a three-ply pearloid scratchplate, and we didn’t have to look far to find signs of the superior workmanship and innovation that Xotic basses are known for. We loved the recessed circular areas for each control pot, as well as the curved pickup tops – these make for comfortable thumb rests. Flipping the bass over revealed chunky chrome string holders for the through-body stringing option and a control plate featuring access points to two trim pots – more on these later. The four-bolt neck joint was of plate-less design, with the four screws sitting in large, recessed chrome ferrules. We were rather taken with the use of chunky chrome Hipshot hardware – not only does it add an impression of supreme dependability, but it looks pretty cool as well. The select three-piece maple neck benefits from a smooth, oil finish and a sleek profile that’s quick and easy to get around. The rosewood fingerboard was a suitable counterpart to the maple neck, but we found the mother-ofpearl position markers to be quite dark and difficult to see in places against the rosewood. Fretwork was exemplary right across the fingerboard.

Hardware & Parts

Chrome Hipshot hardware is used throughout the XJ-1T, from the heavyweight Type A bridge (actually brass chrome) to the open-backed elephantear tuning machines.  However, one of the most eye-catching parts is the use of ebony pickup covers. Lindy Fralin JB pickups are employed here, and the wooden covers really are aesthetically very pleasing against the black-cherry body and the pearl scratchplate. The XJ-1T features an extensive control set that offers the user a lot of options. The three chrome controls are, as one would expect on a J-style instrument, volume controls for each pickup and a master tone. The two pickup controls also have push/pull functionality, with the neck control allowing active/passive switching and the bridge control offering series/parallel switching. The remaining three controls are bass, middle and treble EQ controls. The trim pots, which are accessible with a small screwdriver through the control plate on the rear side of the bass, allow the adjustment of the mid-EQ frequency and the active gain. There are four positions for the mid-EQ control.


In passive mode the XJ- 1T functions as any J-style instrument should do, and the usual tonal palette is easy to navigate; favouring the neck pickup yields old-school Miller-esque slap tones, while the neck pickup adds bite, perfect for fingerstyle funk. Those acquainted with this familiar configuration will have no problems getting around the instrument in passive mode. In active mode the three band EQ is engaged and offers an additional array of supremely usable tones. With the combination of series/parallel switching the XJ- 1T really is extremely well appointed and offers a bass sound for all situations. Th e combination of the Xotic bass preamp and the Lindy Fralin pickups is a winner. Impressive stuff .


Sonically this bass is superb. It sang beautifully on our covers gig and we found suitable tones for all styles and loved the ever present growl that underpins the tonal palette. It’s well weighted, if a little on the neck-heavy side, but no hardship to wear for an evening of playing. The neck is slick and easy to get around and the action was set just right. At £2,299 the XJ-T1 is far from cheap, but when you take into consideration the fact that it is handmade in the US and offers pretty much everything a working pro would ever need, that price tag seem less of an obstacle. A lovely bass, and well worth a look if you’re in the market for a high-end instrument to last you a lifetime.






PRICE: £2,299

Made in: USA

Body: Alder

Neck: Select 3-piece maple

Fingerboard: Rosewood

Scale: 863 mm (34 inches)

Pickups: Lindy Fralin JB

Preamp: Xotic bass preamp

Controls: 2 x volume, master tone, active/passive and series/parallel switching, 3-band EQ: treble, middle, bass. Adjustable mid-range frequencies, adjustable gain control

Hardware: Chrome, Hipshot

Colours: Black cherry (as reviewed), candy orange, vintage white


Plus: A very versatile bass that’s a pleasure to play.

Minus: None, other than the price tag!

Overall: A superb pro bass from Xotic.


Bass Direct Ltd

Tel: 01926 886433


Unit 12, Rigby Close

Heathcote Ind Est

Warwick, CV34 6TH

Tel: 01926 886433

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