Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
drTStingray

Vintage Fender Basses - need advice

Recommended Posts

[quote name='Rick's Fine '52' timestamp='1348432885' post='1813646']
Arr, defending your bass choice now i see, don't you like it when someone points out issues with something you may own?? This is why I don't make posts on things that may be disrespectful to owners, so i steer clear of being critical of others choices, as it's not neccessary. I could happily post to all sorts of threads on here being negative about all sorts of instruments, but they would serve no purpose, and show little respect. Personally I don't give a hoot what you think, especially when it comes to vintage Fenders, as you are clearly out of your depth. But you obviously enjoy it, so I'll humour you.[/quote]
I'm not brand loyal at all. Most instruments disappoint me in one way or another, including Alembic. It's very interesting that you read so much into what I typed though.

[quote name='Rick's Fine '52' timestamp='1348432885' post='1813646']
OK, there are two Series 1 Alembics on eBay.com at the moment, so not much to demonstrate my point at this very moment, however, one of which has lamination issues. The seller, who appears to know what he's talikng about (I'm sure you'll have something to say on that), even makes reference to this being a common issue in the ad. Thats 50% of those listed, with lamination issues, which, is not opinion. Here's the link. And yes, I've seen countless others, many in person, with significant delamination.

[url="http://www.ebay.com/itm/1977-vintage-Alembic-series-1-bass-rare-very-collectible-year-model-KOA-BEAUTY-/280954016459?pt=Guitar&hash=item416a2a12cb"]http://www.ebay.com/...=item416a2a12cb[/url]
[/quote]
It's not really a clear example of the issues you talk about. The seller just mentions laminations as part of wear and tear but there's no indication of what has happened and where. We'll just have to take your word for the rest of it. Alembic wouldn't never admit to there being a problem unless they had no choice but if the lamination issue was as significant as you say, I'd expect to see a lot more online discussion about it. However I'm open minded about the issue and would love to learn more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought a 62 Jazz in Oly white from Randy Hope-Taylor about12 years ago (I think I paid £3500). It was the first American Fender I had played which offered any improvement over my 1st and 2nd series JVs which I bought new ( and still have).

There are so many basses being made currently that are good enough to be "collectable" that the best areas of collectability/investment value are very difficult to predict. Collecting vintage Fenders is a logical step as there are fewer viable and worthwhile alternatives from that period. It still doesn't follow that there is necessarily any money to be made by owning one for any period of time, particularly at the still-optimistic prices that many ealers quote

Still, if you can't make your money back, it's no hardship to hold on to it a while longer......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Kiwi' timestamp='1348436102' post='1813703']
I'm not brand loyal at all. Most instruments disappoint me in one way or another, including Alembic. It's very interesting that you read so much into what I typed though.


It's not really a clear example of the issues you talk about. The seller just mentions laminations as part of wear and tear but there's no indication of what has happened and where. We'll just have to take your word for the rest of it. Alembic wouldn't never admit to there being a problem unless they had no choice but if the lamination issue was as significant as you say, I'd expect to see a lot more online discussion about it. However I'm open minded about the issue and would love to learn more.
[/quote]

From your threads, I imagine most things disappoint you, not just Fenders and Alembics, and we haven't even started on your Steinberger yet!! :P

I don't know anyone who owns a series 1 alembic, not many around, especially in the uk, so it doesnt surprise me at all that there's little discussion about it. Feel free to research the issue some more though, I care less than little about them these days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='GuyR' timestamp='1348436287' post='1813706']
I bought a 62 Jazz in Oly white from Randy Hope-Taylor about12 years ago (I think I paid £3500). It was the first American Fender I had played which offered any improvement over my 1st and 2nd series JVs which I bought new ( and still have).

There are so many basses being made currently that are good enough to be "collectable" that the best areas of collectability/investment value are very difficult to predict. Collecting vintage Fenders is a logical step as there are fewer viable and worthwhile alternatives from that period. It still doesn't follow that there is necessarily any money to be made by owning one for any period of time, particularly at the still-optimistic prices that many ealers quote

Still, if you can't make your money back, it's no hardship to hold on to it a while longer......
[/quote]

oooh you have photos of those JV's? :) tell us more!

No one wanted mine when I had it up for tentative sale for a few days!

Edited by LukeFRC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some interesting stuff in here.

You talk about 80s Fenders - how about 80s and onwards Musicman basses - clearly improvements over their predecessors, with similar reputation for sound, but great reputation for quality, fit and finish. These are the basses I use through choice and probably will retain all the ones I have, and hopefully will be with me or in my family when they are well over 30 yrs old. Late 80s/early 90s Musicmans often have stunning figured maple necks also.

Back to the original topic, I do take issue that Fenders were the best basses around in the early/mid 60s - there were others and a couple of my favourite players played EB3s to great effect. The Fender sound fits many genres very well - but not all. However, there is something beautiful and 'of the time' about these late 50s/early 60s Fenders - when you stray away from the standard sunburst and blond which are great enough, the custom colours are stunning in some cases (my own opinion).

I would love to have one of these at some stage and thank everyone contributing advice to my original questions.

As for JVs, CIJs, MIJs - I have a vague idea what you're talking about but have little or no interest in these. I'm much of the 'if I want a Fender for everyday use I'll buy a new one' school of thought. And as I've said, I have no wish to currently (though I've played quite a few owned by others or in shops). I have played a 59 P bass in red (dakota I think with a rosewood board). Three old school R and B songs - it was very nice and played beautifully. It was one of the best P bass sounds I've ever created with my own hands!! Maybe that ignited some GAS - I even got out the Fender bass book last night and looked at all those custom coloured basses shown in it. Fabulous.

Edited by drTStingray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding the collectability and value of Alembics versus Fenders, I think the most significant difference is that the older Fenders are widely regarded to be better than the new ones , in the common public perception at least , and are in limited supply as only a finite number remain in existance . Alembic however , are still going strong as a company and are made better than ever , and although vintage Alembics are relatively uncommon, these basses are not in limited supply in so much as new Alembics are even better than the old ones, and if you hanker for an old spec. one , Alembic can make you one to vintage spec, no problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Dingus' timestamp='1348429696' post='1813566']
It would be a very interesting experiment to record a new American Standard Fender bass and compare it to a comparable vintage pre- CBS counterpart recorded under the exact same conditions and let people make up their minds. Maybe, considering the controversy this topic has generated, we could organise that.
I have played both extensively, and the American Standards sounded very comparable to the vintage examples to me. This judgement isn't coloured by lack of means either ; I could ( and do) play any bass that I want, and I think the current American Standards are just fine. They sound like a Fender should , play well and have a refreshing abscence of dead spots, probably due in most part to the graphite reinforcement in the neck . Yes some vintage ones sound a bit different- quite often it is because the pickups are knackered and need rewinding, or binning and replacing due to the ravages of time- but whether they are better is a matter for conjecture. I have loved a few of the vintage Fenders that I have been lucky enough to play, but they were all ones that already belonged to someone who would never consider parting with them . A great many of the ones I have been offered by vintage guitar dealers have been a dissapointment, and maybe that is no coincidence. They made good and bad ones back then , too, and people want to hold on to the good ones, quite understandably so.

The original JV Series Squiers are an interesting case in point, and a is model I know well because I bought one when they came out. It was my first really good bass, and is very close to my heart, but they were never worthy of the kind of kudos they enjoy nowadays. They were ( and still are ) very nice relatively inexpensive Japanese guitars, but nothing more than that . If they have a nostalgia and rarity value to them nowadays then good luck to them and those that own them , but they command a price grotesquely in excess of their worth as a tool for making music with. I had the Jazz Bass that I bought new for about two hundred quid and the Precision that I got secondhand for thirty quid ( yes, thirty quid). Nice basses, but nowhere near as good as a 2012 American Standard.
[/quote]
[quote name='Rick's Fine '52' timestamp='1348428434' post='1813546']
'63 Jazz, there's plenty out there, but you'll need deep pockets. What spec is yours? (Colour/guard etc).
[/quote]
[quote name='redstriper' timestamp='1348430666' post='1813591']
Mine was 'customised' in 1978 after a hard life and the only original parts are the neck, hardware and electrics.
The previous owner used to pour lighter fuel on it and set it on fire as part of his stage act, so the body and finger board were badly charred and had to be replaced.
They were replaced with a maple Precision shaped body and maple board with new jumbo frets.
It weighs 10.5 pounds and isn't particularly easy to play if you like fast runs, in fact it's a bit of a bitch and ugly with it.
But it sounds and feels sublime, especially for old school soul, blues, funk and reggae.
I'm sure the sound and feel come from the original parts - the neck and pick ups in particular, although the solid maple body may add to the depth of tone.

I have toyed with the idea of having it restored to original condition, but it's risky and I don't want to chance losing the sound and feel of my favourite bass.
I'm looking for something lighter weight (under 9 lbs) with the same tone and feel as my old bass and I have bought, sold and tried lots over the past few years, with nothing really doing it for me.
I was planning on trying some custom shop and road worn models, but I've a feeling that only an old Fender will satisfy me.
I'm not mad fussy about colour, but mine is black and I like the look of the custom colour black one in Bass Direct.

One other thing about my old bass - there is never any fret buzz, despite my heavy touch and all new basses seem to buzz, no matter how high the action is.

Dingus - you make a good point about the sound comparison in your post, but it's not the recorded sound that makes an old bass special.
The same player recording the same bass part on different basses, with the same strings and set up will sound very similar, particularly in a band mix.
The difference is how they feel and how that affects and inspires the player and everyone is different in this respect.

Having said that, I would be very happy if a new American Standard Jazz felt and sounded like the pre CBS Jazzes I have played and I would buy it immediately.
[/quote]


hey guys what about doing the comparison test suggested above???????????????

see here [url="http://basschat.co.uk/topic/187579-enough-bullshit-vintage-vs-current-fenders/"]http://basschat.co.uk/topic/187579-enough-bullshit-vintage-vs-current-fenders/[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Dingus' timestamp='1348441368' post='1813770']
Regarding the collectability and value of Alembics versus Fenders, I think the most significant difference is that the older Fenders are widely regarded to be better than the new ones , in the common public perception at least , and are in limited supply as only a finite number remain in existance . Alembic however , are still going strong as a company and are made better than ever , and although vintage Alembics are relatively uncommon, these basses are not in limited supply in so much as new Alembics are even better than the old ones, and if you hanker for an old spec. one , Alembic can make you one to vintage spec, no problem.
[/quote]

All very true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Musicman20' timestamp='1348433063' post='1813650']
Basschat and many other forums hold the MIJ Fenders in very high regard. All I was saying is that they are good, but worth no more than usual. Hype comes to mind.
[/quote]

I'm a fan of MIJ Fenders, they're very good basses. But they're only [i]fantastic[/i] basses if you factor in value for money, and maybe if you put better pickups in too.

I've an MIJ 62 Reissue that was a very good bass as standard, I sanded off all the sharp edges and put some new Fender Vintage pickups so that it sounded and felt really close to my old '62 Jazz. But it doesn't resonate like a good pre CBS, and it's covered in poly finish so it looks a bit plastic even after 25+ years of abuse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is probably the best thread I have read in the 2 years i've been on basschat , ( "bigger is better" in the amp section comes close second .)
I have been collecting for 25 years , I in no way have the same amount of knowledge and expertise as some members here and my collection is 70% "mongrel " Precisions / Strats that have been refinished and have the occational pot / pickup replaced .
I agree the internet has made it very easy to find a vintage instrument , just press the Buy-it-now button and you are part of the club . Most of my instruments still come via good old fashioned classified ads , asking local muso's , asking shops + dealers+friends and taking a bit of a gamble on ebay /gumtree . I find buying from a dealer no safer than buying privately , I have pointed out glaringly obvious modifications to supposedly 100% original instruments .

Every bass / guitar is worth well in excess of what I have paid for it , taking into account the cost of Mr Browns magical work in restoring some of them . If unmolested vintage instruments are out of your price range , then a good refin will hold its value better than most modern offerings and you are more likely to be less precious about it and play / gig it more . There is also quite a few on offer on various websites , so the choice is out there . If you get the bass at a good price , your in profit already !
Fenders have a history of being modified + stripped back to natural finish , so it does not bother me as much anymore .

As reguards to the differences of opinion , for me personally there is nothing quite like the feel / smell / sound of a well played vintage instrument with a worn neck , I have tried a lot of the new stuff and it just does not flick any switches in my mind.
You cannot quantify these qualities in an old instrument , so can everybody put away their clipboards and whitecoats and leave the vintage stuff to the people who enjoy it .


Finally managed to load a photo , a trio of 63's

Edited by martin8708

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[sub][quote name='martin8708' timestamp='1348484090' post='1814034']
You cannot quantify these qualities in an old instrument , so can everybody put away their clipboards and whitecoats and leave the vintage stuff to the people who enjoy it .
[/quote][/sub]


Are we done then? Thank God for that, albeit 5 pages later than it should have been.

Done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well not quite................

No one has answered my question on which is (obviously opinion but nevertheless valued), which is the most sought after custom colour. FWIW my favourites are fiesta red, sonic blue and surf green.

And secondly...........


[quote name='drTStingray' timestamp='1348440165' post='1813758']
- how about 80s and onwards Musicman basses - clearly improvements over their predecessors, with similar reputation for sound, but great reputation for quality, fit and finish. These are the basses I use through choice and probably will retain all the ones I have, and hopefully will be with me or in my family when they are well over 30 yrs old. Late 80s/early 90s Musicmans often have stunning figured maple necks also.
[/quote]

Any vintage fans/experts willing to give a view.

Many thanks for everyone's help.

Edited by drTStingray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Burgundy Mist Slab board 62 P bass
Foam Green Slab board 62 P bass
Shell Pink Slab board 62 P bass
Surf Green Slab board 62 P bass

These seem to be the top - dollar P basses in the Vintage Guitar Price guide .
Best of luck finding your bass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great thread! I'm in bed, off work with a serious dose of man flu and have enjoyed reading this!
I used to know a few guys who dealt vintage stuff a good few years back, mainly guitars, I heard and saw a lot of crap with fakes and stuff like that at the time, I heard the guy who had music ground in Leeds involved in some crap (I think he has been discussed elsewhere on the forum before) So I was always left being very cautious in this area and has a result have never really considered a vintage instrument. But, I do look occasionally as a good jazz or precision would certainly get a lot of use by me! So for me, there is some valuable info in here and I now know where to go if I needed some advice!

I remember buying my first amp in 1979, it was actually a FAL PA amp, covered in red vinyl, to go with my home made 1x15 cab, the guy was also selling a precision, it was white, with a black pickguard and rosewood neck, it was about £120 I think, about £60 more than my no make, P copy! Being into punk at the time, like a lot of kids my age, it was the ultimate "Sid" bass, I wanted it, but for a different reason than I would want it today!
My P bass copy, eventually went and I bought a 1972 natural fender telecaster bass with the big chrome pick up at the neck, I bought it off Diccon Hubbard from the Salford jets for £175! I was still at school, saved like sh*t and I owned a Fender bass!!! What's that worth now?
I have a 2005 buttercream ray now, paid around £600 for it, seen one on eBay for £1500, it never sold, but I have seen them sell for a lot more than I paid, not vintage, but maybe a hint of things to come with some of the rarer MM basses? The only thing that could go against that happening is simply the number off different limited models they are producing, feels like one a month some times lol


Once again, thanks for a great thread, hope you don't mind me adding my experience with some old fenders and my observations on my current bass!

Tony

Edited by sshorepunk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always used to assume that there were some quality issued through the mid 70's at Fender, until around '78? Correct me if I'm wrong on this one, it's always been in my head that one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='sshorepunk' timestamp='1348508748' post='1814571']
I always used to assume that there were some quality issued through the mid 70's at Fender, until around '78? Correct me if I'm wrong on this one, it's always been in my head that one!
[/quote]

I've got a 78 Jazz and it's 'orrible

Actually, it sounds nice for slap and Jaco type bridge pickup playing but otherwise has an unpleasant honk and weighs a ton (a bit like it's owner).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a 78 Jazz, and that was horrible, too. Looked the part, weighed a ton (2oz under 12lbs!) and sounded...brown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='LukeFRC' timestamp='1348439020' post='1813742']
oooh you have photos of those JV's? :) tell us more!

No one wanted mine when I had it up for tentative sale for a few days!
[/quote]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will have to work out how to post a photo, PM me I will email you one The early one I bought in 1982/3, because it had the large Fender logo and I read it was being discontinued. I PXed it for a Early Fender Musicmaster bass. The second series one I bought as a back-up. I tried every jv Jazz bass in Denmark St, which was about a dozen. It was so much livelier sounding than the others -including my series 1- I had to have it despite the colour being my least favourite (white).

On the subject of buying basses as an investment, I paid handsomely for a '65 Jazz in candy apple red about 2 years ago. I would certainly get less than I paid were I to sell it. It doesn't concern me in the least - I have no intention of ever selling.

It is a poor idea in my opinion to invest any money you can't afford to lose, If you buy a bass because it is great to play, as a consumer, so long as it is what the seller claims, you can't really go wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='martin8708' timestamp='1348489686' post='1814191']
Burgundy Mist Slab board 62 P bass
Foam Green Slab board 62 P bass
Shell Pink Slab board 62 P bass
Surf Green Slab board 62 P bass

These seem to be the top - dollar P basses in the Vintage Guitar Price guide .
Best of luck finding your bass.
[/quote]

Cheers - thanks for that. Looking at my copy of the custom colour chart circa 1961, I don't think I've ever seen a surf green Fender instrument let alone a bass. Foam green is the one I'm more familiar with (as per Willie Weeks' Precision on the Donny Hathaway live album).

No offers from anyone on the Musicman question then..............I have noticed certain limited editions are commanding higher prices than standard used instruments already. I can see no reason why the late 80s/early 90s basses won't start to increase in value as they get older as there appears to be a decent market in used basses and they have a substantial following generally as basses - perhaps third behind Precision and Jazzes. Time will tell I guess - but I do recall a few years back early 80s pre EB Rays were relatively cheap - they have now almost caught up with their seventies counterparts.

Edited by drTStingray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought as a post script to this thread I would let on a little additional information.

I raised the self same thread topic on Talkbass on the same day - got 20 replies and about 200 views - 3 or so useful replies and a number questioning my religious belief and various other random strangeties - basically it bombed. At the same time, a guy raised a thread seeking views on the best colour of replacement scratchplate on a vintage white Precision - got around 1500 views and tens of replies...........almost all tort needless to say.

An interesting forum (or maybe cultural) comparison I thought.

I have spied a nice sonic blue Fender Jazz (64 I think), fairly mint, and a battered 62 fiesta red Precision - strangely the latter seems very attractive. So the GAS is beginning to swell - but alas no cash at this stage.

But there again I have started lusting after a Status (Chris Wolstenholme's fault) - I think I must be having yet another repeat mid life crisis.........................!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...