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Kempy535

The very long story of a made in Japan Fender Jazz 66 RI

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Back in Nov 2011 I found a 66 RI for sale here in the classifieds. Candy Apple Red, Baddass bridge, custom pickups, plus the orginal Jap ones, a hard case, dots and binding. The only downside was that the previous had tried their hand at relic-ing. Being a bit of a Fender Japan junkie I couldn't say no. A deal was done and bass was shipped to my address in the UK. Being as a now live in Oslo and wasn't back till Christmas some time passes....

Photo from the advert

[url="https://flic.kr/p/t4YtpV"][/url][url="https://flic.kr/p/t4YtpV"]Fender Jazz Bass 66RI[/url] by [url="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kempy535/"]kempy535[/url], on Flickr



When I finally got to play the bass I was a happy man. With only a few days back in the UK i decided that I would try and tidy the relic work and strip the bass of the badass and Shed pick ups. Previous owner said there were modelled after geddy lee's pick ups. Not being a rush fan i decided to move them on.

Tear down in process

[url="https://flic.kr/p/b1FDU6"][/url][url="https://flic.kr/p/b1FDU6"]1966 Fender Jazz Bass Japanese RI[/url] by [url="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kempy535/"]kempy535[/url], on Flickr


The relic work was very crude. The seller admitted this in the add so I had a crack at tidying it. Also there it was in places you would expect to see wear.

Before

[url="https://flic.kr/p/b1FznM"][/url][url="https://flic.kr/p/b1FznM"]1966 Fender Jazz Bass Japanese RI[/url] by [url="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kempy535/"]kempy535[/url], on Flickr

After

[url="https://flic.kr/p/b1FHN2"][/url][url="https://flic.kr/p/b1FHN2"]1966 Fender Jazz Bass Japanese RI[/url] by [url="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kempy535/"]kempy535[/url], on Flickr

Before

[url="https://flic.kr/p/b1FyWg"][/url][url="https://flic.kr/p/b1FyWg"]1966 Fender Jazz Bass Japanese RI[/url] by [url="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kempy535/"]kempy535[/url], on Flickr

After

[url="https://flic.kr/p/b1FGZ6"][/url][url="https://flic.kr/p/b1FGZ6"]1966 Fender Jazz Bass Japanese RI[/url] by [url="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kempy535/"]kempy535[/url], on Flickr


Being back for a couple for days limited what i could do. This was she looked like when I left

[url="https://flic.kr/p/b1FEPH"][/url][url="https://flic.kr/p/b1FEPH"]1966 Fender Jazz Bass Japanese RI[/url] by [url="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kempy535/"]kempy535[/url], on Flickr

The plan was when i was next back was to white primer the bare wood and install pick ups and original style bridge.

Somewhere down the road I decided that I had to many basses and guitar and had to thin the herd. Also around this time we we looking to buy a new house and stuff had to go :( The bass was sold to my Uncle.

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Fast forward to Christmas 2014. My dad mentioned that my Uncle was looking to sell the 66 and would I be interested. It took about all of 30 seconds to decided and she was mine again. My uncle had played around 250 gigs on it but was needing something with a maple neck for the new funk thing he is doing. During this time it had EMG actives in it which he was going to keep. Bass was collected around March and stored at my parents.

More time passes but i have been busy shopping. A set of Nordstrand NJ4's were purchased and a Fender original spiral bridge plus a KiOgon wiring loom.

May 2015 was the first time I was back in the UK.

[url="https://flic.kr/p/sL8hM2"][/url][url="https://flic.kr/p/sL8hM2"]Fender Jazz bass 1966 RI[/url] by [url="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kempy535/"]kempy535[/url], on Flickr

The relic work had been touched up with car paint that was close but not a match. Also the finish work was not great. I decided to throw all of the parts into the bass and at least play it. Just to seel if I got on with it.

This is where the project takes a unexpected turn. I had also bought a 62Ri with J East retro and Nordstrand picks and a badass. I had the intention of stripping all the good bits of and selling them on and putting the 62 back to original condition. I quiet liked the Retro and the pick ups turn out to be Fender noiseless ones not Nordstrands. How ever the 62 sounded and played great. Decision time.

I decide to make the 62 a nice passive bass with Nordstrand NJ4's, KiOgon loom and the 66 with the retro and Fender noiseless pickups.

It was here I ran into issues, In short order
J Retro is not a direct fit into the 62 or 66 Jazz bass
Fender noiseless pickup covers do not fit into the 66
Nordstrand NJ4's didnt work

I was a little upset at this point. I now had two bass and neither of them worked. To have a least one working bass i put the Noiseless pick ups in the 62 with KiOgon loom. These looms are very well made and a great upgrade :)

I started to work on the 66 finish as I wanted to remove the touch up paint. At least I could try and salvage something from this trip...

Before
[url="https://flic.kr/p/sDLHMb"][/url][url="https://flic.kr/p/sDLHMb"]Fender Jazz bass 1966 RI[/url] by [url="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kempy535/"]kempy535[/url], on Flickr

[url="https://flic.kr/p/sDY1Nr"][/url][url="https://flic.kr/p/sDY1Nr"]Fender Jazz bass 1966 RI[/url] by [url="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kempy535/"]kempy535[/url], on Flickr

[url="https://flic.kr/p/rH9JG4"][/url][url="https://flic.kr/p/rH9JG4"]Fender Jazz bass 1966 RI[/url] by [url="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kempy535/"]kempy535[/url], on Flickr

After

[url="https://flic.kr/p/rHaCjx"][/url][url="https://flic.kr/p/rHaCjx"]Fender Jazz bass 1966 RI[/url] by [url="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kempy535/"]kempy535[/url], on Flickr

Oh and they say you should always save the best till last

[url="https://flic.kr/p/sBEYxw"][/url][url="https://flic.kr/p/sBEYxw"]Fender Jazz bass 1966 RI[/url] by [url="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kempy535/"]kempy535[/url], on Flickr

As normal time passes very quickly and I got nowhere near as much done as I wanted to on the bass. Next trip back I will white primer the bare wood and finishing the back of the neck in nitro. Nordstrand have agreed to look at the pickups so I just have to figure out what form to fill out so i don't get hit with customs as they need to be sent to the US. Possibly i will get to play it for the first time in 5 years :)

Edited by Kempy535

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It's a shame about the timing. I'm in Stockholm...my parents are coming to visit me in a few weeks...but I'm off to Oslo tomorrow!

Yours could have sent it to mine to bring to me to bring to you. Sweden and Norway have an open border, and UK- Sweden has no customs either.

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It's going to be great! Best 'til last indeed, those Lollipops on the red head are outstanding :gas: I hope the Nordies get sorted without too much aggro :unsure:

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JimBobTTD thank you for the very kind offer. Have a great trip to Oslo :)

KiOgon thanks for the comments loom and help you have offered so far :)

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I love threads like this. What 'look' are you aiming for, fully reliced (including metal parts) or leaving as it is?

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Not sure yet. Its a poly finish so convincing relic work is impossible. I plan to nitro white primer over the bare wood and try and feather the blend line. This might make the wear look more convincing. I will also use cutting compound again to remove the sanding lines.

I have a compressor here so maybe ill strip and try spraying the whole thing. Probably CAR or Lake Placid blue :)

Id like the hard wear to look like this but I am undecided how to go about this

[url=https://flic.kr/p/stxEvJ][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/stxEvJ]Fender Jazz Bass 1962 RI[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/kempy535/]kempy535[/url], on Flickr

Firstly id like to play the damn thing :)

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Is there anything finer than CAR with a matching headstock on a Jazz?

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[quote name='owen' timestamp='1435862886' post='2813211']
Is there anything finer than CAR with a matching headstock on a Jazz?
[/quote]

Lake Placid Blue maybe :D

Thanks for the bump you have reminded me to chase Nordstrand. Pickups have been with them a month and no updates so far :(

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Heard back from Nordstrand last night and i quote "John has inspected the pickups and these are quite old, a bit tampered with, and otherwise quite dead!

So, I'll have a new set sent your way on Monday, and will get you tracking information after the weekend."

So my new pickups were not new and not working when they were sent to me as well as tampered with. Not a happy bunny. Still nothing back from the seller so i suspect he was well aware of this. This is the first bad trade i have had through the forum.

Awesome service from Nordstrand tho. If they sound as good as the customer service has been I will be super happy

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Time for an update!

Bass arrived in country with me courtesy of my parents Ryanair packing skills. Cheers Mum and Dad. So for the first time since i bought in 2011 we live in the same country. Bass was shipped in bits. Body detached from the neck and all the hardware removed. Spent a happy 10 minutes bolting everything together until i got to the pick ups. Firstly they didn't look like the [font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][color=#282828]Nordstrand i had sent of for repair and secondly they didn't fit. I wasn't sure if id be sent the wrong set from Nordstrand, Considering I had bought them as new but through basschat in 2014 and then I sent them from repair in 2015 i felt than sending them another email 2 years after was pushing it a bit. I was a little dejected at this point as i still hadn't played the damn thing since 2011. Dad dug around at his house and found the correct pickups about a week later :) He put them separate for safe keeping. We now have a mystery set of Jazz pickups neither of us remember buying :D[/color][/font]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]So as things stand she looks like this[/font][/color]

[url="https://flic.kr/p/SJaWY1"][/url][url="https://flic.kr/p/SJaWY1"]66 RI (2 of 1)[/url] by [url="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kempy535/"]kempy535[/url], on Flickr




Plans are, fit pick ups. Fit knob covers. Play. Kinda in that order. Maybe a grounding kit? there is no route from the control cavity to the bottom of the bridge which is odd. Acoustically this ones plays very, very nicely. I really like the battered-ness of it. I have a couple of flawless Fender Japan VSP nitro finished bass that i am terrified to play in case i mark them :(

[url="https://flic.kr/p/uzXSJ3"][/url][url="https://flic.kr/p/uzXSJ3"]Fender Japan VSP Bass[/url] by [url="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kempy535/"]kempy535[/url], on Flickr


Hopefully next update will be in a couple of weeks when the pickups arrive and not in another 2 years :(

Edited by Kempy535

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