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GuyR

1959 Jazz Bass

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There is a very interesting listing on the website of Jay Rosen in the US of what looks like a prototype Jazz Bass. Advertised at $78250 I don't expect it will be there very long.

I don't seem to be able to paste a link from my phone, but it is well worth a look.

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Very well documented prototype Jazz that one. It was listed at the end of last year. Fully legit, and in most Fender books. In my opinion its well priced considering its significance, and uniqueness. 

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This one has been doing the rounds for quite a while. I remember seeing it on eBay almost 20 years ago! (Was a lot cheaper then).

Guess it's just a curio really. 

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Here's another '59 Jazz...

 

 

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I find that price quite interesting. Not a "Maybe I buy it" interesting of course, but rather that a Les Paul of the same vintage goes for 10 times the price, and is possibly a not unreasonable guitar version of a Fender Jazz...?

If my bass budget existed in the 10s of thousands, rather than the single hundreds, I would buy and play that in a heartbeat, but then I guess so would most of us 😄

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Already routed with bigger holes so messing with upgrading the pickups will be a breeze.

  • Haha 2

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8 hours ago, ben4343 said:

I find that price quite interesting. Not a "Maybe I buy it" interesting of course, but rather that a Les Paul of the same vintage goes for 10 times the price, and is possibly a not unreasonable guitar version of a Fender Jazz...?

If my bass budget existed in the 10s of thousands, rather than the single hundreds, I would buy and play that in a heartbeat, but then I guess so would most of us 😄

Fortunately for us 4-stringers, basses have always been relatively 'cheap', compared to 6 string equivalents. The most sought after, and rarest versions are closing the gap, but 'general' examples are still far more reachable for some.

A near mint '54 Strat would be £75k, a near mint '54 Precision would be around £17k

An excellent '51 Broadcaster would be £60k, a comparable '51 Precision, around £20k.

As suggested, a clean '59 Les Paul would now be around £500k, based on the last two that sold.

This is a one-off, prototype of the most sought after Fender bass model. If you're Geddy Lee or Guy Pratt, or any other wealthy Fender collector with serious dollar, this is a comparative snip at £60k, for such an important part of bass history. Undoubtedly a lot of money, but then good value is a very different thing altogether.

Lovely piece, and nice to see it available on the open market.

Edited by Rick's Fine '52

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3 hours ago, Rick's Fine '52 said:

Fortunately for us 4-stringers, basses have always been relatively 'cheap', compared to 6 string equivalents. The most sought after, and rarest versions are closing the gap, but 'general' examples are still far more reachable for some.

A near mint '54 Strat would be £75k, a near mint '54 Precision would be around £17k

An excellent '51 Broadcaster would be £60k, a comparable '51 Precision, around £20k.

As suggested, a clean '59 Les Paul would now be around £500k, based on the last two that sold.

This is a one-off, prototype of the most sought after Fender bass model. If you're Geddy Lee or Guy Pratt, or any other wealthy Fender collector with serious dollar, this is a comparative snip at £60k, for such an important part of bass history. Undoubtedly a lot of money, but then good value is a very different thing altogether.

Lovely piece, and nice to see it available on the open market.

Sound analysis, but a prototype (which didn’t go into production) is - in some cases - less valuable than the iconic basses for sale. Personally Rick I’d take a mint example (like you own) than a prototype. 

Any asset for investment is speculative, and this one is pretty high on that level. As are those Les Paul’s. I mean £500k for a mass produced instrument seems bonkers... (I appreciate they’re scarce, but even so it’s illustrative of a bit of hysteria in the market).

If you’re investing in something then be prepared for it to go down as well as up... 

 

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I wonder if you have to pay extra to get them to fill out the CITEs paperwork so that customs let it leave/enter the US and UK... be an expensive mistake if you didn't pay that! 

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10 hours ago, Burns-bass said:

Sound analysis, but a prototype (which didn’t go into production) is - in some cases - less valuable than the iconic basses for sale. Personally Rick I’d take a mint example (like you own) than a prototype. 

Any asset for investment is speculative, and this one is pretty high on that level. As are those Les Paul’s. I mean £500k for a mass produced instrument seems bonkers... (I appreciate they’re scarce, but even so it’s illustrative of a bit of hysteria in the market).

 

On a personal level, I agree with you. As a collector, if I had this sort of money, I’d rather have two nice stack knobs. This is a bit niche, and as you say, will not be for everyone. To be fair, it belongs in the Fender archive museum.

Investment wise, I also agree, a one-off could be hard to sell on, highly reduced market, whereas a ‘regular issue’ bass would always be a sound investment, and a desirable piece.

An interesting view on ‘59 Les Pauls, is that experts suggest that over twice as many have been sold, as were actually made. Conclude what you will from that, but with that statistic, you wouldn’t see me parting with that sort of money for one! 

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13 hours ago, Rick's Fine '52 said:

On a personal level, I agree with you. As a collector, if I had this sort of money, I’d rather have two nice stack knobs. This is a bit niche, and as you say, will not be for everyone. To be fair, it belongs in the Fender archive museum.

Investment wise, I also agree, a one-off could be hard to sell on, highly reduced market, whereas a ‘regular issue’ bass would always be a sound investment, and a desirable piece.

An interesting view on ‘59 Les Pauls, is that experts suggest that over twice as many have been sold, as were actually made. Conclude what you will from that, but with that statistic, you wouldn’t see me parting with that sort of money for one! 

C'mon Rick, who are you trying to kid? You know you would have the two nice stack knobs AND this if circumstance permitted.......

I'd be very interested to hear the opinion of anyone who has played it.

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23 hours ago, Rick's Fine '52 said:

On a personal level, I agree with you. As a collector, if I had this sort of money, I’d rather have two nice stack knobs. This is a bit niche, and as you say, will not be for everyone. To be fair, it belongs in the Fender archive museum.

Investment wise, I also agree, a one-off could be hard to sell on, highly reduced market, whereas a ‘regular issue’ bass would always be a sound investment, and a desirable piece.

An interesting view on ‘59 Les Pauls, is that experts suggest that over twice as many have been sold, as were actually made. Conclude what you will from that, but with that statistic, you wouldn’t see me parting with that sort of money for one! 

Yep, I’ve heard that too! 

I’ve seen some amazing, investment grade guitars coming up for sale recently and the question is always: “why now?”

We all love the story of a 62 jazz or 56 strat hidden under the bed for 60 odd years but the chances are so infinitessimly small, and in an age of information highly unlikely too. 

Anyone whose seen the stuff at Musicground knows how these things can be faked as well.

Anyway, given the contribution of Fender to the US economy and culturally I’d suggest an artefact like this deserves to be in a museum!

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I've wondered about the authenticity of some vintage guitars for years. A skilled luthier who knows a lot about vintage guitars could pretty much fake anything, but I guess to make it worth the scammer's while they would stick to the really high dollar stuff like '50s Gibsons and pre-CBS Fender. 

Strangely enough, I would imagine it's easier to fake a '50s Les Paul than it would be to do a '60s Fender. Laminate (non slab) Brazilian rosewood necks would have to be done as one-offs and aside from Spitfire, it's almost impossible to come up with tortoiseshell that looks vintage. I guess that's more of an incentive to fake slab board custom colour Fenders with white/mint guards which would claim a higher price anyway.

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Just now, Belka said:

I've wondered about the authenticity of some vintage guitars for years. A skilled luthier who knows a lot about vintage guitars could pretty much fake anything, but I guess to make it worth the scammer's while they would stick to the really high dollar stuff like '50s Gibsons and pre-CBS Fender. 

Strangely enough, I would imagine it's easier to fake a '50s Les Paul than it would be to do a '60s Fender. Laminate (non slab) Brazilian rosewood necks would have to be done as one-offs and aside from Spitfire, it's almost impossible to come up with tortoiseshell that looks vintage. I guess that's more of an incentive to fake slab board custom colour Fenders with white/mint guards which would claim a higher price anyway.

I guess you have to weigh up risk and reward.

A £500k guitar will need provenance, a £2500 early Fender Jazz could be purchased on eBay, with the new owner knowing nothing of its history. Bash out enough of those, and you can get away with it for years.

The modular nature of Fender guitars make that a lot easier. You can base an entire fake on a couple of original bits. 

Personally, after having spent years buying, selling and loving vintage guitars they don't really do anything for me anymore. And, I'm sure this isn't the case on BC, but I've never met a vintage guitar dealer that can actually play. In some cases at all.

 

 

 

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On 26/06/2018 at 12:23, Rich said:

Here's another '59 Jazz...

 

I will never in a million years believe Herbie's bass is a '59. Many many threads doubing it as well.

Edited by Rich

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47 minutes ago, mikeswals said:

 

Not this old chestnut.

My dad reckons he goal he scored in the local cup final when he was 16 was better than David Platt’s Italia 90 volley and probably only bettered by Gareth Bail’s overhead kick.

I’m sure it’s nonsense, but it’s harmless enough...

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Does anyone actually care? Does it matter? Herbie is a legend and his instrument sound like it does when he plays it. Think about what you are saying? a man who has played on iconic tracks for damn near 60 years is pulling a fast one? What for, why would he bother? Is he trading up for a Fodera? Cmon guys. If he forgot  - is it important? Just because we are anal about acquiring instruments of a given date doesn't mean he was. He lived it. Guys (girls) most of us are just looking back and just wondering what it was like to be one of those first people to discover modern bass.

 

Edited by pmjos
typo

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