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Vintage Fender Jazz - opinions anyone?

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12 minutes ago, Burns-bass said:

Fender didn’t offer natural bodies in the 60s (first in the 72 catalogue apparently) so it’s either refinished or it’s actually a 70s Jazz with a swapped out neck plate. Early 70s basses had a long G intonation screw, so that would fit with this being a 74. 

The pickups should be dated on the bottom if they’re original. It doesn’t look like cloth wiring from the pickups, which suggests 70s.

It’s not an exact science this, but I’d say it’s worth taking the whole thing to bits and going over it properly. I know some people don’t like to do this, but if you’re expecting a premium for a vintage instrument it comes with the territory.

I remember seeing a fair few parts basses on the late 90s as they vintage market took off. The stuff at Musicground is worth looking at. Sometimes these basses are built from multiple donor instruments and can be hard to piece it all together. That doesn’t stop them being great instruments and having some value, but obviously less than a 100% honest instrument.

Yup, it’s clearly a refinish. Plastic wires are right for a 69. This looks like an honest players bass, as opposed to a dodgy parts one. I know Music Ground well sadly, as I worked for them until I got sick of their nonsense. They would have put that neck on the ‘right’ body. Looking at the parts, the electrics, the screw holes, it all tells a familiar story. 
Sorry to sound flippant - I’ve just seen so many of these over the years that it’s really a non-deal for me. There’s no mystery here folks! :) 

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5 minutes ago, Chiliwailer said:

Yup, it’s clearly a refinish. Plastic wires are right for a 69. This looks like an honest players bass, as opposed to a dodgy parts one. I know Music Ground well sadly, as I worked for them until I got sick of their nonsense. They would have put that neck on the ‘right’ body. Looking at the parts, the electrics, the screw holes, it all tells a familiar story. 
Sorry to sound flippant - I’ve just seen so many of these over the years that it’s really a non-deal for me. There’s no mystery here folks! :) 

Guess so. I’ve seen a fair few basses that purport to be one thing and turn out to be another. When you strip a body it could really be anything...

Anyway, the best result is a ‘74 neck on a ‘69 body and I guess without going back in time we’ll never know so it’s all good guesswork!

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Just now, Burns-bass said:

Guess so. I’ve seen a fair few basses that purport to be one thing and turn out to be another. When you strip a body it could really be anything...

Anyway, the best result is a ‘74 neck on a ‘69 body and I guess without going back in time we’ll never know so it’s all good guesswork!

Right you are pal. Despite experience giving a pretty good feel and gut feeling about the body and history etc, I wouldn’t want to bet someone else’s money on it (just my own) :) 

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Just now, Chiliwailer said:

Right you are pal. Despite experience giving a pretty good feel and gut feeling about the body and history etc, I wouldn’t want to bet someone else’s money on it (just my own) :) 

I’m not impugning you or questioning your knowledge on these things, it’s just difficult (well, impossible) to be definitive on these. Your guesswork informed by experience is most likely to be correct I’m sure.

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Just now, Burns-bass said:

I’m not impugning you or questioning your knowledge on these things, it’s just difficult (well, impossible) to be definitive on these. Your guesswork informed by experience is most likely to be correct I’m sure.

I didn’t take it that way, must have come across wrong on my text - but actually you’d be wise to question me!!! 

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All of the above neatly illustrates the minefield that is vintage Fender instruments. With their bolt-together construction, any and all sorts of shenanigans are possible/likely.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Dan Dare said:

All of the above neatly illustrates the minefield that is vintage Fender instruments. With their bolt-together construction, any and all sorts of shenanigans are possible/likely.

Indeed that’s true. 

I’ve also seen truly awful stuff involving old Gibson guitars and Marshall amps, whereby components from all original ‘cheaper’ models as been taken off and put onto players examples of the very desirable expensive models to make them look legit and untouched - even to the point of using NOS 50’s solder and flux - or used to make models appear to be something else, or used on plain old fakes. 

Same with refinishes. I helped a friend buy an old 50’s Fender bass on BC from a guy who seemed to have a good rep. On the visit I asked if I could take the bass apart, my friend actually declined as he felt safe with the seller. Some time later when he owned it I took it apart and saw clear signs it was redone by the magnificent Clive Brown. I very much suspect the original owner knew full well that was the case, but that’s another story. 

Its a market that can be quite unpleasant at times. 

 

Edited by Chiliwailer
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3 hours ago, Chiliwailer said:

Indeed that’s true. 

I’ve also seen truly awful stuff involving old Gibson guitars and Marshall amps, whereby components from all original ‘cheaper’ models as been taken off and put onto players examples of the very desirable expensive models to make them look legit and untouched - even to the point of using NOS 50’s solder and flux - or used to make models appear to be something else, or used on plain old fakes. 

Same with refinishes. I helped a friend buy an old 50’s Fender bass on BC from a guy who seemed to have a good rep. On the visit I asked if I could take the bass apart, my friend actually declined as he felt safe with the seller. Some time later when he owned it I took it apart and saw clear signs it was redone by the magnificent Clive Brown. I very much suspect the original owner knew full well that was the case, but that’s another story. 

Its a market that can be quite unpleasant at times. 

I remember you telling me about this. At least you were there mate, even if your advice wasn’t taken. Well done for that 👏

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I love these topics.  It's like a TV Show - "The Bass Detectives".  Always amazed by the shared knowledge on here.

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20 hours ago, Reggaebass said:

Didn’t the bridge have a longer intonation screw in the early 70s

on a P bass, yes. I have one. They put the bridge in the wrong place and compensated with a longer screw for the G to intonate

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1 minute ago, police squad said:

on a P bass, yes. I have one. They put the bridge in the wrong place and compensated with a longer screw for the G to intonate

Still makes me chuckle - why not recalibrate for an afternoon and get it bang on - instead of manufacturing/obtaining extra screws...

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Just now, AndyTravis said:

Still makes me chuckle - why not recalibrate for an afternoon and get it bang on - instead of manufacturing/obtaining extra screws...

It helped me date my '73. I thought for years it was a '75, because of the serial number on the neck plate. The original pickup had a messy date stamp that I didnt know if it was '73 or '79. After much googling of images, it was a '73 stamp. But the bridge and the longer screw secured it .

There did use to be stamps on the heel of the neck, the 4 digits and then another 4. There was no info available when I bought it in 1990 but after countless gigs, sweating buckets (and I mean buckets) the stamps are gone. (but there is a folded piece of paper in the neck pocket with a message to ring 'Jimmy Page'. So I did. Got a very disgruntled Mr Page on the phone. 

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Just seen this bass on eBay, with a photo of the back of the body. It has the nail marks in the right place for a ‘69.

£3k is a bit steep though....

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2 hours ago, gareth said:

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It’s great info like this that makes me think we should have a vintage fender info thread 🙂

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