Hello good people of TalkBass. I recently bought a second-hand Fender Jazz Bass from a guy who was in a hurry to sell because he needed the money. I ended up buying it from him taking a bit of a risk, because he gave me no time to do a proper check of the instrument model. I decided to go with it because a bass player friend of mine said it looked authentic and the price (800 euros or 1104USD) was very low for a bass which was almost brand new.
He said it was an American Vintage Jazz Bass, '74 style, made in 2006 and bought by him in Switzerland in 2013, for an original price (with a little discount, he said) of 1600 euros (about 2196 USD at today's rate). I checked the serial number, which confirms the manufacturing date, and then I tried to see that exact bass in any online store to confirm that was the model, but it turns out there are like a gazillion variations of the Fender Jazz Bass and I was unable to find one that looks exactly the same as the one I bought, wich left me feeling a bit uneasy. Also, it's my first bass. I'm an experienced guitar player, but I've only ever held 3 or 4 basses in my hands so I'm a bit out of my element here.
So, in case any of you guys is kind and expert enough to take the time to take a look at my description and illuminate me a little bit, a million thanks in advance. Here we go:
The finish is quite good in my opinion. I haven't managed to distinguish if the body is made of one, two or three parts (I don't know how many should they be). The paint looks perfectly flat across the back of the body. The finish is a Sunburst and the pickguard is red and black, with a white-black-white border around the edges.
The neck seems made of maple, varnished, and the fretboard looks like made of mahogany. It has white block inlays and 20 frets.
The tone and volume pots are metallic. In most of the Fender basses I've seen online, the pots are made of black plastic, but since it's a relatively old model I don't know. Also, the bridge pickup seems too low. I haven't asked the previous owner yet about that. Should I rise it up a little bit?
The headstock reads: Fender Jazz Bass, made in USA, and has a little detail that reads "Original contour body". The Jazz Bass lettering is almost straight. In most other models I've seen it takes a more pronounced curve along the curve of the headstock. Maybe that graphic was redesigned recently.
Behind the headstock, you can see the serial number, which as far as I know just confirms it was made in 2006. I don't know if it can help to identify the exact model. Also, I've seen that in some Fender basses the tuners have the Fender logo engraved in them. These ones don't.
And finally, the neck binding plaque, which reads "Fender, Corona, California".
The bass has a couple of signs of use here and there: a little dent in the pickguard's edge, another little dent in the finish where it joins the neck, etc. Along with some subtle imperfections in the little black inlays at the side of the neck.
Aside from that, the neck feels extremely solid. It plays very comfortably (from a guitar player's point of view), and there is no fret buzz in any of the frets as far as I've tested. The tone and volume knobs feel solid and sturdy, and they roll nicely all the way. I plugged it in an old Laney amp and it seems the electronics are alright.
I think it is a quality instrument, regardless of what the exact model is. Still, I'd feel more at ease if I could look at another bass which was exactly like this in a catalog which confirmed me "Yep, this bass costs 1800 euros brand new". So if any of you guys know this model and can confirm it is an American Vintage, and that it should cost around the aforementioned price (or at least the price I paid for it), I would sleep a little better.
Thanks for your time and I hope to become a regular in this forum as I keep buying equipment for this baby. Cheers!