Sooooooooo my darlings. My lust for the Marcus Miller signature bass has mutated somewhat unexpectedly (whatever, I'm so predictable...) into deciding to go big or go home and get the real thing. I was waxing poetic about it to a fellow bassist friend of mine and he was like, "Girl, you crazy. Why would you spend $1200 for a Japanese reissue when for another couple grand, you can get the real thing?" And I went, "Oh." Now, I realize that some people want what they want, but once he said this, I started to look at it differently for myself personally. We went on Ebay and started looking around. It seems to me that the lower end of the average price for a 70's Jazz in playable condition is about $3000-$4000. It was an awkward search because I had to slog through all the Fender American Vintage series reissues which incidentally were priced almost the same, but I started finding a few auctions which seemed to be in this ballpark. Mind you, I've never spent more than $1200 on anything in my life unless you count the 13" MacBook Pro I'm typing this on, which I got on a payment plan at work. My credit is not great, I'm sure it's better than a few years ago but I doubt I would qualify for any sort of credit card-ish thing on Ebay or through Paypal. So I've pretty much resigned myself to doing this the old-fashioned way and putting aside at least $3000 into savings. That said, I'm also brainstorming ideas to give myself a head start and trying to prioritize what I could sell to make this a reality. I see this as a long-term investment in an instrument which is very unlikely to ever be flipped, and if it were, it would certainly hold its value better than a newer bass providing I take care of it. Am I right? So, I'm asking for advice in general about the 70's-era Jazz basses as far as what's a good year, what are some of the differences as you go into the late 70's and would, say, a '79 be radically different from a '74. What kinds of features should I be aware of as far as verifying authenticity? What kinds of features are reasonable to upgrade or alter at some point...how much of a stickler should I be when it comes to original parts? And if I do find one that needs work, how much work do you think is too much? I'm also wondering about the experiences of anyone else who decided to throw pretty serious money at a bass and what their strategies were as far as flipping other gear and saving money. I realize we all have different lifestyles and economic backgrounds and that this is a pretty personal thing, but when I make my list of gear to post for sale in order to cover part of the cost, I want to make sure I have my head on straight and am not just being impatient or impulsive. For a while I was determined to never flip another piece of music gear, but the more I get to know professional musicians, the more I realize that this is just unrealistic and that people grow out of things...well, or sometimes they just need money! Therefore, my philosophy these days is that if it's a piece of gear/instrument that I wouldn't feel the urge to buy at this point in my life, it might not be a bad idea to sell it in order to start filling up my savings account. Especially if it's something I can replace relatively easily or if it's something that already needs work that might depreciate in value the longer I keep it. But I guess I'm just sort of anxious to make a decision like this even though I know it's the right choice for me. It's just surreal to be able to plan my spending and saving like this after not having a decent income for a few years. For example, when I bought my Sterling last year, pretty much the only reason I pulled it off was because I got a really huge tax return check which covered that and my MarkBass combo amp. When I bought my Cirrus, it was by the skin of my teeth and I basically starved for a month to be able to afford it. Until pretty recently, I was broke and had lost the ability to trust my own judgement when it came to spending money. I realize this is a somewhat multi-faceted topic. Mods, feel free to move it to a different section if necessary!