Unveiling ~ Part One: That '70s Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Malak the Mad, Mar 29, 2014.


  1. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Location:
    The Archduchy of DuPont
    Greetings All!

    I can't really call this a "New Bass Day" since I've had this for a couple of weeks, so let's call it an "Unveiling". Part One is a 2012, Mexican-made Fender Classic Series '70s Jazz Bass, or as I like to call it, "That '70s Jazz Bass". Part II can be found here.

    To spare the literarily disinclined and downright uninterested in the "hows and whys", it'll be pics first, basic reporting second and then story-time.

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    Eventually I'll take the film off the pickguard, but for now it's just an extra layer of protection. The pics show it sporting a set of DR Black Beauties, but for some reason this particular set doesn't sound as good as other BB's I've used (go fig, huh?!), so I'm trying out D'Addario's new Flexsteel strings. I'll report back on those later, but at first glance they really compliment the vintage-style pickups and their '70s placement…lots of growl and snarl, which is just the way I like it.

    Ergonomically speaking, it feels great in my hands. It weighs in at exactly nine pounds and the fit and finish is excellent. Everything moves and adjusts the way they're supposed to. I was a little worried about the truss rod because the previous owner had a lot of relief on the neck, even for me and I like my action a little higher than normal. Fortunately, it looks like my fears were unfounded.

    The frets and board are in great condition and the block inlays have this really cool swirly-ness about them…more like marbling than pearlescence. (see pic#4) I'm no expert when it comes to wood but it almost looks like it's a single slab. That or they did an excellent job of either bookending the pieces or veneering over multiple pieces.

    All in all, it looks, feels and sound fantastic! :bassist:

    Now for the boring stuff, so gather 'round the fireplace, kiddies! :p

    The Dilemma
    Like many here, I found I had too many basses, or at least, way more than any hobby-bassist would need. Until recently, I had six basses of different models and configurations, but two among them were both Jazzes. One was a decent Squier Standard (awesome walnut satin finish, by the way) and a really damn good Classic Vibe. So I decided to both of them towards one, single Jazz bass. After much deliberation and a little bit o' research, I decided that a Fender '70s Jazz would meet all my requirements, especially where my specific criteria were concerned.

    The Hunt
    Although I may be a mere hobbyist, I've learned what I prefer, and in this case it's…
    • A Jazz neck with a tight fretboard radius. Anything flatter than a 9.5" radius was an instant deal-breaker which rules out a lot of models.
    • I am admittedly a fan of Fender/Squier basses, so that narrowed down the search even more.
    • I can neither afford nor justify a hugely expensive bass.
    So with all these in mind, it took only a little time for me to find the '70s Jazz, but finding one was not going to be easy. Virtually no store in my considerable stomping grounds had one in stock and I wanted to make an informed decision. Sure there were a few threads and posts here on TB about them, but none would offer any guarantee on how it would feel in my own hands. However, after several weeks my near-constant searching finally bore fruit.

    Opportunity!
    On a random search of Guitar Center's used database, I finally found the best opportunity yet…a used '70s Jazz at the Springfield, NJ location, which was right at the edge of my usual travel routes. Not only was the price right (over $300 less than it's brand-new street price), but it also came with the SKB hardshell case pictured above at no extra cost!:hyper: One phone call later and I'd secured it with an initial layaway payment. The only thing keeping me from driving the mere two hours to check it out and make my final decision was that damnable cold virus running around. :spit:

    Resolution
    Once I'd recovered from my untimely illness and went back north for work, I traveled the short distance to the Springfield location with my two Squier Jazzes in tow. After a lengthy inspection and chatting/haggling with the very patient employees there, I traded in both my J's, paid the outstanding remainder and violá…where there were two, now there is one and it is quite the excellent piece of work. Later, I took it to my local Guitar Center for a proper set-up. (Fun fact: According to the guitar tech, a used bass bought from them can get a set-up for half off, so about $30.)

    And that draws my story to a close. If you actually managed to get through all this dreary exposition without falling asleep at your desk, I say unto thee, "Well done! Have a cookie!" :D
  2. JCheung

    JCheung Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    Location:
    Herndon, VA
    Congrats on your beautiful bass
  3. garp

    garp

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Location:
    Connecticut USA
    Very nice. Congrats.
  4. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Location:
    The Archduchy of DuPont
    Thanks guys! I was pretty worried about trading in the CV Jazz. It was such a nice bass that I refused to use the "…for the money I spent" suffix that often gets associated with Squiers. But this one is definitely earning it's cred here at home. And in the case of the Flexsteel strings, yet again it appears that finding the right strings really brings out the character of a bass.
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  6. garp

    garp

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Location:
    Connecticut USA
    Indeed. My ‘00 MIM Standard Jazz finally “spoke” to me after a long experimentation with strings. In my particular case, it ended up being a set of Optima Maxima 24K Golds — initially chosen primarily for cosmetic purposes, but after a few gigs, I found that they work splendidly on this bass.

    [​IMG]
  7. Guinness20

    Guinness20

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    Jan 24, 2013
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    That classic 70's jazz is stunning!
  8. faulknersj

    faulknersj Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Location:
    Scottsdale Az
    I used to have one of those 70's Fenders. One of the best sounding J Basses I've ever heard. I wish I still had it.
  9. GG-Thunderbird

    GG-Thunderbird Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    Medford, NY
    That's one hell of a looker! Congrats on the bass!
  10. Osztertag2112

    Osztertag2112

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Nice bass! I've got a 2008 model and they are fantastic. I really love the grain on yours, it looks very nice! All you need now is a tort scratch plate
  11. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Rockville MD
    Believe it or not, a black-mint-black pickguard would look good, too.
  12. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

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    I just wish they did then with Maple boards and Ash bodies...If you going to call it a 70's bass then at least do that.
  13. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

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    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Rockville MD
    Doesn't it depend on which part of the decade you're dealing with?
  14. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow Never Forget. Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Location:
    Horten, Norway
    NO! Keep the black. Dare to be different, it's like this place could be called "TalkTort"... :p

    Beautiful bass OP! :)
  15. bachlover

    bachlover Supporting Member

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    Jul 8, 2013
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    Looks great as is. Congrats! Had a '78. Like others have said - should never have gotten rid of it. Enjoy!
  16. Tbone76

    Tbone76

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Location:
    Niskayuna, NY
    Nice find, congrats! It looks almost identical to my MIJ 70's jazz. The only differences are the neck finish (mine is vintage tinted gloss) and mine has a different bridge. Does yours have routing under the p/g?
  17. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

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    Oct 20, 2012
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    Sorry Osztertag, but I really don't like photo-tort. If it were actually translucent tortoise-shell (like the kind they make jewelry, accessories, sunglass frames, etc…) then I might be tempted. But even still, I actually prefer a black guard on a sunburst. I feel it compliments the black on the body's edge nicely. Y'know how it is…esthetic choices, subjectivity and all that.

    I haven't looked "under the hood" yet, but I'm willing to bet it's got routing and the MIM circular "dot route" underneath.

    I'm not sure the random light-green would mesh well with all that yellow-orange. I'd have to see how it looks first.

    I've actually been debating on doing a Sharpie-job on the white pinstripe around the guard's edge, similar to what I did on my Blacktop Jazz and Projekt Blue, but in a burnt-yellow or ochre color. But I would definitely test it out on a piece of white plastic first. I don't want to go too overboard on it, know what I mean?
  18. Bassplayer315

    Bassplayer315

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2014
    Location:
    Morrisville PA
    Yes very nice bass. I also traded 2 squier's for my 70's Classic. I has a 77 VM and a 60's Classic Vibe. I have had my new 70's for about 2 weeks now and love it more everyday. It's my main axe now and run it through my Rumble 150 and Bronco 40 rigs. Funny how your story is almost the same as mine. I had a Geddy Lee a few years back and had to sell it. Good to have a nice bass again. I love the feel and tone.
  19. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Location:
    The Archduchy of DuPont
    Don't be too surprised. This kind of freaky stuff like that has been happening to me for most of my life. It's as if Synchronicity is my shadow.

    From the research I did before deciding on a '70s Jazz, it looks like they have the same bodies as the MiM Geddys, just with a different neck. I guess the term "cousins" wouldn't be too far off the mark.
  20. mtdkingstonheir

    mtdkingstonheir

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Location:
    In the woods
    Nice bass. One of my favorite combos - 3TSB with a rosewood bound and blocked neck.:D
  21. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Location:
    The Archduchy of DuPont
    Thanks guy!

    The bound/blocked feature was some seriously nice gravy on top. I'm happy it came with a stock black pickguard. I know I may be in the minority, but I always preferred the black-on-sunburst look. One less thing for me to replace! :thumbsup:

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