Verifying a 75

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BCB50, Dec 30, 2013.


  1. BCB50

    BCB50

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Location:
    Higden, Arkansas
    I bought as near as I can tell a '75 Fender Jazz. The previous owner bought it used in '80 and thought it was a '78. When I bought it, it had been in a closet in it's case for several years. Prior to actually buying it I was allowed to go ahead and pick it up to take it with me to Oklahoma to my uncles for Thanksgiving. We tore it down, gave it a good cleaning. restrung it, and put it back together.

    The neck code says the neck was made in Oct. '74. All the other parts that could be dated were pre '75. The only marks on the body were in the neck pocket which looked like a bleed off of the inspection stamp on the neck. Pups are centered at 4 inches which according to Fender started in '75, but I am finding out happened on previous years too. Other than that the only thing on this bass that says '75 is the serial number on the neck plate.

    Short of tearing this thing back down again which I can do, is there anyway of dating it? Or should I just go on figuring it was a transition year clean the assembly line up build.

    I have no intentions of ever getting rid of this bass. Just one of those curiosity things.
  2. Kmrumedy

    Kmrumedy

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Pictures would help us answer your questions.

    Pot dates would help too.
  3. BCB50

    BCB50

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Location:
    Higden, Arkansas
    These are what I have that I took for bragging the other day. I can take more this evening or tomorrow if needed, but have to take wife to get a shot in her spinal cord today.

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  4. BCB50

    BCB50

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Location:
    Higden, Arkansas
    Pics are above.

    The Pot numbers 1377433. For Pots I used this link:

    http://www.guitardaterproject.org/potcodereader.aspx

    I got this back-

    Potentiometer Info
    This potentiometer was made by
    CTS Corporation (Chicago Telephone Supply)
    in the 33rd week of 1974

    This means that (given this is an original part) this is the earliest possible date your guitar was made.

    Pots were made in August of 74
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  6. pfox14

    pfox14

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Sure looks like a legit mid-70s Fender bass. Not unusual for the pot codes to date earlier than the bass manufacture date.
  7. MikeWfromNJ

    MikeWfromNJ Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
  8. BCB50

    BCB50

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Location:
    Higden, Arkansas
    3 bolt microtilt was suppose to be '75, along with the bullet truss rod at the head stock. Niether of which mine has. My truss rod is on the body end of mine. Pretty much need to pull the neck to adjust. The neck and fretboard are one piece maple skunked on the back where the truss was installed. I beginning to think this is a end of the year '74 that got a 4 bolt plate with a '75 serial number put on it.
  9. headband

    headband Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana
    The 3 bolt necks started in 75, but not sure how early. And Fender may have built a 4 bolt in 75 to use up a neck they had in inventory.
    I am rebuilding a dual showman right now. Assembled in 4th week of '68, all parts serial numbers say '67.
  10. BCB50

    BCB50

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Location:
    Higden, Arkansas
    Fender was known for using up the old stock during a transition. Maybe thats all it is with mine. All I know is it plays like a dream. Most comfortable bass I have played. Took experimenting with 3 sets of strings to find a match that worked.
  11. Kevin aka Kebo

    Kevin aka Kebo

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Location:
    Princeton NJ
    Disclosures:
    Owner - Kebo's Bass Works
    Without it in hand, I'd call it a late 74. Its an odd duck on 4 bolts and white blocks and a non-bullet. Your sn, neck date and pot codes all check out. Your all good..

    FYI - There have been bullet necks as early as late 71! Not common but true.... Found on a few strats and tele basses... They transitioned in mid 74...
  12. thebrian

    thebrian The Brian abides. Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    CA.
    Nice bass! It is a 1974 according to all the dates and #s you've seen, not a '75. Even the 51XXXX serial # on that bass is well in the '74 range. '75 serial #s start at about 580XXX. A 4-Bolt, maple w/ pearl block neck is not rare for that era, it's actually standard for 1974 (it replaced the black block "geddy style" necks that were made up until about the end of '73. The neck is somewhat "rare" in the sense that they were only made for a little over a year as 4-bolts. The only other thing you can date on the bass is the pickups - usually they will have a code on the undersides in which the last 1 or 2 digits is the year.

    Bullet/3-bolt necks on Jazzes didn't come about till mid-late '74. Fender did use the 3-bolt system as early as ~1971 on Strats and Tele basses, but I have never seen a 3-bolt jazz that truly dated pre-74. All the ones that I've seen that claim they are earlier always turn out to be mis-dated by the owners - usually because they really want their '75 to be a '72, but it's not. There might be a prototype or 2 floating around out there, but you have a 3-bolt jazz, it's a 99.999% it's '74 or later.

    If the pickups date later than the rest of the bass, it could be an early '75. Fender did still put out some 4-bolts alongside 3-bolts in '75, and by '76 they were all 3s.
  13. thebrian

    thebrian The Brian abides. Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    CA.
    Here's a shot of my 550XXX ser. # 1974 with the same neck as yours..

    [​IMG]
  14. BCB50

    BCB50

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Location:
    Higden, Arkansas
    Sorry for the poor neck plate pic. It makes the 6 look like a 5. Serial is 617304 which would be a '75. Even with that it was probably an early '75 clean up the line model, or a 74 they had left they threw a '75 neck plate on to sell it as current model. Either way it's mine now. I was just curious.
  15. BCB50

    BCB50

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Location:
    Higden, Arkansas
    Nice
  16. BCB50

    BCB50

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Location:
    Higden, Arkansas
    I pulled the bridge pup #184174 on bottom. So going by what you said I would guess '74. While I was that far into it I went ahead and pulled the ashtray tuned it back up and set the intonation. The g string needs a little tweak but will have to wait until I go out to my bike shed and grab a small set of allens.
  17. thebrian

    thebrian The Brian abides. Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    CA.
    Yeah, i thought it was a 5 instead of a 6 in the pic. So yes, i agree that's it's an early 75. Probably one of the very last 4-bolts to leave the factory!

    The bridge saddle height adjustment screws are flatheads if the bridge is original.
  18. BCB50

    BCB50

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Location:
    Higden, Arkansas
    It's original probably made in '74 to.lol
    I'll finish up tomorrow. I'll probably be drinking coffee by 4am.

    Like I said it was just a curiosity thing with the bass. I didn't get hurt on the buy and got a way better than average bass.
  19. BCB50

    BCB50

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Location:
    Higden, Arkansas
    I felt the need to pull the neck to adjust the truss rod. :eek:

    Number on neck is 0 203.4247. If I am deciphering the code right:confused: it should be:

    02 - Jazz Bass
    03 - Fretted maple or skunk striped(in this case both)
    42 - Week
    4 - 1974
    7 - Day of the week

    So the Neck was built Saturday Oct. 19, 1974

    Now back to adjusting and putting it back together.

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