1960 Fender Jazz 5-String

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Drucifer, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    Yes, there is no such thing...yet! I bought a fairly cheap 2001 Fender American Pro Jazz with the intent to refinish and age, along with some tonal enhancements. I was never into the relic thing until I imagined a pre-CBS five-string Jazz, that's what I'm going for, and I could use some help from you about how to do it.

    This will be, in the parlance of automotive restoration, a restomod, meaning not original (obviously, since no such thing existed [Yet!]) with the look and feel of a vintage pre-CBS bass but without the deterioration of a 57-year old bass and with the modern technological improvements.

    Here's what I'm starting with:
    s-l1600.jpg

    I'd like to end up with a fully matured, original-style 1960 Jazz Bass five-string with the reliability and playability of a new instrument. Like this one (but a five-string, of course):

    upload_2017-6-21_12-38-27.png

    I'm thinking of a Mark Jenny medium-wear relic, in yellowed Olympic white (like the one above) with white finish showing through in worn areas. The nitro refinish would be worn but no burns or obvious abuse, not a lot of bare wood, and show some checking. The neck would have the varnish removed on back of neck (should I add a fake skunk stripe? EDIT: no, that would not be period-correct for a rosewood fretboard), no dents or gouges, with strap button on back of headstock of course. Yellowed amber varnish on the headstock, with Original style headstock decal "Fender Jazz Bass Electric Bass Offset Contour Body" and maybe some simulated wear on the fretboard.

    Here's an example from mjt:
    upload_2017-6-21_12-37-56.png

    Some of the features I'd like to have:
    • Original-style threaded bridge (I will probably just add threaded saddles to the existing bridge)
    • What to do about body-through strings? I was thinking leave the string-through holes but it might be too much of a anachronism.
    • Tortoise pickguard (Spitfire? Reliced?)
    • Reverse wind tuners (where can I find original-looking reverse tuners to fit a 5-string? Hopefully lightweight)
    • Clay dot inlays
    • Original looking and sounding pickups (suggested replacements?)
    • Stacked knob volume and tone controls (can I get these from Fender?)
    • Pickup and bridge covers (does Fender make these for five-strings?)
    • Grounding strap (is this period-correct?)
    • Bridge mutes (where can I get these?) or at least the screw-holes
    • Original-style string trees
    • Neck plate or replace with vintage-style
    • Original style strap buttons
    I would want to age the metal parts, no big rust but take the shine off the chrome. Who would do this kind of work?

    I would appreciate any suggestions in where to find this stuff, or what you'd do, or features I've left out. Please let's not start another thread about whether basses should be reliced, I understand your point of view, but this is what I would like to do.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  2. reddog

    reddog

    Mar 5, 2013
    Philly burbs
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  3. Midak

    Midak

    Sep 4, 2011
    Athens, Greece
    Subscribed. :)

    You can have them filled during the refin.

    A Spitfire tortoise pickguard would be perfect for that vintage-vibe you are after.

    For pickups, even if I don't know if Owen makes 5-string sets, I can suggest O.C. Duff Pickups. I had a custom-made set to my specs and I am truly pleased - you can see my review here. You can e-mail him, he is a very nice person.

    Another option may be the Klein 1962 Epic Series 5-String Jazz Set. Member @Snaxster can give you a lot of advice on pickups, and you can read a lot of his wonderful reviews, too.

    Yes, Fender offers them - they are quite easy to find.

    Fender made a neck pickup cover for the USA 5-string Marcus Miller Jazz Bass, so you will be able to find one.
    I don't think they ever offered a bridge pickup cover for a 5-stringer, though. There may be companies making imitations, do a search.

    It would be period-correct up to about 1963, I think easy to find.

    Fender used to offer them on American Vintage '62 Jazz Basses, I think you will be able to find two sets so as to have 5 individual mutes.

    Fender offers all of these if I am not mistaken.
     
    reddog likes this.
  4. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    Thank you very much @Midak, very helpful!
     
    Midak likes this.
  5. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
  6. reddog

    reddog

    Mar 5, 2013
    Philly burbs
    While the control plate would not be technically stock... what old bass would still be purely stock by now?
    There's a great probability that someone would have modded / hacked / personalized it in some way.

    Of course, it your bass . . . enjoy!
     
  7. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    No to the fake skunk stripe on the neck. A vintage Fender with a rosewood board doesn't have one. The truss rod is put in before they glue the fret board on in that case. The maple fret board necks have the skunk strip because they load the truss rod through the back of the neck (because the whole neck is one piece of maple) and then put that piece of rosewood in to cover the route, and that creates the skunk stripe.
     
  8. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    Yes, thanks @Lownote38 I had read somewhere that some rosewood fingerboards had skunk stripes, but I agree with you, not needed.
     
    Lownote38 likes this.
  9. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    After some more thought, I will probably never use the mutes, so no really need to source those, I think I'll see if MJT can mask the area they would have covered on the aged refinish so it looks like they were there but removed, and just put some screws in the body.
     
    M.R. Ogle likes this.
  10. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    I will probably do this: 920D Custom Shop JB-CON-CH/BK Loaded '62 Jazz Bass Concentric Control Plate, it's closer to the original.
     
    reddog likes this.
  11. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    1960_fender_jazz-bass_j-bass_olympic_white_electric_bass_guitar_insides_11454-3.jpg
     
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  12. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    Axstar likes this.
  13. Ghastly

    Ghastly

    Oct 18, 2015
    Ravenholm
    Don't over do the aging of the metal parts. Not all pre CBS instruments were dragged though the gutter, but I see alot of artificially-aged instruments that look like they were. Good luck. Interesting project.
     
  14. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    Yes, thanks @Ghastly, I agree, I am just looking to take the shine off the chrome. My real 1975 Precision has flaking chrome on the knobs and some pitting and bubbling of the chrome on the bridge, I don't want that on this bass.
     
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  15. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    How would the sound of the stock 2001 pickups compare to a 1960 bass?
     
  16. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    Lots of discussion here: The real sound of a 62 jazz bass pickup. I think I will start with the stock pickups, since there doesn't seem to be any real good alternatives for five-string.
     
  17. ICM

    ICM Supporting Member

    I appreciate the way you're going about this, great attention to detail. Way interested in this one. Subscribed!
     
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  18. BassFishingInAmerica

    BassFishingInAmerica

    Jul 24, 2014
    I don't think there is any way you will fit the 60s RI reverse tuners for a 5-string. Those tuners had the biggest backplate of any tuner that Fender ever made.
     
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  19. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    PA
    Can confirm, am excite. First time I've subscribed to a thread in a long time.

    Don't let us down OP.
     
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  20. To keep it simple, tort PG, stack knob control plate,
    threaded bridge saddles and light weight tuners with
    early style elephant ears.

    If that still isn't close enough, repo decal
    and vintage style Alnico PUPs.

    Still haven't spent enough?
    Clay position markers.
     
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