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1966 or 1969 jazz, different history to each!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by black.rose1402, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. black.rose1402


    Jan 10, 2007
    hi everybody,
    I decided that I'ml buying an old jazz bass from the 60's!

    so my choice is between a 1966 and a 1969, he price difference is not too much!

    First , the 1966, all I know is that it was owned by a collection guy, the seller bought it 2 years ago, he send me pictures (I'll post them back at home), he sent me some audiuo files, good tone, the instrument is in great condition, he tells me that the action is low, easy to play, the neck is stamped 7 sep 66.
    all original.

    the 1969 was bought in 1969 by the seller, so he is the only onwer, great condition too, all original except the strap buttons
    the tone is great too and the bass is easy to play too

    so which one would you pick, considering that the price difference is not big, would you go for the 69 knowing that it was only owned by one person, or the 66 not knowing all it's history (both have great tone)
  2. fretless Bob

    fretless Bob If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

    Nov 27, 2005
    Harrow, London, U.K
    I think you should play them both and see which one jumped out at me most... with old instruments they are all different and many have their quirks so it really is a case of just seeing which one speaks to you.

    If you can't play them then i guess it is just a case of which one appeals to you most from what limited info you have, by what you have said i would take the 66' myself though
  3. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    Buy whichever one plays and sounds the best to you
  4. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    I'd DEFINITELY play them both first, but on paper, I think you have a better investment with the 66...assuming it's all original. Doesn't matter a bass's "history", but more importantly with what parts are original and not...If you don't know what to look for to determine that, you might want brush up on your research.

    No pics, no 66/69 jazz basses
  5. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    1966 might be a better investment as it is closer to being pre-CBS if that makes sense.

    I personally would buy the 1969 likely as that is my birth year.

    Are you comfortable being able to tell if the pickups, Pickguard, tuners, pots, knobs, etc. are 100% original? Good and original truss rod? Pro refin body or neck? A refret? All original doesn't always really mean "all original" IME.

    Lastly, try them before buying expensive basses like these! I played a $16000 1964 Jazz a couple of years back and it sounded like crap and didn't play much better.
  6. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    if the two basses are in equal condition, 100% original and both of them have perfectly straight necks, definitely the '66.
    buit i'd try to play and inspect them first before making a decision. many vintage jazz bass necks have a dip at the 14th fret and you definitely don't want to invest in one with that problem.
  7. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I'm assuming this is a sizeable investment. I would really want to play them if possible, or arrange some money back guarantee if possible. Just because it's a one owner doesn't mean it's a better bass. I would try to get a much audio AND video if possible.

    Things to consider (in no way meant to be comprehensive)
    1. One owner bass- is it a regular player or a closet classic?
    2. Climate change- how much will this effect the bass?
    3. If it's a player, how are the electronics?
    4. Trussrod movement
    5. Pictures of the neck pocket to confirm it is what it's supposed to be.

    When I was hunting for one, somebody told me to watch the headstock angle on these basses. Many over time have sloped forward due to pressure on the neck, but not being played.
  8. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I am not convinced sound clips help much when buying any bass. There are so many variables (amp, speakers, the player's finger tone, recording and playback speakers) that affects what you hear.
  9. california1967


    Dec 12, 2011
    Such a great problem! I'll be no help here but I can't wait to hear which one you chose. Good luck!
  10. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    All things being equal, I'd go with the 66.
  11. black.rose1402


    Jan 10, 2007
    Now's the time for some bass porn and your opinions!

    first the 66












    and the 69 ( the one that is in better shape between the two basses on the picture, by the way the other is a 71)


  12. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Both look great.

    But here's the way I see it (and I own a nice '69 Jazz)...
    Usually a '66 is priced a bit higher than a '69. And from my experience a '66 will always have more allure from anyone down the road (if you find you need to sell later).
    So either someone has marked their '66 way down, or someone has asked to much for their '69. (benefit of the doubt, I'm assuming the '66 is marked way down)
    The collector in me would always go for the higher ticket value item.
  13. black.rose1402


    Jan 10, 2007
    what would do the player ;)?
    as they both sound great??? and considering their history?
  14. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Well if they both sound great as you say, and you want to know what the player in me would do....I'd still go with the '66, because I could care less of any history. The only time history counts to me, is if someone notable owned it.
  15. black.rose1402


    Jan 10, 2007
  16. black.rose1402


    Jan 10, 2007
    I'm getting one of these basses sunday!!!
  17. Dear God. They look unbelievable.

    Go the 66!
  18. black.rose1402


    Jan 10, 2007
    You prefer the 66? can you tell me why?
  19. CDweller


    Oct 24, 2009
    Clearwater, FL
    Lollopop tuners ftw...
  20. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps

    Oval tuners, nicer Nitro finish, and IME that year had a lot of crazy good sounding basses, though that might mean nothing in this particular occasion.

    Beware many early block binding '66 necks (they changed from dots/binding mid-year) had warping problems, but most would have been replaced by now.

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