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1972 jazz bass question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by elgranluis, Apr 28, 2004.


  1. elgranluis

    elgranluis

    Feb 14, 2003
    El paso, TX
    hello guys. Ive been lurking around for quite a while now, and now finally i have something of importance to ask. Anyway, i have a 1972 jazz bass. It was one of those deals where the seller knows crap about musical stuff and you buy the gear thinking it probably isnt worth anything. Well, surprise, surprise! it turned out that the bass is almost stock except for the pickuard. Original frets, original electronics, even the knobs are the original thing. Man, it even came with its original case. ;) . Neck stamp reads sept 1972, pots read week 36, 1972, 4 bolt neck plate matches accordingly, pickups have a 72 stamp.

    The bas is black, maple neck, black binding and black blocks, which seems to have been a "custom" color. All the 72s ive seen are sunburst, and the only few ive seen in black have SPECIAL stamped on the neck with green ink. Well, so does mine.
    Here is my dilemma: the body is so contoured and lightweight it even makes it feel "neck heavy." The neck, it plays and feels amazing. Detail is, the sound itself sucks. The bridge pickup is busted and the neck pickup hasn't got any bite and around half the volume as my american st. jazz. I am considering 2 options:

    1.- Replace the pickups with __________(add any great pickup, doesnt matter)
    2.- Stick with the bas as is, and sell it on ebay. (you know, it's all stock so it might fetch a good sum).


    I have a vague idea of the value of the bass (without considering the "special" color, since i just saw a jazzmaster selling for 2k just because of the stamp), and id place it at 1500-3k. I just want to know what will happen to its "value" if i replace the pickups. I mean, if i lose half of what it's worth, i might as well sell it, buy a reissue, and still get some money.

    So, again, is putting new pickups the way to go? the bass has no practical purpose the way it stands right now. Finally, how much would you guys think it is worth?

    thanks in advancE!!!
     
  2. abaguer

    abaguer

    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    A while ago I bought a 72 sunburst jazz on ebay. It also is all original, maple neck, black blocks and the bridge pickup was shot with almost no output at all. I still have it because it feels and sounds great but I did replace both pickups with Seymour Duncan Antiquities because I knew I would play it. It's my go-to bass when I'm not playing my sadowsky jazz and I've been really happy with it. If you love the bass and it feels great, stick with it. If you don't have a great connection with it sell it and get something you like. Part of it depends on if you want to keep it as an investment and let it appreciate in value.
     
  3. bassaussie

    bassaussie

    Oct 6, 2001
    Portugal
    I think if you intend to sell it, don't replace the pickups. Point out that they're shot, but also stress that they are the original pickups. That's very important. Having replacement pickups won't increase the value - it'll just end up being dead money for you. Sure, the players may want live pickups, but it won't be a player who pays the big bucks for this, it'll be a collector, and he won't be interested in a nice pair of Re-Issue pickups, he'll only want to know about the original pickups.

    If you want to keep it, but maintain value, then replace the pickups with a pair that are a direct fit. However, try and stick to the following points.

    1) Keep the original pickups. It doesn't matter how bad they are, they're worth something when it comes to reselling, and will most definitely impact the ease of sale and the price.

    2) Under no circumstances should you modifiy the bass in any way. No routing, sanding, refinishing, or anything. That may sound extreme, but it's those things that will hurt the value more than anything.

    And please, remember - what I'm saying is not meant to be the best practical solution, it's the best solution (IMO) with regards to maintaining the value of the instrument. There's a huge difference between those two requirements.

    BTW, it sounds like you've got a very nice package there. The black block markers are really popular at present, and are definitely one of the most collectable items as far as 70s basses go. Also, having the original case is a nice touch as well, and will certainly make the instrument a lot more desirable. Supposedly some of the mojo stays in the case!! ;)

    BTW, if it was me, I'd keep it. I think those basses are going to really go up in value over the next few years, but more importantly, if you've got a good one, they're lovely basses to play and it could become a keeper for you. Good luck!
     
  4. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Yup, 4-bolt was used until roughly '74, when Fender switched to 3-bolt with microtilt.
     
  5. bassaussie

    bassaussie

    Oct 6, 2001
    Portugal

    Late 70s, early 80s - probably more early 80s. I think it was completed by around 81, at least for the Jazz Bass. It was a transitional thing, much like the original swap.

    When you say that you thought that the 3 bolt came before the 4, you're not including 60s basses in that, are you? All throught the 60s, the Jazz was a 4 bolt, just like the Precision. It wasn't until the early 70s (as Mr.Brooks pointed out) that the 3 bolt neck was applied to some models. The Stratocaster got it, as did the Jazz bass and Telecaster bass. The Precision was spared! I'm not sure about other guitar models.
     
  6. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    If you sell it on Ebay, I wouldn't put a reserve higher than $1500-1600. Especially considering the pickups. Also remember that a Jazzmaster is a guitar. Fender guitars are valued a lot higher than the basses. If I were you I would just keep the bass and put in a pair of Lindy Fralin Jazz pickups. Or if you wanted a more modern sound Dimarzio Ultra Jazz.
     
  7. elgranluis

    elgranluis

    Feb 14, 2003
    El paso, TX
    yeah, that's my dilemma! i still dont know if i want to keep it. It feels great. although my ric feels great too, the ric isnt goingt to gain any value on the next 10 years or so.
     
  8. elgranluis

    elgranluis

    Feb 14, 2003
    El paso, TX
     
  9. bassaussie

    bassaussie

    Oct 6, 2001
    Portugal
     
  10. elgranluis

    elgranluis

    Feb 14, 2003
    El paso, TX

    Yeah, its really nice to play. I just want to make sure it is actually "safe" to turn the bass into a playable instrument. :bassist: I dont want to make it my main bass and then, in say 5 years, find out that just because i swapped the pickups i'll have to sell at "player's bass" price.

    Thanks for your advice, it basically covered all of my doubts. I always thought i'd just put the old pickups back in in case id sell it, and then maybe age the solder joints or whatever. 10 years from now there will be hardly any 60s basses around, and the 70s will be today's 60s! :D
     
  11. elgranluis

    elgranluis

    Feb 14, 2003
    El paso, TX
    :meh: you got a point there. I'll probably get the same money today that i will get in 5 years with "new" solder joints. I can always record the moment when i'm taking the pickups off and show the tape to any interested collector.

    sounds like ive got a new player :hyper:
     
  12. bassaussie

    bassaussie

    Oct 6, 2001
    Portugal
    I understand your concern about the solder joints. I actually wrote a long paragraph about that, then I thought "wait up, they're going to have to go no matter what".

    I also think you're being sensible in approaching the bass like this. I can remember a time, prior to the vintage boom (say, lates 80s) when shops really struggled to sell 70s Fender basses. Now, they're commanding prices that were previously attributed to only the best 60s pre-CBS gear, which in itself has also boomed. I think the bass you've got is only going to rise in value, but I also think that changing the pickups in the way we've talked about, and makign sure that you keep the originals, is the best compromise in this situation.

    Have fun, that's a great bass to own. BTW, it must look exactly like a Fender Geddy Lee, right?
     
  13. bassaussie

    bassaussie

    Oct 6, 2001
    Portugal
    Another thing about the solder joints. It's true that collectors consider them important, but I don't think they're deal breakers, and also, I think when you're talking about things like solder joints, you're really talking about the best of the best vintage gear - 50s Strats, stack knob Jazzes, 'Burst Les Pauls, that sort of thing. If you can avoid it, sure, it's probably preferable, but I don't really thinkg it's a major problem. However, maybe some of the collectors on the forum would like to clarify that position. I think the idea of recording the moment isn't such a bad one, actually.
     
  14. elgranluis

    elgranluis

    Feb 14, 2003
    El paso, TX
    it is identical ;) (except for the bridge, of course) The neck is super nice, too.
     
  15. bassaussie

    bassaussie

    Oct 6, 2001
    Portugal

    I can imagine. I've got a slightly later model from around 75 or 76. It's got a maple board with pearl markers, and the body is natural. It's a great bass to play. I was super lucky when I scored it. A friend of mine has a really large collection of old basses, around 15 or so, and I'd played nearly all his basses except this one. To be honest, it's quite beaten up, and it never really appealed to me. Anyway, he rang me up and asked if I was interested in buying a bass from here, and I said maybe, which one. He said this bass, and I was like "oh .... that one!!". But I thought, why not, I might as well try it. Turned out to have a great sound and a killer neck, so I snapped it up super fast. I won't tell you the price, as it'll make people cry, but let's just say it was not much more than a nice SX Jazz bass!! :D
     
  16. elgranluis

    elgranluis

    Feb 14, 2003
    El paso, TX
    I just dont want to make the same mistakes people made in the past. You know, if people knew how much their basses would increase in value, they would have kept them, no refins, etc. We can only guess that the bases will increase value based on how stock they are. But if, historically speaking, swapped pickups dont really make a big difference, then i'll be happy to install a new set! ;)
     
  17. elgranluis

    elgranluis

    Feb 14, 2003
    El paso, TX

    man, the people we got our basses from must be family! I got mine about the price of a squier :D he just didnt knew what he had in his hands...
     
  18. bassaussie

    bassaussie

    Oct 6, 2001
    Portugal
    Well, I'm sure I know what you mean, but just to be 100% sure - swapped pickups WILL affect the value, but having the original pickups available will help the situation. I mean, if you've still got the originals, then you can always throw them back in. The thing is, your's a shot, so that's a problem.

    Another solution would always be to try and locate some original pickups from that period. But again, you're going to have to touch the solder to install them.

    Also, check your PM in the next few minutes. I'm sending something to you.
     
  19. elgranluis

    elgranluis

    Feb 14, 2003
    El paso, TX
    YEah, i figured that out, but i also guessed that for the price of finding a usable set, id probably spend a lond time PLUS maybe 200 bucks. On the other hand, getting a nice playable set will be like 90 bucks.
     
  20. TheAmpNerd

    TheAmpNerd

    Apr 25, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Ya know I used to think that was all bull**** and stuff. Just hype.
    Then after you find and axe or bass that you just love...

    It is a Kharma thing. Somehow these things end up being
    more than the sum of their parts. When it fits and you just
    wake up in the morning wanting to play....http://www.talkbass.com/forum/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=1428603#
    hyper

    The hard part it, you have to know yourself and know your instrument. No body can make up your mind for you. My luthier
    calls folks like that SPECIAL NEEDS customers.

    But as abaguer said, if it feels good, buy some pick ups (I've heard that Lindy Fralins are good) and have
    your luthier set it up for you. Then give it a month or two.

    If you still don't feel the connection, dump it on ebay with
    the originals and move on.

    Regards,

    Spike