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1974 Fender Jazz - Review / Learning Adventure

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by grygrx, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. grygrx

    grygrx Lookout! Here comes the Fuzz! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2003
    Columbia, MO
    Had the chance today to play a 1974 Fender Jazz that a local store has on consignment. I know little to nothing about vintage Fender equipment so I figured I could post a little review and get some feedback to help educate me. I went back and did some searches after fooling around with it so I know more then I did earlier and I know there are some things I failed to check out (3 bolt system?). I've been playing for about 1.5 years and my bass is a Dingwall AB1 5 (college graduation present). I have a very strong desire to try everything I see and would like to have a HUGE and ridiculous collection of basses some day. I live in a smaller town and don't have an opportunity to fool around with New (or Old) non-standard fare equipment very often.

    Bass: 1974 Fender Jazz
    Color: Black w/Perloid Pickguard (non-original?)

    Condition: The front was in pretty good shape, but had a couple of serious scratches. The back had serious buckle rash. The neck was straight and the frets produced no buzz and looked in good shape.

    Sound: Volume pot was extremely scratchy at one end (the loud side). Pickup Blend and tone (those are the other two knobs right?) had a tiny bit of scratching but nothing serious. The E string was meaty (New Ampeg Head/Cab of some kind... don't really remember... standard music store stuff. ). The other 3 strings seemed muted a little when compared to the E. The same strike would be significantly quieter on ADG (pickup positioning? Other problem?).

    Other Feelings: The neck was slim and fast, but I found the very ROUND fret board to be a little off putting, in a different but not bad way. The slim neck was very nice in my hand. Additionally the black bars (while looking super cool) and only having 4 strings and parallel frets was so different from what I am used to with my Dingwall I found myself getting lost fairly easily.

    Store wants $1400 for it.

    I'd be curious to see what questions and concerns folks here had about it based on my experience. Other things to check out etc...
  2. grygrx

    grygrx Lookout! Here comes the Fuzz! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2003
    Columbia, MO
    I'm feeling like a social pariah. I guess I should have started a wishbass thread! No Fender groupies wanna give me some coaching? :bassist:
  3. audiotom


    May 31, 2005
    new orleans
    I have a 78 Fender with great playability

    is this fender heavy? how is the fret wear and neck straightness? available tones

    some mid 70's are real players, others are dogwood

    if it's a player $1400 is reasonable

  4. I think a '74 Jazz should have a 4-bolt neck with truss rod adjustment at the body. As with any bass check the truss rod or have it checked by a qualified tech. One would expect a 31-year-old bass to have some player wear. As long as the scratches and buckle rash don't bother you. . .

    When you write "the black bars," are you refering to black block position markers and black binding on the neck?

    I agree with Joshua, if the bass is a '74 in original condition the price is good. '70s Jazz Basses are becoming quite desireable, especially those with black blocks and binding.
  5. grygrx

    grygrx Lookout! Here comes the Fuzz! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2003
    Columbia, MO
    The bass looks very much like the current Fender Geddy Lee Model with the exception of the perloid pickguard. I'm sure there are other differances as well.. I clearly need to go look at it again :)

  6. grygrx

    grygrx Lookout! Here comes the Fuzz! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2003
    Columbia, MO
    Yeah, it seemed quite heavy to me. I didn't play it with a strap for a couple of hours so it was hard to really judge! :)
    Neck seemed straight and I failed to really look at the fret wear (I'm still bad at this). No Buzzing though...
  7. jazzblade


    Jun 21, 2005
    Northern Cal
    Ya most of them are really heavy but usually have great tone and sustain. Go for it if you like it. What type of strings? flats? very vintage sound.
  8. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    If it has black block markers then it should still be a bolt bolt neck. And No, the perloid pickguard is not original, it originally had plain white one just like the getty.