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1975 JAZZ BASS @ Local Music Shop - To Buy or Not??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by -=DanAtkinson=-, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. My local mom & pop store has a 1975 Jazz Bass. It definitely shows its age. Natural body, maple board with white blocks (like Marcus Miller). The lacquer is nice and brown, and the body has lots of worn spots.

    Some idiot replaced the stock pups with EMG's, and the bridge is an aftermarket brass model. The tuners and control plate & pots appear to be original. The frets show some wear, but are usable. The neck is straight, and has 4 bolts rather than 3.

    The store owner claims the bass is a 1975 based on the serial number on the neck plate. I looked at the heel of the neck and didn't see a date, just a number. I didn't write it down.

    He was asking $2000. I offered $1600. He countered with $1800. Should I go for it? If I fixed it up, could I make any money? I've never dealt with any true vintage Fenders, so this is new territory for me.
  2. tbone409


    Feb 17, 2007
    kenosha, wi
    How does it play? i'd buy it, drop some Fralins or Lollars in it and for the price of a Metro have a killer 70's player. On the other hand some of the 70's fenders were absolute pigs, and not worth it.

    So absolutely maybe.
  3. If I was in this situation, I would jump all over it.
  4. I'm not sure how it plays. The pickups, strings, and control plate are all dangling off the bass. It was tucked away in a back corner of the store. The owner said he's been meaning to fix it up for ages, but has never gotten around to it. I guess I could ask to put it all back together and test it.
  5. Do more research before even considering buying it!
    Only buy it if it checks out to be legit and if you like it enough to keep it if it can't sell
    (nothing's worse than being stuck with a $1800 paper-weight)
  6. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    You can check the number on the neck plate at http://www.provide.net/~cfh/index.html .

    Just be aware that neck plates are easy to swap. Do some research on TB and learn what the signs of original finish are - including the stick mark in the neck pocket. You also should remove the neck and check the markings on its end - should have a date stamp.

    And I wouldn't consider spending $50 on a bass that wasn't even assembled, much less $1800. The guy should let you assemble it - or assemble it himself - but before assembly, require that the neck be removed. Take photos of any markings.

    Not many people - if any - will buy a partly disassembled bass for over $1000. Without original pickups, value is reduced. If the body has NOT been modified to mount the aftermarket bridge, you can eventually find a '75 era bridge on Ebay and replace the aftermarket one. You might eventually find pickups too, but they will cost hundreds.

    If he offered $1800 AND everything checked out, I'd probably offer $1700 provided it plays OK. Some 70's Fenders are heavy and not very good basses. But this bass is partly in collector territory price-wise, so you need to be thoughtful and do your homework.
  7. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Agreed with everything above ! Have the bass assembled and play it ! For years 70's Fenders couldn't be given away, not to say all are bad but there sure were enough bad ones. I was in music retail in the 70's and we just could not believe what Fender was sending us. Get some pics if you can so we can talk about it.
  8. Should confirm whether it is authentic or not. If you can't get a money back in writing if you find you have a Bass that is not as advertised. Personally. as a recent convert, I would find a nice used Lakland.

    Or this: www.gruhn.com asking $2000 probably will deal.

  9. your idol

    your idol

    Oct 13, 2008
    Murfreesboro TN
    non original everything for 1800?!?!? id walk ive been offered more original for less money. go with Honk'n s suggestion. i love the 3tone with red on a maple neck and hope to find one thats been put through the ringer hard sometime
  10. bh2


    Jun 16, 2008
    Oxford, UK
    Hmm... interesting, although I think he's asking a bit much. Offer him $1000 take it or leave it, then walk away and forget it.
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    After more reflection....

    Let me add a note - I would NOT buy the alleged '75 for $1600, $1700 or $1800. I have a '63 P and I can tell you that ALL they are is decent basses. They're nothing special, they don't sound like the voice of god, etc. Paying that kind of money is strictly for those who want to invest in an instrument and leave it at home because it's too valuable to gig with.

    Makes NO sense to me personally.

    You can buy a better bass for much less money. Buy a current US Fender, buy a Lakland, or get a Jack Casady sig bass. but unless you're an investor, I wouldn't pursue that '75 unless the price came way down.
  12. RoboChrist

    RoboChrist Guest

    Jul 8, 2009
    I wouldn't pay more than $1200 for a modded 75. But it sounds like it could be earlier than 75 if the neck plate is original.
    Fender started using the 3-hole plate around that time or 74 I think.
  13. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    youre not going to make any money off of it if youre paying that price. 70's fenders have come down in price a bit the last year or so.
  14. Thanks for the info! You guys have successfully talked me out of a potentially dumb purchase. :D
  15. RoboChrist

    RoboChrist Guest

    Jul 8, 2009
    The reissues are worlds better in quality and tone (even though they're assembled in mexico. Fender won't admit it, but they are). Just find one with a good straight neck and you're all set.
  16. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    worlds better in tone..nope, not imo. but thats all these are anyway:D

    so youre claiming the mia reissue is assembled in mexico?
  17. He's probably talking about the 70's MIM bass.
  18. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    A beat up 75 Fender? Shucks man... You can get a really nice bass for $1800. Don't be a pigeon.
  19. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan.

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    Personally, I'd take that $1800 and get the parts from, say, Warmoth and assemble something that I like and probably for slightly less. Heck, for $500 you can get an all ebony neck from them.
  20. GreaserMatt


    Sep 4, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    ^^^ the problem is, it wouldn't be a 70's fender p bass; some of us want them, dammit, LOL...

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