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60's Jazz American Standard no stacked pots?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JacqueHarper, May 15, 2018.

  1. JacqueHarper


    Sep 26, 2010
    I was looking at the American Standard Jazz bass on this page (scroll down) and it struck me that the tone/volume pots on the '60's version aren't stacked . . . shouldn't they be? Is this a missed golden opportunity?! Or maybe the stacked pots weren't that good an idea? I never owned one, just marveled at the bass that my teacher had . . .
  2. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Stacked pots only happened in 60 and most of 61.
  3. consectaneus


    Sep 23, 2016
    Your teacher had a rare bird!
    Caca de Kick likes this.
  4. JacqueHarper


    Sep 26, 2010
    I had never researched it, but always thought they were more prevalent than that. Did they not have stacked pots on the '63 models? (If not, then my whole life has been a lie!)
    Herrick likes this.
  5. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Those basses are being offered with 9.5 inch radius fingerboards, where the originals (AFAIK) had 7.25 radius boards. So, there's some loose interpretation of things likely going on. Whether it's something you're persnickety or not about is something you get to decide.
  6. consectaneus


    Sep 23, 2016
    My understanding is that the change to VVT was made in late '61, but some early '62 basses can be found with the stacked knobs.
    7dollarbologna and davidprice like this.
  7. trothwell


    Apr 9, 2008
    I know someone who told me he bought (in the 1970s) a 1963 Jazz Bass that had stacked pots. Possible scenarios include: he was wrong, and it was not actually a 1963; he was right about it being a 1963, but it had been modified; he was right about it being a 1963, and it was not modified. It has been suggested to me that to believe it was an unmodified 1963 with stack pots would be ridiculous. I get the impression that the Fender factory was not that unwavering at the time, and it seems plausible to me that some stacked pot configurations drifted out in 1963... but obviously can't say for sure.
  8. My 62 reissue has the stacked pots. From the factory. I'm not sure if all of the 62 reissues do or not.

    Attached Files:

    MoeTown1986 and BrentSimons like this.
  9. TDR1138


    Apr 11, 2007
    Section 204
    I can’t understand why they’re doing the 9.5” radius. I mean, nitro finish, bulky reverse tuners, vintage pickups with a grounding strip, and they even promote vintage radii on the neck and body... except the fretboard. Why? Just seems odd to me.
    Fun Size Nick likes this.
  10. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Yes, Fender did the 62 reissue all those years with the stack knobs, but they were pretty wrong with it.

    Some folks that bought the earliest reissues have said Fender also included a 3 knob control plate back then.
  11. Mark76


    Dec 1, 2015
    "Hey Frank, I just found this box of the old control plates out back, whaddaya want me to do wid dem?"

    "Ah, just stick em in the next batch"
  12. The problem with the concentric knobs was that you could only pan (100% divided between the pickups), not control each pickup individually. The typical sweet spot of one pickup dimed and the other at 75% was impossible to achieve with that circuit.
  13. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it

    My US Lakland 4460/Joe Osborn 4 string has stacked knobes. I actually really dig the versatility it offers.
    Randy Ward likes this.
  14. I think there was vol/tone for each pickup, not a pan pot.
    Ghastly likes this.
  15. davidprice


    Jan 1, 2005
    True. I had one: early '62 neck date and '61 dated pots. Original finish, et al. Also had a '60. Further confusing it is there were some 3-knob sales samples made in '59 (as well as at least 2 prototypes with the 5 polepiece Jazzmaster type pickups and 3 knob set up - had the chance to buy one of those in the early '90s and balked at the $3,500 asking price - if I knew then what I know now...)

    Anyway, for a generic "60's" Jazz, the VVT set up makes total sense.
  16. davidprice


    Jan 1, 2005
    Not true on the ones I've had. Was simple: independent volume and tone for each pickup so one could get whatever blend one wanted.
    Ghastly likes this.
  17. Ghastly


    Oct 18, 2015
    Mill Valley
    You are correct.
    MOSCOWBASS and davidprice like this.
  18. Mine with the stacked pots controls each pickup independently.
    Ghastly likes this.
  19. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    The way the two volume knobs interact in that particular circuit effectively makes them behave more like a pan than two independent volume controls. It was a problem with the early Les Pauls too.

    There are ways to wire dual VT circuits so you don't have those problems.
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  20. Christcr

    Christcr Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2015
    I'd read the negative comments about the dual stacked knobs for years and years. I figured they just "didn't work right." Then I got a bass with that configuration. I'm not quite sure how the comments above are meaning "pan pot" but there is no way the two volumes on my stacked knob jazz basses work as pan pots. A pan pot is full neck in one direction and full bridge in the other and then the overall volume is controlled by a dedicated volume. I've had plenty of those and that is not at all the way the two volume knobs work on my stack-knob j-basses.

    Having said that, it is true that the tone controls do not sound as if they are completely isolated between pickups (easy to confirm with a bit of tinkering around with the controls). However, I don't really care that much. One tone knob certainly isn't going to favor one or the other pickup either. Even though those two tones interact to an extent, what I do get is a "different kind" of roll off of the highs depending on which one I use or to what degree I use both. If I use only the neck tone, it sounds to my ears quite like the effect of a single j-bass tone pot. If I use only the bridge tone, it has less of an overall effect but when rolled off full gives a more "honky" midrange tone than the other tone does. If I roll both of them back full, it gives a super dark tone (like a regular tone knob rolled back, but way more woofy).

    But I'm still not quite understanding the "pan pot" comments. Neither volume pans back and forth. They act as any other j-bass volume knobs. It's the tone part that is quite different from the single tone. Given the choice of the two after now having used both, I'd say I slightly prefer the dual tone controls, although it's not THAT much different and having only one tone is certainly simpler. Aesthetically, I think the two stacked knobs do look cooler, though... ;)

    Right now, I have two of them: Flea J-bass and 60 RI Custom Shop J-bass. Both are great basses and they sound and act about the same. I actually like the Flea better overall because the neck is almost as sleek as a Geddy J-bass, and I have micro-hands. The Custom Shop is a bit "chunkier" from front to back--but I do love the purple sparkle and gold hardware on that one!
    davidprice likes this.

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