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70`s jazz: Alder or Ash ?!?!?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dadodetres, Mar 6, 2006.


  1. dadodetres

    dadodetres

    Dec 19, 2004
    URUGUAY
    Hi!

    im in the search of a 70`s Fender Jazz Bass, which is my dream bass and now i have the money to get one.

    I used to have an 77` which i was stolen.... it was red and heavy.... so i assume is alder, right?

    So which is the difference between Alder and Ash? sound-wise and weight-wise.

    Also, what is the criteria used to select the wood? just the finish? (natural or sunburst ash, others alder???)

    Thanks for any input!!!
     
  2. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    I had a sunburst 77 J that weighed a ton, that was more than likely ash.
     
  3. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Up until '73 Jazzes were mostly alder. Alder is generally a much lighter wood than ash. At first only the natural finish bodies were ash, then by '74 and later, about 95% of all Jazzes were the heavy Northern Ash.
     
  4. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    My '70 or '71 has an alder body.

    BTW, it's a really heavy piece of alder
     
  5. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Ash has alot of bite and clarity.
     
  6. dadodetres

    dadodetres

    Dec 19, 2004
    URUGUAY
    so which is the heavy one? alder or ash?
     
  7. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member


    It really depends on the specific piece of wood.
     
  8. Sippy

    Sippy

    Aug 1, 2005
    Stuart,Florida
    correct! You can have a block of ash that weighs less than a block of Alder... but usually, 9 times out of 10, Ash is heavier than Alder.
     
  9. dadodetres

    dadodetres

    Dec 19, 2004
    URUGUAY
    This one is one of my options, the guy says it is a 75, but for the serial seems to be a 73 (436999) and it has a 4 piece plate in the neck joint and not 3..... when did they change it?

    What wood do you say it is?
    (the guy includes original pickups and original bridge) all for 2000 dollars.

    This should be in the pickup forum, but what model are those seymour duncan`s? and anyone know how they change the sound? because ill be trying it with them and not the iriginal ones, so what should i take in consideration???

    thanks for any input!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. morebass!

    morebass! I'm listening

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    Looks like ash to me. Regarding tone, I'd say ash has more deep lows and high highs. Alder has warmer and quicker mids. I'm an alder man myself but I've never actually done a blind test to see if I could tell the difference.
     
  11. dadodetres

    dadodetres

    Dec 19, 2004
    URUGUAY
    Is there any wood fender used that is light? i tryed a friend`s MIJ jazz which was very light..... didnt sounded good in my opinion....
     
  12. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    It's probably ash... I thought by '75 all J basses were 3 bolt?
     
  13. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    There are lighter pieces of ash, but as a general rule, especially with Fenders, if it's ash, it's much heavier (but also better sounding to my ears).
     
  14. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN

    My '75RI has a 3-bolt neck and a black pickguard, but otherwise looks identical to the one pictured above.
     
  15. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    That bass is definitely Ash.
    And Aerospaceguy is right...9 times out of 10 ash is heavier than alder. I have a 72 P 8lb feather weight, and a 69 J that hits 8.5 lbs, both alder. My 62J reissues are alder and mid weight at 9.5 lbs, but my all ash body basses are tanks at 11-12 lbs.

    The details on that bass tell me it's a '74. The finger rest holes by the E string started in '74 (73 was still below the G string), and the black inlay necks ended by early '74, then they switched to pearl markers on everything. There was no such thing as black markers in '75. 4 bolt necks were still used in '74 also.
     
  16. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Here is my (very heavy!) '73 ash Jazz:

    [​IMG]

    It is a heavy best, but to be honest, bass weight has never bothered me (big shoulders). It sounds pretty darn nice, though, if I do say so myself! :D

    Tom.
     
  17. dadodetres

    dadodetres

    Dec 19, 2004
    URUGUAY
    HEY! i went yesterday to Buenos Aires Argentina.... didnt got the black block inlays because i couldnt contact the seller... but i got a 78` natural jazz!!! is VERY VERY heavy.

    Here are some pics.... do yuo say is ash or alder?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    That is VERY cool. I love the MOP inlays and white binding. What kind of pickups are those? I didn't know they had the micro-tilt neck adjustment back in the 70's (don't read too much into that, I don't know much about fenders.)
     
  19. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    BTW, you need to adjust those bridge saddles. They are pulling the E A and G strings to the side.
     
  20. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Tom, that bass and it's case look old and beat up. I would be happy to take it off your hands for immediate disposal. I would even be willing to waive my usual disposal fee!