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70s Fender Jazz Bass or spend my money wiser/elsewhere?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Yianni95, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Yianni95

    Yianni95 Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    Hi all,

    Sorry if this topic has already been covered, but I'm planning on buying another bass and with all the
    new emerging brands I have become somewhat disoriented in my search.
    If this exact topic exists, I would love it if you would be able to point me in the direction of that post!

    Basically, I have always loved the look of the late 70s Fender Jazz basses, particularly due to the
    writing on the volume/tone knobs and the neck binding. However, I am equally as attracted
    to its tone, and I am guessing that it would suit my style best, playing mostly funk and soul.

    With hundreds of other brands selling similar jazz basses, do you think it is worth me playing it safe and
    going for another Fender (a used 75-78),
    or should I try out another brand (within my budget of around $2500)? Also, I should point out that from
    Australia it is a little more difficult to physically go out and test other brands.

    I should also point out that I currently own:
    2010 Fender American Jazz Bass
    2010 Stingray
    2011 Rickenbacker 4003
    2011 Fender CS 1960 Jazz Bass
    2013 Fender CS 1959 P Bass

    In particular, I would love to hear from anyone who has tried or
    owns any of Sandberg's jazz basses, and I am also considering Lakland,
    but really any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    In terms of what I would like out of the instrument, I would really prefer something where I could
    plug in and have both a sharp slap tone that stands out but also a barky/growly fingerstyle tone on the bridge pickup.

    Thanks and sorry again if this has already been asked!
  2. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Although most here will tell you that was Fenders dark years there are some great basses to be found from that period. The issue is weight with allot of them and my 78'P was a shade over 10lbs. Weight is not a big factor for me but I will admit I don't miss it, the tone Yes but I found it in other (lighter) Fenders since.

    For what they want for a Jazz of that year I would look at other basses. You will have to do allot of homework to find the right late 70's jazz that sings and doe not put you in the hospital after a long gig.

    Since you have a good stable of basses including the CS Jazzes, I would look custom like Sadowsky or another type to give you a moderen Jazz bass...again all IMO.
  3. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Or get an new American Vintage Series 74 Jazz. It will be a great bass.
  4. matti777


    Dec 13, 2007
    Edmonton, Canada
    I wonder how much difference in price there will be between a70's bass and the new reissue. At least a real 70's bass will hold its value although you might have to deal with a little wear and tear. Some may argue that the new Fenders especially CS are better instruments (which are not cheap). I don't know for sure.
  5. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    I would not buy a 70s bass just because it's a 70s bass. Fender put out a lot of dogs back then. That said, I wouldn't rule one out if it was one of the nice ones.
  6. glutah


    Nov 5, 2012
    Salt Lake City
    I just bought a 70 and love it. To me, the look, feel, sound of it was worth the cost.
  7. tjnkoo


    Apr 19, 2011
    Metro Atlanta
    I wouldn't buy one sight unseen. They do tend to not be as consistent as with other eras of Fender. I have a 1977 Jazz that I love, but I also tried a 75' when I bought my 77' and it was terrible, so you have to be careful.
  8. glutah


    Nov 5, 2012
    Salt Lake City
    Play a bunch of them if you have the opportunity. Some are great, some not so much.
  9. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    UV 70's Sadowsky might be an alternative
  10. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    These look really nice but if you find a nice vintage 70's J I'd go for it. They are not all dogs though they do have their quirks. 70-75 are generally lighter and better than 75-79 though nice basses can be found through out the decade.
  11. NWB


    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    FWIW, the tones you describe can be had from a Lakland Darryl Jones. Good quality there too.
  12. Cadfael


    Jan 4, 2013
    Germany, EU
    A friend of mine owns a 1968 Telecaster bass.
    Would I buy it if he ever sold it? Yes ...

    Buying a 70s Fender Jazz Bass ...
    1.) You should know the shop/seller. 100% Trustfull?
    2.) or you should know MUCH about Fender instruments of that time.

    There are so many fakes or "customized" ones that you should know what you do.
    You wouldn't buy a Rolex at a railway station?
  13. Yianni95

    Yianni95 Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    Thanks for all the responses.

    I've actually come across most of the issue that you have all posted. In my searches, most of the late 70s Fenders have either been customised or weigh a ton. Seeing as it seems as though there are so many "dog" 70s Fenders, I'm probably better off looking for another new bass where I can either test it here in Melbourne or at least watch a few video demos.

    With that in mind, apart from the Sadowsky NYC basses and the Lakland Darryl Jones, is there anything else you guys could suggest? (Perfect opportunity for a shameless plug of your gear!)

    Also, there is also another possible point of confusion. With the NYC basses around $3000, what do you guys think about ordering a Custom Shop 70s Fender?

  14. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    I got a fantastic deal on 2012 Deluxe Jazz as it was 'blemished'. It was well under the street price of an American Standard. I bought it online, sight unseen, figuring any instrument worth it's salt will eventually develop 'blemishes'. The only blemish I found was a grinding treble on a concentric pre amp pot. Fit and finish is superb. It arrived with all tags and protective film, case and goodies. It plays like warm butter and sounds like rich cream. Honestly, it was miles beyond my expectaions of a Fender bass, let alone a 'blemished' one. The grinding pot? 10 minutes to find one on line, $10 to buy it and 10 minutes to install it. The current American lineup seems like solid product. Find a 'blemished' one and it's almost criminal what you can save.
  15. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    I second the suggestion for the new 74 fender jazz reissue. Have you seen those basses? They look amazing.
  16. Green1


    Sep 23, 2010
    Scottsdale, AZ
    NYC Sadowsky is gonna be 4000 to start, and start adding options and well....you get the idea. I'm a big fan of Nordstrand....Alleva Coppolos are cool. I would look at Valenti, great basses and you can essentially do a Sadowsky, Lakland, or pretty much any jazz style bass for less money than any of the ones I mentioned......Good Luck!
  17. Yianni95

    Yianni95 Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    I've just had a look at the 74 reissue and you're definitely right. They look fantastic.

    I'm leaning towards either the Lakland DJ or the Sadowsky UV70, but I'd be interested to know how much bite and growl the 74 reissue has. From the video I watched of the Lakland DJ, it seems as though it has way too much hum when using only one pickup. Could anyone with a Lakland DJ elaborate on this?

    So at least I now have three options.

    1. Lakland DJ (US)
    2. Sadowsky UV70
    3. Fender 74 Reissue
  18. jamminology101


    Aug 22, 2012
    Indianapolis In
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    I was in ur same quest some months ago and I bought a sadowsky metro uv 70...has All the same hardware and electronics as the nyc models....just put togetherin Japan and woods sourced on that side of the world. Has the 70s .400" closer to the bridge pickup location like the fenders and is a real player for $3200...I have seen mint used ones for mid to low 2ks. Buy one.
  19. jamminology101


    Aug 22, 2012
    Indianapolis In
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    $3100 I meant...
  20. jamminology101


    Aug 22, 2012
    Indianapolis In
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    The fender Marcus miller is in that category but I wasn't too enamored with their preamp when I played one compared to sadowskys ultra transparent one.