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An old Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bcarll, May 8, 2005.

  1. bcarll


    Oct 16, 2001
    Found a nice Fender Jazz Bass for sale by a musician friend of mine. He purchased it several years ago and the story is like this ---- it is a late 60's or early 70's with metal covers over both pickups. We know it to be no later than '72 due to a logo on the back of the neck from a local music shop that has been out of business since 1972. Now here is the kicker --- the neck is not original but a replacement neck by ARIA. It really looks like it was done years ago due to the great patina the neck has. No logo on the head stock and no one is trying to fool anyone here. The body is the sunburst color and is in good shape with just a nick or two on it and belt rash. I can walk away form this bass but for some reason it is calling to me to take it home. A hard decision due to the neck deal but it is a real player. I am no expert especially on Fenders but it seems to be as he says a real player. The price -- $600.00 Wish it was lower but he won't budge so I guess what I need is some feedback on what to do. And---- is the neck that big of a deal ?

  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    if it plays and sounds good I'd say buy it.

    you could always find a similar vintage Jazz neck some day to put back on it
  3. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Silly question, but is there any distinguising feature on the body to indicate it's really a Fender? Did they put anything on the body side of the neck pocket that says "Fender", or something similar? I honestly don't know, I'm just throwing that out there.

    If you like the 70's deal, that's cool, but for a little bit more money, you could get a new Marcus Miller jazz bass. (Which even has the pickup cover already on it. ;))
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    no good question! I didn't even think of that... seems EVERYONE made a "Jazz" style bass in the late 60s early 70s.
  5. Ruffus-hound


    Apr 6, 2005
    didn't fender mark the inside of the neck pocket
  6. waxcomb


    Jun 29, 2003
    Martinez, CA
    I'd trust an old Aria neck to sound good, but I probably wouldn't pay that much for an old Aria. Check the rathole to see if they made them that early.

    Check on the back of the pickguard.
  7. bcarll


    Oct 16, 2001
    The lower pickup cover has the F on it for Fender but I don't believe the metal neck pocket cover had anything on it. Were Fender basses being make in USA in early 70's?

  8. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Does it look like this?


    I know its a lousy photo .... This is my latest project bass, bought it off the 'bay for $200. It's a '68 Goya-branded Aria, looks very much like a Fender except for the truss rod plate at the headstock and the pick-ups. Lots of those older Fender-knockoffs had the "F" stamped ashtrays and neckplates stuck on them, didn't mean that they were original Fenders.

    My Goya/Aria is amazing, I love the thing, plays like a dream and has a fantastic sound. I was going to completely mod it out but it's so sweet I really don't want to change anything on it. There are more pics on my web page in the Project Bass link. It's a great bass, but if it's not an actual Fender $600 might be steep unless it's in great shape.
  9. Yes, they were made in the US in the early 70's.

    I would caution that ANYBODY can buy a Fender pickup cover and screw it onto a body. Or a Fender neck plate (the plate on the back of the body where the neck bolts on). Or a Fender pickguard, or even pickups, for that matter. That doesn't mean the body is a Fender. Only way would tell would be to take the neck off and look in the neck pocket. A real Fender expert could tell-maybe... the rest of us (including myself) could be easily fooled.

    My advice, for what it's worth: I'd just assume it's NOT a Fender and value it strictly on the basis of how it plays and sounds; if it's worth the 600 on that basis, buy it. (Myself, I'd pass, but then I've already got a 70's P-bass.)
  10. bcarll


    Oct 16, 2001
    Yes ED it looks like the pic you posted. Like I said it had the F in the PU cover and no logo on the headstock at all. It had a metal cover on the nut area to cover I'd assume a neck adjustment cavity. The guy told me it was a replacement ARIA neck but maybe it is a total knockoff. It is such a great looking instrument and plays fair but I wouldn't put it up there with my Fender P bass. Well maybe this is a case of buyer beware. I hate to ask to take it apart for fear he would think I didn't take his word for what he was telling me and loose a good relationship with this guy. Maybe just walk away and look elsewhere.

  11. mcbrat

    mcbrat Electra Outlaw

    Dec 22, 2004
    does it have regular jazz style pickups? The early Arias had the Jazz style pickups, but other like the Goya and Electra had humbucker size pickups....
  12. bcarll


    Oct 16, 2001
    Yes it has jazz style PU's. I'm trying to get this bass for under 500 right now and it's looking good. Will let you know how it goes. It is really a great looking bass and plays smooth.


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