Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Are Fender's of the 80's worth interest?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by HotRoded, Aug 23, 2005.


  1. HotRoded

    HotRoded

    Jun 6, 2003
    Maryland
    One of my band mates told me a shop has a '83 Jazz MIA for sale. The body is chipped at places. The guy is asking $700.
    I have no idea how good/bad Fender's from that era are. How do they sound? Are they heavy like the one from the 70's?

    I'll probably go and try it, but is more than 1 hour away.

    Any one has any experience with any of these?
    Any help appreciated. Thx.
     
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Fender made some nice U.S. stuff in the 80s, but just as in the 70s, it was spotty. The 1980s saw the rise of the MIJ Fenders, and often you would find a much cheaper MIJ bass in the same shop that was made better than the domestic.

    You just have to play it and see. $700 is waaaaay too much coin for a beat up jazz though. IMO, at least.

    Then again, I paid $9 for a cardboard box this morning. Who knows what things cost these days.
     
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I say if you have good 80's bass, hold onto it. I remember when a 70's P-bass was $350 and a pre ERnie ball Stingray was $250. You can barely get an OLP for $250 now. ;)
     
  4. Vic

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

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    +1

    The 70's and 80's were the CBS years where (as I understand) they were really focused on cutting costs. Some finishing detail was not done (like fret dressing not as nice), and some things got cheapened (like single-ply pickguards).

    However, I will say this... I have an '83 P bass that totally smokes. It's probably about the best playing AND sounding P I've ever touched. Admittedly, I'm mostly a J guy, but really, that adds more impact, 'cause it had to be killer to impress me. I've always "liked" and respected the P, but never really wanted one until I played this one (and also a Steve Harris P, but that one got away). I can't even imagine changing the pickup out. It's perfect as is, and a really cool/unusual color (Sienna Burst).

    Bottom line is, I'd treat (especially) the late 70's and 80's MIA Fenders almost like a Squier... could be awesome, but you gotta' play it first.
     
  5. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Fender 80s basses are great IMO. :
     
  6. Funkster

    Funkster

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    That's a decent price for an early 80's J I swear by my 2 83 Pbass's. I would check it out if I was you..
     
  7. permagrin

    permagrin

    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    Not yet considered collectible, but 10 years ago neither were the 70s models.

    The general feeling is that cheaper production methods and poorer quality assurance led to many questionable instruments. Many were good pieces, but fewer and farther between.

    I know a guy in town here with an '83 P that sounds solid and he loves and babies it. I remember playing another that was very heavy and not very resonant, it sounded, er, constrained I guess. For a short time I owned a '79 that was heavy, had the sloppiest neck pocket, and I could never set it up to my liking - but it sounded really great (also a sienna burst, pretty neat).

    So you'd have to play it to decide. Is it worth $700? It is if someone pays that much for it.
     
  8. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    I'd take a look at it. The eighties were two decades ago...
     
  9. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    I believe the '83 - '85 Fullerton Reissues are highly desireable. I keep looking for a Black J from that period. Hard as heck to find.
     
  10. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Around 1981-82 is when fender had a producution manager that changed everything around...he (Schultz) told CBS their product was junk, and he turned it around. So early 80's Schultz-era stuff is leaps and bounds better than the late 70's stuff.
    The bodies were still being made of northern ash, so generally yes it is going to still be heavy.

    My '83 P Special and '84 J 62RI are both incredible built and sounding basses.
     
  11. Vic

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

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    VERY interesting!!! Thanks! However, My P is definitely not Ash. I'm pretty sure it's Alder. You can look on my gear page (in sig). Definitely not Ash grain, and not heavy at all (tho it sounds like it weighs 20 pounds :) ).
     
  12. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    80's japanese fenders were very nice...and are starting to become fairly collectable. I'd love to pick one up.
     
  13. What exactly is the CBS corporation is it like the tv network? Sorry I always read about it but don't know what it stands for
     
  14. Vic

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

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Yes, they bought Fender back in, I think, '66.
     
  15. RunngDog

    RunngDog

    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Highly desireable and increasingly expensive. Recent Ebay auctions on early Fullerton RI's in good condition have gone for over $2k and it's almost impossible to find one in any condition for under $1k.

    Here's a really nice one on Ebay right now for anyone w/ $2,500 burning a hole in their pocket:

    1982 Fullerton '57 P-Bass Reissue

    They're very nice basses (I own one myself), but I'm not convinced they're worth these kinds of prices.
     
  16. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I've got one of these Fullerton Reissues also: an '84 Jazz 62RI, awesome and one of the best J's I've ever played! It was on ebay and a member here at TB bought it, then backed out for some reason. It relisted so I bought it and have loved the thing since. Now I want a black fullerton '57RI.

    Vics,
    Of course by my post saying ash bodies...obviously fender doesn't make every model from ash, but most were at that time. Alder was still used, and is used more so today.
     
  17. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC

    shhhhhhhhhh!
     
  18. gojirin

    gojirin

    Oct 11, 2004
    Denver,CO
    Don't buy before playing - as pointed out above the '70's and '80's basses were all over the place. The prices have gone way too high IMHO, but such is life.

    By and large the MIJ basses were way better and still a good deal.

    For $700 you can find a recent MIA - a much better product in general.
     
  19. HotRoded

    HotRoded

    Jun 6, 2003
    Maryland
    Fullerton Reissues: were they replica of older models?

    There is no way I'll buy this bass without playing it first. The finish is sunburst, so I should be able to see the grain of the wood. I hope to see it Friday.

    If it is not love at first sight anyway...
     
  20. pauljacksonfan

    pauljacksonfan

    Jun 14, 2005
    In my experience 80's Fenders aren't too hot. Very much a holdover from the 70's ones. But then again, I haven't played a lot of them.

    The funny and remarkable thing is that Squier made amazing basses and guitars in the 80's. They had a line that felt, played and sounded much like the Fender reissue series of today. If you ever find that kind of P-bass, I can assure you it's a keeper.