Barn find,1977/78 Fender Jazz Antigua, what to do with it?! pictures...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kutkut, Feb 27, 2019.

  1. kutkut


    Oct 4, 2011
    Hey all,

    This is one of those barn find stories, to cut it short i found this around a friends jam room and open the box and tadaaaa, this belongs to his uncle and has been laying there for God knows how long, now i asked once if he is interested to sell but got a not interested answer but it was ok for me to take home and fiddle with, and boy i was reading online and tried to date it and came up that this is an old gem, now i wanna ask you guys what shall i do with it? try to restore or fix and try to ask to buy it or just let it go?
    It's a heavy heavy bass, the action is very high (strings were tuned higher than standard and just sitting there making the neck suffer for a longtime), the bridge seems to have a saddle replaced, both volume knobs work with lots of crackle and the tone knob is just turning with no effect but more crackle (i have not opened the plate to look inside), i'm really amazed by how sad (also beautiful) it looks and i haven't done anything other than plug it, play a bit then loosened the strings and took these pictures to share with you.... what would you do if you were in my shoe? sorry for the long talk but i tired to make it short...

    20190227_230257.jpg 20190227_230319.jpg 20190227_230325.jpg 20190227_230349.jpg 20190227_230357.jpg 20190227_230407.jpg 20190227_230419.jpg 20190227_230425.jpg 20190227_230437.jpg 20190227_230443.jpg 20190227_230449.jpg 20190227_230503.jpg
  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Heavy, dodgy neck, non-desirable year, non-desirable color, three bolt, dirty pots...I'd close the case lid and walk away happy that I like every other bass I've ever played more than that one.
  3. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Give it back?
    Lava, MikeInSF, kutkut and 5 others like this.
  4. I'm not much of a fender guy these days (Avatar is ancient). But I love the look of that bass. I would not pay a ton for it but would be a nice little fixer upper for the right price.
    kutkut, hintz and 4dog like this.
  5. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I wouldn’t “fiddle” with it until I owned it.
  6. I know I'm in the minority, but I absolutely love that finish. A dear friend and bandmate had one of the same era. And I'm probably in the minority on this too: What I would do depends on how good your relationship with the nephew and uncle is and the definition of "fiddle with" is. If you're great longtime blood-brother friends with the nephew and the uncle knows it and "fiddle with" means "take it, fix it to your liking and play it like it's yours but it's still mine", I'd definitely clean her up and get her in playing order. Clean the pots and replace them if they are shot, maybe replace the odd saddle, clean up the frets and fretboard, replace the strings, set up the action, and give the whole thing a good non-destructive cleaning. There's not a lot of money or effort in any of that, and your interest in getting the bass up and in playing order might convince him to sell it to you at a good price.
    kutkut, hintz, Gfkfloyd and 12 others like this.
  7. ThatBrianGuy


    Nov 14, 2017
    Man, I'm a sucker for a fixer upper like this. Like gitfiddl said, a clean up shouldn't cost much and would only take a few hours. I'd check the neck/truss rod and if that's in good shape it would be awesome to get that thing up and running. If it's not a desirable year or finish, then it's a perfect starting point for making it your own. Super fun, I'm jealous of your find.
    kutkut, REMBO, 10cc and 1 other person like this.
  8. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Life is short, buy the bass. Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Very cool find, if it were in good order that's a 2-3k bass. One thing I noticed that worries me is the bullet truss rod is sticking out farther than normal. Does it function? I am wondering if it is backed out all the way or it needs to be tightened or if it is broken. The neck is the big question with this bass. If it can be adjusted and made playable the bass is a good find.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
    Jazzish, kutkut, JJR58 and 4 others like this.
  9. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    Not necessarily my cup of tea, but if you like it, it might be worth buying. The main thing I'd look at would be the neck. If it is warped from being strung wrong all these years, don't walk, run away. But if it can be adjusted to have an appropriate action, the rest is no big deal. Needs to be cleaned, needs a replacement saddle (or bridge if you can't find a matching saddle. It's a pretty cheap part). The wiring is a non issue. A little de-oxit in the pots may well be enough to bring them back. At worst, you'd need 3 new pots and a few minutes with a soldering iron. Even if you aren't comfortable doing that, a decent tech can wire up a J bass in nothing flat. It's a really easy circuit.
    kutkut likes this.
  10. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    As long as the neck is straight and truss rod functioning....a passive Fender is fairly straightforward to fix and clean up, there's not much to them. Take is to a reputable repair tech or local luthier, have them clean it up, replace pots, etc. If its a Fender that "has it", than I would certainly keep it. My 77 weights 12-ish pounds, but has a great neck and sounds great.
    kutkut, Son of Wobble, TonyP- and 2 others like this.
  11. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Dean N, Garret Graves, kutkut and 2 others like this.
  12. Tom Bomb

    Tom Bomb Hypocognitive

    Apr 23, 2014
    Tidy it up for the uncle and see how it goes :) Someone should be playing that jazz.
    kutkut, TonyP-, Remoman and 2 others like this.
  13. Picton


    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA
    LOVE that bass, love that color. However you can do it, by hook or by crook, fix that thing up and make it playable. Whether or not you end up with it, that dated old thing deserves to be cleaned and set up. As others have pointed out, it wouldn't be all that tough.

    Truss rod bullet looks okay to me. I've seen them worse and I've seen them better. Nice find!
    kutkut, coreyfyfe, DukeCC and 3 others like this.
  14. InhumanResource

    InhumanResource Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2012
    Bucks County, PA
    Oh it doesn't look all that heavy to me
    kutkut, Gunga Din and porterbass like this.
  15. PaulCISSA

    PaulCISSA Unsweetened, highly-caffeinated Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Northest New Jersey
    I ain’t eating that guacamole! Send it back. It’s a $$ pit.
    bobyoung53 and kutkut like this.
  16. Rabidhamster


    Jan 15, 2014
    Thats neat. fix up up real good so he can sell it on eBay. Dont refin, dont replace original parts. Don't spend your own money on it, or if you do, do so expecting he will take it back and sell it to someone else the next day without compensating you. Then, if it doesnt happen you can be pleased.

    As far as what to do with it, there isn't anything to do with it. He wont sell it to you, its not yours. You're just storing it for him. Play it at home, carefully, and then give it back. Or play it at home gingerly, avoiding falling in love, and wait for him to ask for it back?
  17. Rabidhamster


    Jan 15, 2014
    Agreed except you cant replace the pots until its yours, they could be repaired instead of replaced and it will devalue the bass to replace them.
    meatwad, kutkut, RBrownBass and 2 others like this.
  18. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    If the neck is good buy it. Clean it up, spray/lube the pots (replace if needed), set it up. Then either keep it to play, or sell it to someone who loves original Antigua Fenders. There are plenty of 70's Fender fans and collectors looking for originals, especially ones with uncommon finishes. Whatever you do...don't even think about refinishing it. Good luck. :thumbsup:
    kutkut and rockdoc11 like this.
  19. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    If the truss rod works...
    Ask the friend (and/or the uncle). Tell them that you'd play it (if you would) and would give it a good home, and find out what they'd ask for it.
    If the deal is to your liking, you're golden. If not, you can counter. But it wouldn't surprise me if they offered it to you for a pittance. Only one way to find out.
    kutkut likes this.
  20. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    S7 serial number? That's very early for Antigua, isn't it? I'd give it a routine setup (but treat like an OLD Rickenbacker - loosen rods, bend neck manually, tighten rods - with very gradual truss tweaks, maybe over the course of a week) and see how it plays.
    kutkut, hintz and porterbass like this.