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Best Way to Get a Nitro Jazz Bass Body

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by amusicalperson, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. Hey guys, I'm new here so forgive me if I do something completely wrong. I was hoping someone could lead me in the right direction for the best way to get my American Jazz Bass done in Nitro. I know a local Luthier who will charge me $800 (give or take) to refinish it in Nitro (he said it's more than normal because it's Sunburst). Would it be worth it to go this way or buy another replacement body that's already finished in Nitro? I'm pretty clueless on what to do, any help would be appreciated. Thanks guys, you are the best.
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I would think you could find a nitro jazz bass for a little bit more than 800 and just part it out. I know my Jaco sig is a nitro body (in burst obviously) and you can find them pretty regularly for $1200 or less. I do not know what models Fender still does in nitro, sorry.
  3. I would not recommend paying 800$ to have a perfectly good body redone in nitro. Look for parted out roadworn/ classic nitro lacquer bodies.
  4. I know they have the Classic Series that is finished in Nitro for $900, but that poses two problems with me. 1) That's more than the Luthier and 2) I'm trying to keep all the parts on my bass American Made as it is an American Jazz Bass. I know some people don't care about that kind of stuff, but I'm a stiffler when it comes to that.
  5. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    Weren't the Highway 1 basses nitro finished? Find a used one in sunburst, swap out the body, and either use the leftover parts to build a second bass or sell them to offset the cost.
  6. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    When you ask a bunch of strangers "is it worth $800 to refinish by bass in nitro?" that is a tough question to answer. I would answer with the questions, "what is wrong with your bass in its current configuration?" and "what benefit do you believe nitro finish will provide?" (and I guess a third question would be, "do you have an extra $800 you don't need for anything else?")

    Personally I would go with a new body, for two reasons: 1) stripping the poly finish off is messy and expensive work; 2) you can restore your bass to its original condition if you ever decide to sell it.
  7. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
  8. Nothing is wrong with my current bass, I am a huge fan of Vintage Basses and have done everything in my power to make my bass look Vintage (pick up covers, vintage tuners, etc) the only thing I am missing is a Nitro finish, and I don't like how these new Poly coats practically never age, and I love myself some age bass look. lol
  9. Sell your bass, and get a American Vintage '62RI (the discontinued one). American made, and vintage vibe all over with the correct specs (7.25" radius, correct spacing of the sidedots, nitro neck & body,...). You can throw thousands of dollars towards "vintagifying" your Am.Std, but it's a waste of the money, and it won't really "cut it" (with the STB-holes in the back, flatter radius, bigger frets, wrong kind of logo, no strapbutton at the back,...).
  10. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
  11. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    This sounds like the best advice.
  12. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    If you want a bass that wears out, I'd suggest selling your current bass and buying a used Custom Shop Jazz.

    You have X amount in your bass now (I'm estimating $1400), and you're willing to spend another $800 on it for just a body refin?
    So total involved $2200+, and add whatever down-time you are going to have without the bass. A CS Jazz will be nitro on body and neck. Yes or a current AVRI they have thinner finishes.

    No I wouldn't consider the old 62RI, those finishes are nearly nuke proof.
  13. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    Aren't the bodies and necks on the MIM basses made in the US and shipped to Mexico for assembly?
  14. No... That used to be the case for the necks until a couple (5+ ish) years back (and only the rough cutting & fretwork. Final sanding, dressing, finishing... was done in Mexico), nowadays, Mexico makes their own stuff from scratch (and are doing a great job doing so. I'd rather have a top-of-the-line Mexican Fender (classic series) than a standard-line US Fender)
  15. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    For a refinishing job in nitro, I'd call RS Guitarworks. They restored my '55 P-bass, and I can assure you their work in nitro is amazing—and not over-priced. They also build instruments and can do aging on parts and finishing.

    However, what about the suggestion above that you consider a CS Jazz? I might add that you could just keep your bass as it is and buy a used Road Worn (way under $800). They are made in Mexico, but I would be willing to bet that after some new strings, a setup, and a week of playing, you will not be putting it down for quite a while.
  16. Hapa


    Apr 21, 2011
    Tustin, CA
    No, Mexico has its own machines for that. They get a good portion of wood from the US, but not necessarily after the US factory gets it. ie suppliers in the US ship directly to Corona and Ensenada.
  17. Well guys, after a few months and some debating, I decided I'm going to go with SouthBound Customs to refinish my bass in Nitro. I just wanted to take some time and thank you all for the wonderful help, I'll be shipping her out tomorrow!
  18. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    Just for the record, johnk_10 did a complete restoration job on my '66 Precision, including taking a J pickup out and making an alder plug in the exact shape to fill the hole, etc.. and painting it in Shoreline Gold nitro, for way less than $800.
  19. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Simple answer, get a late 3CSB Highway One.

    !: It has the vintage-pattern body and paint pattern

    2: It has a thin "dry nitro" finish that after some hand-polishing, looks EXACTLY like an old nitro finish that's been carefully used for a few decades

    3: There is absolutely no tone magic to nitro, but it does age, as you point out.

    You should be able to get a good one for well under your insane refinish quote and either use it as is or swap the parts around with your current bass.