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Best year(s) for Fender Jazz?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by baba, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. What is generally considered the best year(s) for the Fender Jazz? Is it 75? I googled and searched with no luck.

  2. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    For me, it's any of the mid-70s.
  3. MikeM


    Apr 21, 2004
    For collectors its 1962 then anything 1965 and under.
  4. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001
    It depends on what your definition of "best" is.

    For collectors, you start with the stack knob era - 1960-62, then pre-CBS (62-64), then CBS 60s, early 70s, late 70s. Once you hit the 80s, there's not a lot of collectable value (yet! ..... but I'm sure it'll come!).

    For players, it really depends on the individual bass, and that's why it's important to try anything and everything you can get your hands on. As a general guide, you could follow the same route as the collectors, but some people really prefer the maple board/ash body 70s basses, as they have a very distinct sound. Also, a particular year or era doesn't guarantee a great bass, nor does it guarantee a dog. Marcus Miller was knocking out hits with his late 70s Jazz bass at a time when a lot of people considered that era to be complete crap. So, the general rule of thumb is this .... play everything, don't judge something until you've tried it, and don't think that a particular year will guarantee a great bass, nor a dog.
  5. Thunder_Fingers


    Jun 24, 2004
    1976... the best bass i have played was a 1976 Jazz Bass.
  6. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    1963 and 1966 for early jazz basses.
    1971, and 1976 for later basses.
    I owned a jazz form the above four years.
    And play Jazz bass from 1961 to 1979.
    Of the four above, I liked the 1966 the best for early jazzes.
    The neck was a little beefier, better bottom end.
    The 76 was just killer for the Marcus sound.
    Bright, big top end.maple fingerboard, white blocks.
    It's all subjective????
  7. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Very subjective. You might love what I hate. As far as collectibility go, custom colored early jazz's are the best

  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    1960 - 2005
    Joe Bananas likes this.
  9. Thanks for the replies. I figured the old and rare ones are valued by collectors. I was just curious whether there is a prevailing opinion that a certain year or era is superior in build and sound due to assemblers and/or materials.
  10. Bassosaurus


    Aug 27, 2005

    That's right!

    I owned a '66 alder/rw (frets removed and epoxied) and a '73 alder/maple. Both great.

    The first few years they put graphite in the neck, i played a bunch that i thought were as good or better than any! The newest one's seem kinda heavy - but maybe i'm just getting old :meh:
  11. Bassosaurus


    Aug 27, 2005

    Well, i've always heard "pre CBS" which was what? (< '65). I think one just needs to play a bunch; when your toes curl and you knees buckle, you've gotcher bass.
  12. mrcircle

    mrcircle peacenik

    Oct 3, 2003
    Boise, ID
    I have yet to find another J-bass (or another bass, period) that plays as beautifully as the sunburst '64 I've owned since 1976. It has the thinnest, sweetest neck and that classic '60s era tone, which I prefer to the more aggresive sound associated with '70s Js. And it's light, too (about 8.5 lbs).

    When I lived in Santa Barbara in the late '80s I hung out with a lot of local musicians. At one of the many parties we had at my house, I wandered into my bedroom and found Jim Messina (onetime bassist with Buffalo Springfield, later of Loggins & Messina) sitting on my bed playing my bass. He looked up at me and said, "Don't ever sell this bass!" I haven't, and I won't. I can't imagine a "better" J-bass for me.