1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Buying an old Fender Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by hoel, Nov 20, 2003.

  1. hoel


    Jul 16, 2003
    Oppdal, Norway

    I now have the chance to get myself a nice little '67 Jazz bass, and I have some questions that maybe some of you can answer.

    1) Is it true that Fender basses made before '74 are much better than the onces after?

    2) What is "Pre-CBS" - I see that alot on eBay (I'm not buying this bass at eBay)

    3) I now have a '62 reissue bass, do you think it'll make alot of difference with an original '67?

    4) Is it normal that people are trying to sell "fake oldies" ? I will get the serial number and pictures today (so I can check that the serial number matches it's production year).

    The silly thing is, I don't have the chance to try it, 'cause the guy who is selling it lives along way from my location.

    5) I think it's a fairly good price, about 2000 - 2500 $ (15.000 Norwegian Kroners) It's all original, with an original case.

    I have tried Jazz Basses from the 60's, and I must say, it's really something holy about them - and I've always wanted one. But it's alot of money...... and I don't wanna get dissapointed.

    Anyways, these basses does not show up everyday in this country.

    Hope some of you can take the time to answer some of my questions :) Thanks!

  2. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Hmmmm. There's a story saying that in the mid 70's the Fender stock of wood burned out, so the woods Fender used for a few years then was not "dry enough".

    I must say I never really knew if this story is right or wrong.

    All I know is that I've seen 60's Fender basses that were dogs, and 70's ones that were bitches... ;)

    Pre-CBS is the era before Fender was bought out by CBS. The buying out was done in 1965. So any Fender built before 1965 is a Pre-CBS.

    Many of them are excellent, but it is not a formal guarantee of high quality, though.

    Never played or touched the '62 reissue, sorry.

    You must DEMAND a pic showing the serial number.

    Too bad you can't try it before purchase. You have many chances to get an excellent bass, but you also have some chances to get a dog.

    This price is close to that of similar basses in France, so I bet that's a nice price, yeah.

    But you must check, double check, triple check, the authenticity and general condition of this bass. Ask for the most numerous pics as possible. And if you're in doubt, post'em here : there are many Fender specialists here.

    Hope this helps,
  3. From my experience yes, this is true.

    CBS, is the company that owned Fender before they sold out in 1964, which are now refered to as Pre-CBS. There are transitional basses from that time period also.

    CBS stands for Columbia Broadcast Servises, just like the CBS TV network, same company.

    "Fender moved the small factory to 500 S. Raymond Ave. in Fullerton, and, in 1965, sold it to CBS Musical Instruments."

    Yes, I have several, 66 and 67 Fender Jazz basses and 2 P bass from that same year. I also have a 51 reissue and a Sting bass, they sound and feel different.

    Normal, I wouldn't say normal.:meh:

    I would say people try to sell fakes because they know there is big money to be had, in Vintage Fender basses.

    The current Blue Book value of that bass is $3,100 - $3,600.

    Source: 2004 Vintage Guitar Price Guide pg. 208

  4. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    It goes much further than that. What happens alot is the wood might be original, but the parts may have been changed from a different year or worse, non-fender replacement parts.
    Any buyer or seller in the vintage world should have no problems taking lots and lots of pictures for you, and every factory stamp number on the hardware.

    The serial number alone does nothing because they weren't made in order, and those number plates could have sat around for up to a year.
    You need to also get pictures and the numbers from the bottom of the pickups and the bottom of the pots to verify that the bass is (1)original and (2)from the year the seller claims it is.
  5. soularis


    Jul 3, 2003
    Illinois, USA
    Is it worth to buy a vintage 75-78 Fender Jazz as a main bass to rehearse/gig/record for 1500? How bad can the condition of the bass be and how long would it last? Just curious, can anybody shed any light on this topic? Thanks.
  6. Boozy


    Apr 29, 2002
    Kelowna BC, Canada
    Umm, I just want to add something..

    Keep in mind, I am not nearly as familiar with these vintage basses as many others are (Treena for example..)

    Anyways, vintage Fender basses have a vibe, no doubt about that... as wood ages, it sortof cracks on the inside and it tends to carry tones like no other... some say the vibe is "feeling".. I say it is also tone.. I'm sure many people can varify this..

    Just keep something in mind, back then, technology was not nearly what it is now... they didn't have things as "standardized" as they do now... machines weren't used in producing parts like they are now, etc.. therefore, don't be too disappointed if for instance the strings aren't dead even on the figerboard (they may be a little to the E side or a little to the G side) I'm sure the spacing will be fine tho and I'm sure it will play fine.. or for instance, the tuners don't "look" like they were mounted "perfectly".. they will still function fine and are surely exactly where they need to be on that particular bass.

    What I am saying, is that things weren't 100% CNC machined back then (nor are they now in most cases).. the process wasn't nearly as automated and therefore the basses didn't all come out identically... some have minor flaws but I bet you that most of them play excellently.

    I'd get as many pics as you can, if all looks well, and the date is authentic, buy 'er!! These bases are sold easily if you are less than impressed.

    Good luck with your purchase.

    Just my 2 cents.
  7. soularis


    Jul 3, 2003
    Illinois, USA
    I'm thinking of buying one but I don't want to buy it online, I'll be definately playing it before I purchase, it's just that I'm kinda worried about things like truss-rod, how would you know that somebody wasn't twisting it and is it any good for that matter. I guess it's a matter of luck with these old warriors? Has anybody had terrible experiences with vintage Fender jazzes?

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Some may disagree with me here, but this is my opinion! You can buy a modern instrument that is every bit as good as a vintage bass. I used to have a 1964 Fender Jazz bass, and it was a great instrument. I shouldn't have sold it. It had "the" tone. However, I have played Sadowskys that killed that bass in playability, and sounded easily just as good while being more versatile. But there isn't a new bass that gives off that vibe of a well played in old Fender!
  9. soularis


    Jul 3, 2003
    Illinois, USA
    yeah that makes sense, in fact a Sadowsky Tokyo would be a good consideration, since it's based on the 70's Jazz basses anyway.
  10. hoel


    Jul 16, 2003
    Oppdal, Norway
    Interesting answers indeed. Shame is, the bass got sold :-( I didn't even get the chance to buy it. The guy selling it told me a friend of him has borrowed the bass, but he didn't think he'd buy it. But he did - and now I'm heartbroken :-(

    Thanks for your answers anyways !

  11. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    If I were in your shoes I'd buy the Sadowsky bass: 100% quality.

    If you cannot try that bass before you buy it or be sure of a 100% refund on your money, then I'd walk away.

    Old Fenders can be hit or miss and you have to be a superb expert to know if it's a fake or, less covertly, if parts have been replaced/modified.

    Good luck!
  12. soularis


    Jul 3, 2003
    Illinois, USA
    Thanks. Sadowsky seems like a good choice.
  13. You can bet your life on it!

    Roger will do what ever you want too!

    Sadowsky is a great deal, vintage looks, vintage sound plus, you can get more modern tones as well!

  14. soularis


    Jul 3, 2003
    Illinois, USA
    Thanks Treena. I figured it's pretty much the same price, vintage 70's Fender and the Sadowsky Tokyo, only you get what you paid for with the latter.

    Do you have insurance for your Sads? I wonder if people do it for all them high-end basses.
  15. All my basses are insured through my Studio insurance.

    It's hard and costly to insure just one bass though.

    Thats why I added all my basses to our studio equipment list. I also allow some bassist to use my axes on their recordings, as long as I am there to engineer!

  16. soularis


    Jul 3, 2003
    Illinois, USA
    I see, cool, thanks for the responses. :hyper:
  17. hoel


    Jul 16, 2003
    Oppdal, Norway
    soularis: I ended up with a 1964 Fender Jazz bass that I bought from eBay, got it sent to Norway, and I've never been happier. Killer tone, killer playability.


  18. soularis


    Jul 3, 2003
    Illinois, USA
    wow! congratulations man. I got Marcus Sig, 4 string. enjoying it very much too.

    good luck.

Share This Page