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Calling Vintage Fender Experts: 1961 Stack Knob Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PolkaHero, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. PolkaHero


    Jan 5, 2002
    I myself own a '61 Fender Jazz that I partially restored. Came upon this Reverb listing today for this "original" 61 Jazz which happens to be a stack knob model. Neck date is written "10/61". I thought Fender had switched over the 3 knob configuration by the end of 1961? I had to replace the electronics in mine and had a hard time deciding which configuration to go with as my neck is from 7/61 which was around the time they made the transition to the 3 knob layout. I decided to go with the 3 knob based on more familiarity and a more open tone according to people who have used both.

    What say ye, vintage Fender experts?

    Fender Jazz Bass 1961 | Damnfine Inc
  2. Elusive1


    Jun 21, 2018
    The stacked-knob configuration lasted till 1962. Jaco's famous Bass of Doom was a '62 model and originally had the stacked knobs, but shortly after he got it, he had it converted to the standard three-knob configuration (he preferred it, apparently, said it had more "punch"). There was a small period between late '61 and early/mid '62 where both configurations were being made while Fender used up parts for the stacked knobs
    Bill Whitehurst likes this.
  3. PolkaHero


    Jan 5, 2002
    I've seen plenty of 61 Jazz basses with 3 knob layouts. Here's another example: 1961 Fender Jazz Bass Slab Board | eBay
    Wish this seller would have removed the neck to show the date on the heel and/or disclosed the dates on the pots.
  4. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    Too much for a stripped finish. The thing that makes them valuable and collectible is original/unmodified condition. That is a player bass, and for what they are asking you could have 4 or 5 really nice custom shop basses that would likely be better players.
    Aqualung60, TC424 and Admiral Akbar like this.
  5. PolkaHero


    Jan 5, 2002
    How do you know the body has been refinished? Did they not offer 3-tone sunburst finishes back in the day? Yeah, that bass is only worth half of that amount if it's a refin, you would think the seller would disclose that important piece of information.
  6. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    He said stripped, as in no paint (first link you posted). I concur it is over priced
  7. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    It wasn't refinished, clearly it was stripped of it's original sunburst finish, though. Another misguided hippy probably... :)

    Also, it would only be worth maybe half that asking price if it was sent away and properly restored by someone like John Kalas.
  8. liverbird


    Mar 22, 2003
    The capacitors aren't original.
    jackn1202 likes this.
  9. iammr2


    Jun 10, 2002
    I wouldn't say it was "stripped of its finish." The original sunburst is still there under the pickguard and there is still finish apparent on the back of the body. This bass has quite a bit of use on it. It's just not "well cared for."
  10. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006

    There is still gloss on the back of the neck, the fretboard and frets look almost untouched, and I can see sanding marks all over the body. Maybe whoever stripped it left the pick guard on. Unless you think someone managed to play the finish off of the heal of the neck pocked but didn't dint the finish on the neck in the same area.
    Admiral Akbar likes this.
  11. Admiral Akbar

    Admiral Akbar

    Mar 12, 2013
    New York
    Very cool bass.

    Finish is stripped everywhere, except under pickguard (strange?)

    A stripped finish is essentially a refin (both are unoriginal), and should be priced accordingly.

    A fair price is probably around $8,000 (IMO)

    The rosewood on that neck looks awesome.
  12. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Yes that pitch-dark rosewood is fantastic!
  13. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    One word about that Reverb listing asking price: insane.

    I susoect somebody must have watched too many episodes of Antiques Roadshow or Pawn Stars.
  14. They probably used that utility knife razor blade tucked in the neck pocket as a shim, to scrap the finish off :)

    jackn1202 and Chickenwheels like this.
  15. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    Too many stars
    Caca de Kick and DJ Bebop like this.
  18. The dates on the neck heel and neck pocket can possibly be quite different and they may have been assembled together at a third different time. So I wouldn’t make a concrete conclusion based on a date stamp.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  19. Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  20. Michael4bass


    Aug 20, 2011
    Florence, MS
    No, the '62 BoD was always a 3 knob bass. Jaco's '60 fretted bass was originally a stack knob that he changed to a 3 knob because it had a lower output from the '62.

    Bassically, Michael
    DJ Bebop likes this.

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