Custom Colour Jazz Bass - (Jaguar) Opalescent Bronze.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fender32, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. Hello folks!

    Haven't posted here much lately, as I haven't been doing much bass buying, modding or (in this case) butchering ;) (and certainly very little actual bass playing). Nonetheless, I have recently done something that I have been wanting to do for years, but have never previously had the nerve ... repainting my old Tokai (Olympic White) 'Jazz Sound' bass.


    The bass is 33 years old and had faded from white to a rather bland magnolia sort of colour, which I have never really liked. As the bass is the ultimate 'keeper' (it sounds fantastic and has been so heavily modded as to be worth less than half what I've spent on it :smug: ), I figured that I could afford to take a chance on ruining its last shred of originality by sanding down the paint and giving it an aerosol can respray with the colour of my choice and adding a clear coat afterwards.

    Ever since I saw a photo on here of a '70s P Bass that someone (sorry, forgotten who) had painted with bronze Buick (IIRC) auto paint, I swore to myself that I too would one day have a bronze coloured bass with a tort guard - it's a very unusual combo, but I love it :) ...


    Personally, I wanted something a little lighter in shade and maybe a bit more coppery than bronzey in hue, but couldn't decide on the exact colour to go for. As a result, the bass never got painted ... until now!

    I was at a classic car show a couple of months ago and saw a Jaguar painted in this colour - 'Opalescent Bronze' ...


    It's a very fine-grained metallic paint, which looks quite subtle in dim light conditions, but shines like brand new copper in strong sunlight :cool: . As soon as I saw the car, I knew that it was the exact paint colour that I had been imagining for my Jazz Bass and so I bought some and did my best to respray the body over a period of a couple of weeks.

    In all honesty, I messed up by using a 'budget' primer, which never seemed to harden properly. I also went wrong by making some of the early coats too thick, which stopped them drying out once subsequent coats were applied. Even though I left it for weeks before finally polishing it up, some cracks still appeared through the lacquer and paint once I screwed the bridge on :( .

    Anyway, I really like the final result and the colour is definitely my favourite of all of the metallic 'custom colours' that I've had on previous Fender basses (including Shoreline Gold and Lake Placid Blue ;) ).

    So, without further ado, here it is ....




    (Yes, the Tokai logo has long-since been replaced with a Fender one. Sorry Leo :unsure: !)

    Oh and heres a close-up of the 'damage' :whistle: ...


    I've no doubt that many of you will prefer the original Oly White finish and will think that I have ruined this bass with my 'hack job' on the paint (and the choice of colour) and that's fine - I totally understand ;) . Still, I thought that it was worth making a post about, as it's a colour that I've never seen on a guitar or bass before (well, not this exact Jaguar colour) and therefore makes a change from posting pics of another white Jazz :D .

    Thanks for looking!

    willsellout, TMARK, wmmj and 2 others like this.
  2. LadyLoveStingRay5


    Jul 17, 2004
    What matters is that you like it.
    Looks kind of brown metallic to me.
    Looks good.
  3. sgtpepper


    Jan 22, 2010
    Mexico City
    It looks amazing! Congrats!
    TMARK likes this.
  4. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    I really like the color! It's a shame about the cracks, think you can repair them?
  5. JIO

    JIO Be seeing you. Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    If leaving as-is, a J (ashtray) bridge cover should hide the white paint-seperation lines. The bass colour looks more pinkish than on the Jag. Part of an aged finish is how it amber's over time. You may be able to correct the white lines after letting some time go by for full curing, and then shoot an amber over it to get closer to a warmer patina. Looks like a very nice bass though - those Tokai basses were very cool. I could care less about replacing the decal as far as Fender goes, but honestly I personally would love to have a "Jazz Sound" or a "Hard Puncher".
  6. No, not really. I just played it last night, for the first time since I put it back together and to my horror I found that my nail was digging into the lacquer above the rear pickup - it's still not hard!!!

    I think that I will just leave it as it is and see if develops an acceptable 'relic' look. If not, I may one day find the patience to strip it right down and do the whole job again, using a better primer and the correct technique next time :whistle:.

    Yes, early Tokai 'Jazz Sound' basses are the closest (affordable) things that I have ever found to pre-CBS Fender Jazzes. I also dislike nitro cellulose neck lacquer, so that fact that these have poly/acrylic? neck finishes makes them more comfortable to play for long periods of time (YMMV). I like them so much that, at one point, I even had three of them ...


    Despite the fact that I never liked the look of the white one, it was the only one I kept out of those three because it had a totally different tone. I've no idea what the body was made out of, but it was a lot lighter than the other two. As you can see here, the two-piece body has a darker wood on the bottom half and a very pale wood on the upper two-thirds. Whatever it is, it gives the bass a very 'bouncy/springy' kind of tone and the notes sound more rounded when plucked gently. The other two basses were made from harder, heavier wood (although still lighter than most Fenders) and had a slightly more 'neutral' tone to my ears.


    I only replaced the Tokai decal because it was damaged when I got the bass (below) and I subsequently managed to remove all of the 'T' when polishing it one day. The decal was becoming very brittle, having been sitting on top of that lacquer for over three decades.


    Anyway, I doubt that I'll ever buy another Tokai, as the prices have soared in the last five to ten years, just as the Japanese 'Squier Vintage' range did before them.
    johnson79 likes this.

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