Dating 1973(?) Fender Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AidanE, May 9, 2020.


  1. AidanE

    AidanE

    Apr 28, 2014
    Hello TB Community,
    I am looking for a little help dating the body and the neck of an instrument I recently purchased. According to the serial number on the plate that bolts the neck to the body, this bass should be a 1973 or 1974 Fender Jazz (reads 396053). The body is clearly refinished. However, the neck seems to have been also refinished and is so clean that lead me to question its authenticity. Sure enough I popped the neck off and no serial number is visible below the truss rod. Furthermore, there's a filled in truss rod hole at the top of the neck. Is that normal? Does this look like a phony to anyone, or perhaps the refinish glazed over the serial number?

    It definitely does not have original electronics and wiring as I'm well aware, just trying to date the body and neck. Thank you in advance! Can upload more pictures if need be. C45DBFED-CD75-4A21-9498-48DBB9958B3F.jpeg C45DBFED-CD75-4A21-9498-48DBB9958B3F.jpeg FBD11FFD-5B63-4B2B-BF06-B5FAD0042BA8.jpeg 66C897EA-BDB7-4986-96CB-CD7AE9F93096.jpeg 5DA3BC72-A35A-418D-9A75-03EAABF6832D.jpeg B5B5FE5A-2B0F-4419-9A51-13890897D924.jpeg
     
  2. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    IMO, it's a vintage fender and the neck has definitely also been refinished. it's appears to be a '73 or '74 to me. someone added a route in the body from the neck (middle) pickup to the control cavity though since they didn't have a route like that.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
  3. Wisebass

    Wisebass

    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    hi Aidan :)

    Okay! Let's see what Ican do for you. :)

    Serial numbers ranged from roughly 370000 to 520000. That fits!

    (but there are a lot of overlapping examples)

    The logo is the large two piece 'C' logo (also called TV logo) which is period correct.

    The neck is a maple neck with the 'skunk stripe' on the back. The 'filled hole' is normal!

    The truss rod and the black plastic binding look correct.

    It has no date stamp on the neck butt. This is makes it hard to date without a cross reference!

    But it is not unusual.

    It doesn't look refinished to me! The logo was applied under the original finish.

    Over painting that would have lead to more visible contours of the waterslide logo. (IME)

    Can you flip it over? I would love to see the tuners! (they look very clean)

    greetings

    Wise(b)ass


    more about it (the body in my next post :D I need some coffee first)
     
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  4. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    the reason that i think that the neck was refinished is because the face of the headstock's edges are somewhat rounded and the face is not completely flat. the original decal is buried under the finish but it looks like it was lightly sanded to preserve it, and has a slightly faded look to it in some areas and then buried under the refin. the shape below the large F of the decal is also not crisp and is somewhat rounded, and that area is sharp on an original headstock. all of the binding looks rounded over at the heel of the neck which is also evidence of a refin.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
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  5. Is it normal for Fenders of that era to have the logo partially under the G tuner ferrule? That looks odd to me. The body routing appears wrong too.
     
  6. Wisebass

    Wisebass

    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Back again :)

    Hi John :)

    you' re maybe right about that. (the logo and the headstock) It's hard to tell without a very close look!

    I' ve seen rounded edges on plastic bindings at the heel on originals (without refin)

    But the neck (and I think we agree here) looks 100% period correct.

    Which is the most important part. :)


    The body:

    Looks like ash. And it looks like the pieces were selected to match.

    A photo of the back would be welcome to confirm that!

    (edit to add: maybe we can find the typical nail holes for drying)

    This could indicate that the original finish was natural (or another transparent finish), the body was stripped, refinished

    (white filler + black paintjob), stripped again and 'restored' to natural.

    But it is hard to tell if it is original or not!

    It looks like there were initially 5 holes in the neck pocket (would be period correct)

    and two others were added for the second refin. (no paint in the holes)


    The routed 'chanel' between the electronic cavity and the front pup route is not original.

    Is there anything left from the original guts? A photo of the electronics cavity and the pots would be nice!

    The bridge is a Baddass I which needed a route.


    That's all I have (for now)

    greetings

    Wise(b)ass
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
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  7. Wisebass

    Wisebass

    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi 4sight :)

    Yes it is normal! See my Avatar! :D


    greetings

    Wise(b)ass
     
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  8. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    the last year that the tug bar was on the treble side was 1973 so i'm thinking it's a '73. the two extra pickguard screw holes without finish in them on the bass side indicate that the new black pickguard has the 1974 hole pattern, but no bass side thumbrest holes were drilled.
     
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  9. AidanE

    AidanE

    Apr 28, 2014
    Thanks for the reply! Definitely a new route in there on the body, but good to know that you think the body and neck are period authentic.
     
  10. AidanE

    AidanE

    Apr 28, 2014
    Thank you so much for the help! Thank you for confirming several things, especially that it looks right and the filled in Truss Rod hole is normal. You mentioned the neck stamp missing is not unusual, were some simply not stamped? Definitely hard to assess without other reference.

    Its interesting that IYO the neck is not refinished, because the seller's description was that neck had its original finish on it, but I was skeptical as it does not show wear.
     
  11. AidanE

    AidanE

    Apr 28, 2014
    The faded look on the logo buried under the finish was a mystery to me, but the sanding job you mention would fully explain that!
     
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  12. AidanE

    AidanE

    Apr 28, 2014
    Unfortunately no original guts :/ but photos of the back and the guts are attached. Its very difficult to tell if it is an original body, but the finger rest two holes are present underneath the pick guard, which is a good sign! And as far as the nail holes for drying, what does that refer to?
     

    Attached Files:

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  13. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    the tuning keys have been replaced. they were originally nickel and this type :

    1973 Keys.jpg



    they didn't use the chrome ones with the removable worm gear until about 1976.

    ..... and the body looks more like alder to me (which 1973 was the last year that they used alder and switched to heavy ash). do you know how much the body weighs?
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
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  14. Wisebass

    Wisebass

    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    yes I will search for examples. Stay tuned! :D

    These are the nail holes that were used for drying:

    aidan1.jpg

    looks like you have a real Fender body!

    The tuners were replaced! (thought that already, too new to be true) the gear is not right!

    oops johnk_10

    was faster! :D

    greetings

    Wise
     
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  15. Wisebass

    Wisebass

    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Or stamped together with a whole bunch of others (not enough ink on the stamp)

    There are a lot of early 70s basses without or barely legible stamps.

    Just one example:

    neckbutt.jpg

    greetings

    Wise
     
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  16. mobax

    mobax

    Dec 31, 2002
    New Baltimore, MI
    My 1973 P bass which I purchased new has that "filled in truss rod hole at the top of the neck". I would not be concerned about that aspect of the bass you purchased.
     
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  17. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    the one piece maple necks all had the walnut teardrop until they switched to the bullet headstock adjuster in 1975. :
    75 bullet.jpg
     
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  18. I always wonder about these 'Is this a REAL 19- - bass?' questions:

    a) Are you thinking about buying this and wonder if it's worth the asking price ? (And WHERE do you find a seller that will let you totally dis-assemble it for all the pictures? )

    b) Didja already buy it and now you're wondering IF you got taken to the cleaners ? (So you took all the pictures AFTER you bought it? )

    Either way, I hope it works out well !
     
  19. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Those tuners became standard by June '76. ;-)
     
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  20. Wisebass

    Wisebass

    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi J Wilson

    You should at least read the first post! :laugh:

    I think your questions were answered in the first sentence! :roflmao:


    greetings

    Wise(b)ass
     
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    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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