Early-60s J-bass mutes?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by envika, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. envika


    Nov 27, 2007
    Bronx, NY
    I'm wondering about the stock mutes that came on '60-ish Jazzes. Are they particularly good quality or effective? Because they're only $25 from Bass Parts Resource (albeit sold out). My dad says that the fact that no noteworthy pro bassists use them should tell me something about the quality (Jaco took his off of his '62), but can I get an opinion from someone who's actually tried them before?

    Oh yeah, I know about www.bassmute.com (too expensive for my purposes) and the wonder of cheap foam rubber (I've tried it and don't like it much).
  2. envika


    Nov 27, 2007
    Bronx, NY
    Bump...is it really that obscure a part?
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Yeah, it is. Most people do take them off or don't use them nowadays. And quite frankly, if you didn't like the foam, it's doubtful you'll like the mutes, and to install them requires drilling holes, which is an irreversible mod.
  4. cripula


    Dec 20, 2006
    I think a good hunk of foam or weatherstripping (in the ashtray) sounds much better than the stock Jazz mutes. Not a fan of the stockers.
  5. I'm not sure if this gives you the same effect but, I know a guy who leaves the bridge pickup guard (the big ashtray looking one with the "f" on it) in place on his jazz bass. He then takes a regular kitchen sponge and trims the edges a bit and puts it in there... it mutes the strings quite nicely.

    I mute with my palm... but I thought about putting an "ashtray" on my Squire VM '70's Jazz just to give this a try. My fear is, that I will lose some area to play with. I tend to move my right hand around a great deal as I play... different tones and such.

    If you purchase that bass mute contraption let me know how it works out...

    Another idea: I have experimented with using my daughters hair "scunchies" some times as a mute when I am recording in my bassment studio. You could probably use a sock. Or cut strips from an old T-Shirt.... experiment! experiment! experiment! :bassist:
  6. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    The ones from BPR aren't sold out, they're discontinued. Fender stopped making those mutes a few years ago and has no plans to resume production. I had a similar thread about this a long while ago when I was restoring a '60 Fender Jazz.
  7. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    My Fullerton era 62 reissue was drilled for the mutes...I use them every one in a great while, like at a blues jam when I'm feeling it.
    Quite frankly, they are very stiff and extremely thuddy. They kill the sustain way more than the foam type mutes. It's gotta be some kinda sound you're really after to want to drill holes.

    BTW. very early Led Zep, JPJ was still using the mutes.