Fender American 74 jazz bass, are they worth it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Presto2112, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. How well do they sound? Are they worth buying instead of a vintage player jazz bass? I'm debating whether to buy a 74 MIA or a vintage one, the reissue is nice since you don't have to worry about problems but I've always wanted a vintage 70's jazz bass
  2. If you want a vintage 70's one, save the dimes, and get one. The AVRI74 is a very decent bass (and probably built better), but it isn't a true old bass.
  3. jamminology101


    Aug 22, 2012
    Indianapolis In
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    I have a real vintage 73 black w blocks one. It is cool but had sloppy neck pocket,,the bridge route for the pickup was oversized and crooked,,and the neck pickup is weak....oh and the frets have a lotta miles on em. It was not fenders finest example of craftsmanship but cool none the less. I bought a 74avri and the craftsmanship is impeccable and I even bought some mojo brand 70s wind pickups and it is my main player. Id go with avri if u r looking for a player and save yourself some coin. My 73 was $3500...
  4. jamminology101


    Aug 22, 2012
    Indianapolis In
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    You should try one first because those era necks are REAL chunky and some people feel the geddy lee neck and associate it with this time period but the nut is thin(1.42-45) and they are a chunky u shape!!!
  5. Geddy necks are awesome but I enjoy a big fat neck, I've played the 64' reissue (didn't have any 74's) do they both have a U? I couldn't tell, didn't play it for very long since the mutes were bothering me.
  6. Sorry to be the grumpy old fart but...

    How much a vintage bass is worth is a really personal thing: important to some; unimportant to others. If you're talking about the quality of the instruments... well quality control back then was a lot more inconsistent than it is today - so it depends on the indidvidual instrument.

    In the end - the important thing is not the instrument but the notes that come out of it. Will a vintage bass make you play better? Probably not.

    ATM I have 2 Fenders - An 89 MIJ Precision and an original 1972 Jazz. The MIJ gets all the play time - so I just recently sold the J. I'll pick up a MIJ equivalent and pocket the spare $2,200.
  7. RSmith

    RSmith Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2003
    Springfield, Missouri
    I've had both and the AVRI. The craftsmanship on the AVRI was impeccable but it was a very sterile bass.
    The vintage one was a stone cold killer, original pick ups sounded amazing and it has that broken in feel.

    So if you can find a good one I would go vintage fo sure
  8. PJ Muzikmansky

    PJ Muzikmansky

    Jan 4, 2013
    I owned a so called 'vintage' 70's jazz bass...once. A 1978. It was a dog. I sold it. I now have a 2012 American Standard. Best sounding jazz bass I've ever laid my hands on.
  9. jamminology101


    Aug 22, 2012
    Indianapolis In
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    The 70s era basses are an entire different vibe and tone compared to the 60s basses. We all know about the bridge pickup being .400" closer to the bridge giving it some extra snap but pickups are constructed quite different as well. The 60s era basses had larger 42g formar wire coiled around less powerful alnico2&3 magnets which were attached to different bobbin material. The 70s pickups used stronger alnico magnets utilizing smaller enamel coated 43g wire that attached to the "green or grey" back bobbin material and wax potted to aid in the elimination of microphobics. The 60s era basses had like .05 caps and the 70s used (some years..not sure exactly when) as low as .022 caps. The pickups also were wound with different dc vol resistances ....add all these differences up and you have really different sounds. I have both vintage 60s and 70s fender basses as well as their respective remakes and the 60s have more of a lower output mid rangey bite and the 70s have more of a bassy-boomy higher output with stronger "honky" sounding highs with a less defined midrange. I like em both...70s sounds good on finger and slap style funk songs which kind of corresponds with the era they were made and the 60s basses do the jaco thing good with the front pickup favored.
  10. The main reason I love vintage basses rather than new (still haven't owned a vintage instrument and I don't like my 80s hohner b2adb counts) is the mojo. I love the NATURAL worn look, I like to wonder what stories a vintage instrument could tell, the gigs its played, all that stuff. I've been screwed with used basses in the past so that it is why I'm cautious buying a 30+ year old instrument. After buying my ric I wished (and still do) I bought a vintage jazz. The newer instruments don't have the feel like vintage ones do. But then again, if you're the original owner of a bass, it becomes a part of you. This is really tough.
  11. Mr. Wu

    Mr. Wu Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    Canton, GA
    I've got a 75 AVRI Jazz and love it ... Have a 74 AVRI coming tomorrow ... I love my 75's tone and hope for similar results with the 74. I like both neck profiles and hope they'll complement each other ...
  12. bobalu


    Oct 1, 2004
    above the 49th
    I have an original 1974 Jazz bass that I bought for several reasons, primarily being the sound, wonderful chunky neck, and being nostalgic as that was my "decade of influence" when growing up. My '74 is well made, lightweight and play's and sounds killer. Fortunately it was well looked after as well. I don't agree at all with the generic slamming that the 70's era basses get here, and suggest you just play and inspect it before you buy. I haven't played a 74 AVRI but have owned other AVRI's and the quality has been top notch. My only gripe is the price. In my particular case, the vintage jazz was worth the extra money to me, which wasn't anywhere near like the difference between an original 60's vintage and the re-issue. However, I really wouldn't hesitate to get the '74 AVRI if I wasn't able to find an original that I liked.
  13. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    I had a '74, natural ash with black p-guard. Mine had a B-neck (1.625") but pretty thick front to back. I didn't like it much, but that was my taste. ...it was a nice bass, other than being pretty heavy.
  14. Bone


    Oct 28, 2006
    I have an original 74 4 bolt. Great chunky neck five or 6 unmatched pieces of ash but weighs a bit under 9 lbs. Horrible build quality with sloppy neck pocket and wood grain this bass should have been black or white but left the factory with a natural finish. It plays and sounds incredible with almost no 60 cyl hum. Great recording and live bass. Strung with flats this thing just kills it.


    Dec 13, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    I'd look at 70s jazzes on a bass to bass basis (pun included). Some are great! Some aren't so great....

    If you get the 74 reissue, there is a partial control on what your getting. With the true vintage, you don't know what it's been through through the years. I'd give a nice inspection to it first.

    As far as buying a vintage instrument, it's a gamble, so I've grown to modding if necessary. Don't be afraid. It won't be sad if you change a pot or rewind the pickup.
  16. Only you can decide whether a vintage bass is worth the money. I can tell you that I have an original '74 and one of the new AVRIs, and they're very similar, except the reissue is probably built better. It's got a nice round tone, not as thin-sounding as some J's. Big, honkin' neck and fairly heavy, just like my '74.
  17. Mr. Wu

    Mr. Wu Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    Canton, GA
    I just got my 74 AVRI today and its great. Nice tone, chunky neck and lighter than my 75 AVRI ... So far so good ... :)
  18. Boombass76

    Boombass76 Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    BassCollect Blog & Shop (founder)
    Yep. Fender 70s basses is a game of hit and miss. There are some real gems - as well as some real dogs! I got lucky on my first J72. It is perfect!

    To find the perfect 70s P proved more difficult. I went through 10 different basses from 74-79 before finally finding 'the one'.
  19. is there a gap in the pickguard on the RI?
  20. Mr. Wu

    Mr. Wu Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    Canton, GA
    No routes under the pickguard ...