Fender Decal

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mcarp555, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. mcarp555

    mcarp555 Guest

    Jul 14, 2013
    I've got a '67 Jazz, and I'm curious about the decal. I know that Fender put the decals on over the finish. But in the proper light, this one seems to have a matte finish. Is that normal? The guy I bought the bass from thinks the neck was refinished, possibly back in the '70's.

    Image #1:

    Image #2 (note the flat finish of the decal, compared to the gloss of the rest of the neck):

    My current thinking is that the neck was refinished, and a new decal applied at that time.
  2. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    As a retired model builder with lots of decal experience, what you see is called "silvering."

    Either the finish it was applied over wasn't perfectly smooth, or over time, the decal has dried out (either way, the "silvering" is caused by air trapped between the decal & the surface of the headstock).

    Yes, I'm aware that this is period-correct for a vintage Fender, but I've always preferred to overspray the decals when doing a refin. Prevents the decal from peeling or displaying the "silvering" you're seeing.

    Upside is you can easily replace the decal with a newer one (just remember to polish the area where you're laying it down). Would probably take quite awhile before it looks like the current one.
  3. mcarp555

    mcarp555 Guest

    Jul 14, 2013
    "Silvering", eh? Learn something new every day. Thanks for that! While the guy I bought it from 'thinks' it was refinished, that doesn't mean it 'certainly' was. Could this happen with a factory-applied decal, or does it provide proof the neck was indeed refin'd?
    My main bass for the past 30+ years has been a '77 Precision, which has the decal nice and snug under the finish. So this is a new experience for me.
  4. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef is modulating in time. Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    Southern California
    Well, if the guy you bought the bass from told you he "thinks" it was refinished, and the neck finish looks like it's in really nice shape for being that old, then it was most likely refinished. To think otherwise is probably false hope, but you can put it under a black light in a dark room. Only old nitro will glow a very yellowish milkshake color. Un-aged nitro or poly will not.

    Sure, it's possible for a factory decal to have some silvering. There wasn't anything special about them. A real decal from that area will have raised lettering that you can feel, especially the "Fender". Some repro decals have raised lettering too, but if it's smooth, you know it's a repro for sure.
  5. mcarp555

    mcarp555 Guest

    Jul 14, 2013
    Thanks; I'll try to scare up a black light to check. I'm not bothered about the neck being refinished, but I'd really like to know if the decal is original or not.

    You can see from the second photo that the lettering has some relief to it.
  6. Petethebassman


    Mar 7, 2008
    A lefty '67 Jazz? That's my birth year, and I'm a lefty bassist, too. Please, post more pics of the bass!!
  7. mcarp555

    mcarp555 Guest

    Jul 14, 2013
    Here's at least one more:


    From what I can tell, it's all original apart from the pickups. The seller believed the body was refinished, but so long ago that it has plenty of age cracks and dents here and there. It's got flats on it, and plays lovely.
  8. Petethebassman


    Mar 7, 2008
    Thanks, that's a beauty!