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FENDER EXPERTS: does my '68 Jazz have a non-standard neck?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Keef, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. Keef


    Jul 3, 2003
    Hollywood, CA
    Everything I find online says that a Fender Jazz Bass has a 1-1/2" width at the nut, including the '60s reissues. My Jazz is an original from 1968, but the neck at the nut clearly has a width of 1-3/8". The Jazz necks that Warmoth offers also state a width of 1-1/2.

    What gives? Is my beloved Jazz some kind of freak? Here's a pic with a ruler:


    Any info appreciated,

    ~ Keef
  2. Keef


    Jul 3, 2003
    Hollywood, CA
    Hmm, I thought folks would be all over this thread – maybe it's not so uncommon to have an oddly-sized Fender neck.

    FWIW, the size feels great to me.

    ~ K

  3. beadgc


    Oct 10, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm not an expert, but am an interested amateur. I have a copy of "The Fender Bass: An Illustrated History," by Black and Molinaro, and it doesn't seem to have the info you need. I looked around on the web, and found an article on Fender neck widths by a guy at "20th Century Guitar" magazine. Though he doesn't answer the question either (he's mostly talking guitars), at the bottom of the page he asks people with questions to email him, and includes his address. Maybe he can solve the mystery.

    FWIW, one thing I do know about old Fenders is that for every rule there seems to be an exception. I knew a guy, for instance, who had a jazz with a mahogany body, which had a standard Fender factory paint job over it. That's not supposed to exist! The only way you'd know, unless you took it apart, was that the finish was worn away in a couple of places, and you could definitely tell if you knoew your woods. I've run into other instances of one-off custom variants of standard Fenders that seemed to be factory originals, too.
  4. audiotom


    May 31, 2005
    new orleans

    good Lord Keef
    you are right, this is not a legitimate fender neck
    therefore please send suspect bass to me for further analysis

    analysis = coveting

    pics of the rest of the bass (including headstock detail) please

    now I'd better go and check my 78 P with a jazz neck
  5. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Okay, I just measured my J's: My american 62RI's, one from '84, the other from '97 both have 1-1/2" exactly.

    My '69 Jazz on the other hand has an 1-7/16" width at the nut. Now looking at your pic and comparing, my '69 is thicker on the sides with the binding, your binding is paper thin compared to mine...I've never seen factory binding that thin. Could a previous owner have possibly shaved the neck a little skinnier and done a little re-spray early on in it's life?
  6. Fender32


    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    :eek: My God! Perhaps that's it!

    What year was your rule (ruler) made Keef? Is it an original '68, or could it be a later "long scale" model?

    :D Sorry Keef, I'd love to offer you some wise words of consolation, but I'm out of my depth here, so I can only offer a little comic relief (please don't take it badly). ;)
  7. Keef


    Jul 3, 2003
    Hollywood, CA
    I did find a post here on TB where someone said that the Fender width at the nut could fluctuate greatly between various specimens, especially in earlier days. I bookmarked the post but now I can't find it!

    Guess I just got a slim one.