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Fender experts please help!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MTRatt, Jan 5, 2002.

  1. MTRatt


    Dec 31, 2001
    Minneapolis, MN
    1st post to this forum.

    Greetings all,

    I have just won a Fender American Jazz on Ebay.


    It may just be the jitters, but the winning bid seemed a bit low and the bass has been massively modded.

    The question is: Does this look like an original, a frankenstein or something else?

    I haven't seen any Fenders with that type of string retainer. Is this the real deal or what?

    Any guidance would be appreciated.

  2. Its probably a refin, Im not sure if mid 80's jazzes came with natural finishes. Those years where not Fender's great years, but with the mods, the price seems right. At the very worst, you have a bass, with good pups and a good bridge, with just that, the bass should sound just fine, especially for the price.

    As for the string retainer, its definately not stock, but should work just fine, it may even work better then the stock ones.

    Its seems like a good price, especially with the case. If you dont like it, you should be able to sell it and not lose anything.
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Sounds like a good bass. The price seems right too. All the additions are upgrades on the original IMO, but that also takes away from the value of the bass - not that 80s Fenders go for all that much anyhow. 10 years from now they might. I'd prefer having the one you just bought to a stock 80s one.
  4. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Naw, that looks OK, Matt. You'll want to fix that broken screw, otherwise, looks like a decent J at a reasonable price. You did good, bro.
  5. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Bass is almost certainly a refin. As far as I know, Fender uses natural finish on swamp ash only. The rest of the stuff (bridge, pups etc) are all upgrades. To be honest, wish I spotted that one! You did great, I don't see how you could possibly loose out.
  6. What the heck is a " string retainer " ??
  7. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Fenders don't have angled headstock (it makes it cheaper to build them that way), so you need retainers to get downward angle on the strings
  8. MTRatt


    Dec 31, 2001
    Minneapolis, MN
    Thanks Everybody.

    I feel much better about the purchase after reading your responses.

    The next hurdle is to close the deal. The person I bought it from has zero feedback so I'm hoping I get my bass after I send the money. :rolleyes: But hey, with a handle like "sjhamm" he has to be honest, right? Stu is a straight shooter, isn't he? :D

  9. That would be the string-tree :)
  10. look at the bottom of my signature.. ;)

    Never trust a stranger.. always have it sent to you by uhm.. " Money order " ( dunno how u english-speaking ppl call it, but in Dutch it's " Rembours " )
    Which means you pay the postman or the UPS-guy..

    a lot safer imho
  11. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    That would be called C.O.D.,which stands for Cash On Delivery.
  12. lemonadeisgood


    Aug 22, 2001
    Thats a nice looking Jazz. Good Job! ~thumbs up~ :cool:

    PS: 100th post! I'm now a member!
  13. tmt


    Nov 10, 2001
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Congrats !!

    I dont know if it's original or not. But if you get a fender, you cant go wrong ;)
  14. Ha.....
    I have never heard it called either. I was just called it the string-holder-downer-thingy.

    I think string-retainer has a much cooler sound to it though.....
  15. MTRatt


    Dec 31, 2001
    Minneapolis, MN
    Ok, I've received the bass.

    It looks like heck and needs a setup, but has natural sustain and tone out the wazoo. It turns out to be an '83. At least the neck is.

    Right away I decided that I needed a new pickguard, and that is where the trouble starts. While looking at new pickguards, I noticed that the screw hole placement was different than the one that came with the bass. Since the pickguard that is on the bass now looks home made, I thought that maybe the original holes got stripped and the guy made a replacement cover with different holes. I removed the pickguard fully expecting to see extra holes. There were none. This obviously was the original pickguard for this body. Problem is, it is different from all of the authentic Jazz basses I have seen.

    There's more. When I lifted the control plate, I noticed that there were extra holes under it. That means that although this is an original control plate, it is not original for this body.

    I can think of only two answers to this puzzle. Either this is not an original Fender Jazz body :( or it is different than other Jazz bodies.

    Now the question: Wasn't there a range of years that the control area was part of the pickguard? Does anyone here know what those years might be? I thought it was in the eighties. I have looked at pictures of basses from the same year as this one, but they all show a seperate chrome control plate.

    Any help would once again be appreciated.

  16. 1983 MIA Fender Jazzes had a one piece single ply white pickguard (no chrome control plate), white pickup covers and white strat knobs. Natural was not a color option in 83 and these basses were not strung through the body. My guess is that this bass is as you said "a heavily modded refin". Set her up, plug her in and if it's sounds good then you are all set. The money you spent isn't outrageous IMO for this player.
  17. MTRatt


    Dec 31, 2001
    Minneapolis, MN
    Thanks Zoom.

    How could I find out which colors were available for that year in case I opt to refinish?

    Also, is there a site out there with pictures of Fender guitars by model and year? If not, there should be.

  18. There are a couple Fender books out there that have info on the changes through the years. One is called "How the Fender Bass Changed the World". That one was written/published in association with Bassplayer magazine and the other is much simpler and it was written by a German fellow whose last name escapes me but I believe his first name is Klaus. I own both and the "Changed the World" book is excellent. The other has some great photos but since it was translated from the original German some of the details appear to be wrong. I have an 83 MIA Pbass. In 83 they only used 4 different finishes: Black, Sienna Sunburst, Ivory and one other color which I cannot remember. Mine is Ivory and Funkster has an 83 P bass in Sienna Sunburst.

    Good Luck!
  19. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Here is a picture of my '83 Jazz body:
  20. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    The other color must be sunburst. I own two '83 Precision Elites and both are sunburst.

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