Fender Jazz Bass Special MIJ repairs

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by BrianNYC, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. BrianNYC


    Mar 7, 2018
    Hey everyone, I've had a MIJ JBS since I was 13, it was my second bass and has been my "baby" since the day I took it home 30 years ago..100% original down to the F's on the knobs!!

    A few months ago I picked up the fretless version in pearl white (aged to a funky yellow) it's slightly older with the all black neck and was in horrible condition. The pickups and the electronics were corroded and falling apart and the neck seemed to have set in a horrible bow. The previous owner had tried to adjust the truss rod with the neck still on the body leaving a horrible gouge in the finish and it seemed maxed out. Besides sounding like total crap it was basically unplayable.

    So I got it for a good price and have been diligently working on it since thanks to all the great info in these forums! I replaced the pups with SD Basslines, removed the neck and the truss rod was definitely maxed out. So I clamped it with the slight back bow and did the adding a few washers trick which only helped a little. Then I added a small shim in the heel pocket which actually gave me a playable action.
    The thing is, I now have a slight buzzing issue/dead spot at the 5th/6th fret. There is also a very small hairline crack on the thumb side of the neck in exactly the same spot. My best guess is the truss rod is now pushing up against the fretboard in this spot causing a very slight bulge? So I feel like I've taken this as far as I can with the skill set that I have, any advice on where to go from here? 20180105_132029.jpg 20180307_140957.jpg 20180111_113045.jpg 20180111_131046.jpg

    Attached Files:

  2. Warhawk

    Warhawk Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2003
    South of Heaven, Ohio
    I'd just get a new neck.

    Actually I have a Fender JP-90 that has a slight twist in the neck (needs replaced) but I can adjust it to be playable. I will eventually get a neck for it but not until I want to.

    Keep your neck until it's no longer playable. Then decide.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
    Broke and BrianNYC like this.
  3. BrianNYC


    Mar 7, 2018
    I'd like to keep it as original as possible, I love the feel of these necks.
  4. EpicSoundtracks


    Mar 10, 2006
    Oakland, CA
    Lollar Pickups, Dunlop Strings
    you'll likely pay more to have the existing neck repaired than you'd pay for a replacement neck. But if you're determined to keep the original, then take it to a trusted luthier and get an estimate.
  5. Clamp the neck again, leave it that way for a week. see how that does. you may find you have to back off of the truss. Its a trick that has worked for me on several instruments. I've even heated the neck while clamped.
    BrianNYC likes this.
  6. BrianNYC


    Mar 7, 2018
    Thanks for the advice, should I be extra worried about that small crack in the neck now though? I was so excited to be making progress but I don't want to make it worse because besides the 5th fret buzzing it is WAY more playable now....however it's really NOT, because I couldn't think of a worse position on the neck to have this buzzing issue!! Otherwise it's got a really great mwah happening for the most part. New pups and wiring sound great.
  7. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    You could loosen the truss rod, and have the finger board re-planed to get rid of the hump in it, and have that crack glued up. There's plenty of rosewood there to do that. Because it's fretless, it would be a lot easier to do than if it had frets. That would also be much cheaper than trying a more complex fix.
    BrianNYC likes this.
  8. buckthorn


    Jun 21, 2013
    Black Earth, WI
    I have one of these these (yellowed pearl white, fretted) that I bought second-hand in the early 90s. I've barely played it, though; I spend almost all of my playing time on my acoustic. Recently, though, a shoulder injury left me unable to play the acoustic, so I hauled the electric out of the closet for the first time in nearly 20 years. How is the the three-way switch supposed to work? I've plugged it in to my Acoustic Image Claris, and I can barely get a sound out of it. If I add a Fishman preamp to the mix, I can get more sound, but I have to crank the gain and volume almost all the way up. I'm wondering whether the electronics are bad. The pickups are EMG; I think the guy I bought it from said he installed his own pickups, but I really don't remember what he said; it was too long ago and I probably wasn't paying attention. I don't know enough about E bass electronics to know how to get this thing back into playing shape (the strings are horrible, too, but that's an easy replacement).
  9. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    The stock wiring was the 3-way switch giving you neck solo, neck & bridge, bridge solo (just like a Les Paul/ES-335, or a Tele guitar ), and a VVT. If the EMGs are US ones, they're active pickups. Low output would have me replace the battery before I do anything else. EMGs also use a different resistance pot than the 250K that came from the factory. If those weren't changed you may need to do that too.
  10. buckthorn


    Jun 21, 2013
    Black Earth, WI
    I opened up the back last night and saw what looked like a 9-volt battery all wrapped up. I didn't even know there was such a thing as active versus passive. That's how long I've been away from the electric, and how little I know. Anyway, that battery has been sitting in there for 25 years. It's gotta be deader than dead. I'll swap in a new one and see what happens. Thanks!
    TerenceE likes this.
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