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Fender Jazz basses, the kinda vintage years.....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lamarjones, Jan 10, 2006.


  1. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Hey peeps, I got a 71 Jazz that sounds absolutely amazing. I think the body is alder, but you know, I have no idea how to tell, except that this thing is real light, so it don't seem like ash. That said, from 69-79, are there any rules of thumbs as to what the body woods are? And also, what years they start becoming real heavy (which can be kinda good for that ash jazz tone), and also what years generally some inconsistencies come in in terms of sounds quality. I always thought 75-76 were real good years with slightly heavier basses, and 77-79 started with the hit and miss, but that is STRICTLY from putting different things together I have read up here.

    Put it this way, I want a 74-78, and I am thinking one of the heavier ash guys with that 70s pickup placement. Granted, I have no idea what that will buy me since this 71 is like the voice of god popping the flying burrito on you then finsihing you off with the superfly swat.

    http://www.lamarjonz.com/Bass/Fender322213.htm
     
  2. AGCurry

    AGCurry

    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    There are two varieties of ash. The swamp ash is fairly light, while the northern ash is not (I think I've got that right). There's a good introduction to body and neck woods on http://www.warmoth.com .

    Since ash is prettier than alder, most of the Fenders with opaque finishes are alder. If you can see the wood through the finish, chances are it's ash. I'm also sure there are many exceptions.

    I've had a couple of those boat-anchor northern-ash Fenders from 1977. They did have good sustain. However, weight alone is not the predictor of tone or sustain. More important is the rigidity of the wood.
     
  3. Sippy

    Sippy

    Aug 1, 2005
    Stuart,Florida
    I don't know if my '73 precision bass has ash or alder (it's sunburst).. but it's heavy as crap! lol so I guess ash.
     
  4. jz0h4d

    jz0h4d

    Apr 26, 2005
    Fender basses that were painted were made from Alder in the 60's-70's. Ash was used mostly for natural finishes. Weight varies widely from one bass to another.
     
  5. jz0h4d

    jz0h4d

    Apr 26, 2005
    By the way anything made after 65 has no vintage claim.
     
  6. my jazz is alder and it's heavier than a lakland 5 string USA.. it's about one pound heavier..
     
  7. Sippy

    Sippy

    Aug 1, 2005
    Stuart,Florida

    I thought anything under '75 is vintage... the 70's will be declared vintage! lol just like a '79 is a vintage car when 10 years ago it wasn't.
     
  8. Funkster

    Funkster

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    My 1978 13 lb boat anchor J is all Northern Swamp Ash! The tone from this bass is amazing and makes me forget all about the weight!
    [​IMG]
     
  9. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Thanks for the help fellas. With regards to vintage, what is the criteria? I thought 30 years was the criteria, but if it is something different I would love to know.

    That said, take a look at this link.

    http://basspalace.com/dynamic/displaybass/4StringBass/3596

    I would have figured it was ash, but if the rule of thumb is painted is usually alder, then this is weird. If you guys are saying that there are no general rules of thumb but that is a decent guideline, guess I can live with that. No other choice eh? ;)
     
  10. Funkster

    Funkster

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I played that bass and it is absolutely KILLER!!!!!!!
    Ive emailed Bob a few times about it but my email never seems to get through to him :mad:
    Good luck!
     
  11. abngourmet

    abngourmet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2004
    USA
    Lamar,

    I've got a '73 Jazz, and I'm fairly certain it is Northern Ash. It's fairly heavy. But it sounds great, and the weight doesn't bother me. In fact, it's the most comfortable bass I own. Here's a pic (along with my big nose and horribly crooked teeth) when I was recording with my brother in LA back in October.

    BTW, I live in Fayetteville, but I'm currently deployed to Baghdad. If you haven't found a Jazz you like by the time I get back (which I hope is sometime this summer), we can hook up and you can give it a spin.

    Best regards,

    Alan
     
  12. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Thanks man, would be fun to check it out. Also, I am in desperate need of doing some pawn shop hunting out there.
     
  13. Funkster

    Funkster

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    My opinion the 70-73 Black block Jazz necks are the most comfortable Jazz neck ever made by Fender... You got a keeper bro, Hold onto that one. I let my Black block J go a long time ago and I still regret it.
     
  14. this is not furniture. vintage is more relative to, when the instrument starts increasing, in value. imo
    Fender Jazz Bass-
    1971- Black, $3,200-$3,400. Candy Apple Red, Lake Placid Blue, $3,300-$3,800. Sunburst, $2,700-$3,000.
    prices are listed, low to high, excellent condition.
    source: Vintage Guitar Magazine's Price Guide, 2005.
    i'd stay, with the voice of GOD, keep it! :cool:
     
  15. jgsbass

    jgsbass

    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    To me the defining quality between vintage and not is 3 bolt vs 4 bolt necks. 4 bolt= vintage.