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Fender MIJ Jazz Special question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by giantjerk, Oct 19, 2005.


  1. giantjerk

    giantjerk

    Jan 18, 2003
    Allen, TX
    In the mid 80's Fender had a line of basses that I believe were called Jazz Specials. Duff of G&R and Velvet Revolver is known to play them. To help you further identify these basses they have a Jazz bridge pickup and a Precision neck pickup, big toggle switch, rear routed, active electronics, metallic looking paint and a black painted headstock and black tuners.

    Here is my question, has anyone ever seen a variation of this bass with two Jazz pickups, rear routed, toggle switch and knobs lined up like a traditional Jazz?

    If anyone owns one please PM me.
     
  2. giantjerk

    giantjerk

    Jan 18, 2003
    Allen, TX
    My question revolves around a bass I saw for sale on ebay that was listed in the city where I live and from the photos was obviously a retailer. The starting bid was $399.99 and the auction ended with no bids. I contacted the seller and went to go look at the bass, I had less than 5 minutes to check it out. I went back today and tried to spend a few more minutes looking at this bass.

    I noticed all of the following both times that I looked at it. Its in overall pretty worn, dinged and nicked up shape. The original bridge had been replaced with a black Schaller. The action was way high and the neck had a pretty good bow to it.

    The serial number makes it a mid 80's MIJ and it had alot of the same features of the Fender Jazz Special basses as previously mentioned. However I have never seen one with two Jazz pickups.

    The guy did not know if the bass was active or not and would not take the control cover off the back to check. He also did not like my asking him to take the bridge off to see if there were holes drilled for an original style Fender bridge.
     
  3. I've seen 5s like you describe but not 4s. I'm not surprised the seller didn't want to remove the bridge, but the control cover shouldn't be too big a deal. I had one of those basses(4 string); it was passive.
     
  4. Groover

    Groover

    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    I'd say it's a passive. There are going to be 5 holes under the Schaller bridge (8 including the three Schaller ones). The Schaller bridges like the one on the bass in question have three main holes and two pilot holes. The pilot holes are (in my opinion) to line-up the bridge to the previously drilled fender screw patterns, so it will be easier and more accurate to drill the three schaller holes in the body.

    That said, under that Schaller bridge you'll find the 5 inline fender bridge holes. The Schaller bridge covers the holes nicely, but I'm not 100% if reverting to a stock Fender bridge will cover the Schaller holes.

    Too bad the seller won't work with youy on this.... after all, how freakin hard is it to remove the control cover (I can understand the bridge).
     
  5. I thought that Duff used a P-Bass Lyte.
     
  6. But I'm sure he at one point used a Power Jazz, or Jazz Bas Special(same thing, different name)as his main.
     
  7. Well that's news to me. I'm not saying I'm right cause I'm likely not. Any G N' R experts here??
     
  8. dave120

    dave120

    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    Duff uses the "Fender Jazz Special" which is a passive bass. P/J config with no pickguard (rear routed). Not sure what pickup is in the P position, but I read somewhere that a SD Hot Stack is in the J position. His Aerodyne is also using the same pickups I believe. The Fender Jazz Special has a P bass body and a Jazz bass neck, but Duff's are all custom Jazz necks due to some weird shape his first one had, so he had Fender custom make all his necks from that point on to be like the first oddly shaped one. When I saw VR live a few times Duff played 3 or 4 of these basses, 2 white and 1 or maybe 2 black ones (couldn't tell if it was the same one), plus his Aerodyne.

    There is also a version of this bass called the "Power Jazz Special" and that's the same bass but with active pickups, however, I don't believe Duff ever used the active version. Both of these basses are somewhat rare, but especially the active version from what I've seen.
     
  9. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    This is my Power Jazz Special, '86 specs:

    One J pickup, one P pickup. Precision bass body, jazz bass neck. Active electronics, 3 position pickup toggle and 3 position circut toggle, frequency sweep. 34" scale, 22 fret rosewood tri-laminate neck.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I've never seen a jazz/jazz pup combo on these basses, though ......

    edit: you may want to contact TBer nysbob He's got 3 or 4 of these basses and seems like a pretty decent info source ....
     
  10. Groover

    Groover

    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    Wow, very clean Pointybass!!

    Here is the JJ version of these. I had never seen one like this one either. I have seen the P-Bass like this one though.

    So as far as I know, here is what we've got from the Japan 80's with Black Headstocks and no Pickgaurds:


    "Jazz Bass Special" = P-J passive (All Black Necks & Some Skunk Striped)

    "Jazz Bass Special" = P-J passive (Fretless, Skunk Stiped)

    "Power Jazz Bass Special" = P-J active (no-Skunk Stripe)

    "Jazz Bass" = J-J passive (All black neck) - I've only seen 1 of these.

    "P-Bass" = P passive (all black neck) - I've seen 2



    End of report....


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Thanks, but no, not really :rolleyes: Just a good job disguising the flaws while taking the picture .........

    That's been a hard working bass for me since I bought it new in '86, it was my main player for well over 15 years before I went to a 5, so it's got some love bumps and bruises here and there. Great bass, it still goes to just about every gig with me as the backup ... :cool:
     
  12. truckin88

    truckin88

    Oct 18, 2001
    Newburgh, NY
    duff used it, look at the VR video, I forget the song, the first hit, and some GNR ones too
     
  13. Groover

    Groover

    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    I searched for a few videos and VR pics a few weeks ago just to see what bass he used in them, and from what I could tell, he was switching between an all Black passive Jazz Bass Special, and white with all black neck, also passive Jazz Bass Special.

    I did notice that the basses he used, had a regular white nut, instead of the graphite one that comes with those basses.

    Other than that, they appeared to be all stock to me... but it's really hard telling, and of course... I highly doubt it too :eyebrow:
     
  14. Groover

    Groover

    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    These are my three Jazz Bass Specials (passive)

    [​IMG]
     
  15. gojirin

    gojirin

    Oct 11, 2004
    Denver,CO
    A retailer won't let you closely examine a bass you want to buy?
    Walk away....
     
  16. giantjerk

    giantjerk

    Jan 18, 2003
    Allen, TX
    The black bass in the case with the pink lining is a bass that was for sale on ebay and the seller is in my city and the reason for my initial post. I saw the bass in person and I walked. The actual condition is much worse that the pictures show. The paint on the upper horn was cracked all the way around, the paint is worn down to the wood in between and above the two pickups, headstock was heavily chipped, lots of misc dings and dents. I don't think it is an active bass because there was no route on the back for a 9v battery.