Fender Starcaster Jazz - Surprise Surprise!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by festaadams, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. festaadams

    festaadams Guest

    Nov 6, 2010
    I've kinda been a troll on TB for a year or so and never thought about posting until now. I've played bass for over 20 years and have had many nice basses... 77 fender jazz, MM Stingray, Rick, etc..

    I just wanted to tell my story, especially since I've seen so many posts against the starcaster line made by fender.

    Last weekend, my wife and I went down to a local pawnshop, her for a new gun, and I to browse through their music instrument section. I'd been looking for another jazz bass. As soon as I walk in, I immediately see a sunburst 4 string jazz. I walked over and noticed that it was a star caster. :(. Apparently this thing was brand new because it didn't have a scratch on it. It still had the plastic film on part of the pick guard. Other than the action being a little high due to needing a truss rod adjustment, it played fine. What's funny is that it was on sale for Easter weekend for $60. I spent the next hour or so picking it up, putting it back, picking it up, putting it back... You get the idea. I ended up buying it. Took it home, adjusted the truss rod, lowered the saddles and adjusted the pickup height, and can't believe how great this bass plays.

    The neck is nice and straight. It sounds just as good as many other fender jazzes I've had and played, and with no fret buzz. The finish is excellent also. I'm actually shocked I got this bass so cheap.

    Maybe I got the one Starcaster jazz that was built right, or maybe the jazz basses aren't as bad as the other guitars in the starcaster lineup, but I love mine.

    I couldn't pass it up for $60. The only complaint I have at all about it is that the pick guard is single ply white. Easily changed. This will make for a great modding platform!




    View attachment 261515
    bether and Intothevoid567 like this.
  2. Tonegasm


    Mar 22, 2010
    Mod the snot out of that thing!
  3. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    gawd, do not mod that if it is so dang perfect! NO NO NO
    Unbelievable score!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  4. rust_preacher


    Dec 17, 2009
    So, did she get a new gun?

    Unbelievable score. I would keep it as is, or maybe even donate it to someone who would need a bass - a school or something. This is just too good.
  5. Sleeq


    Feb 13, 2008
    I didn't know these existed... I thought they only had Strats...
  6. festaadams

    festaadams Guest

    Nov 6, 2010
    I'm still at a loss of how I got such a good deal on a good bass. I'm tempted to scrape back the shield paint in a cavity just to see if it's plywood or not. I've heard rumors that they are, but have also heard that they aren't. It may depend on where it was made. This one was made in Indonesia. I have a feeling it's not plywood...

    I meant to get some pics of the action and showing how straight the neck is... I'll put up some pics today...

    And yes, she got a new gun.. A Ruger .38!

    The only think I'm looking at modding on it is to add a different pickguard, and do the series/parallel mod...
  7. festaadams

    festaadams Guest

    Nov 6, 2010
  8. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    They are shielded?!?! Wow! Don't scrape the shielding, just pull the neck, that ought to tell you.
  9. festaadams

    festaadams Guest

    Nov 6, 2010
    Yep, they are shielded and have the ground wires. I'll pull the control plate and pick guard and get a pick this evening. I'll also pull the neck to see. Forgot about checking the neck pocket.
  10. festaadams

    festaadams Guest

    Nov 6, 2010
    Oh.. I just ordered a 3 ply B/W/B pick guard. Was going to do the tortoise shell, but kinda like the black better on this one..
  11. JMac- Wiskerface Designs

    JMac- Wiskerface Designs Terror headcase dude

    Jul 8, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Congrats, and good score Man! It's not everyday, that You can pick up a decent bass for less than the price of a steak dinner for two or a nights bar tab.
  12. LucienBel

    LucienBel Guest

    Jan 29, 2012
    Boston (Allston)
    Can't go wrong with either of those choices. I'm jealous, that's an awesome deal and a really cool bass.
  13. festaadams

    festaadams Guest

    Nov 6, 2010
    I'll have my new pick guard Tuesday, along with a decal set, so I'll get some pics then of the neck pocket to see if the body is plywood or not.
  14. festaadams

    festaadams Guest

    Nov 6, 2010
    And just to bust the myth that the starcaster jazz basses are plywood, I give you these pics!

    Once again, so glad I payed $60 for this!

  15. festaadams

    festaadams Guest

    Nov 6, 2010
    I'd post more pics but apparently I have reached my quota.. :(
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    You should have played the lottery that day, too. You were REALLY in luck!
  17. festaadams

    festaadams Guest

    Nov 6, 2010
    Ok.. Deleted some pics so I could upload a new pic.

    Added a 3 ply B/w/b pick guard.
    Sanded and nitro'd the neck and added new decals.
    Steel wool'd the fretboard and oiled.

    Still going to do the S1 mod.

    Love this cheap bass!!!

  18. pnut166

    pnut166 Guest

    Jun 5, 2008
    What`s the body made of ? Any idea ?
  19. festaadams

    festaadams Guest

    Nov 6, 2010
    Looks like a 4 piece alder body.

    One of the reasons I posted this was because I saw so many threads of people bashing the Starcaster line saying they were cheap crappy basses with plywood bodies, warped or bowed necks, sharp fret ends, small frets, bad intonation, high action, horrible finishes, etc... This one has an alder body, a straight and true neck, no sharp fret ends, jumbo frets, intonation is spot on, low action and a beautiful sunburst finish comparable to at least the MIM's and some of the MIA's I've played. My only complaints at all are that the bass came with a 1 ply white pickguard, and the neck had a satin finish. That's the reason why I refinished the neck with gloss nitro and replaced the pickguard.

    Like I said above, maybe I got lucky and got the one Starcaster that was actually built right, maybe the Indonesian built ones blow away the Chinese built ones, or maybe the Starcaster Jazz basses aren't as bad as the others in the lineup, but needless to say, this one is a keeper.

    For someone looking to buy a cheap but good starter or beater bass and want that classic jazz sound and feel, this one would be the top choice in my book. Yeah, I had to adjust the truss rod and saddles, but for the price, any person starting out with bass could take it to a friend that knows what they are doing or a shop and have it setup properly and still be ahead.

    This bass was definitely calling my name when I saw it. I took a gamble and am so happy I did. :hyper: Now I'm contemplating on whether to get a bridge and pickup cover for it or not... hmmmm..
  20. b_carville


    Jun 26, 2008
    I own the exact same model. I got mine for $75.00.
    A guy I know who got several new ones at a local music shop bankruptcy auction. He got them pretty cheap ( he had six) & tried to sell them for $125 each. Nobody would go near them because of the Starcaster reputation. He's been blowing them out privately for $75 & even at that price he had trouble moving them.

    There seems to be two versions of Starcaster basses. One is a Chinese plywood one that was sold in discount stores. I've seen those & they are pretty lame. The 2nd are the Indonesian models . They are nice utility jazz basses. Mine's a real sweetheart. Nicely made, alder body, decent hardware, well made neck, etc. I think Cort makes these. I've heard that Fender marketed these to mom & pop music stores who didn't have a Fender franchise. Mine's on a par with an MIM standard & is way better then a Squire Affinity. They may have recently discontinued these. Nobody would touch them because of the name on the headstock. I've had mine a year & it's been great. No mods on mine yet. Think I'll gig it tonight! Nice score!
    thezerech likes this.