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Help me identify this jazz bass...or is it a counterfeit?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by scootron, Jul 19, 2007.


  1. scootron

    scootron Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    Moved to Texas
    I just bought a J Bass on ebay (to have as a back up and for a friend to start learning on) and I'm stumped to identify it. The seller said "I believe it to be a '2000' MIM with a refinished neck". I have my doubts.

    It arrived today. It looks really nice. The body is black, with the slightest bit of fleck. Tortoise pickguard, which is supposedly a Fender aftermarket upgrade. Rosewood fretboard. Vintage control knobs, supposedly an aftermarket upgrade. Hipshot tuner. Wilkinson bridge. Four-bolt neck. "F" bridge cover,supposedly an aftermarket upgrade. The pots are 500K Alpha. The headstock says "Made in USA", but the serial number returns to a late 70's model, so I figure that has to be a fake. The seller says the guitar is just as he purchased it five years ago, and he knows nothing of its history or the upgrades.

    All the hardware is in pristine condition, but I think the neck has been refinished, although it was a very nice job.

    Two other things. It came in a top of the line mint-condition SKB case. Plus, the guy threw in a brand new in the package Badass II bridge.

    All of this went for $315, which adds to my confusion. If he was trying to fake a Made in the USA Fender, why say it is a MIM? Plus, why have so many upgrades, like the hipshot, the Badass, the case, etc. He says the pups are upgrades, too, but I haven't taken them out yet, nor have I taken off the neck to look under it.

    What could I have here? Is this a MIM someone wanted to look like a MIA? Is it franken-fender made from after-market parts (albeit pretty good ones)? The economics don't make it look like a very successful scam, if that is what it was.

    Any ideas on how to tell what this is?

    In any event, it plays great and sounds really good, so I am very happy in any event, but it is nice to know what you have your hands wrapped around.

    Thanks for any ideas, suggestions, comments, etc.
     
  2. bassic_element

    bassic_element

    Sep 20, 2006
    IMHO pics would help.
     
  3. scootron

    scootron Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    Moved to Texas
  4. scootron

    scootron Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    Moved to Texas
    Here are a couple of more views...it was dark, and I had to use some light, so there is a lot of glare. It looks much better in real life, especially the black with the bit of fleck.

    View attachment 63978

    View attachment 63979
     
  5. scootron

    scootron Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    Moved to Texas
    And one more, showing the hipshot and the very narrow neck where it joins the headstock.

    The more I look at it, the more I am convinced it is something like a 2000 or so MIM that someone spent some money to add some nice parts, then refinished the neck and added a fake MIA decal. I'd love some other opinions, though.

    View attachment 63980
     
  6. alembicguy

    alembicguy I operate the worlds largest heavey equipment Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Minnesota
    The decal may be aftermarket,I think it has the wrong truss rod it should be a bullet type for that serial number.The serial number should be late 70's early 80's starting with the S7 series.
     
  7. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    Looks pretty nice to me.
     
  8. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Take the p/g off and post pics. MIM bodies have some holes that Fender's CNC machine uses and will identify the body.

    The neck looks like an MIM neck that had the orig decal removed and a 70's decal applied. The black plastic around the truss rod access is similar to MIM necks. I've also seen this on Mighty Mite necks like that but there will be a mighty mite brand on the neck heel.
     
  9. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    THis is what a Standard MIM Body Looks like:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. scootron

    scootron Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    Moved to Texas
    It's hard to take good pics of the black body without better lighting, but I think you can see enough from these:
    The routing for the neck pickup is just large enough to hold the pickup, so it doesn't look like the standard MIM posted by Nino.
    Pickguard off
    View attachment 63990

    This is the end of the neck. I can't tell what it says. It sort of looks like SEPT something, but it may be 8 something. There is nothing on the neck or in the pocket to provide an identification, but the neck appears to be pretty well made.
    View attachment 63991

    What do you think?

    (BTW, I appreciate everyone's help.)
     
  11. Earwigger

    Earwigger I'm a Roland man now.

    Aug 23, 2005
    Cleveland, Ohio
    The proportions of the body look like a Squier Jazz in the first picture. The Squier curves aren't quite the same as the Fender ones and the they seem bigger. IMO.
     
  12. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Does it sound good? Does it play well? For $315, I wouldn't really care what it is :)

    haha

    - Dave
     
  13. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    I gotta agree with Dave.

    I mean, go ahead and find out anything you wanna know... but in the end if the bass is worth 315 bucks to you (not based on what parts it's made of, based on how it feels) then good deal bro.
     
  14. scootron

    scootron Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    Moved to Texas
    Just following up...

    I'm happy with the bass, it feels and sounds good. I have kept up the effort to find out what it is, though, being the curious sort.

    I talked to Fender, and the serial number returns two ways...one is to a mid-70's USA, which I know cannot be correct. The other is to a mid-90's Japanese J Bass. This is what I am thinking now that it must be. The body routing doesn't match up with the MIM routing I have seen. There are separate compartments for the neck pickup and the control compartment, whereas on the MIM these are connected. I found a couple of images of body routing for the MIJ jazz basses, and they have the same type of routing.

    Does this sound right?

    Unrelated note, the '94 MIA jazz I bought last week had been changed over to EMG active pups. I had never heard these before, and they sound really nice to me. Anyone else fans of these? I was thinking about about going with some some Samarium Cobalts for this, but now that it is in, I may just leave it alone.
     
  15. Johnny5

    Johnny5

    Mar 5, 2006
    Calgary, Canada
    None of those pic links work on my end :mad: .
     
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I wouldn't kick a set of EMG's out of bed. I've got a couple basses with them. I prefer plain passive pickups these days, but not entirely because of their sound. They're easier to deal with. Soundwise, they're a little more compressed than passives, but they're close enough.

    I think the 90's MIJ scenario is probably the accurate one.
     

  17. +1
    sounds to me like you got a good deal. why make things more complicated than they need to be? that's for guitar players. you my friend, hold things together.
     

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