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Here's a puzzle: help me recognize my Fender Jazz?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by IzzyStradlin, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. IzzyStradlin


    Dec 29, 2010
    Hello all

    I recently moved to the US from India, and couldn't bring along my trusty Yamaha RBX374 along. For six months, I'd been getting increasing urges to play the bass, so I finally gave in and bought a Fender J-bass off ebay. Perhaps a hasty buy, but it sounds fantastic to my untrained ears.

    Here's what I know about it. It's a Fender Standard Jazz Bass IV, Made in Mexico. From the serial number, I found that it's a 2011-2012 model. The previous owner had an active electronics plate installed on it, with a 3-band preamp.

    I would love it if someone with knowledge of these lines of J-basses could point out to me what woods are used for the body, the neck and the fingerboard.

    I am absolutely useless at differentiating the woods, and would love to know, out of curiosity, the details of my first-ever jazz bass! Also, any additional trivia/review of the 2011-2012 models, or MIMs in general would be even more lovely!

    here are some photographs:
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    that would be a maple neck, rosewood fretboard and ash body; other than that, i don't know what the heck it is! none of those parts are from fender, not the nut, not the bridge, definitely not the control plate.
  3. IzzyStradlin


    Dec 29, 2010
    Thanks for the info. Yes, the previous owner went all-out with his blinging of the bass, haha! Gold plated everything. I do think it looks kind of nice, but it's definitely not the original parts.
  4. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it

    Oct 31, 2006
    Actually, I'm pretty sure those are alder bodies. They are good basses and are easy to upgrade parts if need be.
  5. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    do you have pictures of the back of the headstock to get the serial #? ... back of body would be nice too, that would help to identify at least what it started as .. that headstock logo is not indicative of a MIM Standard bass, but of a Blacktop Jazz ...
  6. IzzyStradlin


    Dec 29, 2010
    Thanks oboylebass and tjh

    Is it an alder body after all? I have uploaded pictures of the back of it as well. They can be found HERE

    They're taken in poor lighting though, so the serial number isn't properly readable. For reference, it's MX11106269, with Made in Mexico printed below it. Fender's website tells me that MX11 stands for 2011-2012 models.

    Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it.
  7. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    I'm pretty sure that's alder; not ash. Might even be one of the maple VM Squier bodies.
  8. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Looks like ash. Look at the wide grain.

    Might be a Factory Special Run (FSR) Mexican-made Fender Jazz. Northern ash (heavier, as opposed to lighter swamp ash) bodies, maple neck, rosewood board. Generally very well regarded, solid instruments.

    Beautiful, whatever it is.
  9. IzzyStradlin


    Dec 29, 2010
    Thanks for the vote of confidence Tim. I actually just finished checking out the poll on TB about difference in tone between Ash and Alder on a Fender Jazz. Certainly an interesting poll! And now I'm much less worried about the difference that the wood could make. :)
  10. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    Definitely not ash. Was thinking it's a squier body with blacktop jazz neck.
  11. MarkoYYZ

    MarkoYYZ Commercial User

    Jan 31, 2012
    Hammersmith Music
    I hate to throw a wrench into things, but my *guess* is that it's a Squier VM that has been heavily modded.

    The bnb neck was probably used on something else, and then a rosewood neck was put on. The logo decal is how the American Standards come, which are all adjusted at the heel, so if this is a genuine MIM neck then it would either be from a Blacktop Jazz - as elBandito noted - or it's an aftermarket decal.

    The blinged out gold/brass was a personal touch, right down to the brass nut. I'm not a fan of gold hardware, but it looks decent here.

    As for the control plate and preamp - I'm pretty sure Bassmods has a 5 control unit like that. Fully active with a push/pull on the first knob to switch to passive.

    The best way to tell if it was a MIM body is to remove the pickguard cover and check for the CNC hole. The hole exists on some US basses also, but not on the Indonesian models.

    I could be totally wrong of course, but even a VM body with those upgrades is still a very nice bass.

    I'd still have a peek under the pickguard, though.
  12. IzzyStradlin


    Dec 29, 2010
    Hey Marko

    Thanks for replying. *Gulp*. I'm at work now, but I do hope that when I get home and look under the guard, I find the hole! I did manage to buy the bass for pretty cheap, so there is always a chance you are right.

    Anyway, appreciate your input.
  13. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings - DR Strings
    definitely ash body!
  14. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    This is/was a Blacktop neck, with that serial # it came attached to a black body ...

    .. as Marko suggests, check for CNC hole, but wouldn't hurt to put up a pic of body without pickguard, may even want to open control cavity to expose that for us also ... most definitive way to tell on body would be to check neck pocket for stampings or in pup route for stickers ..
  15. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    MIM body should have a hole drilled under the pickguard.
  16. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    No, it's not. :eyebrow:
  17. Don't want to get into a pissing match here, but I think it's alder as well.
  18. :p It does not look like alder to me at all, that grain is too wide...
    It does look like ash to me, although some of the Squier VM bodies (maple) looked similar too. However the tint was more "brownish" than this one here.

    I would say ash, probably. I cannot see any similarity with any alder body I have ever seen.
  19. Not ash. Stone Soup mentioned that Fender made some w/ a maple body; that's my first impression. Second choice is alder. But no, not ash.
  20. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    The more I look at it, the more I'm leaning this way.

    It's easy enough to type "ash wood" in a google search and find photos that show what the grain of ash lumber looks like compared to the body of the OP's bass. The bass is definitely not ash.

    EDIT: This is ash.