Honest "pre cbs Jazz" copy.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Johnny6string, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. Just an odd thought after my previous is it fake Mim thread.

    There are people out there with the skill at faking instruments such as pre cbs basses, some of them so good no doubt there are bassists that are happily playing them with out knowing thay arent the real thing.

    So my question is how much does one cost to make?

    Say a pre CBS jazz fake, perfect in every respect to pass as the real thing, but with a blank headstock, an honest copy if you will.
    Are you talking hundreds of dollars to make a truly great copy or thousands?

    What im wondering is that by copying some of the fakers tecniques can you build a truly "authentic" copy pre cbs jazz at a fraction of the cost?
    Or is it such a skill that it would put such an instrument at the price level of a truly great custom built jazz anyway and so isnt worth it.

    Thinking as players, not collectors ..
    Is it that sound and look people want? or would it always feel lacking as it wouldnt be a real one?

    Just a thought, John.
  2. look on tdpri, there a luthier on there who builds fender guitars and basses completely from scratch to exact fender standards. Can't remember his name, but he's based in Israel and his work is astoundingly beautiful and almost definitely not cheap.

    Scratch that last bit, i found the link

    1960 pre-cbs jazz bass in trans white, scratch built down to winding the pickups to exact vintage spec and using vintage NOS capacitors

    this man's work looks above and beyond the quality of the fender custom shop and at least in my opinion would be a more worthwhile use of the money then a vintage instrument (purely from a players standpoint, resale value is another issue entirely)
  3. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    I checked out that thread, and all I can say is "holy pseudo-scientific mysticism Batman!"...
  4. basslinejam


    Mar 21, 2005
    New York City
    That link deserves its own thread. I was sucked in for a couple hours. Totally absorbing and entertaining. thanks!
  5. Kyon`


    Aug 17, 2007
    Boston, MA
    That's amazing! :bassist:

    Someone should get him on talkbass!
  6. Anonymous Guy

    Anonymous Guy

    Jul 28, 2008
    Wow I read through that entire thread. He goes through really great lengths for authenticity.
  7. musicelectronix


    Jul 8, 2007
    Hüstın, TX
    Lead Designer, Zeibek Boutique Pedals
    The dude makes his own caps! Holly molly! Awesome build pictures!
  8. Thank you so much for the link. exactly what i was looking for.
    Amazing the atention to detail, you have no idea how much id love to order a fretless version of that bass.
    oh well we can all dream right.. :(
  9. A cool thread - and a very nice outcome.

    But on the first page - the tuning fork thing was OK, that's legit - but the whole business about steering the high freqs, and freq-tuning the neck, that's utter BS.

    Where's Wilser when you need him?
  10. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    This guy has what I consider an affliction, bordering on disorder. We can argue over whether he's right about his methods and the difference they make, but whether right or not, I'm glad I don't need to go to those lengths to play music. I'm glad I don't have to lie sleepless at night wondering if the highs could have been sent more efficiently away from the bridge, etc.

    Sometimes audiophiles try to convince others that there really is a difference between this thing and this thing, and often there is. But more importantly, why would I want to cultivate an appreciation of such subtleties? Why would I want to know how good a $30,000 record player sounds? I can't get one whether it sounds great or not. My boss (who's French) once invited me to a fine dining seminar, where they taught you how to appreciate expensive food. As I made my cup o' noodles, I asked him "Why on earth would I want to appreciate expensive foods?"

    The funniest part to me is that he's going to these ridiculous scientific, and pseudoscientific, ends to make the perfect 1960 Jazz bass, things that Fender never did to make their instruments, but he intentionally makes the pickup routes sloppy for authenticity. :rolleyes: ;)
  11. To answer the OP question - if you wanted a bass the same quality as a 1960's Fender, then the current MIA reissue Fenders are a close comparison. Just pick a good one. I'm sure there were some duds back in the 60's too though.

    To build your own? I'd say $1,000 should do it getting quality parts from different places/suppliers.

    If you're not concerned about passing the test of being a real vintage 60's Fender, then the markings, caps, wiring type, etc don't really matter. Toughest thing would be the nitro finish as many places don't spray nitro any more (at least not in the USA).

    If you want every last detail to be just like a true vintage 60s Fender, then that link is probably a good start to how to do it. I think George Gruhn said it - "There's more 1960's Fenders on the market today than there were in the 1960s!". Buyer beware for sure on anything selling with a vintage-value added on.
  12. ToxicAce


    May 17, 2006

    That tuning fork thing is pretty ridiculous. Regardless though that guy is very talented.

  13. basslinejam


    Mar 21, 2005
    New York City
    See, the thing is, I don't care if his methods border on the ridiculous, because all I care about is the finished product. His obsession bears fruit for the end product, but only as a cumulative effect. Sure it's silly that he makes the routs sloppier to be more authentic, and the "steering frequencies" bit was a little precious for me too; but did you see the fingerboard and woods? Ultra-Ultra light one piece swamp ash blank and thirty-year-old Brazilian rosewood? Exhibition grade flatsawn flame maple neck? Sign me up!:)

    I love his finishing methods too...
  14. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    Well, it's not like he grew the wood himself. ;) You can have those woods, too, if you have that kind of coin to drop on them.
  15. Craig_S

    Craig_S Inactive

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    What a cool thread! I've always wanted to build my own from scratch.
  16. basslinejam


    Mar 21, 2005
    New York City
    Stop making sense! I still want a '62 Precision copy made by a mad Israeli Luthier. :)
  17. The whole tuning fork thing MADE SENSE to me. How much water it holds is a different story - but I know that every piece of wood sounds different. You don't know until you build the body and use it - or find some other way to transmit sound waves through the body and listen to how they resonate - oh wait, that's what he did! Of course Fender didn't do this - but he's not trying to build them the same way Fender did - he's trying to get the best (or a very specific tonal quality) sounding bass he can make out of wood.

    As for the routs - they didn't look sloppy to me. Maybe he was just joking about this, b/c his templates certainly seemed like they took time to make completely accurate, and everything else he did was over done 15x over to be perfect.

    Loved the sandwich part too - that cracked me up, and had the same level of detail as the bass!

    I can only imagine how much $$ getting that bass custom made would have costed. That said, the pics and the story add a lot of value in my opinion. And, if I were super rich and had money to spare, I would certainly commission this guy to build my dream instrument.
  18. ettsn


    Mar 29, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Loved this thread. I dug the tuning fork bit, as well as wrapping his own oil caps. Wicked.

    ...and I don't care if he incants a wiccan chant and rubs it with eye of newt. The finished product was seventeen kinds of badass. :D
  19. Sithian

    Sithian Operator! Give me the number for 9-1-1! Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2008
    New Jersey
    Does anyone know how much he charges?
  20. throbgod13


    Mar 26, 2005
    the thing is, he's doing it.. and doing it well.. from blocks of wood, spools of wire to finished instrument..

    the thing is, *he* has a reason for the tuning fork..

    it's a nice bass.. with attention to detail..