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Is $3500 a fair price for a '74 J ????

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by engedi1, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Another thing, I was playing bass at that time and remember when the 3 bolt neck became popular. That was a very bad time for Fender as neck pockets suffered from being cut poorly. Most new basses were returns for a multitude of problems like howling electronics, shifting necks, bad intonation amongst other things. I was told this while sitting in Sam Ash trying out basses to buy. This is probably the reason the 4 bolt to 3 bolt conversion took so long, it took some years to get it right and people knew this so they wanted the 4 bolt necks instead!
  2. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    It states CLEARLY that bwb pick guards were changed on SUNBURST models, It does not mention any other color!;)
  3. Mr_Dave


    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne
    I couldn't agree more with this post. Its hard to find THE vintage fender (or any bass) that speaks to you. I know, i've bought and sold a few, played many many more, and i'm still looking for the right one(s). If this bass feels great, sounds great and you can afford it at that price go for it. Goodluck on the quest.
  4. Bone


    Oct 28, 2006
    Most basses I pull apart given the time but pre 75 basses at a glance could be anything from decal, thumbrest, pickup placement, threaded bridge, but 74 to 75 are the transition(The general concensis) to 3 from 4 bolt necks. I rarely date a bass by the serial number. Ive owned and seen plenty of 73, 74 neck dated Jazz basses with 4 bolts but never 3. I've also seen some non dated necks where pots and pickups date to 73 ,74 so these basses could be 75s. But when I try to date a bass most of the time I'll use the last date code. But if I were buying a Jazz bass with pot codes and pickup dates that were 73 and a 3 bolt neckthjat neck would have to be stamped 73 before I'd call it a 73.
    I should edit to add My 72 telecaster bass also has a 3 bolt neck with a bullet trussrod. So the tele basses were getting 3 bolts in 72.
  5. Yes, of course IMO. My Nordy really won't increase in value like the Fender, but I'll put it's tone and playability up against any Fender.

    I guess it really depends on if the OP wants to buy a 70s J for it's collectibility or to be mainly a player with mojo.

    So, what's the value of mojo? Is mojo worth a grand (2500 for the bass and 1000 for the mojo)?

    Anyway, all IMO... :D
  6. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    The site says 3 bolt necks started late 73 so that could mean Nov, Dec. Not leaving very many pieces for the year 1973. In comes 1974 and old stock is still available and being used up with Fender probably throwing in 3 bolt neck basses in on custom orders or those basses ordered with that option. In 74 they start to make the transition but it's only in 75 mid to late that all these basses have this setup. Hell I own a 2004 Explorer made in October of 2003! If you know what I'm saying! :)
  7. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    A quote from "The Fender Bass: An Illustrated History", by JW Black and Albert Molinaro -

    Also from the same book -

  8. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    The solution to the three bolt neck in not a tighter neck pocket -- you almost can't make one that is tight enough that the neck can't move from side to side. My EBMMs, for example, have very tight neck joints, but if you loosen the neck bolts, all five of the necks will shift from side to side a bit. Now, do you honestly believe that most new 70s Fenders were returned by customers?
  9. fenderbassman55


    Oct 17, 2009
    I have had 3 Fender Custom Shop Jazz basses. All 3 were junk. I should have learned sooner!:rolleyes:
  10. fenderbassman55


    Oct 17, 2009
    Hi. Your neck code makes your old bass a 1974. I have never seen a four bolt 75 Jazz. However, that does not mean there is not a one out there. Fender was pretty loose around this era. i believe they were using whatever to build whatever by the mid seventies based on the dozens I have seen come through my shop. :confused:
  11. fenderbassman55


    Oct 17, 2009
    I don't really subscribe to the term mojo. That is imaginary in my opinion. However, the tone of old aged wood, is very real. It takes time which is something that can't be duplicated or re-issued. Just like the finest wines. They are priced accordingly to the discerning. :)
  12. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    Correct the neck code is November 1974 to be exact ... however the pots had a date code of the last week of December 1974. That said, most likely the pots didn't actually reach the Fender plant until early 1975. Assembled and shipped in ... 1975 with a 75 serial number.

    In my mind that makes it a 75 ... matters not really.

    Not a stellar bass BTW note the neck gap in the body picture. Then again I bought it for $600.00 IIRC ... Not even in the same ballpark as the LPB 73 I have now.




    To the OP buy whatever bass speaks to you if the 74 is it so be it. :D
  13. engedi1


    Sep 16, 2005
    More great comments! Great education on 70's Fenders. According to JD at Corner Music, many 74 Jazzes have the 3 bolt neck, and it is a little rarer to find one with a 4 bolt neck. Personally, I am not sure I trust the 3 bolt neck. Are they as stable? Like I mentioned earlier, if I am going to buy a Fender, I am going to buy a vintage one, probably not a custom shop bass. If I am going to spend $3000 on a NEW bass, it will be a Sadowsky Will Lee model or an Alleva. I have never been able to play a Nordy, and would love to try one. However, I don't like the Nordy headstock. Same probably with the Lulls. Corner music has a couple of Lulls, but I find them really ugly! Superficial I know, but I am guy, what more do you expect. Also, the lull's are really modern sounding and don't have the vintage vibe.
    Since I already have a Sadowsky, I would love to add an old Fender. I will pay a premium for MOJO! Seriously, it is about finding a bass that really works, and this jazz really sounds and feels great, call it mojo, or the tone of the aged wood. Also, don't the magnets in the pickups change over time?
  14. +1,000,000

  15. Weren't they less than that new (1974's I mean)?.
  16. 2ndBassGuitar

    2ndBassGuitar Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 17, 2008
    Qualicum Beach, BC
    Dealer for Phil Jones Bass
    why would anyone want a vintage Oly White Jazz?


    my 1966 Oly White Jazz
  17. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Damn bro; have nothing against a Ric but never thought I'd hear you move away from Fender; recent head injury :D
  18. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX

    3 Bolt - depends on the individual bass. I've seen them be solid as a rock, and I've seen them where they'd move with very little pressure. However, I've also seen that on 4 bolts, so.... ;) Typically they're absolutely fine, and people tend to "repeat things that they've heard" without having actual experience with them. I've owned a bunch of mid 70's 3 bolt Jazzes and Teles and not had any issues.

    On a side note - I find it interesting that you don't see people complaining about the 3 bolt G&L's. In fact, people very often "revere" those as the very best instruments Leo ever made.

    Pickup magnets - yes, they weaken with time, though to what degree varies, dependent on things like heat, or being stored near electrical currents (computers, TV, etc), etc, etc..
  19. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I haven't been able to find a price list for 1974 Fender Basses, but from a 1971 price list, you can see that the typical Strat was already over $350 (except hardtails), and the Jazz Bass was typically a bit more expensive than a Strat IIRC (I may be wrong though). Jags were already over $450 !

  20. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Really interesting thread!

    IMO, I'd say $3500 is a BIT too much for the 70's jazz, but if it REALLY speaks to you when you play her, then you know what you gotta do...

    I've seen, recently, an original 1972 "Geddy" jazz go on Ebay for just around $2750.

    OTOH, Oly White is a little more rare of a color than black from what I've read, but I think you could score that '74 for cheaper than $3500...I'd offer $3000, or maybe $2750 for starters...

    If he won't budge, save your cash, and walk away. That thing isn't going anywhere...

    Honestly, I think the 60's Jazzes play much nicer on a consistent basis, I'd save up for a 66-69 if I had that kinda $ to through around. Just something to consider.

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