Is '78 Jazz considered vintage?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jure the second, Jul 26, 2003.

  1. I think this question fits here:

    I own a '78 Fender Jazz bass with maple fingerboard. Altough it's a great bass (and heavy also!) I was thinking about having it updated - getting new pickups or something.

    Should I do that or is that considered as pointless abuse?


  2. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    don't upgrade.

    what finish is it?
  3. I'm not really sure. Here's the photo
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    According to the king of collector's, George Gruhn -

    "Age alone is not the determining factor in what makes an investment grade instrument. Guitars, mandolins and banjos are judged by maker, model, age, degree of originality, structural and cosmetic condition, historical importance, rarity, and sound and playability. Instruments by the finest makers exhibit design, structural and cosmetic workmanship, materials, and sound and playability which set them apart from their competitors. Just as art collectors may specialize in the works of various artists, guitar, banjo and mandolin collectors frequently specialize. Most specialize in instruments suited for the type of music which they most enjoy."

    I think the biggest misperception people have, based on Ebay marketing, is that rarity and/or age = value.
  5. When I took it to Fender authorised repairman (he replaced the pots (they were scratchy and uneven)) he said, it's a very nice piece, so I guess I'll just leave it alone.

    Thank you all.

  6. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    Did 78's come with Strat knobs?
  7. The knobs are the same, just the pots (underneath the surface) were replaced with new originals. Now it sounds really better.
  8. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    those look like regular jazz knobs to me
  9. Yes, they read "tone" and "volume" with numbers 1-10. What knobs are these then?


  10. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    Fender used those knobs on the MIM Jazzes(up till 2000 or so) and the Stratocaster gu**ars. I dont think they were stock on a 78 J.

    I had a 77 J (sunburst, and I sold it :bawl: ) and dont remember it having knobs like those.

    Maybe someone with a 78 J can chime in here and clear this up?
  11. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    According to "The Fender Bass: An Illustrated History":

    1977-The Jazz Bass control knobs are changed to a black plastic with numbers. The tops of the knobs are labeled volume, volume, and tone.

    So, according to this source, it appears to be original on Jure the 2nd's bass (which looks sweet, BTW).
  12. Thanks. As said, I won't change the bass. I guess there are a lot of other means of improving the overall sound (pre(amp), cabinet..).

  13. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    VERY nice bass, btw. I LOVE that neck!!