Is a 1977 Fender Jazz worth getting?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Las Olas, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. Las Olas

    Las Olas

    Apr 20, 2003
    Scarborough, UK
    Hey, I've found a 1975 jazz for £800 being sold privately. It has EMGs, but is otherwise all original. If I got it I might replace the pups with vintage Fender or similar.

    Basically, I know Fender went through design changes - most for the worse - during the seventies thanks to CBS. I was wondering if anyone here owned a 77 jazz, and what they thought of it, or if anyone has any general thoughts on them?

    Many thanks

  2. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I have a '77 Jazz, but really only bought it as a "beater" and for its collectability value...I got mine with OHSC for $250 a couple of years ago. It isn't a bad bass, but it probabaly isn't the best example of a '77 that there is. Fortunately, the body is reasonably light (a local tech said it is the lightest '70s ash/maple jass he's ever seen...and he's seen MANY), but there's a decent size gap on the treble side of the neck joint. Early '60s-style jazz basses (alder/rosewood) are far better suited to my personal style and tone, but a '77 would be a great bass to have, especially if you can get a good deal on one in good condition. Good luck!!!
  3. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001
    It really comes down to each individual instrument. I've got a '76 Jazz that's quite nice - good sound and weight, and awesome playability. But I've also tried plenty of 70s Fenders that were complete dogs. People say that 70s Fenders suck, but I think it's more a case that a larger percentage of them suck than, say, 60s Fenders. But that doesn't mean they all suck - there are certainly some gems out there, it's just a matter of finding them. And, just for what it's worth, it also doesn't mean that all 60s Fenders are great - certainly there were more good than bad (and some that were amazing!), but I've tried a few 60s basses that were well below average as well.

    If you think this '75 feels good to you, and gives you a sound you can work with, then I'd say buy it. The price is pretty good as far as European prices go - I've seen mid 70s Jazz basses go for a lot more in Europe.
  4. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    I have owned several mid to late 70's Fender basses and they are definitely a one bass at a time case. The quality and the instrument weight varies to such extremes that it is always best to try the bass in question for yourself. There is a real lack of uniformity.
    I have owned a couple of great ones, but I had to go through quite a few dogs to get to them.
  5. Las Olas

    Las Olas

    Apr 20, 2003
    Scarborough, UK
    Hi everyone, thanks for the help. I'm never disappointed by you all.

    The problem is, I'm not sure I'll be able to get there to try it out, which makes me think I dont want to risk it.

    Question: Will the EMGs be active? And running off a battery? I'm looking for a passive bass at the mo.


  6. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    If the pups are made in USA EMGs (rather than EMG-Hz or EMG Select) the answer is Yes..they're active and require a battery.

    As with any instrument, I strongly recommend that you try before you buy or at least have a couple days to check it out during which you could return it for a refund.