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Is this Fender Jazz finish original?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Las Olas, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. Las Olas

    Las Olas

    Apr 20, 2003
    Scarborough, UK
    Hey - this is a bass I'm interested in buying. It's a 72 jazz bass - the serial tells me it's a 1972, but it's got a three bolt neck, which is a little odd, as Fender started doing this around 1975.

    I was wondering what you thought of the finish - is it original, do you think, or has it been stripped?

    Any comments on the originality of the bass appreciated.


  2. Las Olas

    Las Olas

    Apr 20, 2003
    Scarborough, UK
    More pictures - the current owner doesnt know much about the bass at all, it was his dads. Hope you Fender historians can help me. I'm particularly interested in why it may have a three bolt neck, and whether it's been refin or not.

  3. For some reason it screams "refinished", but it might be original. It's just a hunch, but it looks like some other natural refinishes I've seen.

    The three hole plate was available in 72, no problem there.
  4. I agree about the finish. I am not an expert on it, but it doesn't look right to me.
  5. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Have him pop the guard and see if there is color in wire/pup channels, or stripper residue.

    It looks awful good for a 30 yo bass - I'm inclined to say refin, but I'd have to see it.
  6. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    I say it looks stock color. What idiot (well, it was fender...)would paint over that beautiful ash grain?
  7. pitbill

    pitbill Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2003
    Bluefield, WV
    I don't know guys, it has a "bullet" truss rod on the upper end, thumb rest over the E string, and pearl blocks. These were not offered as standard options in '72. It screams '74-'75 to me. Could the serial number neck plate just have been a leftover from '72?

    Kinda' hard to tell about refinishes from photos. I'd say in person one could tell by the little bumps, scratches, and dents that are normal from a player. If it looks too perfect, it probably has been redone recently.
  8. Las Olas

    Las Olas

    Apr 20, 2003
    Scarborough, UK
    Thanks for the responses. I gather most people are thinking refinish, but one stock?

    The guy selling it wont take the neck off, he's not a bassist and he's worried. Anyway, he's selling VERY cheaply so I dont think i'll turn it down.

    Many thanks for all your help - more opinions would be great!

    Many thanks

  9. If he's selling cheaply and it's a great playing bass, I guess it doesn't matter as much if it's original or not. If it is a refinish, then you're still getting a good bass that you can keep.
  10. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Certainly looks like the original finish to me. Could've been played for a couple years and tossed under a bed. I've seen it.
  11. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    I dought finish is real. looks stripped.
    Bass is not 72 more like mid 70's.
  12. You should post an inquiry on the FDP (Fender Discussion Forum). There are lots of very knowledgable cats there. For some reason, and I cannot remember where I read this, I've read that the 3 bolt jazzes started to come out as early as 1973.....


  13. Las Olas

    Las Olas

    Apr 20, 2003
    Scarborough, UK
    Cheers for the link. I've posted up there - it's a tough call to make. I just wish the guy knew a bit more about what he has. It was his dads though, but I gather he's not around. What do you make of the slightly bigger pickup cavity on the bridge pup?
  14. `ash


    Feb 26, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    The 3 bolt neck started on the Jazzes in late 74.
    Also the serial number was moved to the headstock decal in 76.

    I cant really comment on the finish.
  15. Las Olas

    Las Olas

    Apr 20, 2003
    Scarborough, UK
    So I guess we're looking at between 72 and 76 then? Would I be able to find a serial no. on the body at all to corroborate this? And does a refinish, if it is one, decrease the value of the instrument much?


  16. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I don't have my Fender book handy but I thought that the 3-bolt was earlier in the 70's. I know that it was on the Strat, for sure in 1971-72.

    Yes a re-fin depreciates the standard book value by 50%. So if the bass were a true '72 then the book value should be in the $1500-1800 range assuming that all the parts are original. With a refin then it should sell in the neighborhood of $750-900. This all may vary according to the area that you live in, too.

    Actually the mid-70's Jazz basses are quite desireable. Marcus Miller's Jazz was from this period.

    The bass sure looks pretty. Great piece of ash! :D
  17. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    My boss inherited his uncles 1953 Esquire (Pre Fender Tele). It sat under his old bed at his parents home since 1953. He died in a war (can only guess Korean, or Vietnam, never asked) and they left his room at home untouched. When they passed away the family divided things up and he was given the guitar, being the only musician in the family. The thing had only been played a few times ever, and it was in 1953 when it was. It still had the original price tag from the store hanging on the headstock.

    Now what would THAT be worth on the auction market?
  18. I can tell you that a mint original '53 Esquire (think Tele w/bridge PU only) is worth a ton of money...5 figures for sure!
  19. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    I don't doubt it. When he first told me what he had, I didn't believe him. He let me come over and he opened the case up for me. I wasn't allowed to touch it, but there was no mistake what it was.
  20. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Well, this bass in question is not a '72. 72's were not 3bolt-they were 4bolt, they did not have finger rests on the Estring side-they were on the Gstring side, and 72's did not have pearl blocks on maple necks-they had black blocks on maple necks (pearl blocks on maple came out in '74, and 3bolts also came out in late '74).

    This bass is most very likely an early '75, but there's a chance it could be a very late-late '74 in the transision period. It has the "TV" Jazz Bass logo, so it's not a '76. Everything else I mentioned above points it out being a '75.

    The finish looks to be original to me, but the pictures kinda suck. The ashtray holes don't appear to be filled in or painted over, and the body wood is a beautiful consistant grain choice which is what fender would have used on a natural finish, rather than a body made from several scrap pieces which is what was usually used on a solid color bass.

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