Is this technically still pre-CBS?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by magnaton, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. magnaton


    Dec 12, 2013
    New York
    Heyo! I'm looking at buying a vintage J, but a couple questions are popping up re dates and value.

    Neck stamp is 7Dec64A, it has an L-series plate, but the number is L97xxx which technically makes it '65. But it's still an L-series. No lollipop tuners/ binding...

    So is this still considered pre-CBS? And which way does it sway the value?

    Thanks very much!
  2. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    I was told by a vintage shop that it all hinges on the neck date....

    Yours was likely assembled after the buyout.
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  3. saabfender

    saabfender Inactive

    Jan 10, 2018
    I love transition-era instruments myself. Had a Mustang and a Fender 1000. Both were outstanding.

    I don’t know how much it’s worth to be able to say “pre-CBS.” They’re not making any more of those. I’d go look.
  4. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Some folks only hinge on neck date, the rest of us know neck date, pots, pickup dates are what all matter in what it really is.

    As for "value", it can still be anything. I also am currently shopping for a 63-65 Jazz Bass, and the values can be anything from 6500 to 13000, there doesn't seem to any break indicator for 64/65 in making one more valuable over the other. these things don't sell for one set price per given year.
    L serials seem to run well into June/July 65.

    It seems to be more of a find what period details you want in the price range you're willing to spend sort of thing.
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  5. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    If I'm not mistaken, the "official sale" was February 1965.
  6. January of '65.

    To *me personally*, the fact that there's no binding on the neck - combined with the neck date - would qualify it as pre-CBS, but that's me.

    Serials from this era can be quite misleading. For more than a decade I owned a '64 Jazz (neck stamped August 64) but the serial on it was *way* lower than yours, L36***.

    At the end of the day, the authenticity of the instrument is what has the most bearing on the price IME.

    How it plays and sounds would be the most important aspects if I were the buyer, but I'm not.

    Happy shopping.
    magnaton likes this.
  7. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    January 4, 1965.
  8. Although anything assembled after Jan 4 of '65 would be CBS era,
    they were still using the same design assembled from the same parts
    from the same parts bins.
    As far as I know, that continued through 65 and 66.
    It took the new owners a while to start making changes.

    Once they did start to want to make changes,
    they were looking for ways to increase production and cut costs.
    They did manage to increase production, but found out that
    you have to get up pretty early to be tighter than Leo Fender. :laugh:
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  9. capnjim


    Mar 13, 2008
    Its very simple...clay dots, pre-CBS.
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  10. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    So, if they were looking to reduce costs, why did they go to blocks and binding? For the record, I owned a '66 Jazz purchased new with binding but no blocks.
    The neck was noticibly more U shaped than a friend's '65 Jazz.
  11. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    If these questions are bothering you I'd look for an earlier model and then there are no grey areas.
    lug likes this.
  12. Tom Howland

    Tom Howland Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    I have a 1966-Jazz with a 1966 dated body. and a Dec 1965-neck. No binding-Dots. Like a regular 1965 neck. It left factory like this. That was fender back then.
    saabfender likes this.
  13. I think blocks and binding came about in the 67-68 timeframe.
    CBS wanted to put their own stamp on them with something new.
    The Loilipop tuners were another change that made Fender more CBS,
    but they came about more as a way to try to save production costs
    by making them in house.
    saabfender likes this.
  14. MIMike


    Jan 1, 2013
    West MI
    The problem with bolt together instruments is that you can never be absolutely sure of the originality of the parts and pieces as put together on that instrument. If you have all the pieces with date codes indicating 1964 or earlier, then it would be considered pre-CBS. If any of the parts and pieces have a date of 1965 or later, it’s not pre-CBS.
    At first glance, the clay dots are the most recognizable indicator of pre-CBS to me.
  15. January 4, 1965 at 11:26 am
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  16. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Pacific Time, I assume?
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  17. 1965 is a highly collectable and respected year of production. You will find they can often hold there value equally well as many other older instruments, provided the instruments are untouched, original and in good working condition. It is widely known that CBS Fender did not start making manufacturing changes till later in 65/66. Many 1965 L series basses were for all intensive purposes no different to comparable instruments in 1964. Same factory, same tools and same staff building them.
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  18. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    The lollipop tuners were on the fender 66-67. Mostly on J basses. There may have been the clover on many of the P basses in that time.
  19. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I was wondering if someone would do that, thanks for not disappointing.

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  20. jim nolte

    jim nolte

    Oct 26, 2006
    The neck plates and neck stamps don't always match in any sort of order. My Jazz has a neck date of May 65 newer than yours but the neck plate is L89xxx, older than yours. Add to that mine still has the clay dots but I have seen necks dated earlier than mine that had pearl, go figure!
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018