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Looking into buying a 1978 Fender Jazz bass. Any advice? please.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by malabito, Jun 3, 2003.

  1. I recently found on a similar page to ebay,
    a 1978 fender jazz bass for sale, for a great price, (or so it seems).What should I take into
    considaration before buying such an instrument,
    considering its age. I have already contacted the
    person and he told me that the bass is in really good conditions, and its all original including the case.He told me that the serial number for the bass is the following 78 - S8 851372,which I found strange since I have look in the web for information regarding serial numbers for that year and I have found that after the S8 only comes 5 digits not 6. Any other thing I should take into considaration,since maybe I wont have the opportunity to see the bass
    before buying it.

  2. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    I have a '76 Jazz.It would be nice if you could try the bass before deciding,then you could check the weight(70's Js can be heavy)yank on the neck joint(mine gives a bit,not a good thing)and feel the body resonance when you play it,some resonate better than others.Pay special attention to this if you like lots of sustain.

    Also,see what wood the body and fretboard/fingerboard is made of.The guy who sold me mine was honest enough to tell me that he was getting rid of it because it sounded "topped out" in other words not enough lows,but I have found its relative brightness makes it a great bass for recording-it really cuts thru.Mine is ash with a one piece maple neck.
  3. I have '78 Jazz. It's heavy as hell. Try to get as much pictures as you can, if you can't try it before buying. Still, you're risking a bit, because all fenders made in that time weren't necessary good instruments.

    The year is also written on the back of the neck, if you remove it.

    When I bought it, the guy also said, that everything is original. Later I discovered, that the pickguard was homemade.

    Good luck

  4. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    JimM pretty much hit all the issues to look for,
    I have a 78 and a 82 three bolt and they are both fabulouse basses. Both three bolts have Stable neck joints and tone up the butt. Don't let anyone fool ya Fender made great basses and junkers from the 60's,70's 80's, and 90's, I have owned and expeienced both sides of the coin,
    Good luck and I hope it works out for ya.
  5. Thanks for the advice, if I decide to buy the bass I´ll let you know, and also post some pictures.:bassist:
  6. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
    Me too! I have one, and I'm not parting with it.
  7. What do you mean by yank on the neck joint?
  8. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    See if there's any looseness in the neck joint by pulling the neck toward either horn while holding the body securely.
  9. fraalex


    Feb 24, 2011
    I m from Brazil. I have 7 bass, one of then a Jazz Bass 78.
    I owned it recently after a bad experience with a 07 Jazz Bass. When i bought the 2007 one, i didn t believe it was standard american Jazz bass. The pickups were not align, the neck pickup groove was a rectangular hole linked to circuit groove - unusable without shield. It was 3 piece wood sunbrust, what is unacceptable. The neck work was not well done on factory, i think. Rubbish.

    I bought the 78 from web, didn t play it before but it is perfect, untouched. It is a little rustic visually, though mother of pearl inlays. The neck is a little thick but very straight with no fret buss. Very low action. The neck pot fits perfect. Truss roads works very smooth. The radius neck is smaller than new jazz bass. I like it. It was my dream and now it is a fully reached dream. No complaints.

    I bought a 2010 rickenbacker 4003 jetglo. It was my dream too. And now it is my nightmare. The wood neck loves warp position, and nobody convince it to be straight as it should be.

    I think nowadays wood is the big problem. There is no old wood anymore.

    If you can and the bass is perfect you should own one original 70,s Jazz bass. Indeed it is a dream

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