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Modding a vintage 77 Jazz bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sav'nBass, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass What the .............. Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    I have a 77 Jazz bass.. I am the original owner.. and at one time I was considering selling it.. but then I decided to keep it.. so I am thinking of putting a set of barts in there with that Audere Pro JZ3 pre. My question is .. How negatively will this effect the resale value of the bass if I keep all the original hardware , or would this actually increase the potential resale value if I tossed in the original hardware as well?

    I will most likely never sell this bass.. it was my first real bass and I got it from Alex Axe in midtown back in early 78 .. but you never know.. so I am just wondering.. I actually have not been playing this bass much because I play 5s but I just got a Breedlove 4 string acoustic.. and I am developing an appreciation for the 4s as well and I figured since I have the bass... It has no issues as far as neck and playability goes.. a few dings on the body but otherwise it is in good shape.

    Opinions please... Thanx in advance... ;)
  2. hotrodjohn

    hotrodjohn Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2009
    you are absolutely best off leaving it alone. if u want an active 4, there are plenty of reasonably priced options to add to your stable.
  3. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    it will effect the value,but since your not selling it its relevent,its your keeper and if you want to mod it to your taste thats fine its your Bass...:)
  4. I'm not sure that there is a lot of 'vintage' value in a '77, but if you are concerned about retaining its value, then the more original it is the better. Even if this era of bass is currently so-so in old bass terms, it will be worth much less if you fuss with it.

    There are plenty of basses that are (likely) better players for well under $800.00. Keep your P stock and spend the money on another bass.

    Alternatively, I would suggest that if you're thinking to mod it, then the bass is probably an 'OK' bass, but not a great bass. If so, sell it and look for the bass that is 'great' for you. Too many of us keep a bunch of gear that is just 'OK'.
  5. someparts


    Nov 22, 2010
    Well, not sure about them not having vintage value...77s are plenty old and worth plenty of bucks from what I see.

    Don't mod it. Buy a Wren and Cuff Phat Phuk B and an EQ pedal.
  6. That's a nice old stock bass..... What do the old guys say. 'Don't mess with a classic'? With that said I love, love, love the Audere pre on my '09 MIA Jazz. Perhaps a ten year old squire or MIM may be a better platform for experimentation?
  7. Grissle


    May 17, 2009
    Well, you can pull out the original electrics without unsoldering. So as long as you keep them the value won't be affected at all.
  8. Do this. Or get a second bass. Either way, you want to keep everything 100% original. Why? Because you never know what life will throw at you and if a bad day comes along to where you have to sell off the jazz, keeping it 100% will only help the value.
  9. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    This... I would by a stomp box pre of some sort and a Source Audio EQ. The Phat Phuck B is pretty cool, but also kind of a one trick pony. I'd get a 3Leaf Enabler or, perhaps a Dark Glass B7K stompbox.
  10. gleneg61


    Jan 10, 2008
    Osaka Japan
    Just put the bass down slowly and back away......
  11. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    You need to remove the pickups somehow. :ninja:
  12. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Unlesss there is routing involved I wouldn't have a problem with changing the electronics on a late 70's Fender on principal. If you properly document the work and carefully preserve all the OE stuff you should be good. I think it's going to be a while before "original solder joints" on a '77 are at a real premium.
  13. Grissle


    May 17, 2009
    Sorry, thought we were talking about a P bass🙈🙉🙊
  14. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    I hadn't thought about that before, but you could remove the whole operation from a P bass without breaking any solder joints. :D
  15. bass_case

    bass_case Maintain low tones. Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2013
    Miami, FL
    Stratosphere on eBay has all kinds of loaded Fender bodies for sale, active and passive, you could just bolt your neck onto one of those.
  16. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    A Classic '70s body would retain the correct pickup spacing. Keep the bridge, neckplate and pickguard from OP's original bass, hotrod the electronics! :bassist:
  17. punchdrunk

    punchdrunk Supporting Member

    Jun 22, 2013
    Jacksonville, Fl
    I modded the hell out of my 77 P bass and never looked back. Its now a much better bass. I realize it affects the resale value, but its a real players bass that isn't a museum piece. That being stated, If I were in your shoes I would retain the integrity of the original condition of the bass by not altering it in any permanent way. Retain all original parts, wiring, screws, everything, and replace them only with components that will exactly fit the existing routes without any further drilling (this may require careful research before you buy components). When (if ever) you choose to put it on the market, simply convert it back to its original state.... And as stated in an above post, I would have all work done by a professional and well documented.
  18. punkjazzben


    Jun 26, 2008
    Do it and keep the original pickups and electronics somewhere safe. Drop them back in if you want to sell it.

    The Audere pre comes on a control plate that you just drop in to the existing cavity, so you won't need to even touch the original electronics apart from unscrewing the control plate and unsoldering its pots from the pickups. Otherwise it all stays intact.

    I'm betting there's been plenty of vintage basses sold around here that have been pulled apart and put back together without it impacting the resale value.
  19. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    It's your bass do whatever you want to it.
  20. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    There's no point keeping it as it was if it's not going to be used. Do whatever it takes to make it alluring again. It's a mass-produced bass guitar, not the Mona Lisa.