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NBD: The 1976 Jazz Bass of MEH....my 1st world sob story

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cornfarmer, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. cornfarmer

    cornfarmer jam econo

    May 14, 2002
    So I got this a while back for cheap because the original neck was trashed. The seller's aunt owned it, and either rarely played it or took really good care of it until it was put away for a decade. Who knows where it sat and it was not given much attention until the nephew resurrected it, played it, tried to fix the bowed neck, gave up and sold it to me.

    This bass is super clean. It came with the original case, covers, inspection tag, and even auntie's buttermilk cream leather strap. The neck felt so good, but unfortunately it was too far gone and not worth salvaging. The truss was over adjusted and no longer did anything, cracking at the first fret, so unless it got totally re-machined for $$$$$, no dice. I play in a band with a good tech, so his shop got me dealer cost on a new MIM block inlay J bass neck, pau ferro. I'm not too hip on that wood, even after some oil/moisturizing/juice to make it more luxuriant, but whatever.....

    I wanted to keep it as original as possible cosmetically. I had them convert the new neck to 3 bolt, swap over the original tuners/etc. and fix some other problems (the foam under the pickups had melted and they were cemented in), set the intonation, etc. The bridge pickup volume pot was bad so they replaced it.

    I had taken off the pickguard before I let them work on it. Unfortunately, when I tried putting it back on, it didn't fit the neck pickup, then I realized they installed the pickups backwards because of the Fender practice of making slightly different J bass neck/bridge pickup sizes. Pain in the a$$ but I set it back right.....

    ......and wow does this thing sound underwhelming. The neck pickup by itself sounds more like how the bridge pickup would sound - doinky. The bridge pickup has way more balls, and more growl, and is hotter. I think the neck pickup is either toast or soon to be toast. Or is the neck volume pot on it's way out? What's the consensus?

    I'm happy with how it looks and plays. But what a sheeeit show.


  2. Bass Man Dan

    Bass Man Dan Endorsing Artist: Ned Flanders' Bass-a-Reeno Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2017
    There's no value to vintage electronics that don't perform right. I'd swap all of the electronics and get it working the way you want.
    Qlanq, Clark Dark, Dr. Cheese and 3 others like this.
  3. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Looks nice, could be a keeper with new pickups.
    Bill Whitehurst and Bass Man Dan like this.
  4. I agree, replace the pickups - that Jazz looks cool.
  5. roskuski


    Oct 25, 2007
    The neck pickup could have a open winding. It happend to both pickups on my 73 Jazz Bass, very little output, no guts. I think you are looking at either a rewind or replace.
  6. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    Any interest in selling the blown neck?
  7. SleepyShark


    Feb 28, 2018
    The Low End
    As cumbersome as those ashtray pickup covers are, they sure do look awesome. Almost makes me wish I could stand playing with them on there... almost.

    Hope you can get this worked out. I agree with Bass Man Dan - there's no value in vintage electronics if they don't work how they should. Try replacing the guts, it'll probably be worth it.
  8. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    You might want to reach out to Lindy Frailin to have the pickups restored.

    Rewinds & Repairs | Lindy Fralin Pickups

    They'll do it right & Its pretty much comparable price-wise to replacing them.
  9. Looks great!
    If it were mine, I'd find another neck pickup and see what that does for it.
  10. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    This is the classic Seventies Fender conundrum: when they are good, they good (even if they are really heavy,) but when they are bad, they are terrible.
  11. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Swap out the pickups. The irony is that you could have built a Warmoth or bought a new bass with Seventies pickup spacing.
    eastcoasteddie likes this.
  12. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I've had a number of 70's Fenders.
    Some are just better than others.
    My 74' came with bad pups and the ones on the 72' are killer.
    I like Duncan SJ-1 for vintage sounding; Dimarzio Model J if you want to get closer to a P sound
  13. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Well, it looks great and if it feels good I think it's worth finding the right pickups, pots etc.
    Strings too, of course
  14. eastcoasteddie


    Mar 24, 2006
    Whoever put the pickups in backwards is a real @$$hat and should never have touched it in the first place. Means they no nothing about Jazz basses.
  15. Ghastly


    Oct 18, 2015
    Mill Valley
    Well it looks beautiful!

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