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Need some guidance on a 1960 Fender Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jeff Leonhardt, Aug 8, 2019.


  1. Jeff Leonhardt

    Jeff Leonhardt

    Aug 8, 2019
    My father, who just turned 79, worked for Fender in Fullerton back in the 60's. He was in the electronics R&D group. He got a 1960 Fender Jazz Bass and has had it ever since. He was under the impression it was a prototype, but with the dates on the neck and pots and the serial that seems unlikely. We do know it wasn't refinished, but the neck cavity/pocket is painted black (I attached a photo). Some think this is a sign of refinishing. I'm looking for information on other ways to identify/prove original vs. refin paint. Any and all opinions are welcome!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. ajkula66

    ajkula66

    Sep 23, 2016
    NEPA
    Welcome to the forum!

    If you could post other pictures such as of the body with the pickguard removed, someone would likely be able to help you in a more proficient manner. The neck cavity itself - while being an important part of the puzzle - is unlikely to tell the whole story.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Welcome to TB. Though this is far from my field of expertise, I think it's a cool backstory and I'll be watching as the experts weigh in.

    I am curious about the playing history this bass has over the past five decades and what condition it is in currently, hopefully with a few pics to demonstrate.
     
    dbsfgyd1, Wisebass and Jeff Leonhardt like this.
  4. liverbird

    liverbird

    Mar 22, 2003
    Detailed photos would be essential for us to make any assessment on finish or any other features!
     
    Wisebass and Jeff Leonhardt like this.
  5. Jeff Leonhardt

    Jeff Leonhardt

    Aug 8, 2019
    I will get on it tomorrow and post more images. If it's not against the rules, you can see more images here: Link removed to honor rules...
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  6. ajkula66

    ajkula66

    Sep 23, 2016
    NEPA
    Actually, it IS against the rules since you're not a Supporting Member. You can either upgrade your membership or remove the link.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
    Wisebass and charlie monroe like this.
  7. Jeff Leonhardt

    Jeff Leonhardt

    Aug 8, 2019
    Link removed...
     
  8. Tad

    Tad Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2007
    Boise, Idaho
    If the story were true, there is no way that I would sell that bass.

    I’d never be THAT hard up.

    And I would pass it on to one of my kids or grandkids that I thought wouldn’t sell it.

    But, that’s me.
     
    Fluid Power, Jazzish, bobba66 and 4 others like this.
  9. Jeff Leonhardt

    Jeff Leonhardt

    Aug 8, 2019
    Oh, it's true and it's taken this long, for my MOM, to give it up! Dad had a lot of gear back in the day including amps and a 12 string electric. Pretty much all that remains is the bass. The story goes Mom didn't want to sell the 12 string electric, and when he did she put her foot down on selling the bass. Until now... :) The only other items that he has are some original blueprint schematics from assorted Fender amps and a Solid State Fender PA head.
     
  10. Tad

    Tad Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2007
    Boise, Idaho
    Well, if it’s not yours, I guess that it’s up to your Mama.

    Mama gets what Mama wants.
     
    Jeff Leonhardt likes this.
  11. Jeff Leonhardt

    Jeff Leonhardt

    Aug 8, 2019
    1960FJB_New_006.jpg 1960FJB_New_016.jpg 1960FJB_New_001.jpg 1960FJB_New_003.jpg 1960FJB_New_001.jpg 1960FJB_New_017.jpg 1960FJB_New_007.jpg 1960FJB_New_008.jpg 1960FJB_New_018.jpg 1960FJB_New_019.jpg 1960FJB_New_025.jpg 1960FJB_New_024.jpg 1960FJB_New_028.jpg 1960FJB_New_015.jpg 1960FJB_New_013.jpg 1960FJB_New_014.jpg Here are some photos (more to come)...
    View attachment 3502760
     
    GHOST AT, jackn1202, oren and 14 others like this.
  12. Jeff Leonhardt

    Jeff Leonhardt

    Aug 8, 2019
    Here is under the pick guard. That was a tight fit! NOTE: for some reason the photos look washed out compare to the originals if that may or may not make a difference. Thanks! IMG_0648s.jpg IMG_0649s.jpg IMG_0651s.jpg
     
  13. Robert Darby

    Robert Darby Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2018
    :woot:looks like the real deal to me and don't you dare try to clean it.
     
  14. Jeff Leonhardt

    Jeff Leonhardt

    Aug 8, 2019
    I won't! It's earned its scars honestly... ;-)
     
  15. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    That is a beauty.

    Almost any bass player would want it, or, should. :D

    Wow.
     
    JoshS and Jeff Leonhardt like this.
  16. Dluxe

    Dluxe

    Jan 9, 2011
    Austin, TX
    What a beauty! I love the burst finishes on the early Jazz Basses. I got to play Rob Alexander's '61 way back in 1983. It was the best.
     
    Jeff Leonhardt and cataract like this.
  17. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Columbia SC
    Hate seeing strings strung that way (y’all know what I’m saying) but yeah, I’d play it. Great thread and good luck with your research!
     
    Gunga Din and Jeff Leonhardt like this.
  18. Wow. That's quite something. :thumbsup:

    (don't forget to put the guard back on before stowing it away again)
     
    Jeff Leonhardt likes this.
  19. Gunga Din

    Gunga Din

    Jun 22, 2018
    My YOB bass. Had the chance to buy one at a good price many, many years ago but by the time I'd raised the cash it was sold elsewhere.

    Looks authentic to me. A '61? Do you still have the felt mutes? I was going to point out that the grounding strip from bridge-plate to the rear pup cavity was missing but, no, it's there. I can never understand why Fender came up with the reissue one that's about ten times the width of the original.

    Keep that baby in the family!
    Screen Shot 2019-08-09 at 05.11.01.png
     
  20. Gunga Din

    Gunga Din

    Jun 22, 2018
    And I love the way the 'Fender' decal has decayed slightly to some sort of croc-skin effect!!
    Screen Shot 2019-08-09 at 05.21.22.png
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 15, 2021

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