Newbie's NBD - Early 70s Electra "Long Necker" J-type

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by davexpert, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. davexpert


    Dec 25, 2013

    Long-time lurker, first-time poster:

    I just bought this Electra 2271 Long Necker J-Bass type:


    I think it's highly likely that it's been refinished - probably was a sunburst originally, and refinished to vintage white. Also, almost 100% sure it has a non-original pickguard - which, as you can see from the photo - doesn't quite fit flush with the neck. It's unlike any pickguard I've seen - it's an opaque dark red... no sparkles, no tort, just red plastic. Otherwise, bass seems to be pretty original, but missing it's front cover.

    The neck is straight as an arrow and has just marginal wear - broken in... frets are in fairly good shape... electronics are a bit scratchy. Tuners are functioning and it holds tune pretty well.

    Heavy, by my standards - north of 10 lbs on the bathroom scale, but probably about average for early 70s Jazz basses. Definitely sounds like a "meaner jazz" - not as refined as some I've heard, but not too much mud/growl either.

    Of course, as this bass is brand new to me, I'm quite curious and have all sorts of questions:

    First of all - from my research, I've deduced that this is an early Matsumoku-made Electra Long Necker... It's got the early script logo on the headstock. Does this make it more desirable or less desirable?

    The pickups on these... they look like Gibson Firebird guitar pickups. Are they mini-buckers or larger single coils? I'm not able to take the thing a part, as the pickup screws are pretty stripped - and I have a habit of making things worse when I explore too much. Just curious. They sound decent to me so far - but I've noticed that they are extremely sensitive... picking up almost any noise (adjusting the guitar strap for example). I'll probably leave them in as is, unless there's a great reason to swap them out for something else... but I'd rather not route the guitar.

    Electronics - decent, or should I upgrade here? I noticed these are scratchy, but probably more of a function of needing some contact cleaner.

    Finally, the bridge - seems to be average top-loader style. Usually, I'm inclined to swap out for something better - but then again, if it's not that big of an issue, I'll probably leave it alone.

    Any other words of wisdom on these?

    Thanks! This is actually my second Electra. I had a "Maple Pro" ES-335 copy that was a gorgeous, amazing instrument. Have no idea why I traded it a few years ago.
  2. davexpert


    Dec 25, 2013
    A bump... And another question.... How might I tell what kind of wood it has?
  3. davexpert


    Dec 25, 2013
    Morning bump
  4. davexpert


    Dec 25, 2013
    Um.... Anyone out there?
  5. gottaloveit


    Aug 6, 2012

    I have the exact same guitar style, need to change pups, but extremely hard to find a fit.
  6. I've got a 'burst LN with those pickups and a peace symbol (stock) inlaid in the headstock.
    Neck dead straight and super-low action. Pickups are single coil and are not unique to Electra. I would NOT change the pickups, but I would clean the pots.
  7. Apolicious


    Jan 16, 2014
    I'm afraid I don't have anything to contribute, other to say that this is an awesome, funky bass. As far as identifying the wood... tap on it. If it sounds like wood, then congrats! You got nothing to worry about.
  8. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Yeah, unfortunately you have virtually no chance of ever finding out what kind of timber went into this bass. On the bright side, and Apolicious implied, it doesn't really matter. If it sounds good, it is good.

    Very neat old bass you've got there. Again, if the pickups sound good, I'd keep 'em for sure. They're part of the charm. As far as desirability, it's pretty unlikely that a vintage lawsuit-style bass like that has much monetary value. I am no expert on this exact model though. Personally, it sounds like you like it, and that sort of thing is one of my favorite kinds of bass, so congrats!
  9. wolfmancharlie


    Nov 28, 2009
    I would not change the pups on this one and if you decided to do so at least keep the old pups for when you decide to sell her. This one is just like my first bass and those pups recorded very well. You are luck to have found one in good shape, some contact cleaner on the pots is probably all she needs. Your not going to sell her for much though as they are on EBay for 3 or 4 hundred most of they time.however without original pups not much at all. If you like the sound I'd leave it original, never know what will happen to prices in the future, I would just play her.