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old fender jazz bass vs. brand new jazz bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mdc, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. mdc


    Mar 25, 2006
    Zagreb, CRO

    is it better to buy a Fender 1978 jazz bass for 2000 dollars which has "that" sound or buy a new one which will get the sound during the time but is less expensive?
  2. albass111


    Feb 13, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    There is not a "better" option, just one that suits your needs more appropriately.
    In the vintage market however, old fenders keep climbing in value and there are a limited amount of them so that is something to consider. Personally, I don't mind the three bolt necks, but if you do a search on this forum, you will find differing opinions.

    If I could afford it, I'd go for the vintage instrument, but I already have a Sadowsky. If you are a working player, I know many who would endorse buying a Lull or Sad Metro.
  3. Navybass


    Mar 12, 2005
    Norfolk, Va.
    One thing to keep in mind about the 70's Jazz basses as compared to the newer ones. The 70's Jazzes (between 72 to 84) had the bridge pickup mounted about 1/4" closer to the bridge. In about 84 they moved it back to the original position.

    That being said, they will have a slightly different tone, unless you get a reissue of that era.
  4. Eisenmann


    May 12, 2004
    hmmm depends on the vintage one

    some are the holy grail of bass and some are...just good.
    played a vintage jazz from 76 I think and it was the best bass I ever ever ever played in my life.but they wanted 2000euros for it and that was just to expensive additionally if I bought it I couldn't gig or rehearse with it because I would be to scared that something would happen to it.

    now i have a 2005 MIA Jazz and this one is awesome, too. And I can go out of the house with it without scaring my ass of :D

    if you have the money and the vintage one is a keeper then buy it.
    just my 2cent
  5. jwl


    Jan 25, 2005
    i have a '72 that looks just like geddy's minus the ba bridge. i also have several mia '05 jazzes. you are correct in saying the older bass has a great sound, but the new jazz bass is simply a better bass imo. better qc and all the modern refinements that you probably already know about. you can get "the" sound with a new one. i don't use them because they are less expensive, i use them because i like them better than the vintage jazzes from the '60s and '70s. peace, jeff
  6. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    If they want $2000, make sure all the hardware and electronics are original. For that price anyway. I don't know why the '70s Jazz is so costly; I bought a used '74, sunbust (ugly faded green), maple board/pearl blocks, EMG ceramic pickups, badass bridge for $900 about seven years ago.

    I think the whole Marcus thing really brought the prices up to where guys are charging ridiculous prices for heavily modded basses. And people are buying them. My two cents.
  7. another consideration is to get a 60's or 70's reissue. i love the geddy lee jazz (a japanese reissue of an early 70's jazz) - great value! i also like some of the '62 jazz reissues, but i'm not too wild about the stack knobs. haven't played many of the '75 remakes, but they look nice - i like the aforementioned pickup spacing on the early 70's models - it makes a big difference to me. i have a mia jazz and i like my geddy lee more...
  8. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    For one, IMO, the well worn '70's basses are generally great basses, because if they've survived this long and played that much, they must be pretty good. However, the build quality and materials, QA and all of that is much better now.

    It's on a bass by bass basis for me. No pun intended.
  9. sedan_dad

    sedan_dad Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    I played a geddy today for the first time.I love it.
    The neck felt just like my 66' A neck.
    It sounded much better that the MIA S-1 that I played there also.
    I'm buying the geddy tomorrow. But it's getting a tort pickguard right away.
  10. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    The MIJ reissues are really nice, and about 20% of that price. You can get either 60's or 70's "flavor."
  11. i own a 2005 MIA '75 jazz RI, and i love the thing to death. The QC is excellent, so is the tone. I was in a similar predicament when i was looking for a bass. Here are some things to consider. If you buy a new one, it will look nicer and possibly hold up longer. You could even sell it later on down the line for more than you paid for it (maybe). But, the vintage ones supposeddly sound better and have a better feel to them, plus there vintage and thats cool now. Good luck choosing, hope you enjoy whichever one you get
  12. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I have never tried a CBS bass made after 1972 that I've liked. And even the CBS basses made before then can be a crapshoot. I think the basses Fender makes these days, other than the S1 switch which I consider to be useless, on the whole are much better than any CBS piece of crap.

    DISCLAIMER: Those with CBS Fenders often disagree vehemently.
  13. RudeMood

    RudeMood Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2004
    Austin, TX
    I have owned a few early 70's jazz Basses and you have to be careful of the condition of the neck. Seems that many of them have the famous "Fender dip" around the 12th fret which can cause dead spots and fret buzzing in different areas of the fret board.

    Even new basses can have these problems sometimes.

    Couldn't resist showing my '73 off....
  14. mdc


    Mar 25, 2006
    Zagreb, CRO
    I played my teacher's 77 Jazz Bass and I was f...ing into it.

    I got great grooves coming and I felt really good with having that in my hands.

    But I'll just have to wait app. 5 more years so I could afford it on my own
  15. momo


    Oct 22, 2005
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I'm just afraid in 5 years no one will be able to afford one.
  16. mdc


    Mar 25, 2006
    Zagreb, CRO

    you got that right :bawl: :( :bawl: :scowl:
  17. mdc


    Mar 25, 2006
    Zagreb, CRO
    I'd do the same if I would be having it....
  18. sedan_dad

    sedan_dad Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    I agree 100%.
    My old Jazz is just a fun bass to play,my new Geddy is a solid feeling ,great playing bass.The necks are identical in the size and thickness but the new one just feels clean and better built.Sound wise I don't have original pup's on the old one.It has a very early set of EMG Selects and Demarizo pots.It kicks butt.I know Selects are suppose to be Korean made cheapies,maybe they were made different back in 85,reguardless I will not change a thing on this bass.
    The new one ,well it needs help there.I'm planning on going with a set of active EMG's for that one.
  19. vlado


    Mar 14, 2006
    Buje, Croatia
    I can´t say anything about the 70´s jazz basses ´cause I hadn´t had a chance to play any, but I played ´64 JB several times as a teenager, ´cause my best friend´s father owned one, and I also played a ´62 JB owned by the guy who was teaching me.
    This basses you cannot compare to anything new Fender is producing. The vintage ones have far nicer sound. I don´t know what´s the reason: were the pickups so much better then or is it the wood that has dried over the years or was it different approach of Leo Fender and now-day luthiers or anything else. I understand that these basses, originally built by Fender cost a lot these days (also a lot more then the ones from the 70´s) but if one can afford to buy it he should (if the sound of JB is what you are looking for).

    Otherwise, I don´t think I´d ever buy a new Fender bass, because you pay too much money only for the brand. I also don´t know much about the prices in America, but I suppose it´s much better to try and find a young aspiring luthier, who´s still not so well known and therefore can´t expect to be paid for anything else but the quality of his product, and invest in a custom built bass with the pickups of your own choice (you can also get some vintage ones if you want).
  20. mdc


    Mar 25, 2006
    Zagreb, CRO
    that's the sound I'm looking for

    Would anyone of u people know what would be then a bass that has sometihing close to that sound and it's cheap?

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