played a '68 jazz // how to make a new jazz better

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Eisenmann, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. Eisenmann


    May 12, 2004
    hi everybody,

    I'll try to make it short this time.
    last wednesday i played a '68 fender jazz at a local music store. Before that I never have understand what's all about those vintage jazz-basses or vintage instruments in general.
    Now I know it for sure.
    This bass was so hot that it hurts. This was definitively bass heaven.Every bass i played before (expect that '74 prec I played directly before) transformed into just a mere toy.

    I think you guys know what I mean.

    My problem:
    They wanted 1900euros (should be something like 2000$-2100$) it's a hugh pile of money but for me it seems this is a fair price for a '68 jazz in very good conditions. But it's just too much expensive for me.

    My Idea:
    To buy a new american or mexican made jazz-bass and upgrade it to make it sound more like a cool vintage jazz-bass.

    Is it possible or just stupid??

    How do the new american made jazz-basses compare to the vintage ones??

    Why did I played that pice of art and don't want anything else now??

    Who invented that crappy GAS and where does he live??

    ...looking forward to you input...
  2. hoel


    Jul 16, 2003
    Oppdal, Norway
    Hi Eisenmann,

    If the bass is original, $2000 is an ok price I guess. I paid $2400 for my refinished Fender 1964 Jazz approx. 2 years ago, and there's no bass like it.

    Your idea about upgrading an american or mexican to sound more like a vintage jazz is not possible. You can always make it sound more vintage, but not like a real vintage fender. Is it possible or stupid? I'd have to say stupid. The sound that makes a vintage fender sound vintage is elded tree, 'dead' pickups, etc. etc.

    - "How do the new american made jazz-basses compare to the vintage ones??"

    I'd have to say you can almost not compare it. The sound is different, and the playability is VERY different. I've tried a Custom Shop Relic 64 and it's nothing near my original '64.

    - "Why did I played that pice of art and don't want anything else now??"

    I felt just like you for a long while some years ago, gathering money and looking for basses, and I even found a pre-CBS one. If you're patient, you'll always find something close to the one you tried.

    Good luck!

    p.s: Pic's of my '64:
  3. RudeMood

    RudeMood Sadowsky and stuff. Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2004
    Austin, TX
    I have been playing vintage Fender Jazzes for several years now, and in my opinion, it's really not possible to completely duplicate the sound in a new bass. More importantly to me, is the "feel" of the old basses - I love the worn frets and broken-in of well-played basses.

    I had a Japanese Fender Geddy Lee jazz for a while and it did have the warm fuzzy vibe of the old ones, but you still can't beat a true vintage J. The cost of a Geddy, or similar upgraded newer bass is obviously much less, so it almost comes down to a question of how much you can spend.
  4. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    A reasonable alternative to paying serious coin for a true vintage Fender is to find an older (late '60's to early '70's) Japanese knockoff. These basses can be found for very little money all the time on the 'bay and other auctions. Some are really junk and some are diamonds in the rough, so be patient ....

    They will usually require some work to get them back into shape, but thay have that vintage vibe you're making reference to. I bought a '68 Goya for $200 on Ebay, put about another $100 into it (switched it to a fretless neck) and it sounds and plays amazing :D

    I would put this Goya head to head against any Fender from that time period for tone, materials and playability. It's an amazing groove machine ....... :cool:
  5. Eisenmann


    May 12, 2004
    wow your bass looks awesome.Never knew they made matched headstocks or isn't that original??

    I already thought that duplicating is impossible.
    I just wanted to give the bass a little more vintage vibe/sound
  6. hoel


    Jul 16, 2003
    Oppdal, Norway
    Not original finish, no.

    You can always make it sound more vintage, but not 'real' vintage :D
  7. rubo


    Aug 25, 2003
  8. rubo


    Aug 25, 2003
  9. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Buy it and enjoy it. Plus, you'll never lose a dime on it. Probably make a bunch if you decide to unload it in the future

  10. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    There is one way.

    Buy a new bass, and play the heck out of it for 30 years..

    Then of course.. a 68 will sound even better after that time.
  11. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I completely disagree that the new American Fenders don't sound as good as the vintage ones. I put my 98 Am. Std. Jazz against any bass ever made. I have also played the American reissues and found them to be just as good as any vintage bass I've ever played, and in the case of the 75 reissues, even better. Don't get me wrong...I've played many a vintage Fender that gave me extremely warm fuzzies, but the idea that a new bass can't compare to it is just plain wrong, IMHO.

    However, for 1900 Euros, which I think is closer to $2800 US, that's a good deal for a 68, and you will always be able to make money on it if you sell it, so it might not be a bad idea to consider it.
  13. duke2004


    Mar 29, 2004
    Cambridge, Mass.
    if it is all about the final 5%, then you will need to get the old bass, no question. in terms of bang for buck, buy a used or new Lakland Skyline Joe Osborn. For between $700-1200 you get Lindy Fralin pickups, a problem free bass with nearly all the mojo of the old ones. Try it, you may like it.
  14. Greg Johnsen

    Greg Johnsen

    May 1, 2005
    Hickory NC
    hmm, sounds like an awesome project if you don't want to spend all the money on the real one.

    I'd get a american vintage 60's jazz bass, give it antiquity II's (made by Seymour Duncan) and that'll probably give you the sound you want, but it may not. You could always just take out a little loan and get the real one, or try to haggle them down a little so it's not SO expensive.

  15. That is a beautiful bass.
  16. With an upgraded modern Jazz bass, you can get close to the 68 sound, but nothing sounds like 40 years of dust, sweaty fingers, and wear than...well, 40 years of dust, sweaty fingers and wear.
  17. bugbass


    Apr 8, 2004
    A really good vintage Fender is hard to copy, and thats why they are that pricey. But most of the old Fenders I have played have not been that good, some real bad too. But they still are very expensive. So I think you can buy some very good new basses for the same price that are better than most old ones.
    A friend payed 5000$ for a 66 Jazz, thats a sweet bass indeed, but 5000$?
  18. Eisenmann


    May 12, 2004
    thanks for all of your interesting replies.

    seems like I have to buy the original one if I don't want to make compromises.

    the idea of the vintage japanese copys sounds cool but here in the EU / Germany they harder to found than vintage fenders and I'm not to comfortable with buying without playing.
    But I remembert a Tokai Jazz in one of the shops i visited this week. I did not play it because I thought it was a new crappy one. Have to check that out again.

    atm buying a reissue '60 Jazz or a us made Jazz and upgrading it with (maybe original vintage) pick-ups seems to be a reasonable way to go.

    but thinking of buying the '68 and its increasing value is just to temting :) but there is a certain person who will kill me within 2 seconds if I would buy it :D
  19. Eisenmann


    May 12, 2004