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Please date my neck!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lazzer, Oct 23, 2006.


  1. lazzer

    lazzer

    May 20, 2006
    Dear all,
    I have in my posession, what appears to be an old Fender Jazz bass. It's in a bit of a state and has been stained dark brown.....

    The neck looks pretty old to me and has the following features; maple board with pearl block markers which are cracked! Black Fender decal without serial number on the headstock. Truss rod adjusts at the body end. White edge binding (looks like it might have been painted on possibly) 4 screws to fasten to the body and the neck plate has a large "F" and the number 537931 stamped above. The name "J Torres" and a symbol with what looks like "INSP 31" within a circle are stamped on the heel of the neck.

    Everything else looks pretty old and worn and I am wondering if the body could be stripped of it's refinished dark brown. The bass seems quite light, so I am wondering if it is made of ash?

    Sorry if a bit long winded guys, but could anyone give me some clues as to the authenticity/age of this instrument....

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Judging by your details; 4 bolt neck with heel-end truss adjustment, and with a 537xxx serial. Puts it about an early 1974.

    Yeah you can strip the stain and finish it whatever you like.
    If it's lightweight then it's alder, Ash they used then was Norther Ash, and it was not light.
     
  3. lazzer

    lazzer

    May 20, 2006
    Thanks Caca de Kick! Does anyone else want to give an opinion, weather in agreement or otherwise......

    Again thanks

    Lazzer
     
  4. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA
    now let's try mine!

    -4 bolt neck with heel-end truss adj.
    -neck stamp (on heel) 0203 4641
    -pot code 137 6642
    -neckplate serial #282848

    the bass may be a frankenbass.... any info is appreciated!

    dating an instrument isn't always a sure thing, i know.... one thing that is for sure, though: i love this bass. :)
     
  5. irjason

    irjason In Memoriam

    Nov 17, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    A little alchohol may help...:D Sorry, couldn't help it. No idea about the date though.
     
  6. i will only date your neck if it puts out on the first date...


    SOMEBODY had to go there :bag:
     
  7. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Oh I thought you wanted me to show your neck a good time ! :p
     
  8. savit260

    savit260

    Mar 6, 2006
    Boston
    My resources show that the 500,000's range of serial numbers were used in late 73,74, 75, and the begining of 76. Looks like Fender serial numbers were all over the place in that era. I'd say call it a '74 and you'll be in the ball park. All the other info is consistant with this era as well. If it's an original finish, DO NOT strip and refinish it. You will seriously devalue the instrument if you do.
     
  9. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    No thanks. I'm taken.
     
  10. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA
    anyone?
     
  11. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA
    bumpage.
     
  12. lazzer

    lazzer

    May 20, 2006
    Thanks Savit for your comments. Unfortunately it's NOT an original body finish, it's had a dark brown translucent stain applied, otherwise I would certainly be following your advice and leaving it the hell alone!

    Lazzer
     
  13. lazzer

    lazzer

    May 20, 2006
    Appreciate the funny comments guys BTW!

    Lazz
     
  14. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Yes, serials were always all over the place, but it's the parts details that help me narrow it down to the year than just going by a serial; In 73 the black blocks and binding were still in full effect for their last year. And in very-late '74, and '75 and '76 the necks used bullet truss adjustments and were 3-bolt neck plates. So this neck has pearl blocks and 4-bolt attachment brings me to a early-mid 1974 conclusion.

    -Mike
     
  15. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Jetpack, The handy dandy neck decoder breaks it down like this. 0203 4641:
    02 = jazz bass
    03 = maple fretboard
    46 = 46th week of the year
    4 = 1974
    1 = monday

    Your pots are dated the 42nd week of 1966 and the serial covers very-late '68, to very early '70 (but mostly '69).
    Do your pickups have date stamps on the bottoms?

    Yeah it seems like a frankenbass to me. The '66 pots with a '69-ish plate is right for that timeframe. But the idea of those parts being factory for 1974 is too far fetched.
     
  16. lazzer

    lazzer

    May 20, 2006
    Caca de Kick, I have applied your formula to my pot codes, all 3 of which read 137-7405 which I take to be 5th week of '74 correct? Your prediction appears to be spot on, thanks!

    Lazzer
     
  17. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Correct! it's a '74.
    137 = means it's manufactured by CTS
    74 = 1974
    05 = 5th week

    If you want to dig around anymore, the bottoms of the pickups should have date stamps too. If they're original, then should be four digits. The two middle digits are the week, and the last digit the year.

    Are you sure the finish isn't original? Because they did make the translucent brown stain finish called mocha, and it was clear coated.
     
  18. lazzer

    lazzer

    May 20, 2006
    Thanks mate, I will look at the pups tomorrow! As for the finish, I will double check that with the last owner, and if he doesn't know, he could ask the original owner! I intend to get to the bottom of this.......

    Lazzer:)
     
  19. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA

    thanks for the info! i'll try to look under the pickups... see what's up.
     

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