Pre 1965 Fenders, Are they that Special or over priced

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by modulusbassist, Nov 2, 2001.

  1. I think this topic has been debated to no end. I was wondering if they are that special because I am thinking of getting a bass for my next pay check and I want to check out pre 1965 Fender, and if they are that special , I might save my money until next summer to get a pre 1965 Fender Jazz or Precision, I prefer the Precision, since I already have a Jazz Bass.

  2. Aaron

    Aaron Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Think of it this way, if you don't like it, wait five years, sell it, and get a large profit out of it.
  3. :D haahaha so true!!!!!!
  4. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    In a word...BOTH.
  5. Exactly!
  6. They're way overpriced.

    They're very special.

    Prices for pre-CBS's that have been refinished or modded have been $1100-$1300. Not too bad at all, IMO, if the pups are original. Only time can oxidize that pickup wire to sound that fine.

    All original component Precis's have been going for $4000+, minimum. IMO, that's outrageous if you only want the bass for it's performance. But it's not bad as an investment or if you get off on the vibe.
  7. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    True??? I'm not convinced. 10 years ago, I could find '61 Jazz basses for around $6500. Now how much are they? About the same;)

    That's terrible appreciation. If you're looking for an investment, pre-CBS basses are a terrible place to tie up your money!
  8. Pre-CBS Jazzes aren't very good, Precis's are, IME and according to the vintage buffs.

    For some reason, it seems that pre-CBS Jazzes always get modded or stripped through the years, much more often than Precis's.

    But if they haven't been messed with, don't even think about going after a pre-CBS Precis for less than $4k+. Sell it in Japan and easily get over $10k+ !!!
  9. i always see the jazzes go for way more than the precision's. stack knob jazzes sell for like 9k now.
  10. Funny, I see the opposite, (except for those Jazzes from the first two years with the concentric knobs).

    For instance, at where readers submit the selling prices of older basses, there's a completely original `63 Jazz that sold for $3750.

    The all original `65 Precis went for $4950 and a `57 went for $7k.

    One might logically think that with fewer pre-CBS years, the Jazz would command the higher prices. That certainly makes them more collectible to a lot of people.

    But the fact that Precis's can be much older must help, I guess. Plus, it is "the original" and all the rest are just offspring. I know Fender's issue of the 50th Anniversary Precis sure didn't hurt the value of old Precis's.
  11. a 63 jazz might have sold for that much, but you can expect to pay 5-6000 today for one in 7-8 condition. the p bass of the same year is much less. go to and check out the prices for pre cbs jazzes and p basses, you'll see what im talking about
  12. neptune


    Feb 2, 2001
    Not too sure about the investment aspects, but the old Fenders varied immensely in playability and quality of assembly. Some are jewels, some are so-so, and some are flat out dogs. Also depends on how it's been handled over the years.
  13. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    To follow up on my original post...expanding on my one-word reply, I would advise against buying a vintage Fender for the reasons you listed. As far as an investment is concerned, the time to invest in vintage guitars was when they were called "used" and not "vintage". In other words, the time to buy for an investment was before the great boom in the vitage market during the '90's. If you buy now, you're buying HIGH, and guitars are not the best way to tie up your money, as was mentioned earlier.
    The other reason I think you mentioned was that you were looking for that classic sound and preferred the higher quality of the pre-CBS basses as opposed to the later versions. The problem here is that, with modern construction techniques, CAD designs, precision tooling, and better design/technology, the Fender clones that are being made now (Sadowsky, Lull, Fender Custom Shop, Lakland, etc.) are probably of a higher quality overall than the average pre-'65 Fender. Of course, the only thing that one can't "simulate" is 40 years of aging, finish settling, the molecular realligning of wood fibers, weakening of magnets, etc. However, I question how significant this really is on the average bass, since collectors don't seem to be buying up the basses from the '70's, which have now undergone the same cirsumstnces that the '60's basses had undergone when they were originally being sought.
    Finally, if you really LOVE old basses and are inspired by them, then buy one to play it and enjoy it for what it is.
  14. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Like with anything, some of them are truly special and some are way over-priced. I own three pre-CBS Fenders, all Precisions. A '58 and two '64's. One of the '64's is all original and the other two are refins. Of the three, the refinned 64 is a truly special bass. The other two are good but not great. The '58, even refinned, is getting pretty pricey because it's in beautiful shape, all original except for the finish on the body. The all original '64 is black with a tortoise guard and worth quite a lot despite the fact that the refinned '64 sounds better, is lighter and has way more vibe. Here's the basses I'm talking about:

  15. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    IMO, I think they're rediculously over priced. They're great basses (some of 'em), but 5-6k?! C'mon!:rolleyes: I was talking to Evan @ Bass NW, and to my surprise he was in agreement with me. He called it "The Great Vintage Scam"! I'd get an Osborne sig before I'd get a pre CBS piece. That's just me.
  16. the great vintage scam hes gladly taking part in
  17. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Of course. He is, after all, a businessman.;)