Pre CBS Jazz Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by craigers2, Feb 27, 2002.

  1. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    i was curious to see if anyone owned an early 60's jazz bass. i haven't had the chance to play one.
    i have a few "vintage basses" including a '65 p-bass. i love the way it sounds and plays. i just wish i could get more "brightness" out of it (like a jazzbass tone)

    my question is are the early 60's jazz basses really worth the money. i know it is a matter of opinion, but let me hear them.

  2. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I don't own one. I have played several. The most memorable one was a '61 Jazz bass. It was the best sounding and feeling Fender I've ever come across:D but, for $6,100, I don't think I could justify a Fender. It may be a collector's item, and one of the 5 best basses I've ever played, but $6,100 is too much. It's not like I'm making money on the investment, either...they haven't appreciated that much in the last 10 years.
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    My opinion is NO just because the money is completely crazy. I mean $4-6K for a bass that is in beat condition is a lot of money.

    Another problem is every bass is going to be different and I mean REALLY different. I could certainly believe that some pre-CBS Jazzes are really, really sweet, then it's just a question of how much will you pay for that one. But how do you know you've found "the one"? Lots of shopping is in order if you're going to dump $6K.

    There are very, very good repros of the vintage axes in the $2-3K price range, so the "real thing" has to be much better than them to justify the dough (as a player's axe, anyway).

    Like you, I'm a P guy and own a pre-CBS Precision. I really like it, it is certainly different (though not necessarily BETTER) than my other P basses and at just over $1K for a refinned bass it wasn't hard to justify owning it. The fact that Jazzes are going for many times that mixed with my preference for Ps says I will certainly never own one.
  4. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    i agree. i'd love to get an old jazz bass, but can't imagine paying 6 grand for one.
    i've seen some "custom colors" or '61 stack knob jazz basses going for well over 10,000!
  5. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    there's a 1961 jazz bass - Fiesta Red on (guitar center)
    for $14,500.
  6. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Now that I think about it, I'd have to say that if I was going to spend top-dollar on a P-bass or Jazz bass, I'd have to consider a new one from Sadowsky or Lull, ya' know?
  7. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Which is exactly why I have 2 Mike Lull basses. :D
  8. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Way cool!

    Now, answer this, if you'd be so inclined...Have you ever played an early '60's Jazz bass that just felt like warm butter and sounded sweeter than a honey pot? If so, how do your Lulls compare? Are they every bit as good? Do they have that broken-in feel of a 40-year old bass?
  9. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    The thing about buying 40 year old Fender is that you have to make sure you're buying a Fender. Unless you know exactly what you're doing or totally trust who you're buying the bass off of, it's a REAAAAAAL gamble.

    I've played my share of 60's Jazz basses & they're played & sounded INCREDIBLE. (Haven't compared them to my Spector's or Sadowsky's) . But Like Ram said for $6000 I could get acouple of used Spector's & Sadowsky's.
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    One of the nicest Fenders I've played was a stack knob Jazz that was in relic condition. Could've bought it for $2500... ten years ago.

    As long as people continue to pay high dollars for pre-CBS, they'll continue to be "worth it". Given that, I certainly wouldn't buy one at fair market value. I'm way too cheap;)
  11. gnome01


    Oct 30, 2001
    Bronx NY, USA
    You could also get a 70's Jazz bass for much less - I have a '72 and it's killer. Not quite a pre CBS, but damn close, and all for $1300 including the refret I had done on it. Very even sounding bass and sounds awesome with Sadowsky's external preamp.
  12. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    when i was looking for a new bass a few years ago, i played a lot of 70's jazz basses. i really like them, but they don't compare to my sadowsky that i bought. i've just heard so much stuff about how great the pre-cbs jazz basses are, and never had the oportunity to really try one out.
  13. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL may be pleasantly surprised. But, you also may be quite disappointed.

    There's a Vintage guitar shop here in Chicago that has around 10 or 15 pre-CBS', both Precisions and Jazz basses. Out of that lot, I like 2. But, those 2 are the nicest playing, feeling, and sounding Fenders I've ever encountered.