Pre-CBS Jazz Choice (which one of these two would you get?)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Neo1, Sep 20, 2022.

  1. Refinished 1964 Fender Jazz three knob all original but with rewound pickups

    71 vote(s)
  2. Refinished 1961 Fender Jazz stack knob all original that costs $4500 more

    60 vote(s)
  1. I know they aren't the same year bass, and I should go with the one that feels better, and it depends on what type of music I play, and I shouldn't care what others think,...etc. But discount all that today. I'm this close to making a purchase (huge for me), and seek some input. I am leaning one way, but want to know what you all think.

    Pretending that condition is the same, and you had the money, and you wanted to buy one or the other, would you buy a:

    Refinished 1964 Fender Jazz three knob all original but with rewound pickups
    a refinished 1961 Fender Jazz stack knob all original that costs $4500 more
    rmayer likes this.
  2. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    I'd get the '64 because (1) I prefer the 3-knob layout, and (2) the rewound pickups. But that's me.
    RocknRay likes this.
  3. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Investment-wise, all original > than anything refinished/reconditioned.

    If you're gigging it; the best player. Paying gigs always pays down gear costs.
  4. Aussie Player

    Aussie Player

    Apr 20, 2011
    No point buying an old bass over a new one at considerably cheaper cost unless it has features or a sound that a new bass can't produce.
    We all know some people cannot hear any difference.
    Maybe they are lucky?
    For me, it's the '61.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2022
    P. Aaron and bigdaddybass12 like this.
  5. I’d take the 64.
  6. Ghastly


    Oct 18, 2015
    Mill Valley
    Probably the '61, but maybe the refinished color makes a difference? For me, if one was refinished black and the other refinished olympic white, I'd get the white one, for instance.
  7. Scott Lynch

    Scott Lynch Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    Delaware, USA
    If I had to choose, I'd probably get the '61. I would only ever use an instrument like this to record with.

    Really, if working with a pre-CBS Fender budget, I'd rather have a Sadowsky, a Lakland if all-passive was a requirement, or new Fender if it had to be a Fender, and pocket the difference. Newer, made with more recent and, IMO, better guitar building techniques.
    BassCodger, Drzejzi and Sparuto like this.
  8. elgranluis


    Feb 14, 2003
    Vail, CO
    If money is no concern , just get the one that feels better. I mean , both are refinished, the rewound pickups really don’t matter to me (you could always have them rewound to your own spec ).
    Bill Whitehurst likes this.
  9. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Bootlegger guitars : S.I.T. Strings Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Florida USA
    If money is no concern, get both!
    Who needs a car anyway?
    Otherwise, get whichever plays and sounds better
    There’s a big difference from bass to bass on those old ones. Some are gems and some are just old
    Drzejzi, flatwound62p and Sparuto like this.
  10. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    Grrr back in my day these old fenders were just old! My brand new glarry with emgs and 3 strings plays better than any pre cbs bass, heck my old back cant gig anything more than 2.1 lbs which I achieve thanks to ultralights!

    heck, if you’re looking for a vintage jazz bass, you should get a 6 string chambered fodera with a 19” radius and soapbars, they’re the same bass and it has cnc machining which is obviously better!

    Obvious sarcasm is obvious

    get the 61 man
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2022
  11. Doug P

    Doug P

    Nov 26, 2008
    My first “real” bass was a early sixties with three knobs. I’d go that way.
  12. Which one plays better?
    Which one sounds better?
    Which one is lighter?
    Which one looks cooler?

    These are the considerations that would drive me in one direction or the other
    _Obra_ and Breeze3 like this.
  13. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    If I can't try them I'm leaning toward the 64'.
    If I can try them, is the 61' possessed? If so, money doesn't matter.
  14. Eighthnoterock

    Eighthnoterock Supporting Member

    May 25, 2018
    Lynden Washington
  15. CletusMarley

    CletusMarley Knuckle Dragger Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2018
    I'd get the best player.
  16. 80jazz


    Jun 28, 2008
    As bad as this sounds, the colors would likely make the decision for me.
  17. Koog

    Koog Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    Central Iowa USA
    The '61 has more appeal to me, but I would default the best player, if those two basses were my only choices.

    In reality, I would not spend huge amounts of money on an older, refinished bass with additional fixes. I'd go to one of my two favorite builders and commission a custom build to my specifications. Not a bit of hesitation or question in my mind.

    bassballs27 likes this.
  18. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    If it wasn't already refinned by either Gord or Riggio, then I'd buy the year that appealed to me and ship it straight to Riggio for his accurate refin.
    bassballs27 likes this.
  19. LHbassist

    LHbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2003
    Reno, Nevada
    I'd get the one with the least amount of 'S' curve to the neck. Sadly, time is a cruel MF- 'S' curves on older Fender basses- even headstocks bent upwards, is a real issue. If you're spending late model used car money on a bass- make absolutely sure that
    you can actually adjust the neck, and the fingerboard isn't warped up at the first 5 frets...
    and therefore, there is little or no 'S' curve or 60 year compression warping of wood fibers, that can never be taken out of the neck.
    teh-slb and murphy like this.
  20. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    There's the rub here - when you talk about basses that are as old as these, if you're wanting to use it as a musical instrument, the assumption that they're in the same condition (or indeed that they're both even playable) is something you need to be careful about. A lot of old Fenders have had very high tension strings on them long enough, and/or had periods of neglect that the necks are anything but flat.

    The thing you need for a good electric bass guitar is a straight neck - everything else is secondary, and can be fixed fairly easily. When you apply that to old Fenders, the first question is not "which one should I buy?" - the first question is "Is either of these something I should buy?' - a lot of times, the answer to that will be no. Once you look at the condition of the basses, with special emphasis on the necks, I predict the decision will be much simpler - it's going to be pretty rare that both are great players, and there's a pretty decent chance neither will be great players. Either of those makes the decision easy.

    If you can't play them before you buy, that'd be an automatic no on both for me - there is just way too much chance of getting an expensive turd in this kind of situation.