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Question about old Fender jazzes.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AcousticBass, Jun 29, 2005.


  1. AcousticBass

    AcousticBass

    May 28, 2005
    Hey i was wondering, i seen this sweet, used old fender jazz at guitar center, and i was like dang thats sweet, i just glanced at it i didnt touch it or anything then i thought man that would be sweet to buy, but i alredy have a fender jazz MIM so maybe i shouldnt but heres the question, my question is, if i wanted better sound should i just buy a new American made fender jazz or a old american made one from the 70's, like is the reason they cost so much is because they are more rare? cuz i dont care how rare a bass is, it doesnt make it sound differnt.
     
  2. Well, the value of vintage jazzes really depends on the buyer. Weather or not they are buying for themselvs to play, for their studio, or as in investment for their collection. I have seen people sell vintage jazzes for $3000,and seen someone offer $20,000 for one identical to it and the offer be turned down. Vintage Jazzes are going to sound different than new ones. Personally I love the sound of a vintage jazz, but that's just me. I also prefer the looks of an old worn out jazz compared to a new one. There are so many different models and options for new MIA Fender Jazzes that you really can't say if it would be better for your sound unless you had a few more specifics, such as body wood, FB wood, pups, active or passive etc...

    I would say, go back to GC and play the old one you saw. If you fall in love, then pony up the cash. The thing about vintage basses is that you can't order them when you decide what you want. If you find one you love then you had better go for it because you never know how long it will take you to find another like it. If it turns out that it just dosen't work for what you are doing, you can always sell it and order a new one exactly like you want it.
     
  3. toad

    toad

    Jun 26, 2002
    NYC
    FWIW, I love the look of the 70s jazz basses, but every one I've tried so far at a store have been way heavy, been modded badly, sounded like duds, had huge neck gaps, been warped, etc. One had the neck suspended off the body by the screws about half an inch for it to be playable. Most of these have been mid to late 70s models and they all had prices that IMO were unjustifiable.

    Some folks love them because they do have a distinct look, feel, and sound; I would love to love one, but for me the 75RI was a far better choice.

    If I were you I'd play the bass in question next to an American Series and a 75RI at GC and you will instantly know if it's worth it to you.
     
  4. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    The most important thing about the bass is does the sound work for you. forget about the name on the headstock, the color of the body and the year of manufacture. Pick it up, plug it in and play it. Do you like the tone? Is it easy for you to play? Does it feel like an extension of your body? These are the questions you need to answer and you won't get these answers by looking at the bass hanging on the wall. :)
     
  5. I would recommend getting the 75RI. When I was buying my 76' jazz bass I played the 75 RI to see what the difference was. Not much difference in tone, there was a little more bass on the 76'. I ended up buying the 76' because of the pearl inlays and because the neck was thicker than the RI. The only thing I disliked about the bass was it weighed so much! (they started making them heavier in the late 70s) I paid $1,200 or $1,300 for it, I can't remember. But, hey, try american, RI, and vintage jazz basses out and see what you think.
     
  6. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Are you sure you were looking at an old Jazz? The GCs around here (Dallas) sometimes have the Custom Shop relics hanging on the wall. Coulda been one of those.
     
  7. The GC on 75 in Dallas has an original 1970something Jazz. I played it.
     
  8. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    GC sometimes does have vintage basses but they also have some of the CS relics which could easily be mistaken for an old Jazz if one wasn't looking closely.
     
  9. True, but this one was not a relic. True vintage. I don't remember the year but it was 70's. It was a sweet one. It had the mother-of-pearl block inlays, too! I didn't buy it because I play 5'ers, but I sure as heck wanted it. hahaha
     
  10. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I was refering to the bass Acoustic Bass (the one who started this thread) was talking about. Didn't mean to infer that you didn't know what you were playing at GC Dallas.
     
  11. audiotom

    audiotom

    May 31, 2005
    new orleans
    I have a 78 p bass with a jazz neck
    this one is a natural wood refinish
    it has some dings etc badass, dimarzios
    but nothing I have ever had my hands on has such touch, playabilty, sustain, growl and tone
    I'll never part with it

    I'm 44, only been playing bass a year
    my instructor has a 62 J and many other basses and he is completely gaga over my bass
    every time the gets his hands on it
    he's amazed

    I talked the local shop down $100 from $700 on it

    I have played other 70's basses that are heavier than dirt
    play poorly and are real clunkers

    you really have to try each one
    you will know when you get a real player

    good luck

    Tom
     
  12. abngourmet

    abngourmet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2004
    USA
    For me, I much prefer the older Jazzes to the new ones. Not that the new ones are bad - they aren't. They're just different than the older ones IMHO. I own a '73 and a new Jazz Deluxe MIA, and I love both of them. If I had to choose between them the '73 would win, though. It's the most comfortable bass I own, and it has tone for days. Some think the 70's Fenders are too heavy, but it never bothered me. Hell, I'm an Alembic owner too, so I'm used to the weight!

    I hate to sound cliche here, but it truly boils down to what you like, the tone you're searching for, what type of music you play, etc. If you like it, go for it.

    Alan