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Restore 1965 Fender Jazz?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tritone, May 10, 2005.


  1. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    I found a 1965 (verified) Fender Jazz on consignment in a local shop. The body has been sanded and varnished to it's natural Alder (I think it's Alder). The pickguard is gone, and the screw holes have been filled. The neck plays great, and the truss rod is in good condition. Structurally, the bass is in good condition and actually plays well, but it's definitely showing it's age in places and is in need of serious TLC. The electronics are dirty, but still work. The asking price is $2500, but I've been told that the owner will take less. My questions are these:

    #1- Is the price for this bass even in the ball park? I'm not too hip on vintage basses, but the guys at the shop (who I trust) say it is.....

    #2- Since it has already been "refinished", I'm thinking this would be a prime candidate for a restoration. Thoughts?

    #3- If I go ahead with the restoration, does anybody know if the Fender Custom shop would take on the task? I think a relic job would be appropriate, given it's current state.

    Lemme hear your opinions and recommendations!! Thanks!

    :bassist:

    PS Mods, if this would be more appropriate in another forum, please feel free to scoot it. Thanks! :)
     
  2. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    1) Not a complete expert, but i was shopping for a pre CBS jazz not long ago and I would say that the price is in the ballpark depending on condition and functionality.

    2) Since it's been refinished it's value as a collector item has pretty much been ruined so, yeah, you could refinish it without hurting its value. It might be worth more money in the future if you refinished in its original color especially if the original color was a rare one. A friend of mine bought a refin '64 that was originally Firemist Gold which was a rare color. He refinished in Firemist and it's worth more (recently appraised at $5000 +/-) in that color.

    3) Don't know if Fender would do it but you could, I'm sure, find someplace cheaper who would do a good job. If you're going to refinish it in the original color use Nitrocelulose laquer since that was the paint used in those days. I wouldn't have it redone as a relic if it were me; I'd have it look like a new one.
     
  3. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    That's a real good point, I hadn't thought about that.....hmmmmm
     
  4. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Yeah, check inside the neck pocket or the control cavity. You should be able to tell what color it was. Was the headstock refinished? If it's original natural finish it's not so rare. If the headstock oringinally matched the body color you'd want to refinish it in it's original color, too.
     
  5. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    I'll have to check that out. I was thinking about going for a sunburst refinish, but I think you're spot-on about keeping the original color/finish. Hopefully it wasn't some gawd-awful experimental color.....of course that could work in my favor too! :D
     
  6. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Any departure from original condition devalues the instrument.

    Refinishing will at least halve the value of even a beat-up instrument and make it impossible to authenticate. It will be assumed to be at least partially fake by any intelligent buyer. An old ratty period refin will at least be assumed to be over an authentic piece.

    I used to deal vintage instruments as my sole income and that's the policy everyone I ever knew in the business took as holy writ.

    You can't "fix" a vintage piece. It is what it is.
     
  7. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I don't think his intention was to "fix" it; it had already been sanded down to bare wood and he just wanted to finish it in some way. The '64 jazz I mentioned in an earlier post was appraised at more than he paid for it ($1700, I think) because it had been refinished in it's original color.
     
  8. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    That isn't an outside price for that instrument...Check out what a mid 60's Jazz neck sells for on da 'bay, and check what original pickups sell for.

    If you do buy it, contact Mark Jenny, aka MJtele. He did my Telecaster and it looks exactly like a 64...to the point where I've had to turn down serious offers of multi thousands. He'll do any color, amount of finish wear (or not) and work in nitro...he'll also give you good pics and updates along the way.

    http://mjtelecaster.com/index.html


    [​IMG]


    if all the parts are original, and you get a NICE refin, that would be a killer bass OR a nice moneymaker.
     
  9. bassturtle

    bassturtle

    Apr 9, 2004
    I own a used/vintage guitar store and recently sold a lake placid blue refin 64 p bass for about $1600 which is a fair market price.

    IMO, I think the asking price of the bass you're looking at is just silly. There's no pg, not the original finish, etc...those things make a HUGE difference in value. If it was all original, I'd say that it's a great deal! However, I wouldn't pay more than $1200 and I think that's being liberal. Also keep in mind that 65 was a transition year for Fender and can really affect the value....even if it were all original.

    I'm normally the first one to over pay for vintage gear (cuz I'm a sucker for it) so I don't want you to think that I'm just trying to crap in your cereal bowl....trying to help :)
     
  10. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    Thanks, I'll definitely keep that in mind. r379 is correct though, I really am not trying to "fix" it. I'm assuming that if it's been sanded, the collector value is shot anyway so I might well make it look halfway decent. It's real ugly right now....So I guess the debate would be:

    #1- Keep it ugly and original-ish and retain some value
    or
    #2- Restore it to it's former glory and not worry about the value

    I have a headache now....keep the opinions flowing!!! :hyper:
     
  11. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    Good info! I'll definitely use that when I haggle with the guy! :bassist:
     
  12. bassturtle

    bassturtle

    Apr 9, 2004
    Are you saying that someone appraised a refin '64 for $5000?
     
  13. bassturtle

    bassturtle

    Apr 9, 2004
    No problem. Feel free to pm me if you have any questions. Or just post them on here. There are other guys who know this stuff too that might be able to answer things faster than I can.

    On a side note, you might take a look at the Gear for sale section here on TB. Last week there was a guy selling an early 60s P Bass for $1700. It was beat to hell, but everything (minus the PG) was original. Seemed like a nice player.
     
  14. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Yes, and the fellow told him if were original it might be worth around $12K.

    Edit: He's right. '65 was a transition year so it probably isn't worth as much as a '64. My mistake. Fortunately there people here on TB who REALLY know what they're talking about. When I was shopping I was looking at '64s, not '65s hence the difference in price.
     
  15. bassturtle

    bassturtle

    Apr 9, 2004
    To my knowledge (and I might be wrong...I'm about 99% on this), but Firemist wasn't even a color option until 1965. Some of the rare custom colors like Burgundy Mist, Sherwood Green, and Shoreline Gold can get up close to $8k, but it'd have to be in pretty good condition.

    Was the person who appraised it just kind of ballparking? Was it someone who's knows a lot about vintage pieces? $12k just seems insane to me for that particular piece.
     
  16. bassturtle

    bassturtle

    Apr 9, 2004
    R379, I hope you don't think I'm picking on you or something. I'm just curious :)
     
  17. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    I say restore it. I never understood people that thought it was a sin to refin. a jazz bass that was in really bad shape. If it were an old car, that was rusty and had nasty paint, wouldn't it be fully expected that the car would be refinished? Obviously the refin. won't be as valuable as a car with original finish that is in good shape, but if it's already beat up, they aren't going to leave it that way. I guess I don't see the difference.
     
  18. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Wasn't there to hear the appraisal but the guy who owns it is friend I trust so I have no reason to doubt him. Don't know whether appraiser was "ballparking" or not. According to the serial # the bass is a '64.
     
  19. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Bass Turtle;

    Not to worry; no offense taken.
     
  20. bassturtle

    bassturtle

    Apr 9, 2004
    If you aren't worried about the 50% price cut in value, then by all means, refin a 60's piece :D