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Schecter "Original California Custom" Jazz-style PJ

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mark4, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Mark4


    Oct 21, 2007
    Greetings fellow bassists!

    Can anybody tell me more about this bass? I just picked it up today for about $500. The headstock reads "Schecter - Los Angeles, California USA", the neck plate reads "Schecter - The Original California Custom", and the S/N is "960680". The body appears to be ash, with some kind of oil finish. The bass weighs 8 lbs., and the truss rod adjustment is in the heel of the neck. Unfortunately I can't seem to find much about these online. I think it's American made, but I'm not sure.

    Although it looked a little neglected when I brought it home (easily fixable things like loose screws and grime), it seems to be in pretty good shape. A previous owner must have replaced the J pickup with a Seymour Duncan + added a Badass bridge. It plays nicely. I'll probably do a full tear-down and setup tomorrow night.

    In the meantime, I'm going to throw some new strings on it and :bassist:.






  2. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    That bass is probably worth twice what you paid.
  3. ROON


    Aug 5, 2006
    Sydney, Australia

    That is a real deal Schecter. Not one of the imports. Here is a second hand USA Schecter P/J at the Bass Emporium, look at the price.



    Most USA Schecters I've seen are ALWAYS over $1000. You're a lucky man Mark4.
  4. That's a steal for $500. I have two California Schecters and I've played about a dozen more in various shops. Every one of them has played well.


    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Thats a deal ! Now that I am on the west coast I hope to see some of these in person.
  6. Mark4


    Oct 21, 2007
    As long as it plays well and sounds good, I'm happy. It's nice to know that I should be able to get my money back if I ever decide to sell... not that I'm planning to do that anytime soon!

    Cool... I was pretty sure it was the real deal, but now I'm more confident about that! It's interesting that the bass in that link has a Precision style body.

    I would love to hear about your two CA schecters. When were they made, and what kind of features do they have?

    I just discovered that this one has push-pull pots. The P pickup seems to work like the S-1 switch on a Fender Precision. The sound gets a bit thinner, almost like a single coil. The original J pickup must have been a stacked humbucker, because its push-pull pot appears to be a coil tap. Do yours have something like that? The wiring harness looks original.

    Ironically, I found this one on the East Coast, but I've heard most of them are out where you are. Happy hunting. :D
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

  8. Gabriel51


    Sep 30, 2008
    This is a original from 1983. Solid Koa body
  9. Mark4


    Oct 21, 2007

    After removing a shim from the neck and giving it a full setup, all I can say is wow! Plays like butter :cool:. The body may be swamp ash because it feels so light. My scale isn't very accurate so it may be closer to 7.5 lbs. According to the date in the neck pocket, it was built on Jan 7, 1996.

    Nice! We need a thread for USA Schecters.
  10. Yes the pull/push tone pots are for the coil taps on both the Schecter P and J pickups.

    My two California Schecters were both built in 1996 like yours. One is a fretless P-Bass and the other is a fretted J-Bass. They both have rosewood fingerboards. I replaced the Schecter Monstertone pickups with Lane Poors in both basses. The J-Bass has a John East J-Retro preamp and the P-Bass has the Rick Turner bypass of the volume and tone controls, using the push-pull tone pot (that was used for the coil tap on the Schecter pickups) to switch between controls in and bypassed.

    I should add that I did the refin on the J and added the black H/W and pickguard. The bass was originally a natural finish with chrome H/W.

    Here are some pix:




    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Franco could you share with us anything you know about the Schecter Custom Shop that built those basses for you ? Info is really hard to come by on them now. Thanks. :)
  12. I don't have much more to add about the California Custom shop.

    I bought my fretless new from a shop near me in the Washington DC area. They had another four or five California Schecter basses (and a number of guitars). They were all very well made, set up perfectly, nut filed just right, etc.

    I've played another half-dozen California Schecter basses in various shops, including my fretted J-bass, which I bought used from another shop near me. All the American Schecters that I have seen have been of the same high quality. So those guys put out some nice instruments. I'm not a big fan of the pickups, however, but they're easily changeable.
  13. Sub5ound

    Sub5ound Banned

    Sep 6, 2008
    Catskills, New York
    Can anyone tell me about the Schecters with the Fender style headstocks? The one I have is a sunburst, serial #A801...have heard Tom Anderson's name mentioned but other than what's on wikipidia, that's all the info I have. Lawsuit bass maybe? I paid $600 for mine a few years ago, in pretty good shape but has recieved some dings from me. Headstock identical to a Fender.
  14. Triplebbb


    Jan 24, 2009
    I have watched and read postings on this forum for years but finally decided to enter a discussion. Great information on the California Custom PJ Basses. I love the "old" Schecter guitars and recently had an open door to get one of the basses. I have two early 80's Schecter 6 string electrics and the quality is unbelievable. When I saw the posts that they were using the Monstertone pickups in the 90's era basses I started looking. The local Guitar Center had a used one for sale for 799.99. It played perfect and sounded awesome, but it was out of my price range. They moved it around the store a few times over the last couple of years and still, it never sold. It was the same wood as MARK4's bass and FRANCO's J bass. One problem. It was a horrendous green color body. No one would buy it!! Well in December the manager at GC decided to get rid of it. He marked it down to 299.99! My birthday came along and I said honey ya know what I'd really like to get? I'm having the ash bass body painted by one of my chums at the pub. He paints motorcycles and said he wanted to give it a try. It may be done this weekend. He put several base coats and filler coats so he can get a real smooth final finish. He's going to do an off white pearl with hints of blue in the pearl and then clearcoat it with a gloss laqcuer. I re did the pick guard and polished all the chrome. I'm getting excited about it. I will post some picks when it's all done. Thank you my brothers for all the info!!
    Oh yeah, I've been playing bass since 1966. Started with a KENT bass that would never stay in tune. My main player is an early 90's Japanese P bass. It was NOS when I bought it in 04. Has a big scratch on the back from the Mom & Pop store where it sat for years. I got it for 450.00. It sounds phenominal. The arsonal also contains a Peavy Cirrus USA made 4 string neck through, an Ibanez single pickup and a Washburn acoustic. I use the Washburn for recording mostly. It doesn't stay in tune well enough for gigging.

    Attached Files:

  15. Triplebbb


    Jan 24, 2009
    One oddity about the PJ Schecter . . . the tuners are reverse winding. Left handed tuners on a right handed bass. Not difficult to live with, just weird.
  16. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    I had the same fortune (sic) with my mid-1980s California Custom J Bass: due to its coral/salmon/mauve (call it what you want, it's pink!) finish it had gone unsold at the local Daddy's Junky Music for just long enough for me to find it. It was like tripping over a pot of gold.


    Yep, same with my bass.
  17. Sub5ound

    Sub5ound Banned

    Sep 6, 2008
    Catskills, New York
    Here's an oldie but goodie...



  18. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Being a big Schecter fan, one of these old 4-strings are really the only 4-stringers I'm interested in.

    Someday I'll break down and buy one.
  19. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Los Angeles
    These are GREAT axes, although oftentimes on the heavy side. I briefly had a mid-'80's P/J with a truss rod problem, which saddened me greatly as the sound was outstanding. They seem to have used linear pots on mine, that were also highly interactive to boot, so the usual approaches to VVT control settings were out the door, but there were some monster tones there, particularly trending toward the growly side of things.

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