The correct colour on a '72 Jazz?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by BassmanDk, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. BassmanDk


    Nov 23, 2005
    Odense, Denmark
    Employee - 4Sound, Odense
    I'm in the process of restoring a '72 Jazz. But it has been refinished very badly by hand with a brush and is now black with no shine whatsoever. I haven't sanded it down yet so i don't know if another colour will appear. The neck is a maple fretboard with black squares and black binding. There's was no pickguard with the bass when i got it so i cant tell anything from that. Which colour do you think it originally had?
    And which would be nice in your opinion? Thx:)
  2. I'd say that the colors you can absolutely count on being possible for a 1972 are black, white, and 3-tone burst. In this case I would go with something dark so the neck wouldn't stand out like it would with white. My 2 picks for color combo given the neck would be A) black body with tortise pick guard or B) 3-tone burst with black pick guard. I think either of those would look really nice against that neck.
  3. brothernewt

    brothernewt Some people call me the stormtrooper of love...

    Apr 13, 2004
    Happyrock, OR
    if it's ash... natural. if it's alder, black or 3t sunburst. The pickguard color might be a clue too, assuming that it's original.
  4. When you remove the neck, pickups, and pickguard from your bass, the cavities should reveal all. The finish material Fender used in those days was very tough, and most commonly available stripping agents wouldn't remove it reliably. Most "refinishers" sanded the finish off when they found that their stripper didn't soften Fender's "Thick Skin" or whatever they called it. The finish overspray in the neck pocket and control and pickup cavities should tell the story, because it usually wasn't sanded off.

    Be aware that Fender sometimes sprayed one finish over another. If they had orders for Shoreline Gold, and had a bunch of 'bursts or naturals or Dakota Reds sitting in the barn, they would just finish over the original finish, and ship them out. If you see different colors in there, it might be Fender's, or it might be the artifacts of previous refin jobs. Carefully scraping your way down to the bare wood in the cavities is kind of like an archaeological dig, traveling back through the bass's history.

    If you want to do it yourself, get a copy of Stewart MacDonald's "Guitar Finishing Step-By-Step." It is a quick read, and it will provide you with 99% of the info you need to do it right. Complicated tasks like refinishing are beyond the scope of forums like this. If you get into a jam, the forums can help you with specific problems, but the whole process would be spread out over a thousand posts.
  5. 90% of them were 3-tone sunburst in those days. Since the collector value is nil, refinish it how you want it. I had mine done in Oly White/tort with matching headstock. I wish I had it back.
  6. BassmanDk


    Nov 23, 2005
    Odense, Denmark
    Employee - 4Sound, Odense
    I have just had another "hard" look at it and it seems like the colour is the original black. It's just been ruffled up through the years!:bawl:
    But seeing as the bass is black and the fretboard is maple with black squares, which colour should the pickguard have in order to be original looking? White is the obvious choice ( think Geddy Lee ) but could it be another? I'm thinking about black, patchment or tortoise! thx again
  7. Randy Ward

    Randy Ward Formally Known As Univac Jr. Supporting Member

    Well, the collector value may be nil now but since Both Marcus Miller and Geddy Lee's jazz's are 72's they might be the 62's of tomorrow. I am sure the value will increase even with a refinished/restored bass. I think if Geddy's Black Jazz has a white pick guard I'd go with that. It must be correct for the era.
  8. BassmanDk


    Nov 23, 2005
    Odense, Denmark
    Employee - 4Sound, Odense
    Hmmm...but Marcus is actually playing a '77 Jazz...;)
    But as i wrote, it is the original colour so there should still be some vintage value. Or what?
  9. tkozal

    tkozal Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    The Collector value of these does exist, just walk around the shops in a major metro area. Guys will pay $3000 for a good 72 jazz, in NYC.

    Go look at the Vintage pride guide.