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This 1978 Fender Jazz bass is real or fake?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Guerra, Aug 9, 2012.


  1. Guerra

    Guerra

    Aug 9, 2012
    Rio de Janeiro
  2. smcd

    smcd

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    It looks to be an authentic '78 Jazz, but the body finish concerns me. Natural finish basses of that era had a thick polyurethane coat, which that bass doesn't appear to have. If that bass has no finish or a satin finish, it's a refin, therefore not "all original" and much lower in value.
     
  3. FrednBass

    FrednBass

    Feb 24, 2012
    Parece que tiraram a pintura original pra deixar assim. E o cara só aceita dinheiro... toma cuidado.

    Looks like they sanded it off. And the guy wants to make the deal with cash only... gotta watch out.
     
  4. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Looks like the parts are there for a legit 78, you can't really know for certain unless you see date codes/stamps, but it looks legit as far as age. Almost certainly a refinish though. That wood wouldn't have been stock natural IMO. For reference, here are my two natural 78s, compare the look of the body on the bass for sale to these:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Damn... sorry to derail but nice P bass corey... that is some solid porn.
     
  6. Guerra

    Guerra

    Aug 9, 2012
    Rio de Janeiro
    What really caught my attention was the light color of the body. An original painting should be more yellow as they showed me. I wondered if it could be because of photo flash ... Do you think it would be better to evaluate a luthier body painting and other details?
     
  7. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    It's not just that, but it's a bit too dark in the grain and has too many knots/imperfections (IMO) to have been factory natural, at least compared to those I've seen. I know the era is not known as the best for QC in fender's history, but usually something with grain that dark is a refin.


    Thanks!
     
  8. Guerra

    Guerra

    Aug 9, 2012
    Rio de Janeiro
    Thanks for all the considerations. What is the difference in value between a bass like this origianl and Refin?
     
  9. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Sometimes the word "natural" is hand written in a pickup route under the finish in redish or green ink. Either way you're going to want to see that bass disassembled to verify originality(pot codes/pickup stamps/neck stamps, etc). Snooping around the neck pocket and pickup routs should give you an indication if it's a refin or not. Just looking at the general color and type of grain I'd guess it's been stripped. There's also some darkening around the bridge cover holes that makes me suspicious as well.
     
  10. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Overall the price of a late 70's Fender can vary a lot depending on how heavy it is and it's originality. The difference between a clean original natural finish and an un-original is maybe somewhere between $200-$400 depending on the overall value...so maybe around 20% give or take?
     
  11. funkyjudge

    funkyjudge Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2010
    Langhorne, PA, USA


    I concur with the others that this bass is almost certainly a refinished bass, and it very likely started as a bass with a painted finish before it had the finish stripped and it was "refinished". I speak from more than a small bit of knowledge on the subject, as I have owned dozens of Fender basses, beginning in 1965 and including at least four or five mid-late 1970s Jazz Basses. In addition, my late uncle owned a music store, and was an Authorized Fender Dealer for more than 50 years before passing-away a couple of years ago. I got many of my early Fender basses from him.

    The clues in the photos that you posted that lead me to the conclusion that this bass has had its original finish stripped include the knots and other grain imperfections in the body wood (Fender reserved the best-grained wood for its "natural" and transparent-finish instruments and painted over the imperfections on lesser wooden bodies), as well as the discoloration around the screw holes where the bridge cover "ashtray" was installed.

    That may be a fantastic bass, and it could serve you well for many years, but be forewarned that it doesn't appear to be close to "all original", and as such it is probably worth more like 1/2 or less what a 100% original natural-finish 1978 Fender Jazz Bass would sell for (just my well-educated opinion, of course).
     
  12. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    NYC
    My '78 j's stock natural ash body has pretty dark wood grain but it certainly looks different than guerra's bass.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    the woodgrain is zero indication that it was a solid color. my stock natural is a butchers block with mismatched grain. depending on the job of the strip, it wont be a huge hit. its a not a pre-cbs fender that takes a bigger hit. its a 12-1400 dollar bass vs an 1800 dollar one.
     
  14. smcd

    smcd

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    +1

    Stripping or refinishing a vintage bass is a BIG deal as far as value is concerned.
     
  15. JimB52

    JimB52 User Supporting Member

    May 24, 2007
    East Coast
    It looks to have a 1-piece body. That would make me think.
     
  16. rust_preacher

    rust_preacher

    Dec 17, 2009
    Finland
    Did they ever put a thumb rest on that side of the strings on a Jazz?
     
  17. Energy

    Energy

    Jun 20, 2006
    Germany
    In 1974 the tug bar was moved to the bass side of the strings and became a thumb rest.
     
  18. Abaroa

    Abaroa

    Apr 27, 2010
    Mexico
    I know prices for basses in Brazil are high, but $5,000 Reales for it... thats like $2,500 US... way to expensive even if its not a re-fin... I would pass...
     
  19. smcd

    smcd

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    For $2,500US you could get a nice, all-original late-70's Jazz shipped to you in Brazil.
     

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