Value: 80's Fenders vs. 70's Fenders

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Riley R, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. Riley R

    Riley R

    Feb 10, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    I have a couple of really nice CIJ 80's Fenders and, I was wondering even though I'm not wanting to sell them does anyone think the value will continue to go up on these in the next 10 years like the 70's fenders have in the past 10 years or so.

    The build quality is awesome on these but unfurtunately the I have never played any 70's Fender bass so I don't know what the hype is all about, or if they compare. I'm wondering if my basses will be as coveted when they reach "maturity" like the Fenders of old. Do you think the next generation of Fender basses will continue to grow in value?
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    If your basses are labeled CIJ (Crafted in Japan) then they're not from the 80's. The CIJ designation did not exist until well into the later 90's. Before Fender decided to axe their Japanese export line, they were labeled MIJ. CIJ originally (although no longer) signified basses made in Japan not for the US market.
  3. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Don't forget the number of basses produced in the 70's was NOT as great as today. Fender sells many times more instruments now. Scarcity drives prices more than musical quality, IMHO. :cool:

    The '70s Fenders are a very uneven crop, especially after '73 (IMHO). :bag:

    Everyone who has a '70s P, including me, swears they have "one of the real good ones." :p
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Its funny, I have a good 73 as well, and we're not the only ones that believe the line went down after that year. Of course, its easy to demark, as that's also the year that there were some cosmetic changes to the instrument.

    Even so (mine plays extremely low and evenly and has great sounding pickups)...mine has some neck joint gap and slight string alignment issues!
  5. origami


    Jun 26, 2005
    Big D TEXAS
    although i have liked the majority of 70s p basses i have played (jazz basses too). it is true that the QC was all over the map. i have played 70s fender basses with drastic weight, finish, neck thinkness and sound differences even from the same year of production.

    regardless, my 77 p-bass is a "good one"
    it's always felt a little more workhorse-ish than botique, but it sounds great with the orig PU and EMGs.

    i'd still be more weary of early 80s models. from the transition from CBS to FMIC
  6. primussucks9126

    primussucks9126 Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2008
    Bronx, NY
    I've seen 80s fenders in stores for over 2gs. I don't know if thats any indication of increasing value though.
  7. SneakyT

    SneakyT Commercial User

    Dec 5, 2005
    Certain ones will. Like the medium scales jazzes or some of the jv ones but not all will. Age should add value to most Fender stuff but definitely not all. Internationally American made Fenders more coveted. Supply and demand of older U.S. instruments will come into play as we become more of a one world economy so U.S. Fenders will almost always be worth more.
  8. lowbass68


    Feb 3, 2008
    I had a late 70's (77 I believe) Jazz that had a killer sound with a warped and twisted neck. The overall build quality was bad. But I have played similar period J's that were great, others that were worse. That was back in the early 80's. Traded that bass for an Anvil rack.
  9. I have a 76 P that had the bridge in the wrong place. OK maybe only a few mm but it was obvious when you look at the gap between the edge of the fretboard and the E and G string. How about that for QA/QC? Anyway I moved it myself with no hassle.

    I would rather have an 80's MIJ P bass. The 80's Japanese basses IMHO are excellent. Do not sell yours and don't covet the 70's Ps.

    Having said all that mine is starting to change tone and sound more like a 60's P. You probably won't believe me but I swear it's true.

  10. origami


    Jun 26, 2005
    Big D TEXAS
    i am aging myself here. my 77 pbass backstory.

    so i first met my 1977 pbass in 1991 (during my senior year) when the bass was only 14 years old (i guess then it wasn't so old. think of getting a 1994 p bass now). it was owned by a guitarist that was in a band i was in.

    in 1992 bought my 77 p-bass and a yorkville 8x10 cabinet, and a soundtech PA head all for $475 bucks from that guy. that was a lot of money for a 19 year to pay back then, but considering the package deal (with the PA and bass cab throw in) it was worth it. i was trying to save that pbass from going a pawn shop where it was about to go be pawn for $50. it's been mine ever since.

    back to the topic. i agree the MIJ basses in the 80s were ever bit as good as the USA ones. i've owned the fender duff reissue since december. as far as i know i might be one of the few.
  11. bstringrandy

    bstringrandy Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    Jacksonville, FL
    I picked this one up 8 years ago at a local pawn shop for around $600. It's a translucent blue over an ash body. Excellent condition, medium weight and all original. The headstock S/N says 79, but the neck is stamped 82. It rocks with a Medium Light set of DR SunBeam Roundwounds!! From what I've seen, it didn't too bad as an "investment"..:smug:

    View attachment 95283

  12. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Allentown, PA!
    I think it's kind of a joke that 70s Fender is now rating as "vintage," when IMHO it's essentially "old crap."

    My '79 P-Bass, which I bought new at Sam Ash, was such a POS even to my young standards that I was sort of glad when it got stolen out of my band's rehearsal room just a few years later. An '87 MIJ P-Bass I formerly owned ran circles around it.

    Actually, that theft was one of the luckiest days in my musical life because in replacement I bought a brand-new G&L L-1000! I will never part with that precious instrument.

  13. pjmuck


    Feb 8, 2006
    New Joisey
    I've got a few 70's period Fenders, and I can concur that the quality control was spotty later in the decade. My '72 J and '73 P are amazing, especially the J. But I've got a '77 Tele Bass that has a neck pocket gap about 1/8" wide! The neck's off center as a result and the E string is flush with the fretboard edge. Any mild string bending and you'll find yourself wrapping the string over the top edge of the neck.

    Regarding the 80's Fenders: the early 80's Elite I and II series Ps are, IMO, some of the best basses Fender ever made.