Value of '77 jazz bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TheGeneral, May 10, 2002.

  1. I have a pending agreement to trade for a '77 jazz bass that is in excellent condition. The bass has maple board, original hardware (including bridge and pickup covers), black finish, block inlays, hardshell case, etc. What would be a fair price for such an instrument? Are there any cons to owning this bass?
  2. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    70s Fenders' quality varies quite a bit, with late 70s being the worst period for quality control.
    Have you played it? My 78 was a dog.
  3. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I have a 77 and a 78 and they are both incredible basses!
    I paid around a grand for each but they are not in pristine condition and didn't come with covers. I would guess in mint cond and all orig, somewhere between $1200 & 1400 bucks are what most dealers are trying to get for 70's J's.
    Good luck and show us pics when you get it....
  4. The bass is in another state so there is no way for me to try before I buy. How does one know if it is a dog or not before buying. What are the questions to ask to find out if it's a dog?
  5. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    My local dealer has a genuine 1971 Jazz Bass, sunburst w/rosewood fingerboard and dot inlays. It is in VG+ condition (a few wear, but nothing severe). It plays and sounds great. Price : 610 EUR (approx. 550 USD).

    In the USA where most musical instruments are cheaper than here, I think a 1977 Jazz Bass at 1200 USD is pricey. Or maybe the JB I saw is a killer deal that I shouldn't miss... :eek:

    All the best,
  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    When I was buying basses in the early 80s, all 70s CBS Fenders were considered to be crap. I understand that now it is considered that they varied greatly, and that some of them were good (I guess a few famous players use them too), but FWIW that was what everyone I knew thought of them back then.
    Bad how? Sound and build quality. I don't remeber people complaining about weight, although that's one of the present-day complaints.
  7. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Jayland whats up! I like th new Avatar.
    Anybody correct me if I'm wrong but in 71 Fender only had dot inlays on P basses Tele basses and their short scale basses,
    From 66 to around 79-80, Jazz basses have Pearl block inlays and the necks have binding, Black block inlays were offered only on Maple board Jazz basses from around 70 to 73 ?
    Sounds like maybe a 81 which is not a bad year and it's still a pretty good deal at 600+ dollars if it plays nice and sounds good!

    Jayland I just didn't want you to buy something that maybe wasn't what it was advertised as.
    Looking out for the TB Brother! ;)
  8. Hman


    Jan 8, 2002
    San Francisco, CA

    The finish is original! Almost like new. It weighs about 10 lbs, so is not too bad for a vintage Fender.The neck is perfect and plays like a dream. Very powerful "Marcus" sound!!

    Of course I'll let you try it first! Money back gaurantee!![​IMG]
  9. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    Thanks ! ;)

    That also makes me wonder. Anyway, I won't go try it again without taking my Fender serial references, and double check this.

    That's the way I understood your post, and I wish to thank you for your help. That's very kind.

    All the best,
  10. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA

    That sure is sweet!!!
    Everything original except the BadAss2 Bridge?
    Whats that fourth Knob?, pre-amp?
    Money back gaurentee, Sweet!!!!
    Looks like a nice player!
  11. Hman


    Jan 8, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    Actually the 3rd knob is the Bartolini preamp and the 4th knob is stack treb/bass. I had a Sadowsky before and the sound of this beauty very close to it!!

  12. Blux


    Feb 5, 2002
    Philadelphia, Pa.
    There is a local part-time guitar dealer who has a black '75 Percision for sale for $850. He has all the paper work(little booklet). Looks very good, have not yet played. Anyone want to estimate it worth?

    If anyone is interested in the Philadelphia area, contact me and I'll point in that direction. Everything he sales that I've tried has been in great shape. I'm more interested in his G&L.
  13. My rule of thumb is if you're going to spend more than $150 for an instrument, you absolutely MUST put your hands on it before you sign the check.

    As others have pointed out, late-70s vintage Fenders don't have the best reputation. An old bass does not a classic make.
  14. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Marcus is the reason why '77 Jazz Basses are so in-demand. Check out Atelier Z and Moon basses: they're all clones of the '77 Jazz.
  15. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    that's a nice bass - looks like my 78 but mine is a lot more beat up than that.
  16. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    Went back to my dealer's today, and tried the "1971" JB. In fact, everything shows (fingerboard, S/N...) that it is an early 80's bass, not a 1971. And the price is not 600 EUR, but 750 (last time my dealer didn't remember the exact price, and I was in a hurry).

    But there's a problem. This bass, that sounded good last time while plugged in a TE stack, sounded poor today with a H&K Bass Force combo, with all controls flat. I mean : it sounded REALLY poor.

    To be sure of what I was hearing, I picked up a StingRay that was there : excellent tone with the H&K in the same conditions (except change of input because it is active).

    I believe this 1981 JB is a dog. It has a wonderful neck, though. The StingRay has an excellent neck too (rosewood fingerboard), a not-so-bad finish (blueburst), and an excellent tone. 1200 EUR. Seems a bit pricey though, since many SRs in excellent condition can be found between 800 and 1000 EUR here.

    All the best,