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value of fake 70's jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tallguybcs, Aug 11, 2000.

  1. I saw a 70's jazz bass in a pawn shop today for $265, it didnt have the fender decal, the headstock is totally blank, it has the blocks on the fretboard, and the tortoise pickguard, but the pickguard looks different from the other ones ive seen. I'm assuming this is a fake, and if it is, can someone tell me the value of this, i can maybe get it for $200.
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Need more information:D Is it refinished, 3 or 4 bolt neck, can you get a picture, etc.
    It could be a no name Jazz copy and not worth much at all, not even $200.
    Also, how well do you know Fenders basses?
    If you're not knowledgable about them, do you have a friend who is?

    Hope that helps.
  3. There were some good copies made in the 70's. Tokai, Ibanez, and Electra were some of the brands that got the notice of Fender. These versions are usually referred to as "lawsuit" basses because Fender sought, by legal means, to have them stop infringing on the design of the original Fender equipment and specific design elements. This is why you'll see contemporary basses that look precisely like a Jazz but have a different headstock design.

    The thing about the above mentioned basses was that they were nearly identical copies of the original. That's what made them confusing in the market. The bass you saw probably isn't one of them simply because it has an easily identifiable difference - the pickguard. I don't recall seeing any really decent instruments that don't bear some trademark identification. Even those designed to capture some of Fender's market had their own names on the headstock. They even went so far (like Tokai) as to use the same logo script as Fender to fool the eye at a distance. IMO even if you could purchase it for 2 bills, there are many other basses out there that could be had for that amount, even new ones that are much higher in quality. I recently purchased a 1992 Fender Precision Plus Deluxe with gigbag and in fabulous shape for $275. Keep looking and you'll find something that will really light your fire.

    There is one other possibility but it is a remote one. That is that the bass could be a "composite" bass, perhaps made from some aftermarket parts. There are companies that make replacement necks that don't have a logo on them. If that is the case, a neck as you have described would be worth (new) quite a bit more than the asking price. It is very hard to tell without seeing it. My guess is probably NOT.
  4. yeah, im not really serious about it, was was just curious, the pickguard was different from the other torquise, kind of more yellow, but other then that, it was pretty much identical, the headstock was the perfect fender headstock, it even had the "rustic" fretboard, with all the chips, ill see how low it goes, cause it did look pretty good to me
  5. gmstudio99


    Mar 11, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Two minute points:

    1) It can't be a "fake" if it's not claiming to be something it isn't. If someone had written the word "FENDER" on the headstock with purple magic marker, then, yes, most certainly this would be a "fake". But, other than in design, it's not *claiming* to be a Fender, so it's not technically a fake. It's just a bass that happens to look like a Fender.

    That's not a major point. Just a point in terminology.

    2) Pick it up and play it...I know you said you're not really serious about it, and that's fine, but so many people get caught up in brand names that they ignore the fundamental: how does it function on it's own merits? Play things for what they are, if it feels like a great bass, who cares if it says "Bubba Brand Basses" on the headstock? If I could find a bass that, IMO, played just as well as my MIA Jazz for $200, I'd snag it, no matter what was on the headstock.

    Good luck!

  6. frost13


    Apr 12, 2000

    There were many Jazz clones and a few of them WERE actually better than Fender. The Tokai is especially a good example of this. I've also seen a few really good copies by Memphs.
    But I agree with GM...try it and see what it is worth to YOU.
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I had one of those 'good' Memphis basses.

    Mine was a perfect copy of James Jamerson's 'Funk Machine', sunburst, tortoise, bridge & pickup cover, finger rest.

    Bass was awesome, only problem was it weighed about 40lbs, but this was the mid 70's, most Fenders in that era were really heavy too.

    Wish I still had it, it was a true 'lawsuit bass' too, except the logo it looked just like Jamerson's.

    Memphis basses are nowhere near that quality nowadays..
  8. Bass Hound

    Bass Hound

    Aug 17, 2000
    This is an interesting thread, hopefully, I can add something of a different slant to it.
    According to my uncle, a jazz bassist in the 50s through 80s, the name of the person who designed the "Fender J Bass" was 'Aims'.
    When Leo sold out to CBS, Aims left the company and started making his own line of 'J' basses. They are not a copy, they are the real thing made by the designer of the real thing.
    The only difference is the chrome bridge cover has a script "A" and the head says "Aims". Litterly everything else is in-destingusible from the Fender.
    CBS/Fender, never went after Aims because his name was on the patent along side Leo Fender's.
    I have a 1970 Aims in good++ condition that I have been trying to get appraised for insurance reasons.
    Any imput?

  9. frost13


    Apr 12, 2000
    That's pretty interesting. I've never heard of Aims basses, but will definitely be on the lookout for one. I'd love to check it out.
  10. Rumblin' Man

    Rumblin' Man Banned

    Apr 27, 2000
    Route 66
    Joe, I'd love to see this bass, could you post a picture or a link to a picture?

  11. Scottzo


    Jan 20, 2000
    I picked up a frettless Tokai Jazz Sound(ha ha sound) bass about 5 years ago for 150. It's a nice copy and spare bass to have.

    This is the first time I've seen them mentioned in a thread.

    I thought by then Fender was licencing it's self out?
  12. azgardbassist


    Mar 10, 2008
    A friend of mine had a similar type issue recently, had all the fenderness, but nothing on
    the headstock,turned out he found a receipt under the torn carpet in the case and it was a genuine fender,but the neck had been replaced by some menders shop in 1981,

    A Stroke of luck, though he didn't care, he just loved the feel of it.

    My advice would be if you've taken a shine to it,get it, it may or may not be a fender,but if it feels right for you,it doesn't matter the brand.

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