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Vintage Fender Decals..Who really knows the facts?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 1SHOT1HIT, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    Who really knows their stuff about these things?

    Lately over the past month or so I've put some really deep thought into having a exact copy of my 62 J made.

    Well just playing around I decided I had one bass I really didn't care much about and decided I wanted to refinish it.
    Removed all the paint and went to finish the headstock so I bought some waterslide paper and went online to print out the decal to look exactly like my 62.

    Well after printing out one I noticed the decal being passed around the net as the 62 from that guitar guy's Fender info sight where it shows the 2 decals. One being from mid 62 to mid 65, and them Mid 65 to Mid 67.
    Sorry I can't link to it on my phone.

    But that decal is not the same as my 62 J Bass, mine has less PAT #'s

    Whats the story with the J Bass Decals?
    If that decal was from mid 62 I know my bass was made late in 62 so shouldn't that decal look the same as mine?



    When exactly did the decals change from one to the other?
  2. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    Edited: but question has been answered.
  3. I don't claim to be an expert or something alike, but here is my observation:

    J-bass decals, the details vary from year to year, depends on what Pat No's were granted,...

    1960 (first year, so patents were filed, but not yet granted)
    Fender Jazz Bass, without any pat./DES. numbers, says "PAT PEND" after Jazz Bass, and just "Offset Contoured Body". The "Trade Mark" was already there, and so it was put on the decal, underneath "Jazz Bass" and "Electric Bass"

    No changes from 1960

    3 patents (PAT 2573254 2960900 2968204) and 1 DES (DES 187001) were issued. Since there were actually patents, the "Pat Pend" after "Jazz Bass" disappeared.

    No changes from 1962

    Another Patent (3143028) was granted, so that came on the headstock. This is the picture you provided in the first post. The "Offset Contour Body" was now clipped from the main decal, and placed on the "ball" of the headstock

    1965, first half
    No changes from 1964

    1965, second half
    Fender changed from decal supplier, thus the font changed a bit (grew a bit bolder), the grain in the gold was less coarse, and PAT 3143028 and PAT 2968204 switched position

    1966 to late 1967
    No changes

    Decal changed completely, now being a "TV-friendly". DES-number was dropped, the sequence of PAT-numbers changed back to it's pre-1965 sequence. The "Offset Contour Body" decal now featured a "PATENTED" underneath it.

    No changes from 1968

    What the numbers mean, can be found on "teh interwebz"

    http://ip.com/patent/US2968204 (telecaster/stratocaster)
    http://ip.com/patent/US2976755 (precision-bass)
    http://ip.com/patent/US2573254 (telecaster)
    http://ip.com/patent/US3143028 (Fender company)
    DES 187,001 is a trademark for the contoured body. It seems that in 1968 they were given a patent for the contoured body (the PATENTED appeared underneath the "Contour Body", so the DES-number became obsolete, and was dropped.)
    Midak likes this.
  4. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    Awesome informative post, but your not implying that the picture I provided is of a 64 are you?

    I'm a bit confused as to your meaning of that section.
    And if I'm not mistaken, was there not a change from 62-63? Where a fourth Pat # was added (3,143,028)?????

    And that's my question, the decal from the site everyone uses and passes around as great Fender advice claims the 62 decal to have 4 Pat #'s with the far right corner being the 3,143,028?????
    However he does list it as "mid 62" so that leads me to believe there was in fact a change during the transition from 62-63.
  5. What bass are you refinishing?
  6. The picture you provided for the 2 decals is a 1964 decal (top), and a 1965-67 decal (lower). The 4th number was added in 1964. 1962 is indeed identical to 1963. With Fender, changes didn't come every 1st of January, but somewhere in that year, so when I say "1964", I mean "somewhere in 1964". Fender didn't let go ANYTHING to waste, so when a new batch of decals was ordered (that changed from the previous one), they weren't put to use directly, but were placed underneath the stash of old decals.

    I'm afraid that the information stated on that website is wrong (why, I don't know, maybe to give wrong information to people who want to fraud with decals. If it's coming from that "home.provide" site, it is, he states that somewhere in his FAQ/disclaimer).

    This list is "correct" because I made it from my stash of HD pics I've gathered over the years on ebay. There are some on google as well, so you can look those up for yourself.
    Midak likes this.
  7. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    That standard series
  8. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    Lol, those pics are of my personally owned Gruhn verified, original owner verified 1962 Jazz Bass.

    Are you sure you aren't mistaken here? :)

    I assure you those pics are of a genuine 62.

    Edit: my post in absolutely NO WAY to be an a-hole and prove you wrong, or call you out or anything like that.

    I know w/o any doubt those pics are 62 my goal here is to figure out why the common knowledge about these things seems to have holes in it with conflicting info, especially from a site like guitar guys that people typically look to and count on to be fact w/o question.

    But I assure you a lot of time was spent examining my basses neck in Nashville and it was looked over by not just one of the guys but ALL of Gruhn's staff.

    It was also later authenticated by the original owner himself with exact dates almost as to when he purchased it, which was with his Christmas money January of 63 as the music shop in Wayne Nebraska was closed for the holiday. He said he waited all week to place his order and remembers it vividly.
  9. Ah I had no idea you had any absses beside the 62 and the classic vibes-post progress pics as you go along it should be sweet.
  10. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    Yeah, I think I'm gonna post a thread once I get a little further along.
    But yeah I have the shell pink 62 , a sonic blue CV P Bass, the White 60's CV J Bass, the antique burst standard series Squier, I'm more than likely getting an MIM LPB J Bass MAYBE next week.

    I'm working on it :)
  11. Nono, that on your jazz is right, I was talking about these. Sorry, I goofed up on that one!
  12. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    Lol, go back up I edited the other comment instead of writing a new one.

  13. It's fine, it was a mistake on my part ;).

    So in short: the decals on your jazz are correct as they are!
  14. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    And, I appreciate the crap outta your contributions to this question.

    You've been a huge help and I'd really like to figure this out.

    It bothers me that so many look to that site for factual info (and it very well may be) but if it's not people need to know before they make purchases based on his information.
  15. No problem man, it's a message-board for something. Sometimes one knows something that someone other needs, and we're all here to learn, isn't it? :)

    And yes, it's a bit "annoying" that some info is wrong/inconsistent. It's great for "general dating" (like: when did the dots at the 12th fret narrow, when did the nailholes disappear, when was there a shift from shoreline- to firemist gold, how do I read a potcode...), but for the real details it all comes down to knittygritty handpicking, stashes of files and pictures you collected yourself and seeing for yourself if you got instrument A or B.
  16. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    Agreed, speaking of which I still can't see a difference in those damn dots.
    Lol I've looked and looked and they look the same to me.
    And in that guy and his sites defense from my own comments, it's filled with a TON of very accurate, and very helpful information.
    But that decal drives me nuts.

    Maybe I should start a thread and seek out other 62 owners and get a collective opinion on who has what decal. But first I'm gonna read through your provided info and links and go back over guitar guys site again with a fine toothed comb.

    This isn't just me being inquisitive my goal is to get as informed as some of you guys on here, and I will if it's the last thing I do. :)
  17. gigslut


    Dec 13, 2011
    St Louis, Mo
    That patent was granted in August of '64.

    You can date patents here.
    If it is on the bass, it was definitely built after that date.
  18. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    I can't list exact Pat #'s at the moment but, I have 3 Pat #'s all start with 2,xxx,xxx & 1 DES # 187,0001
    And I'll confirm that in a little bit as soon as I'm near the bass again.
  19. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    Ok here are my numbers, sorry if your link answers this I haven't had a chance to look at it yet.

    Will shortly

    My #'s are as follows;

    PAT 2,573,254 2,960,900 2,968,204
    DES 187,0001

    Almost exactly as written and the Jazz Bass Trademark Electric Bass & Offset Contour Body are all side by side to the Fender logo and all one piece.

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