Vintage fender or fender masterbuilt

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by black.rose1402, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. black.rose1402


    Jan 10, 2007
    Hi , I'm on the verge of getting a new bass for my 40th year on this earth.

    Several options were possible but I decided to narrow it down to a choice that would make sense ( I am a pro bass player, meaning I earn my living playing music, mostly the bass).

    my arsenal now is

    a pbass custom shop pino palladino (with flats or course)
    a Sadowsky NYC Will Lee
    a Sadowsky MV5

    with those 3 basses, I can do almost anything.
    but 40 years old, damn, I want to treat myself ;)

    So I am thinking about getting either and old Jazz bass (65 or 66)
    or a masterbuilt Jazz bass by the fender custom shop

    the only other option would be getting a pbass with rounds (custom shop or vintage)

    so the main question is between a custom shop masterbuilt or vintage.

    the masterbuilt is supposed to the best you can get, and I like the fact that if any problem happens, I have a warranty
    The vintage, my fear is if something goes wrong, but man, when you get a good sounding one, nothing compares

    which way would you guys go?
    pioneerp61 likes this.
  2. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    With what you have I'd suggest something different like a Stingray, but if you're dead set on another jazz, I'd go new over vintage. Mojo shmojo.
    J_Bass, Bassdirty, TrustRod and 8 others like this.
  3. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    Since you have some Sadowsky basses, you should treat yourself to another NYC made bass.....Fodera!
    dangnewt and black.rose1402 like this.
  4. Dave Hill

    Dave Hill Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Masterbuilt jazz
    black.rose1402 likes this.
  5. Admiral Akbar

    Admiral Akbar

    Mar 12, 2013
    New York
    Vintage jazz.

    Get it set to the way you like it - I’ve got a 64 that I had re-fretted by a an excellent luthier. The bass plays as well as any masterbuilt and has that tone that can only come from wood and electronics 55 years old.

    In the end, the cost is about the same as a masterbuilt.

    As Gorn said — Stingray is also a nice idea; and of course, being me I’d steer you towards a vintage 76-78 one ;)

    Either way, masterbuilt or vintage, take your time and know what you want. Enjoy the “dating” (shopping) process. And happy “farty-eth” birthday! :)
    black.rose1402 likes this.
  6. Devnor


    Nov 13, 2001
    Dallas TX
    Only practical reason to go masterbuilt is to get options not available on the teambuilt specs. If you are picky about aging and weight then MB is your best option.
    black.rose1402 likes this.
  7. muggsy


    Dec 14, 2000
    Alexandria, VA
    I had the same thought when I turned 40, except I was neither a pro nor likely to be mistaken for one. I had been through several J basses and ended up selling them all, so I decided to order a Sadowsky NYC Ultra Vintage Jazz to end the search. It was a beautiful bass, but I never really bonded with it and ended up realizing I just prefer P basses. So I traded it for cash and a Lakland P/J that I love and still have.

    I recognize that none of this answers your question. You already have a Pino so you know how good the Custom Shop instruments can be. But you also have a Will Lee so you've got the Jazz thing covered. I'd go for a custom shop P bass with rounds, myself. I recently acquired a Sean Hurley signature P and it's amazing. Same quality as the Pino plus it has the foam mute you can flip on or off. Vintage is great but hit or miss, and at some point I'd be worried about gigging with a vintage bass you couldn't replace.
  8. John Freeman

    John Freeman Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    Masterbuilt jazz without hesitating. You get to pick out every aspect of the bass including color, woods, neck profile, etc. Add hand-wound pickups for something even more special. Your options are almost endless going this route. You will also have the comfort of a lifetime factory warranty.

    If you want the vintage tone, I understand Alleva Coppolo come as close to the vintage tone as you can get in a modern instrument but I have never actually played one.

    I turned 40 in April. My birthday gift was a G&L Custom Shop JB5. I ordered it the first week of November and it was delivered the week before my big day. What a great gift.
  9. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef is modulating in time. Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    Southern California
    The price difference between regular custom shop models and masterbuilts in my opinion boils down to paying for the "prestige" of it being called a masterbuilt. I think the masterbuilts are ridiculous for the price personally. It's wood and metal, not uranium and unicorn hair. The fret work on regular CS models is typically awesome, and you coild always pay a $100 or so to a good luthier to make the neck play perfect (if it's not already out of the box) and save yourself the several thousands of dollars worth of upcharge for a masterbuilt.

    That said, I'd still go vintage in a heartbeat. Also keep in mind, that $6-8K masterbuilt loses 1/2 its value the moment you buy it. The vintage bass will hold its value and likely keep going up over the decades.
  10. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I'd go vintage in a heartbeat too.
  11. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Seems like you've got the custon shop and modern bass thing covered.

    Cool part of a mid 60's Fender is that resale is solid when bought smart.
    OTOH, there are some stinkers and forgeries out there.

    For me it would have to be 100% original but not the finish as this saves a ton of $$ and not a disaster when a clean one when gets damaged.
    I have SR too but would suggest you consider a P or PJ for some extra tonal flexibility.
    As far as other builders, I'm currently most excited with Sandberg for quality for the $$.
    black.rose1402 likes this.
  12. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Allentown, PA!
    TalkBass: where every 'A or B' question will be answered with C, D, or E.
    But seriously - if you have the $$ and time, seek out a great vintage example.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  13. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    FWIW; On a 'vintage' Fender, proving pedigree is always a challenge as well as its overall originality. Plus, stuff like tags, original case, any other items the bass had when 1st purchased.

    You get ALL that (and a warranty) with a new build.

    Plus, you get the color you like, look. Most new Fenders are pretty darn nice these days. Plus, with the vibe & playability, they're a pretty good value.
  14. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I have a '63 P. It's no better than my new Gretsch basses. That is to say - it's very good, and so are they.

    My thought: buying vintage is paying money far in excess of the playing virtues of the instrument.

    Buy new.
    Marikk, Dabndug and MattZilla like this.
  15. dalkowski

    dalkowski It's "rout," not "route." Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    I want to be 40 again.
  16. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Absolutely true! I am just surprised that no one has suggested a Squire since their minions believe they are every bit as good as everything the OP already has.
  17. nilorius

    nilorius Inactive

    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    I would choose Fender custom shop, all your dreams could come through.
  18. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    The Masterbuilt Jazz will almost certainly be a better made instrument than any similar vintage Jazz.

    You may not think this is an issue now, but be well aware than if you purchase a Masterbuilt Jazz from Fender for $7grand, the second you walk out the door of the shop, that bass will be worth $4,500. But if you purchase a '66 Jazz for $7grand, that bass will always be worth $7grand (or more).
  19. Judge Nickels

    Judge Nickels

    Aug 3, 2015
    When I faced a similar decision, I went with a vintage bass and I don't regret it for a second.

    If you decide to go with a vintage precision, you can likely get into a pre CBS model for MasterBuilt money if you are patient and careful.

    If you are looking to extensively gig and/or travel with this 40th birthday special you will want to interrogate your feelings about doing that with a 50 year old bass.
  20. Gunga Din

    Gunga Din

    Jun 22, 2018
    Depends on how deep your pockets are.

    Me? A '60/61 Jazz Bass
    A '66 dot & bound Jazz with lollipop tuners.