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vintage jazz basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ****yBassist, Feb 13, 2002.


  1. ****yBassist

    ****yBassist

    Nov 12, 2001
    Is it possible to find an old beater Fender Jazz for around $800 that is in descent mechanical condition? Body damage is a plus. I'm talking mid 70's. Does anyone know of any sites that specialize in vintage jazz'?
     
  2. Tapp

    Tapp

    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    Ebay has about the best selection I've seen. You could also purchase the "Vintage Guitar" paper/mag and search (higher prices though). I picked up my refinished '73 (just like Geddy's except blond finish) for around $700.00 off Ebay. After a pro refret I've got close to $1000.00 in it and it's a great player!

    Tapp
     
  3. JPJ

    JPJ

    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I found my '77 in some guy's basement when I was in college. He didn't know what he had, and I used my expert knowledge to walk away with the bass and it's original hard shell case for $300. The bass itself was/is in Excellent ++ condition. Unfortunately, the price you're looking to pay is about HALF of what you're going to find on the open market. Any vintage store will list a late '70's jazz in the teens ($1200-$1400), and the mid '70's will probably start around $1400-$1500 if you're LUCKY! You can always try e-bay, but the best way to go is to just stumble across one, like I did.
    However, as I've said in past posts on this topic, I don't think that '70's Fender jazz basses are a good value, and would not recommend getting one unless you can get a REALLY good deal on one. If you want the look and the sound, you're MUCH better off taking the money you would otherwise spend on a poorly-made bass (whose collectibility and investment values are questionable) and spending it on a new bass with a similar look.
    Fender makes great reissues that would be around your budget. You could also customize an existing bass to look like a 70's bass. You could buy a MIM Fender or Lakland Skyline Joe Osborn and have a luthier add the block inlays and neck binding. Finally, you might be better off ordering parts from Warmoth or USA Custom Guitars, so you could build one that looks exactly like a '70's bass for about $800. Otherwise, I don't think your chances are very good at all of finding a "vintage" '70's bass for this price. Good Luck!!!
     
  4. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    nothing sounds like a late 70's jazz.
     
  5. RockFiend

    RockFiend

    Aug 23, 2000
    does anyone have any idea how much it would cost to get block inlays set into an already dot inlayed fingerboard??? I'd like to get a MIM jazz for around $800 (CAN) and put some blonde block inlays in it...
     
  6. Tapp

    Tapp

    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    JPJ, I disagree/agree with you about 70's Fenders. I have 2 and both have straight necks (albeit wide neck pockets) that are rock solid. I do agree with you that there are some dogs out there with neck cracks below the headstock and such but I've found many to be made well.

    In my opinion (and the opinion of a respected luthier that I know), if you find a good 70's Jazz bass with a nice straight neck then that neck is not as prone to move around and has aged into a solid instrument. My '73 rarely goes out of tune and this is after a horrible fret level (when I bought the bass) that my luthier friend fixed for me. My '74 is the same way, rock solid. Most of all, I like the feel of 70's Jazz's much better than the new stuff Fender is making. I don't doubt that the new one's are made very well, it's just what I like and Ybassist may like them too. A lot of the Fender's are overpriced IMO but a nice refin may be had for a good deal.

    Tapp
     
  7. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Go here and type in Fender Jazz bass.

    www.gbase.com

    Be sure and go to some of the sites. They many times have more than what it listed.

    But I agree with JPJ on the prices. It's gonna be rough to find an original finish in that price range. A refin is probably going to be more likely. Good luck!
     
  8. Intrepid

    Intrepid

    Oct 15, 2001
    Sounds like your trying to do what I was trying to do, until I got over it and bought a Ric....I wanted a piece of crap sunburst 70s block inlay jazz to match my guitar players 64 sunburst Jaguar(he is original owner) and it just didn't happen. $1500 for a crapped jazz bass(when you get down to it, thats what it is) 70s didn't even have the best quality basses, like the 60s did. It was CBS time and they basically sucked. I even thought about getting a 70's reissue and crapping it up myself...you might opt to do that. Also look at that Dillion thats in another post...you can probably get it for less especially if you email the guy and tell him he is a fraud. Blackmail at its best...If you want to relic it yourself then just sit in your car for awhile until it gets cold, and then get a hair dryer so you can check the finish, then get a paint scrapper and scar some of the paint and out lots of scratches in it....rub some of the finish off with those scrub pads...buy a custom neck with block inlays from Warmoth and get the vintage finish...bang that around a little and woolah, you got a custom reliced jazz bass that yoiu can bring to any blues bar. They also got stuff to rust nails and such... for what its called but some chemical...
     
  9. Tapp

    Tapp

    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    Intrepid; honestly how many 70's Jazz basses have you actually played and heard? To say they all suck is ignorance! I would put my '73 and '74 against any of the new Fender stuff playability and sound. I even had a '78 Jazz that was a boat anchor 3 bolt design and that thing played awesome too. Makes you wonder why Marcus doesn't retire his '78 Jazz; I mean the guy has multiple Sadowskys.

    Tapp
     
  10. Intrepid

    Intrepid

    Oct 15, 2001
    I didn't say they all suck....quite as stretch of my words....generally the quality was quite cheap...
     
  11. Tapp

    Tapp

    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    Gotcha, the line about "CBS time" is where I misinterpreted your meaning. I guess you referred to CBS sucking and not the Jazz in particular? Anyway, I understand and didn't want to come across as the "70's Jazz Bass Nazi" :D

    Tapp
     
  12. JPJ

    JPJ

    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    To get things back to ****YBassist's original query, the fact remains that more often than not (if not the vast majority) of instruments created in the 1970's are of a substantially poorer quality than those of the '50's and early '60's. The quality also picked back up in the late '80's and carried through into the '90's. That said, there are some great instruments that were made during this time period. The neck pocket on my '77 is wide enough for a small child to curl up and snooze in, but it still sounds fine and it great for gigging. However..........the chances for someone to find something like THAT in todays market for under $1000 is unrealistic, in my opinion. That is why I suggested several alternatives. It's not IMPOSSIBLE, and while I dont' know ****YBassist's situation, for someone who is looking to buy and play a bass in the near future, I don't think that the possibility of finding this type of bass is very good. If one has time to search and wait and wait and search, I say "go for it"! If/when you find that bass, the process will be very rewarding and you will probably have a friend for life in your new instrument. It just depends on each individual's unique situation.