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Vintage Jazzes

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by adam on bass, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    Are the 70's Vintage Jazzes worth the cash? I have been looking at them and I can't find one under $1500.
  2. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    The few I have played have been good, I wouldn't pay the asking prices. Good tone, comfortable neck, and a great vibe to them, but not worth 2000+.

    If I wanted a vintage sound I would get a new Jazz and possibly purchase a set of pickups with more of a "vintage" tone, but honestly I like the vintage tones in a standard, off-the-rack, new Jazz.
  3. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    In some ways, yes and in others, I'm not sure. I buy, sell, and trade vintage Fender basses all the time. I like them alot! They always increase in value and are good solid instruments for the most part. Cool tone, good looks, etc.

    On the other hand, most new "Fender-like" basses will outperform these old basses, IMO

    I gig with two Sadowsky's and have had 9 other of Roger's basses. I wouldn't dare use anything else and I play 150 times per year. Vintage Fenders are cool but can be less than reliable, noisy pickups, etc. Also, the Sadowsky preamp rules!!!!!

    If you want a bass to gig with, go with a Sadowsky or other nice Fender type new bass. If you want a vintage Fender, buy the nicest, most original example you can afford. You'll never lose a dime and it will appreciate over time!!

  4. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    Early 70's Jazz are nice.
    Stay away from 3-bolt jazz basses.
    For $2000.00 get a Sadowski, or Lakland.
  5. Not that I disagree totally with Mojo-Man but I believe it depends on the individual bass. I lucked out on an excellent '78... Unfortunately it's not the natural ash model (it's sunburst) but a great player's instrument nonetheless and talk about mojo.

    Now I have to decide whether to sell it and go for an original '66 CAR. Decisions, decisions.
  6. Rvl


    Dec 23, 2003
    Aomori Japan
    I sold all my vintage stuff and bought a Sadowsky and some other modern Jazz bass reissues.
    Although I liked my 60's and 70's Jazz basses they weren't as reliable as Sadowsky or new reissues or Fender Japan


    Robert VanLane
  7. If I were you I'd go hunting for a '75 MIJ model. They're equally as good, and the pickups sound great too. ;)
  8. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    Oddio is right, each bass is different.
    Go for the 66-CAR. one of my fav, years.
  9. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    100%. Or I'd ask Nino Brown to build me one of his Valenti's. His red Jazz-style with the black block inlays is killer!
  10. Thanks for that. It's also one of my fav, years for a Jazz. Talk about a sweet bass, but ouch, so very expensive.

    Does anyone recall seeing silver paint underneath on a '66? I've read that they changed to gold after '65, but the bass that I'm looking at has none of that brown fading associated with the gold metallic undercoat.
  11. Franklin229


    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeast USA
    I think they are. Although as said, the four bolt neck is the way to go, after living with two three-bolt bases that went south on me. I now have a '73 four-bolt-awesome bass.

    If you hook up with a solid four-bolt J bass, say early '70's-you'll have the benchmark bass that most new manuf still chase (again, my opinion). Plus, if you buy one in good shape that's fairly clean and original, you will get it all back when/if it comes time to sell.
  12. I almost bought a '76 jazz in good condition for $600. Still don't know why I didn't.
  13. In the end it's just like any other bass, if it's no good, it's not worth the money. Realize that you will have to pay an extra x amount just because it's vintage, but this could be in your favor as resale value increases. Vintage basses tend to have a broken in feel and really nice sound, because basses tend to sound better with age due to the aging of the wood and all the playing time they've often gotten. However this doesn't make a bad bass into a good bass, it just makes the bad one a little better than it was in the 70s. If a bass just doesn't play well or sound good it isn't worth the money, in my opinion.
  14. bass_man86


    Apr 29, 2002
    Virginia Beach
    Look around. You can find them for under $1500. I own a '73 Jazz myself and I have to agree about the pick-ups. I bought my bass back in 1990 for $300. I spent another $350 at a luthier on it. The pups were shots and were replaced with Barts, it's now fretless, with a brass nut and a Badass bridge. I keep strung with Fender nylon wounds. Very nice bass, but I must admit that the '70's vintage Fenders are not consistent in quality. Still cheaper than buying a Sadowski though.