1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

When did Fender switch to poplar bodies?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by savethegibbons, Sep 11, 2004.

  1. savethegibbons


    Nov 29, 2003
    I'm looking at a Jazz bass on ebay, serial number MN516194, apparently made in the early nineties. Anyonw know if this bass is poplar or alder?

    Also, I've noticed it doesn't have the same plate with the controls I've typically seen on Jazz Basses. I thought this plate was separate to the pickguard? And would it be possible to return it to the typical aesthetics?

    Anyway, thanks for the help :).

  2. j-bass


    Feb 5, 2004
    its also got strat knobs, maybe fake ?

    could you link to the auction ?

  3. They switched in 2000 if I remember well, the bass in the picture is poplar will have both pick-ups the same size and will probably hum like crazy due to the way the pick-ups were wound at that time on MiMs.
  4. savethegibbons


    Nov 29, 2003
  5. Stevious G

    Stevious G

    May 5, 2003
    That pic has been Photoshop'd. I have no idea why, but it looks like almost the entire pickguard, with the exception of the treble horn section, has been heavily modified. There is a clear, roughly diagonal line between the 1st and 4th screws on the treble side, counting from the neck. And the edges of the control plate, (or where it SHOULD be,) look far too soft. Especially running from the tip of the "plate" to just underneath the strings. There isn't enough shadowing to tell if the knobs and jack are even actually "there."
    Also, the screw heads on either side of the bridge pickup on the bass side are clearly just black dots, as is the one on the bass side tip of the guard, by the neck, and the one under the strings. And that's just at first glance.

    Now, I'm not saying that anything fishy is DEFINATELY going on here, but... I mean, why the hell would someone do that?
  6. savethegibbons


    Nov 29, 2003
    Thanks for the warnings. I think I'll let this one pass.
  7. No, its all original. It was called the jazz bass traditional or something. It was in the late 90's I think, I have a old old frontline magazine that had it in there. I think it was the lowest form of a fender you could get. Below a standard jazz.

    Anybody remember these?

    It doesnt look photoshopped to me...
  8. savethegibbons


    Nov 29, 2003
    Thanks, man. It's reassuring to know it isnt a fake. Still, I'm going to avoid it. I'm looking for a standard J :).
  9. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    That's not Photoshopped- that's just a JPG with a very lossy compression scheme.

    And one ugly but very real and stock bass.
  10. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    That bass looks a bit like my 97 e.g. pickguard and control plate are one piece. From the serial number-i'm sure you guys know that it'd be a '95 MIM.

    That's all
  11. No, no, no, no, no!
    What I saw in the picture was the body of an '82 or '83 US Jazz Bass, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. That godawful pickguard was used during that time, when Fender was owned by CBS, who were interested in maximizing profit and not much else. Can't say if it's made of poplar or what, but it'll probably give you scoliosis.
    The neck is MIM by that serial number.
    savethegibbons, don't buy it. That bass has been floating around for some time, which usually means it stinks.
  12. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    The Mexican Standard Jazzes had that same pickguard/control cover in 97. Sad but true.
  13. demolition

    demolition Guest

    Jul 5, 2003
    my first fender was a 95 mex standard,it had the one piece control plate/ pickgaurd deal,it is a standard series and no its not a fake,BUT it was one of the more poorer year mex basses there was,my buddy owned one and it to had a million neck problems.
    I tried to go back to the common style of chrome plate and seperate p/gaurd and it was a disaster,the holes dont even come close to lining up,and when you get it all together it looks like crap all crocked and what not.
    Fender used this style on american jazz basses in 82 and 83 and they looked not like they should,but one more thing if you are not sure dont answer with "its a fake"or its "bogus" many of the postings on this thread were wrong or merely speculation both of which should not be left when someone is considering buying a bass,facts only please, opinions are like A$$holes we all have em,and to others they stink.and when buying a mex standard go for the ones with the old style control knobs(98 and newer)they seem to be the better of the bunch,but in the case of a mex you should always play'em first because the quality control is very erratic,one is fine while the very next is rubbish :bassist:
  14. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I remember these as well. Kunfusherrif is mistaken, this is a bone stock mid-90s "Traditional" Jazz Bass - the absolute cheapest Jazz Bass ever to carry a "Fender" logo. There was a "Tradidional" P-Bass as well. My nephew had one and it was pretty friggin nice. A big step up from a made in China Squier for about the same price. Too bad they don't make these any more.
  15. natrab


    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA

    This is my dad's bass. He got it new in the early 80s (82 I think). He said it was a reissue of some sort (notice it came with the white pickups). It is alder and actually plays very well.

    I modified it to make it look good though and my dad likes it a lot more now.


    It's a MIA btw.
  16. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I remember Fender’s "Standard" line of axes were made in Japan. Then they switched production over to Mexico leaving only certain signatures models to be “crafted” in Japan. Now I do recall that it was around this transition time where you had some sub-standard models (sort of on par with the Squire Series). I think the J-bass(es) we’re talking about came from this line.

    As far as the popular bodies go, I think all the Standard model Mexican basses and guitars were built from this wood. Only in the last couple of years did Fender start using more traditional alder wood for their MIM Standard guitars and basses. For you Standard J bass owners, one clue as to what wood they used on yr MIM Standard Jazz is that they also started using proper Jazz bass knobs rather than the Strat knobs when they switched from popular to alder. However, just keep in mind, if you ever buy a MIM Standard bass used on eBay, a lot of players put off by the Strat styled tone and vol knobs replaced them with J-bass knobs because they look more legit and cooler in general.

  17. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    Through most of the 90's they had the strat knobs. I have a 98 MIM with the strat knobs but it does have the separate controls plate as well. I would not be surprised if at some point what you are seeing was stock. If not, it is likely that someone took an aftermarket pickguard and installed it.

    You can certianly restore this to the original looks. There are many after-market knobs and plates you can buy for cheap. Regardless of the year, your MIM should have the same measurements of a typical jazz bass so you can get new plates and knobs with no problem.
  18. Huh.
    Live and learn, I suppose. Thanks for setting me straight.
  19. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Well, I think that Fender only sold these "Traditional" MIMs for like two years, and I saw them mostly in little stores like strip mall "music" stores that specialize in sheet music and band instruments. I think I only ever saw one in a big store like Guitar Center, they were -very- easy to miss.