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Who's into the late 70's J basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JAUQO III-X, Mar 18, 2008.


    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Who's into the late 70's J basses?

    and why?

    How many of you are into restoring them?

    like adding new foam under the pickups, refinishing,etc.

    Would you like to own one if the price was right?
  2. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    I have several late 70's P's but no Jazz basses. Would love to own one but still think it's gonna be hard to replace my Skyline JO4.
  3. I love the tone, but am underwhelmed with most of the Fenders that I've played from that era. I've moved to boutique J's that are influenced by that era, and have lost all vintage Fender G.A.S., especially in the mid to late 70's era.

    I am old enough to remember those instruments when they were new, and it's not a pretty memory:rollno:
  4. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    My prized bass is an '82 lefty Jazz, which is built with '70s specs and parts ('78 serial number decal, '70 string spacing, 3-bolt neck, maple fretboard with dots - see my profile pic).

    I absolutely love them. They have a certain character that I do not hear in any other basses. And I like the colors, and the thick poly finish, the smell (from the rotten cases). The neck profile is a soft V to die for. It all adds to funkyness. And also like that they sound like '70s records.

    I had to change the pickups because they were microphonic - went with Lollar. But the originals sound so good. I also installed Hipshot Ultralites, and the bass tips the scale at 9 lbs.

    I have cash on hand waiting for another lefty one to appear. I would not restore one for cosmetic reasons, though, I would fix electronics and do a refret, etc, but to "restore" and old Fender to make it look new is sacrilege.
  5. Jjango


    Nov 16, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Of course! But I think the BUYER and the SELLER always have different ideas about the "right" price! ;)

    I think that fixing up old basses is quite a lot of fun, guess in the same way that some guys like to fix old cars.
  6. vision

    vision It's all about the groove! Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, La Bella Strings, and 64 Audio IEMs
    If the $$$ was right I'd like to own one just for the cool factor. But when it comes down to actual use on the gig, I'm not a 4 string player at all. My first bass was a 5 and I haven't looked back since then.
  7. jonno1707


    Apr 1, 2006
    Nanuet N.Y.
    I love the tone of the late seventies Jazz basses and have a killer 77..
    For 5's I havent found anything that comes even close in sound and feel to my Atelier Z and I have played them all..
  8. Mr_Dave


    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne
    just put some seymore duncan antiquity IIs in a '77 jazz i bought. otherwise its all original. Its a cool bass, but not really my thing so its now for sale.


    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    How much?
  10. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    +1, I love playing a nice four string, but when it comes to gigs, I really have gotten used to playing fives.:bassist:
  11. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    my 78 jazz is the one for me. no other bass i own or have played has been able to compete with it. the feel of the neck is absolutely perfect.

    i found mine in a little music shop outside of boston on consignment for $1200. its 100% original, one owner, with the original case. the guy was an older gent who hadn't played in 10 or so years and had several basses and guitars on sale at this shop for great prices.
  12. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    I love them, but the weight keeps me from buying them. So i've built my own 70's J. And its amazing.
  13. jonno1707


    Apr 1, 2006
    Nanuet N.Y.
    There not all tanks as mine weighs in at around 9 lbs but there is something special about the tone of the heavier ones for sure..
    Quality control on the weight of body's wasn't there in the late seventies..
  14. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    and im glad it wasnt, otherwise we might have a different idea of the marcus miller sound. i love my 11.5 pound 78 and would never trade it for a lighter one.

    why dont people get on ernie ball's case like they do fender from the 70's? there are tons of stingrays out there that are over 10 pounds and feel just as heavy as those late 70's fenders. my buddy has a poplar one that is beastly.
  15. tkozal


    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    Pay more, buy something 75 or earlier, thats my 2 cents...too many issues with the later ones....
  16. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    The 70s Jazz has become my weapon of choice as of late.

    Having used 60s jazzes and newer ones too the sound just wasn't doing it for me.

    Then I happened about a year ago on to a black 76 and kinda went whoa that's more of what I was looking for. Not sure if it's the pickups, pickup spacing, maple neck or what, but that was more of the punchy sound I needed. 10lbs BTW

    The 76 was converted into the double Dark Star bass you see here.


    Last Fall I got a phone call from a buddy that there was this guy wanting to sell a bass but his music store doesn't buy any instruments outright and would I be interested ... 10 minutes later I pull into the parking lot and find a young man sitting on the back of a Volvo playing this ... a 9.5lb 1975 4 bolt neck ash body beauty ... I wrote him a check on the spot!


    Got this one about three weeks ago ... pretty much the same story, same guy calls me with the same story on this lovely 8.5lb Lake Placid Blue 1973 ... almost got away, but I managed to snag it ... had to play cell phone tag in 5 oclock traffic but found her and bought this one in the parking lot of a Chucky Cheese ... just an amazing bass!


    I've also got a 1996 75 re-issue, one of the stunning MIJ Fenders from the Fuji Gen factory, wanting to see what all you guys mean by that "modern" sound (read Sadowsky) I turbocharged it with Nordstrand NJ4SE pickups an Audere pre, Hipshot tuners and a Gotoh bridge ... I now get the whole modern thing!

    :) ... So yeah, I guess I'm what you call a convert (or is that addicted) to the 70s Fenders
  17. that LPB one is lovely
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Agreed... the weight is likely a factor in the sound. I lucked into a killer 78, dirty as heck when I bought it but when I cleaned off the muck I was shocked to see the condition... it looked like a reissue. The best part is that it nails "that" sound. Plays great too. I put new foam rubber under the pickups, other than that it's completely stock. I keep the covers off.

  19. HeebeeJB


    Jun 5, 2007
    Washington UK

    Ahhggrr!! That is so perfect for me in so many ways...:bassist:
  20. jonno1707


    Apr 1, 2006
    Nanuet N.Y.
    Yea me too.............:);)

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