Fender Jazz Bass Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1964)

Fender  Jazz Bass Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar  (1964)
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Item # 8824
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Fender Jazz Bass Model Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1964), made in Fullerton, California, serial # L-20742, sunburst lacquer finish, alder body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black tolex hard shell case.

This is an excellent example of true Pre-CBS Jazz bass, played-in but remaining completely unaltered and original and in generally well-preserved condition. The 1959 introduction of the Jazz Bass represented a major step for Fender, and for the electric bass in general. By that time the Precision Bass had been on the market for eight years or so, and Fender was seeing increasing competition in a market they had pretty much created. The Jazz Bass was designed as an upgrade model, the hot rod of the electric bass world. With the sleeker "offset" body adapted from the Jazzmaster and a much slimmer 1 1/2" nut width, it had a racier look and sleeker feel than the Precision. The two slimmer-cased, multi-pole pickups offered a wider range of sounds, with a sharper attack and more definition to the tone.

This Jazz Bass dates to the beginning of 1964 and shows typical features for that year. The slim tapered neck has a clay dot rosewood fingerboard with no binding; the headstock sports a gold Fender logo decal and is fitted with Kluson tuners. The alder body is finished in a nicely blended 3-tone sunburst lacquer finish with a tortoise plastic pickguard.

This bass was built about a year before the CBS takeover at Fender -- the neck is dated JAN 64 and the pots are from the 3rd week of that year. At 9.5 lbs., this is a medium-light weight 1960s Fender bass and extremely resonant. This is a superlative player with a somewhat more low/midrange emphasis to the tone compared to many typical Jazz Basses from 1965 and beyond. While always a successful model, the Jazz Bass was rather more expensive than the Precision and in the Pre-CBS period was built in smaller numbers. It is always a pleasure to find one that has weathered the decades well.
 
Overall length is 46 1/2 in. (118.1 cm.), 14 in. (35.6 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 34 in. (864 mm.). Width of nut is 1 1/2 in. (38 mm.).

This bass remains completely original, showing some typical finish wear and chipping but no repairs or alterations. The body finish has numerous small dings and some areas of flaking, with notable wear from a player's thumb above the strings just off the top edge of the pickguard and armwear to the top edge of the body. The neck is more subtly worn and actually appears quite clean, with some typical areas where the finish is rubbed off down to the wood on the back. The original small frets show almost no wear and it is a good bet this bass has been strung with flatwound strings pretty much since new.

All hardware is original down to the last screw; even the flat-bottomed coverplate and control cavity screws are totally intact. The black-bobbin pickups have had a little supplementary elevating foam added below them, as the original foam is intact but now rock hard. The bass appears to have been used with the chrome covers on; the bridge is absolutely clean with virtually no corrosion.

While definitely played, this bass has also been well-cared for, and remains an exceptional player's instrument as well as a lovely example of Fender at their Pre-CBS zenith. The case included is an original very early black-tolex covered "no logo" Fender HSC that would have been just introduced when this bass was sold. Excellent - Condition.