First introduced in 1960 as the Fender Deluxe Model, it was marketed as a stablemate to the upmarket Jazzmaster guitar. It was renamed the Jazz Bass as Fender felt that its redesigned neck – narrower and more rounded than that of the Precision Bass – would appeal more to jazz musicians.
The Jazz Bass has two single coil pickups with two pole pieces per string. As well as having a non-symmetrical and more contoured body shape (known in Fender advertising as the “Offset Waist Contour”), the Jazz Bass neck is noticeably narrower at the nut than that of the Fender Precision Bass. While the Precision Bass was originally styled similarly to the Telecaster guitar, the Jazz Bass’ styling was inspired by the Jazzmaster guitar, with which the J Bass shared its offset body and sculpted edges that differentiate it from other slab-style bass bodies.
The original intention of the instrument was to appeal to upright bass players. The original Jazz Bass had two stacked knob pots with volume and tone control for each pickup. In late 1961 it received three control knobs – two controlling the volume of each pickup and one the overall tone.
The Jazz Bass’ bridge pickup gives more treble, and the neck pickup yields a rounder sound with the brightness coming from the two pickups and their positions being at different points in the string’s lengths.
The Jazz bass has the ability to blend both pickups, as they have separate volume controls so you can access them individually, so the player can achieve a wider range of sounds than the P. Bass. These pickups are reverse wound, reverse polarity (RWRP) from each other, which means that all hum is cancelled when both pickups are at cranked all the way up.
Maple neck with a “C” profile
Clay Dot inlays
Original guard & knobs
Weight is 8.8 lbs
Neck date is 7June 64A
Serial # is L30xxx = 1964
The original neck pickup reads 8.4 k
The bridge pickup has recently been rewound to correct ‘64 specs using the original bobbin and magnets, and vintage gauge wire. Also now reads 8.4 k and mates perfectly with the original neck pickup.
We think the two volume pots are replacements. The tone pot appears original. We believe the frets are original and showing little wear. Its original bridge cover and pickup cover are missing in action.
This lovely J Bass was bought new by its one owner for £209 in 1964. It was used consistently for over 30 years all over Australia. It has been well looked after and not modified apart from the details mentioned above.
It presents in excellent condition, with the expected road worn finish, lacquer checking, metal tarnishing and tons of vintage vibe. The original nut is in place, tuners are strong and accurate, truss rod is fine and the bridge adjusts perfectly.
This J Bass plays beautifully. We have had a number of discerning bassists in the showroom in recent weeks, and they have all commented on how well this one plays, and sounds. No flat spots or “dead zones” on the neck, with a big round tone and lots of sustain.
Comes in its original Stamford / Fender hard case in good condition.