Following the success of the original Precision Bass – Leo Fender released the Fender Deluxe model in 1960 where 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 featured single coil pickups, with two pole pieces per string. This pickup configuration gave the Jazz Bass a stronger treble sound that the P. Bass, and was Fender’s attempt to compete with the “famously bright” Rickenbacker bass of the ‘50s.
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.
With its bright sound and brilliant high end, the Jazz Bass was ideal for slap bass and great for finger picking style players too. 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. The pickups at full volume gives the classic scooped “growling” sound that many players have become fond of.
This one is a rare custom colour J bass from 1966, in Candy Apple Red, and in remarkably original condition.
Fender Custom Colour – Candy Apple Red
Maple neck with a “C” profile
1 1/2″ wide original nut
Brazilian rosewood fretboard with binding
Clay dot inlays
Original pickups (reading 8.0 k in the neck & 7.9 k in the bridge)
Original volume and tone controls
Weight is 9.6 lbs (with all the metal hardware on board !)
Neck date is June 66 – “Dale” is signed in the pocket
Pot codes are 3046619 = 1966
Serial # is 1xxx46 = 1966
Fender only applied neck binding to their Jazz Basses from late 1965 to August 1966, so there are not too many of these around, especially in the classic Fender custom colour of Candy Apple Red.
It also quite rare that a J Bass of this vintage has its original bridge cover AND pickup cover still in place. Plus the finger rest – the holy trinity !
Bridge saddles are good, no rust, everything moves. Truss rod works properly, the original frets are in excellent shape, and the controls are smooth and quiet.
There seems to have been some resoldering of the pickup earth wires, but everything else appears undisturbed.
A nice feature is the lovely, lustrous gold undercoat discretely showing through the Candy Apple finish in some places.
This J Bass has a big, ballsy sound, the neck is straight & comfortable, the pickups sound great, and it’s everything you could want in a classic vintage Fender bass.
Comes in its original Fender hard case in good condition.