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 Fender Jazz Bass early 1966
   

The Number 1

Click on pictures below

Notes: After the Fender Precision bass saw the light of day in 1951 the Fender Jazz Bass was introduced in 1960 as the second model of an electric bass created by Leo Fender. It captured the essence of the decade - an instrument as tuneful and groundbreaking as the era it debuted in. Over the years there were several changes and the first two years the Jazz Bass had concentric (stacked) volume and tone knobs and string mutes. Leo Fender felt that string mutes gave a more accurate acoustic string bass sound, which the jazz bass player would prefer. However, the string mutes didn't prevail. But the pickup configuration with two single coil pickups designed with two pole pieces per string did very well. Each pickup could be individually volume and tone adjusted and this produced a variety of tones that could meet almost any style of music. This property and its new tapered neck that was narrower at the nut compared to the Precision Bass with faster and easier playability immediately resulted into success which is undiminished up to the present time

Materials: Contoured offset waist Alder body, slightly flamed Maple neck with absolutely straight and parallel grain running from the heal to the headstock, 1,5" nut width, 34" scale, bound Rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays and 20 frets

Hardware: Completely original including its Lollypop tuners, bridge, finish, pickups and all the other bits and pieces. Both pickup covers are included in the case

Facts: Serial number on neck plate is 1861XX, both pickup date from 1966, all three pot codes read 1376621, neck stamp is 7 Mar 66 A. The fretboard still has the desired dot position markers, in mid '66 this has changed to block inlays. The bound fingerboard started in late 1965 and so all numbers and criterias match together for the first part of 1966. Also, the history back to the 70ties is well known to us. The finish is a factory original Olympic white over a Lake Placid Blue undercoat with an Olympic white matching headstock but without LPB underneath. Rumor has it that the first owner of this bass toured some time with Peter Alexander and his management insisted on white instruments and that is why his bass has been ordered at the Fender factory in white

Condition: Overall in great shape after 5 decades. The back of the neck shows some playwear as to be expected. The frets had to be renewed. Obviously this bass was well maintained but of course it has signs of usage. The original Fender Jazz Bass decal is still clearly legible on the matching headstock

Playability: The thin-neck design invites even guitarists to play bass with barely a warm-up. The action is set medium low and the neck is absolutely straight just as the grain of the neck itself. Playing this bass is comfy and easy all the way up the entire fretboard

Tone: The Jazz Bass is famous for his own sound which is characterized by great clarity and depth. This one sings, grooves and growls as powerful as you could only wish for

Case: Original black Fender case from one decade later with red / brown plush inside in excellent condition. All latches, hinges and the case handle work great

Setup: The guitar is setup to medium low action. The fretboard has been oiled, the finish is cleaned and hand-polished.

To Summarize: After Fender was sold in 1965 to CBS - which turned out to become a desaster for the quality of Fender instruments especially in the seventies - they still had enough parts in stock that they used in a transition era and, luckily this early '66 Jazz Bass still has all the desired features like lolly pop tuners, bound fretboard with dot inlays and even a matching headstock. It doesn't get much better when it comes to vintage Fender basses. What a beautiful electric bass! And, is it any wonder that the Fender Jazz Bass became the most popular and Number 1 bass in the whole wide world ?



























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