Help with a 1964 Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by guitarmike, Nov 23, 2019.

  1. guitarmike

    guitarmike Member

    May 25, 2007
    My friend’s brother passed away and I am helping with the estate. I am selling a 1964 Fender Jazz bass and am not sure the finish on the body is original. Here is what I found out so far, please correct me if I am wrong:
    1. The neck is dated March 4, 1964
    2. The neck plate serial number is L25xxx, right in the middle of the numbers for 1964.
    3. I could not see any marking on the pickups. The base is black, from what I understand that is consistent with 60’s era pickups.
    4. All of the wiring is cloth except for an additional ground wire.
    5. The pots were changed, date codes are for 1981. The input jack was changed to a Switchcraft.
    6. The ashtray and the other chrome cover and not on it, there are no screw holes for these pieces.
    7. The finish looks like aged cherry burst. It is a 2 color burst.
    My questions:
    Did Fender offer custom builds/finishes in 1964?
    If so, where could I find out if this guitar’s finish is original? The lacquer is checked as to be expected but something refinished in the late 1970’s to mid 1980’s would most likely look the same as long as it was finished in lacquer.

    I think, based on everything I have learned, is that the guitar was refinished in the late 1970’s before my friend ‘s brother purchased it. That’s a bummer as it’s not worth as much but it is still a desirable bass. I do not want to misrepresent the bass to anyone either, I want whoever buys it to be happy with it.

    I’ll add photos as soon as I figure out how.

    Thank you for you help,

  2. MikeyT

    MikeyT Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2018
    Los Angeles
    From what you described it appears that the neck and body are original however there may be a number of non-original parts. If the finish was original you would have screw holes for the pickup covers. You may also want to check the bridge, tuners and pickguard as those are often replaced as well. I have a 65 that was refinished in the 80s and non-original pickguard. Everything else is original. Great playing bass however those two details alter the value considerably to collectors and make it a "player's grade" instrument. Your bass is definitely in the same category but still should be worth good money. Post pictures and that will help to ID things further.
  3. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2015
    If you live near a reputable vintage shop, take it in for a written appraisal.

    Or just do an online appraisal from Gruhn:

    $275 which, in this case, will (likely) pay itself off.

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