#1
Hello UG, it has been much too long (aerospace is hard and time consuming, go figure)!

While home on Christmas break, I did some basic maintenance work on my grandmother's house, some of which required crawling through the attic. I was on my way out when I noticed what looked like a beat up Fender tweed case sitting in the corner. I was intrigued considering none of my family plays guitar or bass, we built the house ourselves several years ago, and only my grandparents have lived there. Needless to say, I was stoked when I opened it:






After some research, I figured out that it is a 1961 Fender Jazz Bass. I was still pretty skeptical on whether it was real, but I've looked at pics upon pics of them online, and as far as I can tell it's real. The hardware is right, the logos are all right, and the date of manufacture is on the back of the neck heel.

I did some asking around, and it most likely came from a man, now deceased, who worked for my late grandfather. When he was put into assisted living, he probably told my grandfather to hang on to it for him. This would have happened in the late 80's, and he had owned the bass for a long time then, so I'm guessing he happened into it because then it would've just been considered old instead of vintage. My grandpa then must've just put it in the attic.

The down side is that it needs some work to be playable again. The truss rod is horribly out of adjustment to the point of rendering it unplayable, and the action and intonation I'm sure are all screwed up. Obviously the bridge cover is missing, and it appears to have been re-clearcoated at some point. But, aside from the clear coat and felt things on the bridge, it appears to be all original. It'll never satisfy a collector, but with a little work, it would make a great player's bass.

Now a question. What is this thing worth, assuming that I bring it back to playable condition? I would love to keep it, but I'm primarily a guitar player and I already have a sufficient bass rig. I would much rather it go somewhere where it would be used and put the money towards a new guitar amp and school. Thanks
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#2
Holi shyt,lucky bastard.Gz!

edit:do some careful major time investment.
Last edited by Elderer at Dec 18, 2013,
#3
You hit the jackpot! That is the holy grail of basses, and it appears to be in all original condition. Gruhn Guitars - a major vintage dealer - had one that was refinished, and did not have the original bridge, and wanted US$10,000.00 for it. Call Gruhn, send them your pictures, and stand by. People would kill for that bass!

http://www.gruhn.com/

HNBD, by the way!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#5
Quote by Ippon
Congrats! Now find out if the deceased has any surviving relatives who might need it or the proceeds more. Imagine how merrier their Christmas will be, if they're out there.


please do this.

congrats on the find, these things are out there.
#6
Quote by Ippon
Congrats! Now find out if the deceased has any surviving relatives who might need it or the proceeds more. Imagine how merrier their Christmas will be, if they're out there.



That was my first thought as well. Unfortunately, the man had only one relative that we can find and that guy wouldn't even acknowledge they were related, even when the man needed help getting into a veteran's home, while my grandfather did. Ironically enough he's the preacher at our church
Gibson SG Standard
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
Cort Explorer
Squire Standard Strat rebuilt with Fender USA parts
Squire Tele
Krank 1980
Orange Tiny Terror
Traynor YCV 50 Blue
Peavey Vypyr 75

Will fly for food. Call me Dylan
#7
Quote by classicrocker01
That was my first thought as well. Unfortunately, the man had only one relative that we can find and that guy wouldn't even acknowledge they were related, even when the man needed help getting into a veteran's home, while my grandfather did. Ironically enough he's the preacher at our church

That's awesome then! You're reaping the benefits of your gramp's kindness to his parish.

#9
Quote by Ippon
That's awesome then! You're reaping the benefits of your gramp's kindness to his parish.


Yep, and now I finally know why my dad doesn't care for our preacher. It couldn't have come at a better time either, with bills from school stacking up. Although I do believe there's a Baron Snott Watt in there somewhere for me
Gibson SG Standard
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
Cort Explorer
Squire Standard Strat rebuilt with Fender USA parts
Squire Tele
Krank 1980
Orange Tiny Terror
Traynor YCV 50 Blue
Peavey Vypyr 75

Will fly for food. Call me Dylan
#12
Quote by realsmoky
Can somebody please tell me what NDB HNDB mean ?


NBD: New Bass Day
HNBD: Happy New Bass Day

Edit: Ninja'd

HNBD, I usually don't like fenders but that is really damn sweet.
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#13
Can anybody tell me if the felt things are something that could be original? I'm afraid I'm a bit ignorant when it comes to basses, I don't even know what they are, I'm guessing some sort of string dampener?

Also, I gave some thought to keeping it simply because it is such an amazing instrument, but I just can't bring myself to keep something that I wouldn't play much and that would pay for a semester of flight school.
Gibson SG Standard
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
Cort Explorer
Squire Standard Strat rebuilt with Fender USA parts
Squire Tele
Krank 1980
Orange Tiny Terror
Traynor YCV 50 Blue
Peavey Vypyr 75

Will fly for food. Call me Dylan
#14
Quote by classicrocker01
Can anybody tell me if the felt things are something that could be original? I'm afraid I'm a bit ignorant when it comes to basses, I don't even know what they are, I'm guessing some sort of string dampener?

Also, I gave some thought to keeping it simply because it is such an amazing instrument, but I just can't bring myself to keep something that I wouldn't play much and that would pay for a semester of flight school.

They're original on the '60-'62 Jazz basses.

Anyways they're to dampen the strings to get a thumpier tone.
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#16
Holy crap. Epic score!

I'd kill for that bass... unfortunately, I wouldn't pay for one!
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#17
HNBD! That really is one of those one in a million in-the-attic finds! Especially with the mutes still intact too, wow!

You have yourself a "stack-knob" Jazz (called such because it has two concentric pots for volume and tone on each pickup as opposed to the later advent of the 3 knob layout on Jazz basses). If you ever do decide to sell it, or hell, if you decide you want to just have any sort of provenance on hand, get it professionally appraised. Like FatalGear said, Gruhn is the go-to place for that with vintage Fenders, and many people will likely question its authenticity if you ever put it on the market (there's too many fakes out there for people not to be skeptical). On the other hand, if you're keeping it as a players bass you may consider getting it restored and refinished, and there are several people around the country who would be able to do that for you too.

In any case, HNBD, she's a beaut!
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#18
Quote by Tostitos
HNBD! That really is one of those one in a million in-the-attic finds! Especially with the mutes still intact too, wow!

You have yourself a "stack-knob" Jazz (called such because it has two concentric pots for volume and tone on each pickup as opposed to the later advent of the 3 knob layout on Jazz basses). If you ever do decide to sell it, or hell, if you decide you want to just have any sort of provenance on hand, get it professionally appraised. Like FatalGear said, Gruhn is the go-to place for that with vintage Fenders, and many people will likely question its authenticity if you ever put it on the market (there's too many fakes out there for people not to be skeptical). On the other hand, if you're keeping it as a players bass you may consider getting it restored and refinished, and there are several people around the country who would be able to do that for you too.

In any case, HNBD, she's a beaut!

Unfortunately someone already had the idea to refinish it themself

Thanks for the info. It's currently at the shop getting a professional setup done. The tech collects vintage basses and confirmed it is 100% the real deal. I will definitely hit up Gruhn next month, which will be easy enough considering I'm going to school in the Nashville area. I really wish I could justify keeping her, but i just can't turn down a paid for semester.
Gibson SG Standard
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
Cort Explorer
Squire Standard Strat rebuilt with Fender USA parts
Squire Tele
Krank 1980
Orange Tiny Terror
Traynor YCV 50 Blue
Peavey Vypyr 75

Will fly for food. Call me Dylan
#19
That is a one-in-a-million find, and I agree with you that unless you are a full-time working pro bassist, you should sell it for as much as you can get and then it will find its way to such a working pro who will think he or she died and went to bass heaven! I believe that Gruhn can help you in that department.

Enjoy your paid-for semester!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#22
Bad news, the bass is supposedly unfixable.

Apparently it sat for so long with the truss rod out of adjustment, even full loose the repair guy can't get it playable. He says the neck is useless.

Im not good enough on these things to know if thats true. Is my guy just not that good or am I parting this thing out?
Gibson SG Standard
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
Cort Explorer
Squire Standard Strat rebuilt with Fender USA parts
Squire Tele
Krank 1980
Orange Tiny Terror
Traynor YCV 50 Blue
Peavey Vypyr 75

Will fly for food. Call me Dylan
#24
Quote by Ippon
I'd just buy a new neck and keep the old one. I wouldn't part it just because.

I'm sure that'll kill the value of it, but I guess it'll still be worth the price of the original parts. I'm just not sure that neck can't be fixed, I'm taking it back to Nashville with me to try some places. I'd love to find another '61 neck, but I'm sure they're rare and dear when you can find them
Gibson SG Standard
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
Cort Explorer
Squire Standard Strat rebuilt with Fender USA parts
Squire Tele
Krank 1980
Orange Tiny Terror
Traynor YCV 50 Blue
Peavey Vypyr 75

Will fly for food. Call me Dylan
#25
Quote by classicrocker01
I'm sure that'll kill the value of it, but I guess it'll still be worth the price of the original parts. I'm just not sure that neck can't be fixed, I'm taking it back to Nashville with me to try some places. I'd love to find another '61 neck, but I'm sure they're rare and dear when you can find them

I meant I'd keep it.
#26
If the neck is shot then you have a few options to look at:

A) Keep the old neck on there and either keep it or try to sell it as a collectors item.

B) Replace the neck with a new one. That'll make the bass playable again, just be sure that if you sell it you disclose the replacement and include the old neck as well.

C) If you want a playable neck but want to preserve some value you could look for another vintage neck. It doesn't necessarily have to be a '61 neck, you're taking a hit on the value if its not the original neck anyways (besides your chances of finding just a '61 neck floating around for anything near a reasonable price is slim to none). The bass will become what we'd call a "mutt" or a "frankenbass" but with a vintage neck it'd likely retain a little more value than if you slapped on a new neck.

D) Part it out. Either piece by piece or sell the everything but the neck as a vintage loaded body. It's probably the biggest pain in the arse way to sell it but you won't have to spend any of your own cash in order to sell it.

In any case have some other professionals look at it and make sure 100% that it really is past the point of saving that neck.
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#27
See if the is another "old school" luthier who might try straightening the neck using clamps, heat and pressure.

Gruhn would be the final word.
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#28
Thanks for the suggestions. I've made up my mind that I'm not gonna part it out. It's too nice of a setup. I'll be going back to Nashville Saturday, I'll go see what Gruhn has to say about it, unless anybody knows of any other good luthiers in the area?
Gibson SG Standard
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
Cort Explorer
Squire Standard Strat rebuilt with Fender USA parts
Squire Tele
Krank 1980
Orange Tiny Terror
Traynor YCV 50 Blue
Peavey Vypyr 75

Will fly for food. Call me Dylan