Classic Series '60s Jazz Bass review by Fender

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  • Features: 8
  • Sound: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (4 votes)
Fender: Classic Series '60s Jazz Bass

Price paid: € 865

Purchased from: Rock Palace (the Hague)

Features — 8
My girl gave me this nice and shiny black jazz bass for my birthday back in 2009.

  • Model: Classic Series '60s Jazz Bass / MIM.
  • Alder body - solid - thick black polyester (I think) finish - 4-ply brown shell pickguard.
  • Alder "C" Shape neck with rosewood fretboard - Radius: 7.25" - 20 vintage style frets - white dot position inlays.
  • Nut: Synthetic Bone - Nut Width: 1.5" (38.1 mm) / Long scale: 34" (86.36 cm).
  • Vintage Style 4 Bolt neckplate - Vintage Style Truss Rod.
  • Pickup Configuration: 2x Standard Vintage Alnico Magnet Jazz Bass(R) Single-Coil.
  • Passive Controls: Volume 1. (Neck Pickup), Volume 2. (Bridge Pickup), Master Tone - CTS pots.
  • American Vintage (threaded) 4 Saddle Chrome Bass bridge - Vintage Style Chrome Reverse Tuning Machines.
This bass came new with a deluxe gigbag.

Sound — 9
It's a jazz bass and therefore very versatile for a passive bass. Clearly noticeable is the influence of the vintage alnico magnet pups. These are really good pups with a good strong output for single coils. Funk, rock, blues, reggae, jazz and soul - she can handle it. Also slap players become very happy of this Classic '60s bass. Logically this bass has the familiar JB grunt, but by playing with the controls, you can find just about any shape or tone. So far no problems with the CTS pots and with all controls wide open there's no unwanted noise to be detected.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
These basses from the Classic series were the top models of the Fender factory in Mexico at that time and that is evident in the excellent fit and finishing, no flaws found here. They are made of (at least partly I think) US components. I just had to do minor adjustments to the bridge to get the medium low action I wanted, no adjustment of the truss rod was needed. (and still isn't after 6+ years!) The pickup adjustment was and is just fine and the frets are exceptionally well fit. No loose controls, no rust anywhere. The tuning pegs, nut and bridge are still rock solid. This bass stays in tune forever!

Reliability & Durability — 10
Well... You know what Leo Fender once said: "It's a hammer." By which he wanted to say: your guitar is a tool, use it! This Classic series bass is a good quality hammer so no problems to be expected while playing live without a backup hammer. The standard strap buttons are solid enough, just use a good thick quality leather strap and you'll be just fine. The body finish will last you a lifetime and the lacquer on the neck looks and feels as beautiful today as it was back in 2009.

Overall Impression — 9
I've compared this bass with my original 1964 Jazz and there are several differences. The body finish is naturally not what Fender used in the '60s and the neckshape is somewhat thicker than back in those days. It still is a very comfortable and fast playing neck. I dare to say (and I'm not the only one) that the Mexican Classic Series '60s is not inferior to a Standard USA Jazz Bass... And it's more affordable too. If this was my only bass guitar and it was stolen or lost I would replace it with no doubt on my mind. Note: there is an upgrade version of this bass available today: Classic Series '60s Jazz Bass Lacquer 3-Color Sunburst - a bit more expensive but still cheaper than her American Standard cousin. Maybe I would get that one.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I've verified some things i left out of the review i did above. The body finish is polyester for shure and the neck finish is gloss urethane. So this bass will not age like a real vintage (bass)guitar, in fact it wil stay as in new condition for a very long time Come to think of it... that polyester finish on the body and urethane finish on the neck could well be the reason why this bass stays in tune so well. The wood can't breath like it would with an oil- or a nitrocellulose lacquer finish. Therefore (i think) the body and neck don't expand or shrink as much with the change of (air) conditions, which is good in terms of staying in tune... maybe i'm wrong about this but i'd like it to be true