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1963 Fender Jazz Bass Pre-CBS Vintage Bass Sunburst w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1963 Fender Jazz Bass in perfect working order, complete with the original brown tolex hardshell case. This Jazz Bass is 100% original save for a professional refret with vintage-spec slender fretwire, a corresponding bone nut, and one pickup rewind. Tonewoods include an alder body, maple neck, and dark Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, and at 9lbs 4oz ("fully clothed" with its ashtray bridge and pickup covers), this bass is a medium weight example that's well-balanced on a strap. Exceedingly responsive and dynamically sensitive, this bass has the kind of natural playwear that would make any "heavy relic" green with envy.

The tone and feel is everything one expects from a Jazz Bass crafted in Fender's golden age, delivering a clear, even sound across all strings. The bridge pickup has a smoothness and sonic depth, ceaselessly warm, while still offering plenty of midrange grind and articulation. Playing with a pick further accentuates the burp and presence of this pickup. The neck pickup provides excellent contrast and is extremely fat and thumpy, giving a Precision Bass a run for its money with a thickness and sub-bass rumble not often attributed to a J Bass. And with the rarely seen original set of individual string mutes still intact, this bass can be particularly woody and thuddy if required. The overarching sound representative of an instrument that’s been played consistently for 60 years. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, this Jazz Bass has low action and accurate intonation, strung with fresh roundwound 45-100 strings.

The maple neck has a slender U-shaped profile carve with rolled fretboard edges and a gentle increase in overall heft further up the fretboard, measuring .785" deep at the 1st fret and .970" at the 12th. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard is an extremely dark, tight-grained cut of this tonewood, with rolled fretboard edges for added comfort, freshly refretted with slender vintage-spec fretwire. The fretboard retains its 7 1/4" radius, and the bass plays extremely well in every register up the straight neck. The nut is a new hand-carved piece of bone for optimal sustain and note clarity, measuring 1 1/2" in width. On the headstock, the original clover button reverse gear tuning machines are intact, with a smooth, reliable response and clean nickel plating. The original waterslide decal is intact on the headstock face, and the neck heel has a bold May, 1963 date stamp. The truss rod nut is flush with the heel, necessitating little adjustment in the last 60 years and responding as it should.

All of the electronics function as intended, and both original black bobbin single coil pickups are intact. The bridge pickup retains its original windings, and the neck pickup has been rewound to match. The solder joints are otherwise untouched on the harness, and the Stackpole pots date to the 20th week of 1963. Original hardware comprises the control plate and bridge, both of which are quite clean, along with the pair of chrome-plated "ashtray" bridge and pickup covers. The original tortoise pickguard has the swirly depth and dimension of the earliest Fender tortoise guards, and the guard exhibits very little shrinkage with a very glossy, vibrant appearance. The original knobs and pickup covers round out the plastics.

The three-tone Sunburst nitro lacquer finish is 100% original with no touch-up or overspray, and it's notably rare to find a bass this played-in, yet without any aftermarket finish work. The thumb wear above the pickguard edge has created a notable valley in the alder, and the photos tell the tale of this extremely well-loved instrument, with additional finish loss on the body perimeter, buckle rash on the back, and plenty of hard-earned marks from decades of use. The nitro gloss on the neck profile shows natural palm wear through much of the finish, silky smooth to the touch along the profile length.

The original brown tolex hardshell case with orange plush interior is included, and while there is some wear on the brown leather ends, all three functional latches are intact, as is the original handle frame, which has been fitted with a cushy sleeve.