Up for sale, a 1965 Fender Jazz Bass in perfect working order, finished in custom color Black with matching peghead, and complete with the original blonde tolex hardshell case. Produced early in the '65 model year, this Jazz Bass is 100% original save for a professional refret with vintage-spec slender fretwire and a corresponding bone nut. Tonewoods include an alder body, maple neck, and dark unbound Brazilian rosewood fretboard, with dates codes on the pots and neck heel spanning March-April '65.
As this bass was produced mere months after CBS was handed the keys to the Fender kingdom from Leo, the tone and feel is everything one expects from a Jazz Bass crafted in Fender's golden age. Weighing 9lbs 7oz, "fully clothed" with the chrome bridge and pickup covers, the bass delivers strong, fundamental note attack and sweet sustain. The instrument speaks clearly in every register and across all strings, and the early gray bobbin single coils yield both detail and warmth. The bridge pickup has plenty of upper midrange burp, with a smooth grind and ample articulation. The neck pickup in contrast has a woody character with more inherent thickness, and dialing back the Tone knob can yield plenty of foundational breadth. It’s a satisfying 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 50-105 strings.
The maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve at the nut, with appreciable additional heft and shoulder in the higher registers, measuring .775" deep at the 1st fret and .975" at the 12th. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard is an extremely dark, tight-grained cut of this tonewood, with rolled fretboard edges for added comfort, and the fretboard has been planed and freshly refretted with slender vintage-spec 6230-size 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, measuring 1 1/2" in width. On the headstock, the original clover button tuning machines are intact, with a smooth, reliable response and clean nickel plating. The original waterslide decal is intact on the headstock face, and this "cut" decal reads simply "Fender," unique for custom color Black instruments with matching pegheads. There is also very fine horizontal lacquer checking across the headstock face. The neck heel has a bold March 1965 date stamp, and the truss rod nut is flush with the heel, necessitating little adjustment in the last nearly 60 years and responding as it should. The neck pocket also exhibits the "paint stick" marking indicative of a factory finish.
All of the electronics function as intended, and both original gray bobbin single coil pickups are intact with their stock windings. The solder joints are untouched on the harness, and the Stackpole pots date to the 12th week of 1965. Original hardware comprises the control plate and bridge, which is notably clean, ostensibly living its life beneath the original "ashtray" bridge cover. The early parchment pickguard is intact, and the original knobs and finger rest round out the plastics.
The custom color Black 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 bass exhibits buckle wear on the back, and additional forearm wear through the gloss on the lower bout contour. There are various additional dings and finish chips associated with honest use on the body as a whole, largely relegated to the back and body perimeter. The nitro gloss is gently worn to the smooth bare maple along the profile length from contact with palm, and there is light flame figuring along the neck predominantly on the bass side of the carve.
The original blonde tolex hardshell case with orange plush interior is included, exhibiting some scuffs on the tolex and moderate wear on the black leather ends, complete with the original leather handle and trio of functional latches.