1966 Fender Jazz Bass

For sale is this vintage 1966 Fender Jazz Bass electric bass guitar in very excellent 100% all original condition. This particular example, serial number 145228, features a well-preserved Candy Apple Red custom-color finish with a matching headstock! This no issues bass includes the original chrome covers, original finger rest and Fender hard case!

Serial Number: 145228 (F-plate)
Potentiometer Codes: 304-6618
Neck Date: 7 APR 66 A
Weight: 10 lbs. 2 oz.
Pickup Resistance/Output: 6.0Ω/6.3Ω

While not quite a pre-CBS production piece, all of the significant features are identical to those of a pre-CBS instrument, including: a nitrocellulose Candy Apple Red custom color finish on both the body and headstock, gray bobbin pickups, cloth wiring and a gold transitional decal. Specific to ’66 Jazz Basses only, it features a rare one-year-only bound fingerboard with dot inlays, which is reminiscent of those made prior as designed by Leo Fender himself. Not much later in 1967 would the dots be replaced by large prominent block inlays. Additionally, 1966 was the only year to feature the Fender paddle-shaped “lollipop” tuning machines, which reverted back to the clover-shaped tuner key the following year as well. These details render this particular variety quite rare, being produced like this for under a year. Considering these transitional qualities explains why fewer of this variety Jazz Bass are seen compared to both earlier and later versions.

The neck is dated “APR 66,” and all three of the original pots display the date code “304-6618.” The bass weighs an average 10 lbs. and 2 oz., and feels great to play when sitting down or when attached to a strap. The neck is perfectly straight, and the action is surprisingly low. Comfortable and accessible regardless of personal preference, the neck profile feels fantastic. The binding really enhances mobility, and the gentle neck wear is that which Fender has been trying to recreate on their Relics. The frets exhibit expected minimal wear on the first 5-6 frets.

Though clearly played and enjoyed, this specimen was highly pampered. While the bass exhibits a beautifully intricate weather-checking pattern over the entire instrument, the finish has remained vibrant and unfaded. This is a very important detail, as many C.A.R. instruments fade to a less-attractive bronze with an un-even coloration. The consistency of the finish is excellent, with the top, back, sides and headstock resembling the same beautiful shade. Leo Fender claimed his personal favorite finish color was Candy Apple Red, and while it is one of the more common custom color finishes, it really is quite handsome when crisp and intact, and I definitely agree. The finish highlights the contours nicely, and C.A.R. is a hue of red that doesn’t beg for attention.

The tuning machines are near pristine, and the original decal is perfectly intact. The body is in very nice cosmetic condition, with expected areas of isolated finish wear from where a player’s arm would rest. The bass exhibits very minimal belt buckle wear, none of which is through the clear coat into the metallic red/gold undercoat. There are also several paint chips on the bottom of the bass. There are expected random dings on the side of the body and the front of the headstock.

Perhaps most importantly, this bass sounds incredible. Both pickups sound great and truly translate the natural acoustic resonance. This era Jazz Bass is famous for sounding particularly warm and rich, with the ability to achieve highly present punch, slap, and percussive pronunciation. The case is in very excellent condition as well. All case hardware works perfectly and looks great, while the orange interior is fresh and void of odor and stains.

Sale Price: Sold