This is a vintage 100% all original 1966 Fender Jazz Bass electric bass guitar. This custom color example, serial number 175524, features; a vibrant Candy Apple Red body finish with a matching C.A.R. headstock, original set of chrome pickup and bridge covers (mute intact though dry), the original hard case, and original era-correct ephemera. With “lollipop” paddle tuners and block pearloid inlays, this variant is a somewhat transitional specimen, and with all dates suggesting a late-’66 production without dot inlays.
Serial Number: 175524 (F-plate)
Pickup Dates: 12-11-66
Potentiometer Codes: 304-6613
Neck Date: 7 DEC 66 A
Weight: 8 lbs. 14 oz. (very light)
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. 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.
The neck is date-stamped “DEC 66,” and all three of the original pots display the date code “304-6613.” The bass weighs a very light 8 lbs. and 14 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 light 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 discoloration. 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 doesn’t exhibit the usual belt buckle rash, and the back of the body is even better preserved than the top. There are expected random dings on the side of the body and the front of the headstock. There are very few paint chips on the instrument, and the overall condition is a solid 8.5/10.
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.