A local guy here is selling a Fender P bass with a “customized” Jazz neck. Basically a P body with a J neck. Could be a Squier for all I know too.
He doesn’t know much about it (or basses for that matter, I think it was a whim thing for him) and it came to him like it is. he isn’t sure if it is American or Mexican, so I am assuming its Mexican worst case. Fretboard looks to be Rosewood or maybe even Ebony?).
I know you just can’t swap them out (or, can you?), so what should I be looking out for to see it was done well or if it’s a hot mess?
Has a BadassII bridge and EMG select p’ups (don’t know much about them).
Fender uses a standard neck pocket for almost any bass that has a four bolt neck. Even Squier and Aerodyne necks are interchangeable.
There are a few exceptions but that doesn’t look like the case here.
To find out what it really is, you would need the serial number and take the neck off and see what is printed in the neck pocket.
Some things I noticed…
The neck seems to have been sanded for a satin finish. It doesn’t look like it came from playing since the fretboard looks so nice.
Pretty sure it’s rosewood and not ebony. Ebony would be pretty rare on a fender.
The pickguard is not original. It has holes for a finger grip and pickup cover but the body doesn’t have holes for a bridge cover.
Since the head stock says Precision on it, my guess is it is not a jazz neck. It could be, but that would mean it would have come from a P/J bass. Some P/J basses with Jazz necks have P bodies with Jazz necks but still say Precision on the headstock.
The neck could be a Precision neck that has been trimmed down but it doesn’t look like it based on this picture.
As for the neck plate. I have seen both MiM and Squier basses with a blank one but the usually the Fender stylized F stamped into them.
Just check for build quality like you would with any other instrument.
Good luck @John_E it looks like a nice bass. Let us know what else you find out.
My Jaguar has an ebony fingerboard, but I have not seen another bass that does from Fender, so agree.
Not necessarily. I have a Squier CV 70s P with a Jazz neck, says Precision on the headstock. Near as I can figure what the neck is labled depends on the body, not the pickup configuration and that’s not taking into consideration how inconsistent Fender is, and they are
I can confirm a lot of what @eric.kiser stated from the squiers and fenders I have owned.
I could swap the necks from one standard model to another. It is easily done for swaps within the same place of manufacture. ie. mim with mim, us with us, etc. Mix swaps can sometimes involve shimming or shaving. This can also happen swapping from different time periods.
There are various models such as deluxe editions, pj’s, reissues and specials that can have jazz necks on p bodies as @Wombat-metal pointed out.
The only model that I have ever known to always have a logo on the neckplate are us models. My mim’s, squiers and even japanese have had both blank and logo’d plates.
As @eric.kiser pointed out and @Wombat-metal confirmed ebony necks are not common and are normally on signatures, special editions, limited editions, reissues, and fsr’s.There is a very recent release of a Jaguar limited edition that is a good example (any chance that’s the one you have @Wombat-metal? ).
What kind of sets off alarms with me is the fact you mentioned P bass with “cutomized” jazz neck. Is it an aftermarket neck with a waterslide decal? Is it a mix with the original logo rubbed out and a waterslide replacement? Is any of it actually Fender and all the hardware, electronics been pieced together?
As @eric.kiser had mentioned try to get a serial number, even the first 4 digits will help. Ask for pics of the back of the neck and headstock.
It does look nice but its good to know all the details too.
The truss rod adjustment hole is not at the headstock. I have never seen a squier or mim like that even in special cases. Its most probably a US, Japanese (which many have a serial at the heal of the neck before the body which is not seen in the pics) or a replacement neck such as All Parts.
And the color looks very much like daphne blue which Fender is known to use.
From what I have read Fender used the heal adjustment (and kept it on most US models) to avoid the ski slope problem they could get when the adjustment is at the headstock. I have never had it happen to any of my basses yet and I hope it never does cause its a pain to fix.
I don’t have a clear view of the base of the neck in the pic but the pickguard is not the original and makes it harder to determine what it is. Even the newer models with the pickguard cutout never seemed large enough to adjust the heal nut and I ended taking the guard off anyhow.
EBMM’s wheel adjustment was a much better idea for the heal. Old Leo had his hands in that design too so maybe he was improving from his previous venture.
Many other manufacturers do the adjustment at the body with easy access, like the MM’s. It’s a much better system. It’s inexplicable that Fender continues to make instruments where you have to loosen the neck or remove the pickguard to do this.
I’ve got a wheel on my ESP Surveyor and I do like that design. The truss rod covers can be inconvenient, and just a plain hole not as finished, but a wheel just works from aesthetics and function in my book
The wheel is slightly better than the system modern Ibanez and Yamaha (and others) use, yeah. But both are way better than the traditional Fender way, and also better than having it on the headstock. Much easier to access.