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The Fender Jazz Bass was designed in 1960 by Leo Fender as his top of the line bass guitar. It had a radically tapered neck, narrow nut, offset body and two pickups. The pickups were designed with two pole pieces per string which produced a mellower tone and a less percussionized signal that was more forgiving on the not-so-reliable bass speakers of the '50s and '60s. The earliest Jazz Basses from 1960 through very early 1962 had concentric “stack knob” controls. Fender then switched to the typical 3-knob control system which was, ironically, used on the Jazz Bass prototype in 1959. The slab rosewood board was found on Fenders, including the Jazz Bass, from 1959 through about July or August 1962. The early Jazz Basses (1960 – 62) also were equipped with felt tipped spring mutes since Leo felt that they imparted a more accurate acoustic string bass sound which jazz bassists would prefer.


Body: Solid; 2-piece alder

Finish: Sunburst, nitrocellulose lacquer

Neck: 1-piece maple, bolt-on

Fingerboard: Brazilian rosewood (slab); clay dot markers

Number of Frets: 20

Pickguard: Tortoise/white/black/white nitrate laminate

Bridge: Fender steel, chrome

Nut: Plastic

Tuners: Kluson, open, nickel

Pickups: Two, Fender single coil

Controls: Master tone; volume control for each pick-up

Scale Length: 34 inches

Neck Width at Nut: 1 1/2 inches

Body Width at Lower Bout: 14 inches

Body Depth: 1 3/4 inches

Weight: 9.0 lb.

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