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Vintage Vibes: 1970 Sonic Blue Fender Jazz Bass
God Bless the Lone Star State! This 1970 Fender Jazz Bass, the Cadillac of jazz basses for its custom, car-inspired Sonic Blue color, shown here aged to a delicious cream white with blueish undertones, features all the original CBS-era specs and wear to match. Watch as our guy Mike takes it for a drive.
We recently purchased this 1970 Jazz Bass at a guitar show in Texas. It's a custom-color Sonic Blue with a matching headstock, and it's rad. The Sonic Blue custom color was first available on cars in 1956. It was a Cadillac color and then adopted by Fender in 1960 as a custom color available on instruments.
Interesting note on any blue custom colors, because of the way the topcoat ages over time, they tend to turn yellow, which turns the blue into a green hue of some kind. Lake Placid Blue turns to a dark, almost-Sherwood Green color.
And then the lighter blues, like Sonic Blue and Daphne Blue, turn into more of a Surf Green/Seafoam Green sort of color. On this one specifically, if you look at certain spots in the body where the topcoat has worn away, you still see glimmers of the original Sonic Blue finish in its original hue. This Jazz Bass also sits in an interesting spot in Fender history, right before a number of appointment changes to the Jazz Bass.
In 1971, maple boards became an option on Jazz Basses. A year later, the bridge pickup moved four-tenths of an inch towards the bridge. And in 1974, the thumb rest moved on top of the strings and became a true thumb rest. This '70 also sports the block inlay, bound neck that we see from '66, as well as the forward-tuning clubhead tuners.
This Jazz Bass specifically has wear in all the right places and everything that you would hope for from a late-60s Jazz Bass.
While the guitars from the Murphy Labs at Gibson Custom Shop now showcase Tom Murphy’s work in developing the painting and aging techniques Gibson Guitars uses to replicate the finishes...Read more