1963 FENDER JAZZ BASS
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Thinner curved radius rosewood fretboards had replaced the rosewood slab fretboards. However we've seen the occasional 1963 slab fretboard. The string mute was now a single glued on strip of foam rubber located on the underside of the chrome bridge cover, although there are occasional early year exceptions. During the year the ground wire was internally routed to beneath the bridge, instead of on the body's top. 1963 basses with slab fretboards, individual string mutes or exposed bridge ground wires were probably partially manufactured in 1962 and completed in 1963. 1963 was the first year of production with the new L Series neckplate. During 1963, some basses used the neck pocket paint stick method and some didn't. The white tolex case with orange interior started to appear, along with the previous light brown tolex case with orange interior. During 1963, some basses used the neck pocket paint stick method and some didn't.
Other 1963 Jazz bass characteristics: one piece logo including four individual patent numbers applied on top of the finish, Kluson no-name riveted clover reverse tuners, strapholder on headstock back, clay dot fret markers, neck butt date etc. ink stamps, fifth hole on neck butt for hanging while painting, body nail holes (for paint drying), tortoise shell/white/black/white pickguard or white/black/white nitrocellulose pickguard, thumb rest under G string, black bobbin pickups, ground shields under pickups, pickup cavity pencil date, small panhead shaped fastening screws on chrome bridge/pickup covers and on pots assembly plate, three heptagonal shaped knobs, CTS or Stackpole potentiometers, ground shield under pots assembly, round orange or yellow tone capacitor, cloth wiring, Switchcraft input jack, threaded bridge saddles.
Serial numbers ranged from roughly 90000 up or L0001 to L20000, although there are many overlapping exceptions. For more precise dating, cross reference the serial number with the instrument's neck butt date, body date and potentiometer codes.