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. During the year, the individual string mutes were phased out in favor of a single glued on strip of foam rubber, located on the underside of the chrome bridge cover. There were still occasional early year basses with individual string mutes. During the year the ground wire was internally routed to beneath the bridge, instead of on the body's top. Fender continued to transition into the neck pocket paint stick method, with some basses not yet having it. 1963 basses with slab fretboards, individual string mutes, exposed bridge ground wires or no neck pocket paint stick were possibly started in 1962 and completed in 1963. 1963 was the first year of production with the new L Series neckplate. The white tolex case with orange interior started to appear, along with the previous light brown tolex case with orange interior.
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.