Custom shop bass, masterfully built.
The 1961 Jazz Bass Closet Classic is a masterful recreation of one of the finest electric basses ever designed, but with the benefit of modern precision manufacturing and quality control. It features the bridge cover or "ashtray" and the pickup cover, along with the classic inlays and fluid lines of the original '61.
The four-ply tortoise pickguard with the distinctive metal plate covering the electronics cavity, the rosewood grab bar, the matching headstock, the logo, the pegs and other physical features combine to invoke the high regard this bass has enjoyed from generations of bassists and other musicians who appreciate great bass sound.
The pickups are hand-wound vintage J-Bass, and the neck is quarter-sawn maple. It features a dark Indian rosewood for fretboard material, vintage frets and classic pearloid block inlays. This one is finished in Olympic White .
The precise design and incredible handiwork are pure Dale Wilson, a guitar builder who arrived at Fender in 2003. He joined the Custom Shop in 2005 and became a Master Builder in 2011. Building guitars has been a driving passion for the California native since childhood.
“Ever since I can remember, I’ve always loved guitars,” he said. “I didn’t dream of being a rock star; I dreamed of building the ultimate guitar. I was equally enthralled with the guitars just as much as I was with the players.”
Wilson comes from a long line of expert woodworkers, and the requisite Custom Shop zeal for outstanding craftsmanship has long been part of his DNA. He did repair work and mods in a small guitar shop right out of high school in the late 1980s; subsequently moving on to stints at Dobro and Rickenbacker before arriving at Fender, where he worked on Guild, Gretsch and Benedetto guitars before beginning his apprenticeship with various Custom Shop Master Builders.