The first production Jazz Bass was made in March 1960 and listed at $279.50 for a sunburst-finish or $293.47 for blonde or custom-color finishes. The Precision bass had been around for nearly 10 years and Leo Fender decided that it was time for a new deluxe model. Compared to the Precision it was clear that the 1960 Jazz Bass was a deluxe instrument: it two pickups instead of one, giving it greater tonal versatility than the Precision.
The initial Jazz bass models had 2 stacked control knobs but in 1961 Fender changed to a three-control layout (two volumecontrols and a master tone control). Although some stack-knobbed Jazz basses were produced as late 1962 (when the old parts were eventually used up).
Other early changes to the design included: in 1961 two more patent numbers were added to the two originally found below the headstock logo. In 1963 the bridge was changed from individual string mutes to an all string mute attached to the bridge cover. Also in 1963 the slab fingerboards were changed to laminated fingerboards. In 1964 three layer white nitrocellulose pickguards were replaced by three-ply white vinyl pickguards and clay fingerboard inlays were replaced by pearloid inlays.