Bearcat, is there a pic of it around here somewhere? Fender Jazz and Rickenbacker 4001/3 are some of my favorite intruments in the world - from any year!
I just saw this..
This is the bass I play the most.. it is a Korean made JV24. I got it used from TalkBass. It has Seymour Duncan pups and it came with a John East U Retro preamp in it. I just put a set of DR BBs on it. Talk Bass is a pretty good site for anything bass.. Most of my gear including that cabinet and the head I got used from there for a lot less than it would have cost me new.
This is my first real bass.. the 77 Jazz. I don't play it much because I prefer the 5 string but I can't bring myself to part with it just yet. The pick guard is not stock but everything else is. That sticker you see on there between the pups was put there by my now 32 year old daughter when she was 5.
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.