F/S Feeler: Fender 51P/69 Tele.
Endorsing a new company soon, and seriously thinking about selling my daily player/touring bass. This bass has been great on stage and in the studio all year, but I am moving on..here's what you'd get:
The bass started life as a Crafted in Japan Fender 51 P bass. I believe it was sold on TB twice, the original owner and the guy I got it from. The original owner made a few mods, only one of which I liked. Here's what I did to make this good sounding bass a great sounding and playing bass:
1) The original owner swapped out the single coil pu (which is a bit anemic) for a Fralin side by side sc style HB pu. This is a nice sounding pu..IF you want a later P bass sound. But why have a SC bass then, just get a P bass! My solution was to put in a Seymour Duncan Vertically stacked hb, with a coil splitter switch. I am an endorser for Duncan , and MJ in the custom shop wound a real good one for me..these are the same pu's used in the $$$$ Fender Dusty Hill CS bass, as well as the pu Sting has in his 54 CS from Fender. So now I had a great thick HB tone, and also a snarling Ronnie Wood with Jeff Beck tone too..the coil splitter is on the tone control (which is still fully functional btw) and a simple push/pull changes the tone. Works great and transformed this bass into a killer.
2) Having owned 3 late 60's tele basses, I know from personal experience that the occasional over exuberant style will result in the upper bobbin of the above pickup to be..ummm..removed? as when you rest your thumb on the pickup top, the bobbin can actually pull off, ruining a $150 pu..so, I simply did what Leo did, and installed an ashtray over the pu. it's removeable..but the interesting thing about it (ask Marcus Miller...) is that it puts your right hand into a great position to play over the neck/end of neck things, while leaving plenty of room to play below it and palm mute too at the bridge. An added bonus was to have an additional ground wire fed to the ashtray for more shielding...however
3) this bass has been copper shielded to an inch of it's life..when in HB/2 coil mode..no buzz..when in snarl city sc just a bit and that's with a Dredgetone Angler on full bore..you prolly will never hear a peep.
4) It was a common thing to toss the old bridge from this bass and put in a new Fender DeLuxe bridge, and that's what the previous owner did..again, having owned several of these over the years, I felt the sound was missing something..so I put the original bridge back on and !! that's better. Maybe horses for courses here..but I will include the Fender DeLuxe bridge too in case you want to try that...it will let you go string through or top load..I like string through.
5) The color...TBers will always be debating the Japanese "butterscotch" color..Having recently completed a great tour of Japan..and marvelled at the craftsmanship and attention to detail of most everything in Japan..I cannot see how they came up with the hideous color they did. My favorite version is a finish from the late 60's..in this case Olympic White, which looks a little different depending on what the overheads are..it's a classic. I tied it together with a single ply white pickguard..put an "F" neck plate in back..didn't change the headstock decal to a Telecaster Bass one, but go right ahead if you want..and now it looks as good as it sounds.
6) Before I had it refinished..the previous owner had done a mod that I actually liked..he SLIGHTLY rounded the square lower bottom front..if you saw the pic before the bass was refinned, it was obvious..the ash was a small crescent shape, almost the way a roadworn looks..After I had it refinned, you couldn't tell..but I could tell..because the ONLY thing I never liked about this bass was the way that squared off lower bout dug in to my arm...and now..perfect.
7) Misc...took some of the ultra high gloss finish off the back of the neck..much better playing. Switched out the pots/cap for real ones..I bought an Electro Socket jack cup, but never put it in..go right ahead, it's yours. It's strung with Daddario chromes..light gauge..a REAL good match here.
So there you have it..a finely tuned Fender CIJ 51P/69 Tele, with a Custom Shop Duncan pu and a few mods that make this nice bass a contender. As I said, it comes with a Fender Deluxe bridge which fits right in..and an excellent SKB HD case that got it to Japan and across America in 2013 without a hitch....and I will include a beautiful Italia black leather strap too..this bass doesn't go anywhere. Set up done by my tech, and I am real choosy.
I will be putting up some clips, one of which really shows off the sc/hb switch..also some Chicago Blues things..I do both rock and blues on a pro level..just to show you how versatile this instrument is too.
How much? Did you come here 1st? Of course you did. I am thinking (and seeing here on TB) that a garden variety butterscotch CIJ 51 P goes for around $650 with a gig bag..so..add $100 for all the mods, extra bridge, refinn and upgraded case? $750 sounds fair to me. PM please..no trades, just a straight out buy to partially cover the cost of my next bass, as even though I will be endorsing the company, I will still be paying. NAMM is next week and I'd like to get going on this..any interest here? Pics and sound clips to follow or PM me if you are really interested.