FS: 1961 P-bass with '64 maple neck, Inca Silver metalflake
A high school friend bought this '61 P bass from a classmate at Antioch
College in Ohio in 1969. The original sunburst had been stripped
to a natural wood finish, other than that it was stock. I played it in
a band with him when I was 17, and loved the smooth action and
powerful tone. In 1980, I found the bass in dusty pieces in his basement. He'd painted it sloppy streaky black with hobby shop
spray can paint... but worse, after breaking off the end of the
truss rod, he had SAWED the end of the neck (including the slab
rosewood board and date stamp) OFF, to get at the truss rod. WAY
too much drugs, no respect for the instrument.... I asked him if I
could buy the pieces, and took everything including the pickup cover and
original case. I took the neck to a skilled luthier, Danny Powers who took
off the fretboard and replaced the truss rod, fashioned and glued in a perfect new end to the neck, and per my request, put on a slab ebony
board, smoothed it and left it fretless.
And that's how I played this bass for 30 years- an awesome
'61 Fretless Precision.
A couple of years ago, I decided to sell it, and took it to Krishna Jain
of the Guitar Garage here in Waltham, who performed a magnificent
Pro refin in Inca Silver metal flake, a nitro custom color available
on Fenders in 1961. He got the exact Duco/GM/Fender part number,
$75 a quart and hard to work with as it clogs the sprayer.
The body had never been cut, routed, modded or dinged and is in
perfect condition. Traces of the orig SB finish are visible in othe
After reassembling the bass, I realized that there is a very limited
market for a vintage P that is fretless. I then obtained a
1964, pre-CBS P neck from Wolf Ginandes, respected repairman at Berklee here in Boston. The maple slab fretboard may have been a custom order from Fender in '64, or it may have been put on during the intervening years- either way, it looks and plays perfect. The neck
came without hardware or frets, so Krishna transferred the original
reverse tuners, string retainer and strap peg from the '61 neck, and put
on a fresh set of vintage size frets. He also did the final assembly and
set-up, and the bass plays, feels and sounds like a dream.
The body, pick guard, pickup, finger rest, bridge, neck plate, pickup cover, tuners. case and one knob are all original '61. The pots and wiring
are non original, probably from the mid-sixties.
In a world where pre-CBS vintage P-basses are almost always
chipped beat-up sunburst with a rosewood board, I think this bass
has a unique, clean, California look. The guard has the usual shrinkage
for 52 years old, but is in good shape. The bass plays and sounds
virtually perfect, and is light and resonant. It's ready to gig and record,
with no issues.
After having this bass in my life since my teens, I will be sorry
to see it go, but I recently became a first-time home owner,
of a house that needs quite a bit of work. So, I'm offering this
bass for sale. I have many more iphone pics I can send direct from
my phone. Serial number is 75773.
Regardless of interest in buying or not, I welcome all comments and
I am asking $3,200. Obviously, if it was all 100% original with
no refin, it would be worth around twice that or more. I am
open to all reasonable offers, though as I am selling to raise
$, I'm not open to trades. I would also consider selling for $2,800
without the case, as an original '61 case is easy to sell by itself.
RE: Post in FS forum
I'm a newbie here and didn't see there is a separate FS classifieds
forum. I will re-post it there. Also, I tried for quite a while to upload
a couple pics, with no success. Don't know if they're too big (iPhone
4 pics) or what the issue is. I'll try again to get them up, in the
meantime I'm perfectly capable of sending pics direct to anyone's
email. That's legal, right? We can communicate outside of the site?
Anyway thanks again for the tips.
Cool story. Look forward to seeing pics. Yes you can directly email photos to people, but uploading photos to this thread is going to get you the most action.
If you have a iphone then uploade the pics to your computer,if you cant do that then email them to your computer.Once that is done save them to your computer and upload them to photobucket, you can create a account for free.They will host your photos and you can link them directly to this site.
First off, I think this is definitely the best place to try to sell this bass. There are lots of us here who might be interested in this thing, but with such a unique instrument you're undoubtedly gonna need better pics than iPhone at some point. With any pics, the easy thing to do is upload them to Photobucket or some free hosting site, then you can paste the image code into your posts here.
Try Photobucket...super easy to paste the image code in your thread...total process takes ~5 minutes.
Looking forward to seeing some pics!
On To The PICS!!
Without further ado (as "adieu" is French for goodbye and commonly misused), the photos...
Steve Harris, eat your heart out!!;)
Oh, holy crap. Seriously. This thing wants to be mine, pretty badly.
Has anyone seen or played a 64
Maple board? Is there a date on it?
I have a Krishna refin '64 in fiesta and a Krishna refin body in LPB. He does nice work. Bumpage.
SOLD! (Wow that was quick!)
Yup, Justin (TheDialog) jumped on my honey. Congrats Justin!
And thanks for helping with the pics, Joel- damn, that bass looks good if I say so myself.
Interesting first day as a member of TB for me.
I know most vintage guys want to see the wear on an old bass, but there IS something to be said for a brand-new, flawless dazzling pro refin in a custom color. Krishna Jain is the man for authentic nitro finishes in the Boston area ;)
Stay tuned to see FS the only (I think) electric bass ever made by respected acoustic guitar luthier Bernard Lehmann, and my midnight blue, 3-active pickup '86 Paul Reed Smith bass... the 51st one he built.
Pumped about this maple neck...
Whoa! That is a "Super Bad" guitar! I'm bookmarking this thread for posterity sake. What a story and what a final product. Kudos to you for the perseverance for bringing this sweet thing to life, along with the luthiers who made it happen. You just lost a soul brother and should keep in touch with the fellow who bought it to get first dibs back if he ever unloads it (which I doubt would happen).
well thanks for the complements and spiritual observations. After I got a text from
Justin this morning that the bass had arrived safely and it is "sweet", I did feel the tinge
of wistfulness about parting with this old friend.... also pride that the work of taking an
abused and ugly-fied vintage instrument, and finding the right parts and skilled craftsmen
had resulted in a beautiful, reborn bass ready for a new life.
Not to get too heavy here, but I do feel an element of "passing the torch".... I'm in my 50's
and old enough to be Justin's dad. By all evidence on YouTube and his artist
endorsements, he is a talented young artist. The bass has an luminous new refinish and
a brand new, almost unplayed set of frets- ready for a bassist to play the hell out of it
for another 30 or 40 years! And by that time, you could likely sell it for enough to BUY
a house, not just rehab one, which was my motivation for parting with it.
Hey Justin, I know you're skilled in making $ in the vintage bass trade- but please, PLAY this one, hold on to it and don't sell it!
This whole experience has got me thinking about how the world has changed since
1961, when this bass was made. In 2013, you can buy about 40 different styles of a Fender
Precision or other's versions of it, with every level of quality from disposable crap to
solid-gold refinement and price. In '61, what was a available (historians, correct me if I'm
wrong), was one model - the Fender Precision bass- with a few color options. It was not "cheap", but priced reasonably and fairly, and most importantly, it was THE BEST BASS
THEY COULD MAKE. Which is why, besides the factors of rarity of numbers and the mystique of age, these old instruments are still so highly prized.
I've still got the original '61 neck that was repaired with a lovely fretless ebony board
in 1980. I'm putting it together with a Fender '62 reissue sunburst Jazz bass body....
probably leave out the pick guard, just pickups and a control plate....
Jaco- style. I believe Mr Pastorius did have among his stable of basses a SB
J bass with with a fretless P neck.... and this neck is not a reissue, even if the body
is. Should be a cool bass, I'll be posting pics when it's done.
Regards to all,
Great story and that Bass looks perfect...good luck with the Bass Justin!
I'm having a lot of fun with the bass.
I just got done setting it up with a NOS set of Fender 7250ML (45-100)
It sounds great and the maple neck feels great.
I tend to prefer a rosewood neck and have a '62 neck that fits the body brilliantly...
(The serial on the body dates to '62)
It's the best of both worlds...
'74 Les Paul Sig, '62 P, '61 B15NRF, '71 P
Holy crap, Justin .... you get a lot of the best vintage basses!!! I LOVE that Inca Silver one now that it has the rosewood board on it! Let's see .... sell boith kidneys and a lung to get one of those two P-Basses, plus the '61 B15? Nah, I better not do that, man!
They're like sugar, come borrow them neighbor ;)
Mega cool collection.
The Les Paul Sig, through the B15N must sound like thunder.
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