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'51 vs. '54 P-Bass bodies?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gbass75, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. Gbass75

    Gbass75 Supporting Member

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    Can some of the Fender Precision Gurus enlighten me in the differences between these two body types?

    Thank you!
  2. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Sponsored by Jagermeister Supporting Member

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    51 is a flat slab, meaning no arm and belly contours, and the edge is a little sharper.
    54 got the contours, and the edge is rounded down more.
  3. vin*tone

    vin*tone Supporting Member

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    The 51 is for real men with large cojones. The 54, not so much.
  4. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

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    The 51 is for men who enjoy swollen, red spots on their forearms after 2 sets. The 54, not so much.
  5. BassHappy

    BassHappy

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  6. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member

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    I always thought the 1954-1956 Precisions were the most interesting, being the "transitional" models between the early slab bodied, single-coil models and the contoured body, split-coil "modern" version Precision.

    Of course, I may be prejudiced because I'm a 1956 model myself.
  7. Gbass75

    Gbass75 Supporting Member

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    Man... I like the look of that '51... but, the lack of contours does sound like it could become somewhat uncomfortable.

    What do you '51 players think? (I suppose that's kind of a dumb question; seeing as how you've chosen to play them)...
  8. ASATMAN

    ASATMAN Supporting Member

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    Worn low, like a man, the lack of contours on the slab bodies is a non issue.
  9. vin*tone

    vin*tone Supporting Member

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    I used to have a 51RI and I hardly noticed it.

    The Duesenberg bass in my avatar is a semi with no contours either - it's still really comfortable.
  10. Stealth Fighter

    Stealth Fighter

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    Got it.
    [​IMG]
  11. mongo2

    mongo2

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    It's a question of playing style. Most of the time, I pluck up by the neck so my right forearm rests very comfortably on the side of a slab style body, more so than with a contoured body. I don't notice any discomfort from not having a "belly" contour.
  12. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

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    Seriously, comfort with a slab body depends on your picking hand technique. For me arm relief is essential for long shows. I tend to wear the finish off the top edge of my basses, and on a slab or hollow body, my forearm gives out before the edge does. But if you're accustomed to playing hollow-bodies or acoustics or if your arm doesn't rest on the top edge (like for most pick players), you should be fine with a slab.
  13. jnewmark

    jnewmark Supporting Member

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    Don't play a '51, but for many years I played a Tele Bass that was a slab, with a big Humbucker. Did'nt notice any discomfort, but a contoured body, like my Jazz, just seems to fit me better.
  14. SturmUndDrang

    SturmUndDrang

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    If Dusty Hill were here, he'd say go for the 51'!
  15. mongo2

    mongo2

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    A '51 body has a '54 body hiding inside of it...just a thought.
  16. rootsnfifths

    rootsnfifths Supporting Member

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    Well feeling a bit wimpy here but my '51 hurts a bit. My forearm mostly at live gigs. IF I practice sitting down, my rib cage gets sore at times.

    Not really a big issue though. Just have to think about it and adjust. I am not giving up the '51!
  17. midichlorine

    midichlorine Supporting Member

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    my real deal 56
    [​IMG]

    my copy[​IMG]
  18. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

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    i have a g&l sb1 with a slab body and it is a comfortable player for my right arm. otoh, i had a ric 4001 and it gouged my forearm. the 4001 had a straight-edge bound top. might be best to try one out.
  19. Gbass75

    Gbass75 Supporting Member

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    I can't really see how the belly contour makes much of a difference.

    As for the forearm... you can see in my avatar about where I wear my instruments... So, what would you guess? ...do you think I'm going to run into much discomfort?
  20. Gbass75

    Gbass75 Supporting Member

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    About where do you wear your bass?

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