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Identifying my Fender Precision Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by briancoononbass, Mar 11, 2014.


  1. briancoononbass

    briancoononbass

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2014
    Hey all, I have had this old P-bass for 38 years. My dad bought it for me when I was a little kid. He bought it from some kid that bastardized it after he bought it (well, I think it was stolen since the original case was not with it and the kid built his own homemade wooden case for it). But he stripped the Walnut color and turned the bass to a natural finish with a gold pick guard. The body is missing the two holes for the thumb rest. There appears to be one extra hole above the E string for the thumb rest (I think he filled the other hole, so I am suspecting the body is 1974 since that is when they started putting the thumb rest above the E string. And I got the bass in 1975. So the body I believe is somewhere between 1974 and 1975. Sound correct so far? The neck has DEC 70 stamped on it so I assume the neck was made in 1970. The pickups I took out of it have "1276" stamped on one of them. The pots both have "T015A25K 8935" stamped on them. The neck plate has "634604" stamped on it. I had the bass refinished in 1994 from the natural to the sunburst. I had new frets put on it as well. I added the Bartolini pickups and I put new control knobs and pick guard on it. The guy that painted it back in 1994 could not get a tortoise shell so he put a mint green one on it for me. I just changed it to the tortoise shell a few days ago. That's the whole story on this bass as I know it.

    Based on everything I shared here and after looking at my pictures (see link below), what year do you think the body is and the pickups/pots? The neck appears to be a legitimate 1970 Precision Bass neck. I just don't know about all the other parts. Since the apartment my dad bought the bass from in was the worst area of Flint Michigan, smelled like pot, and he paid $150 for it with no case, I think the kid either stole it or someone before him stole it. Why wouldn't it have a case and why did he switch out the neck or body and repaint the thing? Just seems weird to me!

    Please tell me who could best help me identify this or give me some website links of someone that specializes in this. I have had no luck finding a good website that is all inclusive.

    Please go here for pictures:
    http://24.236.145.154:8083/FenderPrecision.html

    Thanks!!
    -Brian
     
  2. Pet Sounds

    Pet Sounds

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    The neck plate serial number is a 1975, according to Fender. I think there was only one extra hole for the thumbrest because the second screw was inserted in the regular pickguard screw hole.
     
  3. briancoononbass

    briancoononbass

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2014
    Ok, yeah that makes sense. So if the bass was sold as a 1975 according to the neck plate serial number, could it be realistic that they used a 1970 neck on it? Or would you think the kid that refinished it probably found a different neck for this bass? How can I identify those pickups and pots?

    Thanks!
     
  4. MIMJAZZ

    MIMJAZZ

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Looks great. Bridge looks messed up but im not surprised for the age
     
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  6. Pet Sounds

    Pet Sounds

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    I doubt that the neck and body came together out of the factory. There are ways to find out the dates of the pickups and the pots, but I'm not your guy for that.
     
  7. briancoononbass

    briancoononbass

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2014
    Yeah, I doubt it too, but I know they mixed and matched parts all the time. I think the kid didn't like the 1975 neck and someone had a 1970 for him and he switched it out. That's just my educated guess! Is the pickup numbers one year off by chance? Mine have "1276" stamped on them, but I suspect they are 1975. I think the pickups were original with the body since they appear to have never been removed.
     
  8. Mr. Sound

    Mr. Sound Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Location:
    SUNSHINE COAST AUS.
    Whatever it is, Brian, it is NICE!!!
     
  9. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Northeastern PA
    Body routes look more '74-'75 than 70. Pots and cap are definitely not original, or CTS. Everything else looks okay.
     
  10. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Because the case was an extra charge back then, It didn't automatically come with one.

    If those are the original pickups, they are dated either the 12th week of 1976 or the 27th week of 1976. Either way they're '76...you sure about the year you acquired it?

    The tuners with the registered "R" logo would have come on a neck from 72 and later. 68-71 tuners had no "R".
     
  11. briancoononbass

    briancoononbass

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2014
    WOW! Even the tuners are from a different year! Well, since the neck is a 1970, they must have either bought or stole a 1972 or higher set of tuners and put those on the neck when they did the refinish. The serial number plate shows it is dated at 1975 so they must have switched the pickups before my dad bought it as well. Why would one year make a difference on pickups? I have a feeling these guys had some parts and pieces and just made a bass with what they had. Interesting history though really. You ask me if I am sure about the year, I asked my dad and he said 1975, but I think we got it between 1976 and 1977 because I started playing it between 3rd and 4th grade. I am assuming the guy that my dad bought it from had it only a few months. I wonder who the heck had this thing in their hands at one point. Could have been someone famous! But the kid my dad bought it from was a pot head in a small one bedroom shack in Flint Michigan. Dad said when the kid opened the door to let him in, the smoke was so thick he could hardly see the bass. He said he threw the $150 down and left within a minute! Kinda scared for his life at that point. Some good ole P-bass history for ya there! :)
     
  12. briancoononbass

    briancoononbass

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2014
    I guess this goes to show potential buyers of vintage instruments to be dang careful to do their research prior to making a purchase. There are a ton of vintage instruments floating around that are probably pieced together like mine. I wonder what mine is worth with all these different year parts and pieces?
     
  13. thebrian

    thebrian The Brian abides. Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    CA.
    Disclosures:
    Well.. this one time.. at band camp..
    The body has the routing that was done from '73-76. Before that, there was a tunnel between the pickup and control cavities, and after that the straight route that yours has became curved by '77. The serial # and P/U code are also right for '76. The '70 neck is definitely too early to be on that body originally, but the "R" tuners are still correct for a '76. So my guess is the original bass had a neck issue and the previous owner got a used neck that was a few years old at the time, swapped your tuners on it and put it on this body.
     
  14. thebrian

    thebrian The Brian abides. Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    CA.
    Disclosures:
    Well.. this one time.. at band camp..
    It's worth more as the sum of its individual parts at this point.
     
  15. briancoononbass

    briancoononbass

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2014
    Thanks for your help guys! So how would I best value this thing? I was offered $375 for the neck alone back in 1994. Can you break it down in value of the parts? Nothing on it is really in that great of condition really. The finish is just fair. One of Bryan Galloup's students painted it for me. The body has lots of blemishes in it. The neck and headstock are pretty beat up and interestingly enough, my dad bought it that way back then. So whoever had the 1970 beat it badly while they owned it!
     
  16. thebrian

    thebrian The Brian abides. Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    CA.
    Disclosures:
    Well.. this one time.. at band camp..
    I believe you must be a supporting member to ask value questions, especially if we were to break it all down for you.
     
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, I once got in trouble for answering the $ question of a non-supporter.

    This can be fixed, but it looks like you need to adjust the alignment of the strings your neck. I've seen it in a lot of old 70's basses, including mine. The neck slides a little bit in the pocket and it gets out of alignment. You can sometimes fix it by giving the neck a good yank and tightening the bolts, but if that doesn't work, a tech can usually fix it.
     
  18. briancoononbass

    briancoononbass

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2014
    Hmmm, why would asking pricing questions not be allowed on a forum? Oh well, thanks for the info guys. Jimmym, what are you referring to that needs to be fixed?
     
  19. bassteban

    bassteban

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Location:
    Northern California
    It could be taken as a thinly-veiled for sale ad(I am not implying that's your aim, just stating what I perceive as the reason for the rule)
     
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    See how the G string is way close to the edge of the fingerboard and the E is way far away from it? Common problem in Fenders of the mid-70's. Neck routs weren't an exact science back then.
     
  21. briancoononbass

    briancoononbass

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2014
    No, not my intent at all. This bass will never be for sale. I was just curious what I had here in total value. I can run it over to Elderly and have them check it out. Actually nice to know for insurance reasons. Ironic, I came and got this bass from my dad's house in 1990 to play a gig. I left the case there in the closet because I didn't want him to know I "Borrowed" it. Well, the fricken house burned a few months later and that old homemade case burned completely. The bass would have been gone. I did lose my mint 1965 Mosrite Ventures bass in that fire though. Sad day!
     

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