Need help identifying/dating a vintage Fender Precision

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rizzo9247, Feb 19, 2014.


  1. rizzo9247

    rizzo9247 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    First thing I did when the UPS man arrived was tear open the box and take this guy apart. It was billed as a "refinished 1970 Fender Precision" and other than that, "all original with case."

    So I need help from the Fender experts on the board to help me out to make sure I didn't get ripped off! So, please take a look at these pictures, what's original, what's not, etc..

    Thank you!


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  2. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle / Tacoma
    it's a 1970.
    It's obvously had a body refinished. And someone went and replaced nearly all the screws with incorrect slot headed screws (should be phillips heads). The messed up thing about the slot screws is they enlarged all the holes to accomplish that.
  3. RSBBass

    RSBBass

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    No special knowledge of vintage Fenders but I doubt the jack is original. The US did not have trade relations with China until 1972.
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Seweracuse, NY
    Is that fire or flood damage?
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  6. GM60466

    GM60466

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    Location:
    Land of Lakland
    mid-'70s
  7. rizzo9247

    rizzo9247 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    The front of the headstock does look a little toasty now that you mention it!
  8. msb

    msb

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    1970 , screws and input jack have been changed , refin . The lacquer on the head stocks does darken quite a bit .
  9. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    This.


    Plus a replacement output jack.
  10. A-Step-Towards

    A-Step-Towards Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles California
    As Caca was first to point out the screws have all been replaced, the most alarming of this is the bridge screws having been swapped and also the neck screws having been swapped because as Caca said these have now enlarged the original holes, further more they may be at a greater depth then the original ones. Its looks like the string tree and maybe the clovers of the tuners and bushings were painted black?

    The jack should be USA switchcraft and those pots dont look correct, my 1976 has CTS ones. Also the bridge while correct looks like maybe the E strings saddle length screw was swapped out.



    Lastly did you get this from guitar center?
  11. rizzo9247

    rizzo9247 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    Thanks for the info!

    And yes, this was from GC. The manager was very nice on the phone and gave the bass a once over so I thought I'd take a stab at it.

    Now that's it's back together and strung up, it sounds really, really good. Two issues however are that the volume pot is "all or nothing" and I can't adjust the pickup height to even the output between strings.

    Looks like this is a keeper once these issues are corrected. Anyone know a good bass tech in NYC?
  12. A-Step-Towards

    A-Step-Towards Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles California
    I keep a eye on the vintage GC gear , so I was pretty sure I saw that.

    I remember what it was posted at, for that price you did well, although if you wanted to return it you have grounds to due to the screw swap.

    FYI, the 16 flat heads for the tuners are original just in case you didn't know.
  13. Davo-London

    Davo-London

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Location:
    London, England
    The serial number on the back plate is 1970. The decals are 70's and the bridge is post CBS. The CTS pots suggest 25 month of 1970.

    Odd thing is the fingerboard looks like Brazilian rosewood, which it can't be. Can it?

    All very odd. Could be a parts bass?

    Davo
  14. rizzo9247

    rizzo9247 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    Hi Davo et. al., how can we differentiate between rosewoods? It does not look very different the my 1997 jazz
  15. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle / Tacoma
    The pots are correct. The pictures are gone now, but I thought I saw they were Stackpole brand pots (stamped 304 instead of 137). They had the correct date code of 20-something week of 1970.

    The flat head screws on the tuners I believe are from a Gibson. No Fender bass after the late 50's would have flat head screws on the tuning machine base plates.
  16. rizzo9247

    rizzo9247 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    Woops I need to reconnect them to photobucket!
  17. extreme

    extreme

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
    re: adjusting pickup height, that old foam always disintegrates...just cut up some strips from a mouse pad and put them underneath the pickups.
  18. rizzo9247

    rizzo9247 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    Perfect, I have a new switchcraft jack I'll have installed.


    Thanks good idea!
  19. A-Step-Towards

    A-Step-Towards Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles California
    Really? damn. I had 2 70s P bass with flat head screws on the tuners, they were the OG tuners and smaller then the screws on this one but damn I thought they used flat heads this whole time.

    Thanks for the info!
  20. LHbassist

    LHbassist

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2003
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    Reno, Nevada
    I'm a bass repairman, since 1969. The pots and capacitor look original. Jack is obviously a bad replacement from China. Body, neck, pickguard, knobs, thumbrest, headstock, tuners, bridge, all look right for the era. The pickguard and underside, with the pots and jack, look almost exactly like the original pickguard from my 1973 p-bass, which is hanging on a peg in my workshop. Why anyone would replace all the relatively inexpensive Phillips head screws with flat head hardware store brass screws is perplexing. Probably took their time to refinish it, and lost all the original screws. Old Fender screws can easily be obtained, and for not really that much money. I'd have a GOOD repair person reinstall correct screws.
    I'll bet it sounds great.

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