Real P-Bass or not?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by djkool, Feb 16, 2014.


  1. djkool

    djkool Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2013
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    I got this bass in 1974. It was well used, grimey, no finish, had a crack in the body across the electronics compartment, and had had a repair done on the headstock. I was a young, gigging musician and used it well without really thinking 40 years ahead that it might someday be "vintage". I gave it several different paint jobs, most requiring stripping, replaced the pups with Alembic actives to quiet it down for the studio, and enjoyed playing it. A few years after getting it, I contacted Fender with the serial number and was told it was a 1960. However, the headstock no longer has the fender logo or artwork on it.

    I have no wish to sell it, but is there any chance that this could have been faked prior to 1974? Apparently the lack of headstock art precludes it from joining the P-Bass club here on Talkbass. I'll enjoy it either way because it plays so nicely.

    Attached Files:

  2. philvanv

    philvanv Gerbil Turds, Kitsap County Turd Core

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Disclosures:
    and at the bottom it says thank you, and now you can **** off
    I think you have a mystery gem. If Fender said its a 1960's it's the real deal.
  3. bassie12

    bassie12

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Media:
    1
    You got yerself a classic! Enjoy!
  4. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF (North) Bay Area
    What does the neck stamp say? Regarding the P bass club, I bet the neck stamp will get you in... :bassist:
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  6. Dubista

    Dubista

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Then send it over to JohnK for a restoration (if you're into that). Man, I love those threads.
  7. thebrian

    thebrian The Brian abides. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    CA.
    The neck looks like it's a slab board (from the thickness of the rosewood at the headstock), which would be correct for 1960, and the shape of the headstock looks right. The Fender decals were put on over the finish on the headstocks, so it's common to see them peeled/scraped off this many years later. I can't read the ser. # in the pic, but 5 digits is right for the era. What's with the holes along the top of the headstock? The body wouldn't be string-thru in that era, so either the body isn't original or someone converted it to string-thru. The pickguard looks like it could be original.
  8. Maxdusty

    Maxdusty Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan USA
    That's the most important part. It has your history on it, who cares what decal or lack thereof is on the headstock- be it a Fender. That bass is priceless. Wish I kept one bass I grew up with.
  9. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Burlington, Vt.
    It looks like the real thing, and the neck plate number is close to my '61. I'd guess just an early refin.
  10. djkool

    djkool Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2013
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    Thanks, guys. I was pretty sure it was authentic, but you're helping confirm it.
  11. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Northeastern PA
    Body looks original. Has the router hump in the treble side cutaway. There won't be a neck stamp since they didn't start til later. Should be written in pencil, and may even be lacking one. A lot of '60's went out without written pencil dates. Mine included. Hold on to that bass!
  12. awilkie84

    awilkie84 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    That's not always true. Just a couple weeks ago Fender said an 82 was a 74...even though the date stamps were clearly 82.
  13. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    It's a fake all day long I should get my head examined for even suggesting this but I'll give you $200.00 but we have to split shipping this offer is only good for today I'll sober up by Monday.
  14. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    White Plains
    Well, it's obviously a real P bass. Are you asking if it's a real Fender?

    Did someone convert it to string through body or did it come that way? Fender didn't.
    The Volume and Tone knobs seem really close together too.
  15. djkool

    djkool Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2013
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    It was string through body when I got it.
    I agree, just because Fender says the plate # is 1960, doesn't prove anything other than the plate came off of a 1960.
    Yes, I want to confirm it's an authentic Fender 1960 Precision, not just a "P-Bass".

    I took a picture of the pick guard edge. Sometimes the structure can give some clues. No, the screws aren't original.

    Attached Files:

  16. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    White Plains
    Pull the neck. It should have a date on the heel.

    Post pics of it, the neck pocket, under the pick guard, pot date codes, tuners, bridge, etc.
  17. toomanyslurpees

    toomanyslurpees

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    That's definitely that vintage tort that nobody can match these days/
  18. REMBO

    REMBO Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Location:
    Connecticut
    thats awesome!! the pickguard is beautiful!! post more pics please!!
  19. djkool

    djkool Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2013
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    Had it re-fretted recently and there was no date on the neck heel. Probably got wiped out when the neck was refinished before I got it. I have the original pups and pots around somewhere, but they've been shuffled from drawer to drawer for 40 years :) I made the mistake of getting the tuning machines chromed during a "black bass/chrome pick guard" phase in the '80's and the worm gears got chewed up badly enough that I replaced the tuning machines...but I still have the originals. I'll post a pic of them and another of the pick guard soon.
  20. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    100% awesomeness. It doesn't matter a bit that it's not 100% certifiable. That's YOUR bass.
  21. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    White Plains
    Since there isn't much else to go on, I'm going to say it's not a Fender based on those string through body holes.

    But that doesn't mean that it wasn't added after the fact since it seems like it made some work done to it before you got it.

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