Rescued an old P today. Weird wiring!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by capnjim, Dec 14, 2013.


  1. capnjim

    capnjim

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Very nice, sort of original, '73 P with a superb A neck. I have two P-basses, and they are both A necks which is kind of weird as I only have three fingers on my fretting hand and can only play skinny necks. Call it fate. This poor ole beast had not been touched in 10-15 years. Mostly original, but missing pickguard screws and some weirdness with the wiring. There is a green cap, which I have seen before, but a strange little black thing.
    I had my 12yr old daughter read what it says:
    M390 14/01 1569. What the heck is it??
    Has anyone seen these kind of pots before?
    They sure went nuts with the heavy duty cable!!
    You see a lot of P-basses stripped, but this is the original finish and it has "Natural" stamped in the pickup cavity. Lots of cracks in the finish though, should I do anything to the finish??
    I haven't tried it yet, but the seller says the pup works well. The pickup has the Grey bottoms and red number ending in '73. That would be original? I'm going to give it a good celaning before stringing it up and maybe change the pots....I'll have to measure and see if they are good as they have no marking on them. Nice brass shafts so they are probably good quality.
    Just thought I would share!!
    Cheers
    p.s. anyone got a few extra pickguard screws lying around??

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  2. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Location:
    Below Ground, Detroit area
    Congrats on a nice score! Don't know anything about the electronics but the body wood has a very sweet grain to it.
     
  3. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2000
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH.
    Disclosures:
    Proprietor, ACF Custom
    That's shielded wire, which isn't a terrible thing... it jut looks installed terribly :D And they are shielded pots as well!
    I've seen Les Pauls with the shielded wiring, so I'm guessing that's why they did it. But if it were me, I'd try to restore that beast.
    Good score, indeed!
     
  4. Davo-London

    Davo-London

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Location:
    London, England
    1. Good score assuming you got a bargain.
    2. Ash body and maple/rosewood neck.
    3. The pots and wiring and possibly even the jack are unoriginal but can be easily replaced.
    4. The serial number should be on the neck plate and I couldn't tell from the photo if that's the case.
    5. I would strongly recommend not to touch the body. Leave it as is to retain the instruments value.

    Regards
    Davo
     
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  6. Diogenes

    Diogenes

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Location:
    Germantown, Louisville KY USA
    You may have bought it but I'd say it rescued you.;)
     
  7. A-Step-Towards

    A-Step-Towards Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles California
    Do not do any refinishing. Do not use steel wool or the likes on any chrome. I would simply use windex and a ragto clean the body , neck and hardware. I would then clean the board and lemon oil it. I would junk the pots and wiring and get a kit from ebay that has CTS pots and cloth wiring, even though I dont think cloth is period for a 1973.

    If you put it back together as original as possible and clean it up really well I think thats about a $1500 bass.
     
  8. 1bassplayin

    1bassplayin

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Location:
    The land of fruits and nuts
    Nice one. I would replace the pots and wiring myself. Leave the rest alone. $15 to $20 and a soldering iron. Easy fix.
     
  9. 10cc

    10cc

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Man you don't wanna waste your time with that thing;) that's my favorite setup year, color, neck. Nice.
     
  10. capnjim

    capnjim

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Thanks guys, I won't do anything drastic to the finish, I was just wondering if I should wax it or something as its probably drying out.
    The neck plate has the right six digit number starting in 4. I'll have to see if I can find some good pots.
    I even have a new set of Sunbeam strings lying around. Just not sure what to do for pickguard screws as I don't have any...btw, I'm in Canada and buying from the US has gotten very expensive with shipping and taxes etc...
    Anyone know anywhere in Canada to get screws and pots?
    I got it for a fair price, not a great deal, but not a bad deal either.
     
  11. MR PC

    MR PC

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Wow man, that is sweet a classic P bass, refined to the signs of the early customizing era! Many recording engineers love these instruments! I'd spend a little time listening to the electronics before ripping them out and making it "stock". Somebody must of done that because they were having noise issues. My '72 fretless P had a really noisy pickup, some P pu's are simply noisier than others, even though they are a hum cancelling design. It's an issue with many P pickups to this day.
     
  12. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2000
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH.
    Disclosures:
    Proprietor, ACF Custom
    Long and McQuade?
     
  13. 1bassplayin

    1bassplayin

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Location:
    The land of fruits and nuts
    I though I had some extras, but no. Hardware store may have some. #4 X 1/2 sheet metal screws should work. Good luck.
     
  14. capnjim

    capnjim

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    So that little black thingie might be some sort of hum control? I'll probably string her up tomorrow...Can't wait to hear what it sounds like. I have a '66P with a non-original PUP so I will have something to compare it to.
    Cheers
     
  15. MR PC

    MR PC

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    No, the black thingie looks like black electrical tape covering a wire between the pots. The silver braided shielding around the wires is for minimizing hum.
     
  16. capnjim

    capnjim

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    The little black thingie is soldered on to a pot. I posted what info it has written on it.
     
  17. Matthijs

    Matthijs

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    its a capacitor too. google that code and you'll see. 0.068 uf
     
  18. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle / Tacoma
    You should be able to find 250k pots and .05 cap from any new Fender dealer and probably 80% of vintage shops.

    As a simple signal test you can plug a cable into the jack and tap on the pickup poles with a screwdriver; if it makes noise the pickup works.
     
  19. capnjim

    capnjim

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    I just googled it before you posted. I wonder why there are two caps?
     
  20. hotrodjohn

    hotrodjohn Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
  21. GreaserMatt

    GreaserMatt

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Ah, I just love a good fender p bass...
     

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