See any red flags? (pre-CBS Fender content)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jbiscuti, Dec 31, 2013.


  1. jbiscuti

    jbiscuti

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Location:
    New York City
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Grolsch Strap Locks
    I am very close to closing the deal on a wonderful old 1962 Precision. From what I can see, it is nearly all-original, with the most worn finish I have ever seen/felt on one of these old basses. It looks like it's been stripped, but the finish is still in the cutaways and under the pickguard.

    I have been able to play the bass; it was strung to Eb and with roundwounds (I play flats exclusively and tune to standard); regardless, I was stunned with how resonant and punchy it was, even with strings and a setup I don't particularly care for. Bruce Thomas all the way.

    The action was low and very even all the way up the neck.

    Still, I have some reservations considering I have not owned a vintage Precision before. I have uploaded some photos of the nitty-gritty innards of the bass; can anyone tell me if they see anything I should be concerned about?

    Photos are here: http://www.johnbiscuti.net/1962

    Thanks!
     
  2. Kmrumedy

    Kmrumedy

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    I just purchased a 1960 Pbass a couple of weeks ago. The body is probably stripped on the playing area. But it is original as you can see the extra hole near the neck that they used to put the body on to spray them.

    Do you have the pot codes?

    The only picture of concern is the truss rod. I would have it checked out. It is slightly stripped and not flush. Last thing you want is a bad neck.

    Looks great. Wish I had seen this one.
     
  3. KeithAlanK

    KeithAlanK

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Location:
    San Antonio Texas
    Does the seller have a history of tuning to Eb?
    That's the only red flag for me--it's neck may not deliver the current quality setup at E.

    The bridge, tuners, routing, and neck stamp are as I remember them, but it's been 30 years since I sold my all-original '62 Precision.

    More experienced owners will be along shortly...
     
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Seweracuse, NY
    That's the strangest thing I've seen done to an original finish. Completely intact under any of the hardware, completely stripped everywhere else. That wasn't done by 'wear'.
     
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  6. A-Step-Towards

    A-Step-Towards Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles California
    Yeah the finish was purposely removed. I have seen this dont this way. The person didnt bother to take the bass apart and did it while everything was still on, you can wipe nitro finishes off with paint thinner. So hopefully your paying for a refinish price because really thats what it is, its not the original finish with wear, its the original finish stripped. Its nice the Og finish is under those parts, that can be taped off and the rest paint sunburst again.
     
  7. jbiscuti

    jbiscuti

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Location:
    New York City
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    Endorsing Artist: Grolsch Strap Locks
    I appreciate you guys weighing in!

    I would typically look at this as a red flag, but this bass has appeared on several major label hard rock records (it's owned by a name player) and I could tell it had been set up for Eb for some time -- the big indicator of this being the fatter/heavier strings on this bass than what I'm used to.

    In regards to the finish, it's very odd in that much of the black part of the sunburst finish is still sitting in the cutaways as well (though i don't have a photo of this). And yes, I would be paying "refinish" price for this.

    My concern is about the truss rod -- can anything be done if its stripped or not-functioning? I have had the truss rod cavity fixed on a Rickenbacker before by having the fretboard removed from the neck, then re-glued. Is there any reason this wouldn't work on a Fender, worse comes to worse?
     
  8. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Truss rod could be an issue down the road if it doesn't turn, but if it plays well as is I don't see that its an immediate problem. Regarding Eb tuning... just use a lighter gauge string and tune to standard. As long as the tension is similar shouldn't be any issue at all.
     
  9. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Location:
    Rochester NY USA
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Being set up for E flat is a red flag for me, make sure the truss rod it ok and you can get the bass set up in standard tuning the way you want it.
     
  10. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
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    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    The round wounds might be why it is tuned to E flat, they are typicaly higher tension than flats. You may be ok!
     
  11. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    This '61/'62 (slab board) I had for a long time was stripped bare, carved along the grainlines, shellaced, and then much later overpainted with glossy black housepaint without taking off the neck and pickguard. This then worn off in interesting wear contact patterns and grain crevices. Weird and trippy things happened to classic instruments between 62-82! Like yours, thankfully no routing!
     

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  12. Turnaround

    Turnaround

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    Bass Technician, Club Bass - Toronto
    Not really feasible to remove the fingerboard. By late '62 Fender was using the "veneer" rather than "slab" fingerboard. Can't really remove it without destroying it.
     
  13. thebrian

    thebrian The Brian abides. Gold Supporting Member

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    Well.. this one time.. at band camp..
    If the TR nut turns, then you can remove it and replace it with a new one for a couple bucks (and save the original if you ever resell the bass) - no big deal at all. But if the TR is seized, it could be a big issue. Like Turnaround said, the original board will most likely be destroyed if it has to be removed for a TR repair. A new board can be glued on, but once a pre-CBS neck loses its original brazilian rw baord, it doesn't have nearly as much value any longer. I would personally pass if the TR is siezed.
     
  14. thebrian

    thebrian The Brian abides. Gold Supporting Member

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    Well.. this one time.. at band camp..
    Also, if the neck is bowed a little from being in Eb tuning for many years, a set of light gauge stings (like TIs) tuned to E will be close to a set of heavier gauge strings tuned to Eb.. as far as how much tension/bow is on the neck.
     
  15. Clouz

    Clouz The Ayatollah of Jack and Cola Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    it looks like the wires to the jack were replaced.
     
  16. jbiscuti

    jbiscuti

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Location:
    New York City
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    Endorsing Artist: Grolsch Strap Locks
    The seller has agreed to my price, but I would like to test out the truss rod first.

    1. Is there a specific screwdriver that works best for the old Fender truss rod nut? I don't own one that quite fits and I'd like to own the proper tool anyway.

    2. What exactly should I be looking for here? For instance, if the truss rod is NOT flush but still turns in both directions, is it okay?

    Thanks!
     
  17. lundborg

    lundborg

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    1/ I use a Phillips screwdriver, although if the nut is tight I remove the neck and use an as large flat as possible. Don't know about any special tool. If anyone else knows I'd be interested.

    2/ The nut in the pictures doesn't look that bad to me. I'd be more worried about the fact that you can't see the end of the rod - you see the threads on the nut fairly deep, but no rod.

    So I would check that the rod isn't snapped at the end.

    I it's snapped, the nut will turn, but nothing else would happen...

    A C width neck is pretty thick, so I wouldn't be surprised if it still plays quite nicely.
     
  18. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

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    I hope it works out for you she is a well worn gal for sure. No hints to owned it for us?
     
  19. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

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    AFM 72-147 union card-carrying liberal academic musician
    The health of the neck (truss rod/nut, warps, cracks, stability, finish, etc.) are THE most important issue in purchasing an instrument like this. Age, looks, provenance, mojo, are worthless (IMHO) without a really solid neck!!! :eyebrow: :eyebrow: :eyebrow:

    Eb tuning with light strings = big problem hiding here.
     
  20. jbiscuti

    jbiscuti

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    I agree totally -- but I mentioned that the strings were very heavy, fortunately!
     
  21. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

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    What is the deal with the truss rod adjustment? Working? Much left?
     

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