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who can help decipher this fender neck stamp?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by horak, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. horak

    horak

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    pic is from an ad for an all orig. 1973 p bass, but after all the information i could find this seems to be a 71 neck as the next to last digit reads '1'. i asked the seller and he replied that it's definitely a 73 neck. so maybe someone out there can shed a light on what strange date code system fender might have used here?

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  2. P_bass

    P_bass Supporting Member

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    01 Precision Bass
    03 Fretted Maple Neck
    39 Built week 39
    1 1971
    3 Wednesday

    Does this prevent it from coming on a 1973 Precision? No it is very possible that this 1971 neck was in the parts bin long enough to become a 1973 Precision.

    :bassist:
  3. horak

    horak

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    thanks p_bass, that makes sense...

    i'd like to add a question concerning the same 1973 fender p-bass...
    she's got pickups with black bobbins with no date codes imprinted. is this some "anomaly"? "the fender bass"-book argues that from 1964 to the end of the 70s bobbins used to be grey with date stamp...
  4. P_bass

    P_bass Supporting Member

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    The Fender book is correct, sounds like the pickups were replaced?

    There may be some pictures around these forums showing what the gray bobbins look like, see if a search brings up any hits?

    I found this picture searching eBay, this is what they should look like: [​IMG]

    Many times pickups are replaced on well used basses, it would lower the overall value of a bass not to have the proper pickups but it would not stop me from owning or playing it.
  5. horak

    horak

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    so, these are most certainly a replacement and not originals from the early 70s...

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  6. P_bass

    P_bass Supporting Member

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    Sorry never seen your latest reply.

    I am no expert, there are many good references out there in paperback and on the web.

    So FWIW, those you show may or may not be Fender but from my experience they are not 70's Fender see the link below for a bunch of 70's Fender pickups.

    They may be anything from off of newer Fender, a Fender Reissue to many repro's that are available.

    http://guitarhq.com/fenddiff/makehtml.php?file=gray_bottom_pu.jpg

    Good luck.
  7. draftdodgerscom

    draftdodgerscom

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    Even though this thread is 3 years old, I had to reply on the topic of the black bobbin pickups, it seems these are correct and were a production anomaly for circa 1973 (though there were also basses produced with grey bobbin pickups with the usual 1973 date markings as well)
    My 1974 Precision (neck date) also natural, with a white pickguard, has these black bobbin pickups, I was suprised when I looked at the underside of them because the bass sounded so good and they look very original from the top.
    I did a bit more (a lot more) research and found a few sources that verified the above information, although there are just as many people asking the same question, and being told they have been added afterwards. I think some strat pickups of this era also had similar black bobbins.
    Also when you look closely at the material you can see it has a hole punched through between the centre pole pieces, just the same detail as grey bottom pickups.

    Anyway I believe my pickups are geniune.... so they are!

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  8. thebrian

    thebrian Still can't think of anything good to put here. Supporting Member

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    I realize this thread is old, but I wanted to say that draftdodgerscom is absolutely correct about the black bottom (bobbin) 1973 precision bass pickups. I have a '73 P bass with black bottom pickups exactly like the ones above and all the solder joints are original. I have also personally seen 2 other Ps (another '73 and a '74) and a '73 strat with these black bottom PUs.

    I doubted this also until I talked to a vintage guitar "guru" friend and he said they are correct. Later I saw a few over the years with my own eyes. On a side note, the black bottoms seem to sound better than the normal green/grey bottoms. I notice my tone knob makes a lot bigger difference with these pickups than many other P basses I've had/played.
  9. draftdodgerscom

    draftdodgerscom

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    Funny you should reply to this thread, recently I was lucky enough to get hold of another '74 Precision (same model, finish and series) and guess what? This is what I found:


    Pretty sure on close inspection that the soldering is factory original.

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  10. thebrian

    thebrian Still can't think of anything good to put here. Supporting Member

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  11. denton57

    denton57 Supporting Member

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    Old thread, I know..

    But I find this interesting. Seems that for one year, 1973, there were black bobbin pups being used? Anyone have any additional insight? Sound the same as the grey, or are they different?
  12. denton57

    denton57 Supporting Member

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    I'm going to bump this old thread back up. I am very interested in learning more about other sightings of these in the 73-74 basses. I bumped this back last May because I was looking at a set on eBay for my project bass. Now I have a 73 on the way that has these black bobbins and are original.

    In the interest of further documenting the history of the P bass, I would like to continue the discussion and learn of other sightings and experiences!
  13. denton57

    denton57 Supporting Member

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    I'm going to start a new thread..

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