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1965 Fender Bass V

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by woodsideh, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. woodsideh


    Feb 19, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I saw this on CL today. I need to preface that I am not associated with the seller. I thought this was a really cool bass. Does anyone know anything about these? I really didn't know there were 5 string basses around in the 60's.

  2. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Super rare piece there. Leo designed the 5 string - it just didn't catch on enough to keep manufacturing them
  3. woodsideh


    Feb 19, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    That's amazing. Were they set up BEADG? If so, I bet it was tough to find strings.
  4. chi-town_mike


    Dec 11, 2010
    Formerly chicago_mike
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz
    These are rare but for a while NOT collectable. Really only to Fender collectors / period piece collectors.

    Pickup is like a mustang pickup, elongated. Its tuned E - C. JPJ used one with Zepplin here and there.

    During the horrid CBS years..like the Coronado and Starcaster and other mistakes.
  5. tifftunes

    tifftunes Guest

    Though judging by the string silk, might be tough to get proper strings for...

    It appears to have the Mustang body, and a short scale (possibly 32 inch?)...

    I have seen a few, but never played any. I'm guessing it's a very close cousin to the Bass VI, with a slightly thicker string gauge. Probably still in the "Baritone" range, like the Bass VI...
  6. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i liked those bass V's. the CL listing says that there were only 2 of them made? i've actually played more than five of them just like it.
  7. woodsideh


    Feb 19, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I thought it looked like a stretched Mustang body. Wasn't sure if it was the photos.
  8. Bassmingo


    Nov 6, 2008
    Notice the scale length.... Only 15 frets!
  9. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    next bass build idea, John???
  10. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    I've seen a pic of Jamerson playing one.
  11. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    These aren't really *that* rare. The come up for sale fairly often. The reason it didn't catch on is because it wasn't a good sounding instrument. As someone else mentioned, these are attractive to Fender collectors only.
  12. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    It's tuned E A D G C, and it's only got 15 frets, so it only goes to Eb anyway, just like a Precision. It is however a full 34" scale, but only 15 frets. It was designed to make it easier to play across the neck instead of up and down. No more range than a P or a J, and quite different from anything else, plus Leo ran into the same problems a lot of 5-string P basses had early on- getting the two coils to sound balanced when one has to be longer than the other.

  13. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Really? I've hardly ever seen these for sale anywhere...
  14. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    I think what he means is they are very popular with collectors or players.
  15. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Over the years I've seen a lot of these around. Used to be I couldn't go to a guitar show and not see one.
  16. PhR


    Dec 13, 2005
    As said earlier, John Paul Jones used one during Zeppelin's US tour 1973. He had a sunburst model with a block neck. Cheap Trick's Tom Petersson had one too, a dot neck model he plays here:

    It was also perhaps the first bass with the split coil pickup reversed, like Yamaha did in the late seventies.
  17. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    34" scale.

    Dave Pomeroy Article in BP about Bass V

    The article briefly discusses stringing it BEADG.
  18. knuppe


    Oct 25, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    I canĀ“t find that picture through Google. Anyone who can find a picture of Jamerson playing the Fender Bass V?
  19. Big_Daddy


    Nov 24, 2010
    Central Alberta
    ...Would this have been what Lennon would have played on Helter Skelter?
  20. KramerBassFan


    Jan 3, 2009
    I think he is thinking of the Spinal Tap Bass VI.


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