1976 Fender Precision - Serial # and Neck Heel Mark

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Stardenx, Apr 10, 2018.


  1. Stardenx

    Stardenx

    Apr 10, 2018
    Knoxville, TN
    Hello everyone. I have two questions about my 1976 Fender Precision bass. I bought it from the original owner. He bought it from a shop in ‘76 and all parts are original.
    1) There is a strange mark on the neck heel. It looks vaguely familiar, like I’ve seen a picture of one before. Anyone know what it means? It looks like a six or a nine.
    E7309DBB-FAC6-4C4B-B3E5-4C908CF236A6.jpeg B7716BA0-B953-4589-81D5-291ADC3B799C.jpeg
    2) There is no serial number on the neck plate or on the headstock. Being a 1976 model, I would figure it would be in one place or the other. Instead, there is only the sticker on the underside of the pickguard. Serial # configuration is 76#####
    Has anyone seen this before...where the only serial number is on a sticker under the pickguard? The original purchaser says the neck is not a replacement and the neck plate is original. I have seen this 76##### configuration on the headstock of other bases from 1976, but I’ve never seen this configuration on a neck plate.
     
    hintz likes this.
  2. Mark76

    Mark76

    Dec 1, 2015
    Leicester
    Who's "Herb G"?
     
    Wisebass likes this.
  3. Wisebass

    Wisebass

    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    No idea! But maybe the "we need more pics to identify that bass" mafia will know more? :D

    Wise(b)ass
     
  4. Perhaps his name is "Herb Grass". LOL
     
  5. Stardenx

    Stardenx

    Apr 10, 2018
    Knoxville, TN
    Heheh.
    Herb G is most likely Herb Gastellum, legendary Fender neck shaper. Truth.
     
  6. Stardenx

    Stardenx

    Apr 10, 2018
    Knoxville, TN
    Where are all of the experts on this site??
    Maybe I should be over on Strat-talk?
    Or am I in the wrong forum?
     
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  7. 1) ?
    2) In late 1976/early 77 Fender changed the decal to the smaller one and started to use chrome (edgier back plate) Schaller tuners.
    Serial numbers went from the neck plate to the headstock.
    Would be nice if you post a pic of the headstock. I assume a small logo with no serial number (76XXX) underneath -> could be transition model - who knows?
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
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  8. Stardenx

    Stardenx

    Apr 10, 2018
    Knoxville, TN
    Thank you very much FenderOli
    Yes, I figure it’s one of those oddities that happen while corporate practices are in process of change. I’m attaching a photo of the headstock. I have the tuners off of it for maintenance. I’m away from the house right now. Don’t have a photo of the tuners. But they are the classic mid/late-70s tuners. The posts cannot be separated from the mounting body. I’m not sure when they transitioned to those from the others that look identical but where you can dissemble the whole thing. 6A4F8353-E302-4BC2-843F-8F09E08A1C43.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
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  9. capnjim

    capnjim

    Mar 13, 2008
    Herb Gastellum makes the best necks I have ever seen. He really is a legend. The serial number from that year would have been on the neck plate, not too rare too not see the stamp, for some reason, they seem to fade. I can make out a bit of green on the heel.

    Does the back of the neck have nice flame or figuring? All the Herb G necks I have seen have been very unique.

    BTW...why would you take off the tuners for "maintenance"?? Thats very bizzare.
     
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  10. Stardenx

    Stardenx

    Apr 10, 2018
    Knoxville, TN
    These are the tuners image.jpg
     
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  11. Ah, the big TV Logo - the serial should be at the neck plate.
    But why the walnut plug at the headstock. Rosewood plus walnut is more a 77/80s (small decal) thing - really strange.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
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  12. Stardenx

    Stardenx

    Apr 10, 2018
    Knoxville, TN
    Howdy CapnJim
    I agree, Herb G’s necks are wonderful. Unfortunately, the back of this neck is unremarkable aesthetically. However, it feels great and plays very well.
     
  13. Stardenx

    Stardenx

    Apr 10, 2018
    Knoxville, TN
    Yes, I would’ve expected to see the serial number on the neck plate as well. I’m attaching a photo of three of my four Precision basses.
    The top one is the one we’re talking about. The second one below it is my 79. Notice the copyright R after “Precision Bass”. It has the Fender in black with gold outline, but is smaller. The one at the bottom is my ‘75. That one has the serial number on the neck plate of course. Large, all black logo. No copyright R after “Precision Bass”.
    And I’ll add another photo of my ‘77. It has the large logo with gold outline and has the copyright R after “Precision Bass”.
    So I’m just thinking it was a transitional design. The main evidence seems to be the size of the fender logo, that it is outlined in gold, and that there is no copyright R after “Precision Bass”. The weirdest part for me is that there is no serial number on the headstock or neck plate. And it’s a bummer that the green stamp on the next heel is to faded to read.
    3F7200BB-13B3-46AA-87F3-AA01FA046C60.jpeg F8B7A51B-AB5F-4A14-A1E7-23C20B8A833C.jpeg
     
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  14. capnjim

    capnjim

    Mar 13, 2008
    Yes..its some sort of transition logo.
    But....why do you take off the tuners????
     
  15. Stardenx

    Stardenx

    Apr 10, 2018
    Knoxville, TN
    CapnJim,
    They were filthy. There was an annoying, irregular resistance when turning them and there was some sort of black, sticky poopie in the gears.
    I take apart most of my guitars when I get them. I like going through them thoroughly. Sometimes I find interesting marks, stamps, etc. Some people get anxious and are disapproving, saying that I’m destroying “patina”. To me, filth is not patina. I’m careful about it. And all of my 25 or so vintage 4- and 6-strings have peoples’ mouth’s watering when they see and play them.
     
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  16. BassFishingInAmerica

    BassFishingInAmerica

    Jul 24, 2014
    Could the neck in first photo be a 75? What was on your friend's bass to indicate it was a 76? If it is a 76, it's an early one. Notice the tuners are the earlier 70s style. The tuners changed to the cheaper looking ones when the serial numbers switched to the headstock. I can only assume that the neckplate was changed out at some point.
     
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  17. mesaplayer83

    mesaplayer83

    Jun 27, 2017
    Well, there is no way it is "all original" - as an owner of an "all original" '76 P Bass, the serial # would have to be on the neck plate(early to mid '76), or on the face of the headstock(later '76) - there are no other possibilities... The neckplate has more than likely been swapped out, for whatever reason... This is what the headstock looks like on a later '76: 1976 Fender P Bass Headstock.JPG
     
  18. hintz

    hintz

    Jun 5, 2014
    wahiawa, HI(Oahu)
    I too disassemble/clean the tuners when I get a used bass. I find liquid graphite works great to re-lube. Nice score BTW!!!
     
    Stardenx likes this.
  19. Stardenx

    Stardenx

    Apr 10, 2018
    Knoxville, TN
    Thanks for the response. The serial number sticker on the underside of the pick guard indicates that it is a 1976. But I’ve never seen the neck plate with a serial number configuration like I described earlier.
     
  20. Stardenx

    Stardenx

    Apr 10, 2018
    Knoxville, TN
    Some people are nervous about taking their bass and its components apart. To not clean things up is like sleeping in someone else’s bed sheets, in my opinion! And we’re talking about 40+-year-old instruments here. That’s a lot of time to attract everything from the dead skin to eyelashes to dust to oils to fibers from lining of its case, etc. And I agree, liquid graphite is a great lubricant for this application!
     
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    Primary TB Assistant

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