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1977 Fender Precision USA, any one?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by osuok88, Oct 22, 2010.


  1. osuok88

    osuok88 Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX - USA
    Hi
    I have a chance to buy the 4 string 1977 Fender Precision USA bass. I would like to know if anyone has played it and how it compared to the current model Fender P bass, and what is the fair price for one in very good condition.
    Thank a lot
     
  2. 77PBass

    77PBass Banned

    Dec 5, 2007
    nyc
    I happen to have one (see nick).

    What color is it? The range for for VG is $1850 to $2250. I know because I have been thinking of selling mine and have done a lot of research.

    Comparisons are subjective. The late 70's basses bear no resemblance to anything on or before 1970 IMHO. The necks on late 70's Pbass are like baseball bats....thick and round. The neck feels less wide than the 60's necks. They are heavy and entombed in a thick coat of poly. That said, they can sound awesome..big sound...not as mellow as a 60's but not as bright as anything post CBS sale to management.

    I have played a lot of new standards at GC and have not liked a single one. Getting past the fact the GC never sets up their instruments, I have been unimpressed by the build quality and sound.

    IMHO, the best bargain out there is the MIC Squier Classic Vibe Pbass. The neck feels close to a 60's neck than anything else they do including Custom Shop. The electronics are get a decent tone and the colors are almost dead on. For $300, you can't beat them.

    All of this is my experience and opinion. Your mileage may vary.
     
  3. I had a '78 that was a nice bass, but very heavy. If weight is an issue, check it first.

    OTOH, my '72 is one of the lightest Ps I've played.
     
  4. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    IME, 77 p basses usually got for around $1500-$1700. most of them have heavy ash bodies. if you're lucky enough to get a lightweight (swamp ash) one, then i think that they're a great bass and a real bargain. but i wouldn't pay $1200 (or even $1K) for an 10.5 (or more) pound one. IMO, 1976-1981 were definitely not fender's greatest years.
     
  5. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    NYC
    My '77 p sounds much better than any '90s-'00s I've played.
    It's very light, just 8lbs (with the pup/bridge covers).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. 77PBass

    77PBass Banned

    Dec 5, 2007
    nyc
    The prices I quoted are retail from reputable dealers. As a touchstone I use Chicago Music Exchange or Bass NW to check prices.

    CME has a '78 for $2495.

    http://www.chicagomusicexchange.com/products/Fender--Precision-Bass-3-Tone-Sunburst-1978.html

    It seems things have jumped over the $2k mark in the last 2 years for '77/'78 Pbasses. They are 33 years old and have a Fender logo.

    If you want a laugh, you couldn't give away a Fender Coranado Bass...there is one on ebay now for $1,539.

    For a lesson in economics, if you paid $500 for a bass in 1977, you would have to spend $1,802.30 today for the same bass (adjusted for inflation). If you look at it that way, you are paying a $200 premium for 33 year old wood if you pay $2000.
     
  7. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Wider neck (1 3/4")
    thicker finish
    heavier weight
    inferior electronics
    irrational value appreciation (if stock)
     
  8. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    NYC
  9. osuok88

    osuok88 Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX - USA
    Thanks a lot guys. By the way, the 1977 Fender Precision weights about 10lbs. Is it a good Fender bass with that weight?
     
  10. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    if it were me, i'd pass.
     
  11. danomite64

    danomite64

    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Every Precision I've had from that era had a 1 5/8" neck, and the electronics were fine. They weren't heavy, either.
     
  12. 77PBass

    77PBass Banned

    Dec 5, 2007
    nyc
    How much is the seller asking for?
     
  13. darkstorm

    darkstorm

    Oct 13, 2009
    Ten pounds is overly heavy imo. The latter 70's where rather hit and miss qaulity wise. I think the modern fenders are much better with nice upgrades to like better fret size, neck profiles, and improved bridges. Imo.
     
  14. osuok88

    osuok88 Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX - USA
    He is asking $1300 in very good condition
     
  15. 77PBass

    77PBass Banned

    Dec 5, 2007
    nyc
    $1300 is reasonable...if you don't like it, I am sure you could sell it to a dealer for that and get your money back.

    You never said what color it was.....
     
  16. osuok88

    osuok88 Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX - USA
    it is black with maple neck
     
  17. 77PBass

    77PBass Banned

    Dec 5, 2007
    nyc
    Just like mine. Around $1300 on trade in is what you would get in NYC.

    If you buy and hold on to it, based on the last 30 years history, the value should climb with inflation.

    If you get a chance, check out the Squier Classic Vibe Pbass....you may like it better and you can save $1k.
     
  18. osuok88

    osuok88 Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX - USA
    Thank and I will check out the Squier Classic Vibe Pbass
     
  19. scowboy

    scowboy Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Sacramento area
    6 months ago I bought a 2010 MIA Standard P-bass. It's light, it sounds great, the fit and finish is simply fantastic. It's worth every penny of $1100. And it came with a nice case and the set up was perfect for me, I have not touched it except to restring. For me to consider a vintage p-bass it would have to be pretty special.

    I also agree $1300 sounds reasonable but again check out the new MIA's. FWIW I like the Squire too.
     
  20. pjmuck

    pjmuck

    Feb 8, 2006
    New Joisey
    Yes, Fender's quality control can be very sketchy during that period. Check the bass carefully. One of the biggest common problems I've seen on mid/late 70's stuff is misaligned necks and/or bridge routes, the result being strings hanging too close to the edge of the fretboard on either E or G side and not evenly spaced or centered. Also, neck pockets you can drive a truck through.
     

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