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1978 fender P bass help ....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by chalie, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. Hi Guys,

    I have the opportunity to get a nice 1978 P Bass but I wonder if the pup and pots could be original. The seller said he got it few years ago from the original owner who claimed that the bass came to him as is.
    The pup has a white cover and there is a troggle switch for pup looping between tone pot and the jack similar to P Special but it is not active.

    Thank you inadvance for your input.

    Attached Files:

  2. Wow...that is some serious color changing from over the years. It looks like mocha but was obviously natural. White pickups were common in the early 80's and a 78 serial number could run until the 80's but that route looks like a pre-80's route. So it is either a transitional model when they first started using white pickups or (more likely) the pickup was swapped out. The strat switch definitely sounds after market.
  3. Actually that body looks almost like pine. Do you have any other photos to check if it's an actual fender body?
  4. M5Yates


    Feb 7, 2005
    Austin, TX
    That's not original soldering.
    Fender didn't glop it on like that, even in the sloppy 70's.
    White cover pickup wiring would look more like this:

  5. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Those appear to be DiMarzios... are the pole pieces threaded alan wrench head.... common to see those pickup swapped during that era. Good sounding, aggressive pickup but not original. Toggle switch is also not original.

    Doesn't mean it's not a great bass, only that collector value is greatly diminished which means you should not pay a huge vintage premium.

    Ash body, probably heavy 10+ pounds is very common for that period.
  6. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Ash body left too long near the ashtray?

    Holy Mods, Bat Man! What's the neck like? The other destruction can be dealt with, but the neck needs to be sound—unless you want to heat treat, plane, refret, refinish, etc.

    What about the tuners? Also, that bridge looks later than my '71. When did they go to slotted saddles?
  7. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Agree, I would guess heavy also but could sound great. My 78' weighted 10.5lbs but sounded great.
  8. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I am going to say, when I see finishes turn that dark is usually because the instrument was too close to a fire or heat source.
  9. It does seem WAY too dark for just sunlight and cigarette smoke.
  10. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    It looks like someone tried to paint/stain it with the pickguard still on.
  11. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Agree, with those things having thick poly its couldn't darken that much thru smoke/light. I had a 73' tele that was much lighter under the pickguard but that's crazy.
  12. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Haha could be. I was trying to tell if the screw hole that should be just ahead of the pickups was there and it looks like whatever is on the rest of the body is also splattered on over where that screw hole should be as if it had leaked through the guard. Same goes for the treble-side hole for the pickup cover. And there is zero chance that is original wiring.
  13. more pics

    Attached Files:

  14. more pictures to come, thanks
  15. So seems that not an original pup.
    Thanks guys for your support.
  16. I thought it looked like pine because I thought it was super knotty but now I think those are just spots not knots in the wood.
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'd buy it if the price was right.
  18. The price would have to be VERY right since 78's aren't all that valuable as it is and that one seems to have been to hell and back and modded on the way.
  19. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Looks like a mojo-machine but if it's heavy-heavy, I'd pass. Have 2 that I like already.
  20. 77PBass

    77PBass Banned

    Dec 5, 2007
    That bass looks like a mess. I am preparing a black '78 for listing (taking pictures today) in the classifieds. Ping me if you want information.

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