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'62 Precision vs '72 Precision: can you hear the difference?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Steve Boisen, Mar 28, 2020.

Which track is the '62 Precision Bass?

Poll closed Mar 30, 2020.
  1. Track A is the '62 & Track B is the '72

    108 vote(s)
  2. Track B is the '62 & Track A is the '72

    116 vote(s)
  3. Track C is probably carrots (I have no idea)

    51 vote(s)
  1. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    My friend Robert Strickland and I decided to conduct an experiment to determine the difference in tone between our Fender Precision Basses, his being a coveted pre-CBS instrument from 1962 and mine being a 1972 model. Both basses have rosewood fingerboards and are completely stock with their original electronics and hardware. They are both strung with La Bella light-gauge flatwounds that have been on their respective instruments for the same length of time, and neither bass has a foam mute. For this experiment, I chose to play a portion of James Jamerson’s classic bass part from Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” along with an instrumental backing track, the bass featured prominently in the mix. Both instruments were recorded directly into Audacity with no compression or effects. The basses were played finger-style and the volume and tone controls were up all the way. We would like the members of this group to listen to both tracks and see if they can determine which bass is being played. We will reveal the answer at a later date.

    Track A

    Track B


    - Steve
  2. Troberts 98

    Troberts 98

    Jan 30, 2017
    They both sound great. Very nice playing also. I went with 62 B I would be happy to own either.
  3. Dave Hill

    Dave Hill Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    2 seconds. B is the 62.
  4. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    On my phone, the bass on track B has a growlier low E. Thats all im gonna say.
  5. I also think the ‘62 is B . Both sound great and in a live setting virtually indistinguishable . Nice to see this close of a comparison in regards to strings, settings and player.
  6. devnulljp


    Oct 13, 2009
    BC, Canada
    Admin on the D*A*M Forum
    Funnily enough, I have both and they sound and feel very different in my hands -- the rosewood vs/ maple board being the biggest difference in feel.
    Also funnily enough, I was listening to James Jamerson with Marvin Gaye when I opened this thread (nice playing BTW).
    Pbassmanca and Steve Boisen like this.
  7. Wood and Wire

    Wood and Wire

    Jul 15, 2017
    Kind of more importantly (in my opinion), which instrument felt better in your hands?

    Which did you feel had the better fit and finish etc?

    If you're forcing me to answer your original question (I only listened over the crummy mono speaker on my phone, with the TV on in the background), I'd say A = '62, B = '72 and that's purely on the basis that B sounded brighter, which I associate with the handful of 70's Precisions I've played, compared to the couple of P's I've played from the 60's.

    In other words, I may as well flip a coin.
  8. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Great idea and one that I have tried.
    I have an original 1960 and a 73'. I find the age of the strings makes a greater difference.
    If your two are like mine, the B track would be 70's. Slightly brighter upper mids.
    Or I could be wrong!
    justbass57 and Kubicki Fan like this.
  9. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Track B sounds fatter, I'm going the B as the 62
  10. knockerjoe

    knockerjoe Supporting Member

    Jun 5, 2016
    I have a 73 and I’m going with B on the 72 with the brighter mids.
  11. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    I don't know which is which.
    But I like track A better. Guessing it's the '62..
  12. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    B is brighter, but A sounds more 'vintage' to my ears. Is A the earlier bass? For me, A is a better fit for this song but I'd probably go with B as a daily driver :)
    alpan254, imabuddha and Grapevine921 like this.
  13. B sounds more like a 60's P to me (on my computer speakers). So voted B =62 and A =72.
  14. BassFishingInAmerica


    Jul 24, 2014
    Don’t know which is which, but A has a much better tone for the song.
    Utopia444, mb94952, alpan254 and 6 others like this.
  15. zackattack

    zackattack Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2006
    San Francisco
    I thought they both sounded great but I prefer the sound of A. Could be a set up thing but it sounds like the strings are being choked a bit on B. Classic dead spot on both!
  16. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I hear the same thing from the bass on Track B.

    But I personally prefer the tone of the bass on Track A. It has a little better lows and midrange to my ears.

    I have no idea which bass is which.

    Great playing, BTW! :thumbsup:
  17. uwrossl


    Nov 13, 2009
    Huntington Beach
    Track A is warm and sits in the mix nice. Track B cuts through and has a nice growl to it. Both sound great and I want one of each please. I think track A is the 62 and track B the 72. Need to listen with headphones to be sure.
  18. GHOST AT


    May 24, 2011
    Both sound wonderful, my guess Is B the 62 I look forward to finding out.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The playing is terrific, both sounds are high quality, but I'm afraid I'm getting a little thrown by volume differences. A sounds louder to me. And while I like hearing good strong bass, both seem too hot to me in the mix to be able to give you a solid opinion of which I like better.
    Jim Carr, teh-slb and Steve Boisen like this.
  20. GrassBass


    Sep 4, 2018
    Great both, B sounds better to me (and is my vote for 52).

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