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65 P-bass, refin or not?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bickele, Feb 1, 2006.


  1. bickele

    bickele

    Dec 29, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    Hi!

    I'm negotiating a deal to buy this 1965 P-bass. The owner bought it in 67-68 after having rented it for a while. He played it professionally for 4 years, then he started playing banjo, Dobro and pedal steel and the bass got played rarely. It's been in his possession until now.
    Since he bought it, the bass hasn't been modded or refinished, but after showing the pics in the "Basses" forum somebody expressed doubts on the originality of the finish due to a lack of red. The seller says the colors in the pics are true to the bass. He is my uncle's close friend, can be trusted 100%, so if there ever was a refin job done, it must have been between 65 and 67-68 when he bought the bass.

    I hope somebody in this forum has experience with finish and can help me find out if this is a refin or an original.

    Thanks!

    b.

    [​IMG]

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  2. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    they where all hand sprayed. So I think it's normal to have some with more or less red...

    Look fine to me (I'm far to be a pro on fender finish!).
    Leave it like this.
     
  3. bickele

    bickele

    Dec 29, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    [​IMG]
    In these days of machine made uniformity, the thought didn't even cross my mind. Embarrassing...
    It makes perfect sense, thanks Yvon!

    b.
     
  4. there's definitely red there...and it definitely looks like an original finish....DON'T REFINISH IT!

    the knobs are definitely after market

    I'm not sure about the bridge cover, the neckplate isn't stamped either...possibly they didn't do this in '65.

    one of the screws in the bridge cover was replaced (not even a philips head)...

    the pickguard is a 4-ply tort...I don't know if they put 4-ply torts on in '65...

    I'll give you $280 for it :D
     
  5. bickele

    bickele

    Dec 29, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    I don't intend to refinish it! :eek:
    I'm about to buy the thing and wondering whether the existing finish is original or not.
    The neck plate is indeed stamped, serial number L 68336, no "F"; you can hardly see it from the pic but it's there.
    I noticed the knobs not being original; I'm getting the owner to unscrew the pick-guard and take pictures of the under side of the potentiometers and pickups.

    Interesting info about the fading red.

    b.
     
  6. My 65p reads L632xx (omitted) with no F. Your pg looks correct in addition to the bridge cover. The Fender site :

    SERIAL NUMBERS PRODUCTION DATES
    L50,000s up to L90,000s 1965
    100,000s 1965

    Their site www.fender.com/support/dating/fender_us_dating.php
    is an excellent resource and suggests some reference material that may help you with your (re)finish question. Mine is an ugly orangey kinda color but is the TONE king. The tone pot is a little scratchy and there is 40 years of sweat salt down in that bass but I don't want to mess with the mojo by replacing pots & cleaning it up. Good luck, nice bass.
     
  7. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    Gots any pics?
     
  8. Between the typical fading and variations of the width and strength of the red shader, that finish looks well within what you should expect for that time period. As for the neck plate, Fender collectors document numerous instances where typically earlier period appointments show up on later period instruments and amps because they did not throw stuff away! They used up what they had and then switched to the newer trim, resulting in a lot of "transitional anomalies".

    The knobs, bells, and screws are not a big issue because they can be replaced with period correct items. It will cost a few bucks, but you have all the important stuff intact, so don't sweat those items. Even very discriminating collectors can live with a few replaced pots, because they do wear out so commonly. Keep the old ones!

    There are not many of those gems left in people's attics and closets. Grab a copy of Vintage Guitar Magazine to get up to speed on the current collector's prices. Sunburst Precisions are not the most desirable old Fenders (such as custom colors), but that looks to be in excellent condition for its age, and it should be worth somewhere around three grand or higher with the OHSC.
     
  9. [​IMG]

    I need to get some closeups. This was at the Ryman last year. I think the finish is called butterscotch??
     
  10. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    That's natural, not butterscotch.
     
  11. bickele

    bickele

    Dec 29, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    OT: I keep seeing people omitting the least significant digits of serial numbers. Why?

    b.
     
  12. bickele

    bickele

    Dec 29, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    The date on the heel of the neck is Feb 05 1965

    b.
     
  13. Sippy

    Sippy

    Aug 1, 2005
    Stuart,Florida
    Yea the red on my sunburst '73 is starting to fade, you can really see it in sunlight, but not indoors ;(
     
  14. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I wish the red would fade on my 73...Maybe I need to leave it outta the case for a while...
     
  15. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    For security...
     
  16. bickele

    bickele

    Dec 29, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    I guess I'm a bit naive, still don't get it. What could happen? I wrote the full serial No. of the bass I want to buy all over the place...:bag:

    b.
     
  17. Uh-oh...