'68 Telecaster Bass vs. P Basses from that decade?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SoulReflection, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. SoulReflection


    Nov 18, 2017
    I just read this:

    The Telecaster Bass | Fender Guitarchive

    Does anyone have actual experience comparing the two (either now or then)?

    I bought the '68 Tele back then and didn't regret it, even though most of the groups I was covering used P's. What got me wondering was the statement that the P was actually cheaper than the Tele or the Jazz. Remembering how poor I was back then, I'm just trying figure out why I didn't by a P? Thoughts?
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  2. bassie12


    Aug 23, 2008
    I have a ‘68 and a number of 60s P-Basses. Can’t pick a favorite, though my 64/65 CAR P-bass records better than any of them.
  3. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    Back then, I was a wee bit too young to be a serious bass player.

    Out of all the "conventional" Precisions that I've owned, my favourite was likely a very-beaten-up '68 that I owned at the same time that I owned a '71 Tele Bass.

    The necks were baseball bats on both. P was an incredibly aggressive little thing, where the T was more of a gentleman's instrument IMO. Both of them had their strengths, but my preference - then and now - was towards the Tele. There's something about the sound of that pickup that I find unique and endearing.

    My recollections only.
  4. SoulReflection


    Nov 18, 2017
    Thanks, George. I agree about the "baseball bats" as there is no way I could play either now (comfortably). I am thinking I might have been a victim of marketing or, was offered a discount on the Tele ;).

    Edit: the Tele did sound great, though!
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
    ajkula66 likes this.
  5. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    When I started playing bass in the late 70s, Tele was about 10% cheaper than the P. Do bear in mind, this was in Europe. I have absolutely zero idea what the prices in the U.S. were at the time.

    You won't hear an argument from me on that one, ever...
    SoulReflection likes this.
  6. A quote from your link:
    A packet of cigarettes, sorry: 8 dollars more than a P. That's cheap for doing additional woodwork on the headstock and cutting different holes into the body for the pickup...
  7. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I found a pic of the July 68 price list:

    Precision bass retail price $239.50
    Telecaster bass retail price $249.50
    Axstar and SoulReflection like this.
  8. SoulReflection


    Nov 18, 2017
    I am glad you corrected that...I was thinking that math had failed me and was about to have myself commited :laugh:;).
  9. SoulReflection


    Nov 18, 2017
    Still wondering why $10 more but, that was post CBS so maybe I shouldn't ;).
  10. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Well, even today everyone charges more for ash, which is what the Tele is made of.
  11. SoulReflection


    Nov 18, 2017
    Thanks for that...love your band, BTW :thumbsup:.
    Caca de Kick likes this.
  12. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Was a time I owned a 58 P, 69 J, and a 71 Tele bass. Brought all 3 to gigs and it was always the Tele that stood out as special. Wasn't sure if it was the string thru bridge, single coil pu, or larger neck, but that combo has been my preferred ever since.
    SoulReflection likes this.
  13. jsbarber


    Jun 7, 2005
    San Diego
    As the article says, the Telecaster bass was basically a reissue of the 51-56 Precision Bass. The early Precision was configured with a single coil pickup, and 57 onwards it had the humbucking split pickup. With the success that the 57+ version has had, you can’t fault the decision to make that change. Nevertheless, with every change in a product there are those that prefer the predecessor, hence the Telecaster bass. As to why you chose the Telecaster, who knows. Maybe there was a pro player who used it, maybe there was a nice one in the music store you shopped at, maybe the body shape was more comfortable, and so on and so forth... in the famous words of Cap’n Ron: diesels like oil the way sailors like rum. Why is that Cap’n Ron? Nobody really knows.
    SoulReflection likes this.
  14. Energy


    Jun 20, 2006
    I second that. Had a '68 Tele Bass myself, the tone was fantastic. I would have kept it if it wasn't for the 10 lbs weight....
    SoulReflection likes this.


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    If any one in this conversation is interested look up an album called Time and tide by Greenslade on youtube. Martin Briley plays a Tele bass throughout. Be prepared, it is "prog rock" after all, but the TONE, ye gods!
    Eon Sky likes this.
  16. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    For me SCPB or SCTB is better than a split coil P bass.
  17. SoulReflection


    Nov 18, 2017
    How so?
  18. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    Ron Wood killed it on a '68 Tele bass with the Jeff Beck group.


    He is who I automatically think of when I think of that 1st generation of Telecaster basses, so they get some coolness points hre.
    ajkula66 and 2saddleslab like this.
  19. It is because it being a CAR bass ... :thumbsup:
    bassie12 likes this.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    My favorite 68 Tele Bass!

    4-fingers, betown, Axstar and 2 others like this.
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