70s Fender P advice wanted

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PluckyThump, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. PluckyThump

    PluckyThump Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2008
    The Hammer
    Hey all, I have a chance to buy an old P with some mods and I'm wondering where I should be at price-wise and what gotchas I should look for.

    It appears to be a 73-75. Natural ash body, maple board, TV logo, serial on the plate, tug bar on the G side. Looks like the original finish; there is moderate checking and wear. The black pickguard is a replacement, possibly the tug bar as well, the bridge is an early 3-screw Badass. The covers and the original case are gone. Seller says everything else is original, everything works and the weight is 9lbs. Could be a really nice player.

    Asking price is just under $1k, is that fair for the mods that have been done to it? If I buy it I will most likely not have the chance to plug it in or disassemble it to check the parts. In the event I don't like the bass I want to be able to get my money back on the flip.
  2. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    So the bass is all original except the pickguard and the bridge? Not a lot of mods there.

    If the tug bar is on the G side, then the bass is probably a '73. Granted, '73 wasn't the best year, quality wise, for Fender. But under $1k for a '73 in that condition is a good deal.
  3. Grissle


    May 17, 2009
    Under 1k and under 9lbs is a good deal. Bridge and PG changes are pretty minor. And it's a '70's so the mods won't have much impact on its value. I'd go for it.
  4. SamanthaCay


    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    Is the finish mostly good aside from the checking, are the frets good and how's the truss rod?
    Those three could move the price substantially.
    Otherwise under 1k sounds pretty good especially if the tug bar is indeed in its original place, as to the best of my knowledge 73 was the year that they moved it to the bass side.
  5. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    If the tuners, pickups and pots are original, it's a good player and 9 lbs, GO FOR IT!
  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Check the truss and everything, but if she plays good, grab it. You wouldn't get rich flipping it but you would easily get your money back, heck if you found the right buyer they will easily pay double that.
  7. PluckyThump

    PluckyThump Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2008
    The Hammer
    I bought it. Lots of mojo, nice straight 1 5/8" neck, truss nut is in great shape and turns freely. Cleaned it up and took it apart to see what was what. It's got '73 pots, '74 neck, thumbrest hole is there under the pickguard so it was moved. Safe to say it is a '74. Weight is more like 9.5 - still good for me. It has the black-bottom pickups in it.

    The pickguard is strange, it's clear Plexiglas painted black on the underside. Some of the paint has flaked off. Think I will put a proper b/w/b guard on there with the thumbrest in the right place. The Badass saddles aren't slotted but they need to be. It could use a fret dress and crown but they aren't bad. Had to put some more foam under the pups to get them to the right height as the original foam is too hard. Sounds really good, nice bottom and mid-growl with a punchy attack.

    Attached Files:

    • 74P2.
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      42.2 KB
  8. peledog


    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I think you got a good deal!


    I've been searching for a player's 73-75 Precision myself.
  9. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Would you happen to have a cookie for me? Supporting Member

    That looks and sounds like a great score.

    I am a big fan of the 70's basses...if you can find a light one.

  10. MIMike


    Jan 1, 2013
    West MI
    Nice ash!
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    The fact that it's a G-side tugbar suggests that it is on the RIGHT side of the quality line for 73 Fenders. You should check the rout under the pickguard because that changed too...and I've seen 'tugbar' 73's with both kinds of rout. In terms of fit finish, quality and model features, there's a line that runs through 1973, where one one side is the 1968-73 and the other side is 73 up to the change in logos to the smaller print 70's headstock decal.