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'76 Fender P-Bass: "A" fretted, fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by oddgrowth, May 9, 2010.

  1. I picked this up a week ago, it has everything I like about my other basses all rolled into one. I've played 26 years and never really played fenders until last year when I bought a steve harris 01 sig and fell in love with the tone.

    The is a '76 F-series Fender P. Former owner claims everything's original except the bass lines pickups (and the pickguard obviously, tho an early replacement). The neck was originally a fretless as seen by the position of the dots on the upper edge of the neck, and where the last owner made his. It was fretted and some one did 1/2 ass job w/the abalone dot markers on the neck face...but the neck plays like a dream.

    Ton 'o mojo. Supposedly has seen 2 world tours. The body is an obvious refin, the cavity is all black so I figured it started life black. Tons of covered nicks/scrapes on the back. Even the plaining on the back of the body looks a bit incomplete - you can see 5 defined horizontal pieces. I haven't checked the neck stamp yet. but don't doubt it's authenticity due to the wear, it's just a bit odd.

    The bridge however is pretty puzzling. Any thoughts/opinions?
    an old 70's replacement? Thinking of putting my orig badass on it.

    I know the bass is a bit butchered but MAN is it a player.

  2. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Congrats on your new bass!
  3. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    gotta get rid of those quarter pounders... how about a nice nordstrand np4, duncan antiquitys or lindy fralins. It looks nice though with the exception of those pickups.
  4. JimB52

    JimB52 User Supporting Member

    May 24, 2007
    East Coast
    Looks like a sweet bass. All original except for PU, PG, bridge, body refin and fretted neck conversion?
  5. I like the bass just fine as it is. the BassLines fit my tone perfect, and were half the reason I got hooked on my Steve Harris sig tone in the first place.

    I suppose my main question is about the bridge, I've looked around and cannot find what kind it is (doubt it's a fender).

    Just looking for an old school fender guy's opinion.
  6. Reminds me a gag band some local Boston rockers put together for a benefit some years ago: "Devo With All New Members."

    Nice, nice bass. Enjoy!
  7. Bluesbob


    Mar 13, 2000
    Springfield, TN
    The bridge looks like an after-market (Gotoh?) extra-mass bridge, but it also looks like a Fender bridge from the '80's or '90's. Or maybe my memory is shot.

    I also don't remember ever seeing tuners like those on a '76, without the Fender logo embossed on the top of the plate. Which probably proves that my memory really is shot.

    One thing I do remember is the SD 1/4 lb, because that's what I have in the bass I use for gigs. The extra-powerful lows bring my mids-heavy Schroeder to life. I don't need the extra treble though, so I EQ it out. The pup packs a punch, but it can be versatile and very "P-ish" as well. Not a vintage tone, but close enough for me. It responds well to the tone control, but I can see how it wouldn't be everybody's cup of tea. More like a Red Bull, but that's why I like it.

    Really nice old bass. Good luck! :bassist:
  8. joshmickelson


    Nov 19, 2008
    Denver, CO
    Was this in Denver? I think I saw this on craigslist out here.
  9. Darknut


    Apr 4, 2009
    Isn't that Fender headstock logo Pre 1976? I have a 1976 P & it doesn't look like that
  10. Bluesbob


    Mar 13, 2000
    Springfield, TN
    '76 was the transition year so maybe both the "C" type logo and the logo w/ serial # can be found. I don't remember. :crying:
  11. Yep - I'm in Colo Spgs. He held it a week for me. the guy was just awesome, spent 2 hours at guy's house just talking bass, his former stints in 3.2 bar bands in the 70's here in CO.

    Yes. The plot thickens. I was just looking at 76 era headstocks, and the fender logo is obviously a different font.

    hmmm...gotta keep digging.

    looks like I just need to break down and inspect the neck stamp. I changed strings in haste after I got it and have been hesitant to do so, since.
  12. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    1976 was a split year for logos. The big TV was still being used up and then smaller logos phased in.

    The bridge is not original, I've had several cheap P copy basses that had that same bridge.
    Looking at the pics, the tuners are not original either.
    Reguardless what the seller said, not much of that bass is original anymore.
  13. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    the stock bridge would have been just like the '62 reissue bridge only with the single slot saddles as opposed to the ribbed (or threaded) type. the '70's type are still available on some of the fender MIM basses, and have the correct 6-32 threaded intonation and action height screws, however the originals have slotted action height adjustment screws and the MIM bridges have allen type screws. allparts.com sells the correct slotted action height screws if you want it to look more original.

    2 cents.........

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