'78 P-Bass...worth it??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gordon5377, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. gordon5377


    Mar 15, 2009
    Hey All...

    Someone locally is trying to sell a 1978 Precision Bass in the Cherry/Sienna Burst finish. They are asking $2,800 for it and I'm curious if it is worth that much? I have seen other similar P-basses (including one here on TB) for between $1,400 and $1,800. Is there anything that would make this bass worth that much more?

  2. gordon5377


    Mar 15, 2009
    Here is the pic.

    Attached Files:

  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Bit high.
  4. Fresh Eddie

    Fresh Eddie

    Nov 13, 2008
    If everything on that is original, it might be an early '80s bass. A '78 would likely have a black guard... maybe International Series?

    If the 1978 is from the serial number, there are a lot of S8 Fenders out there that are not '78s.
  5. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    No way. About $1000 too high IMO. They're asking almost $3k! That's nuts for a late 70's P.
  6. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    +1. It might be a 1980
  7. chef wong

    chef wong Banned

    Sep 15, 2012
    Those burst finishes are my favorite ever from Fender. There might be indentions in the finish from a past guitar stand. Without those(and no other major problems), that's a high dollar bass.
  8. Farfetched


    Jan 7, 2009
    Very High
  9. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Way too high and +1 to that not being a 78. The S8 serials were used into 81/82. A proper 78 should have a black pickguard. As a mater of fact, I don't think sienna burst was offered until the 80s but I can't find a late 70s custom color list. For more accurate dating have them either pull the pickguard and check the pots or pull the neck and check the stamp.

    Edit - this page mentions sienna burst being introduced in 1981 with the international color series:

  10. gordon5377


    Mar 15, 2009
    I have sent them an email asking for more pics and information. I will let you know what they come back with. Either way, I'm not interested at $2,800. My gut is telling me more like $1,200-$1,400 if it's in good shape (which it looks like it is).
  11. Red Four

    Red Four

    Apr 4, 2011
    You can get a mid-70s P in the price range you're thinking this one should be in, and an early-70s P in the price range they're asking for. Only if it's dead mint with period accessories should the discussion even start anywhere close to their price range, and even then asking for more details would be justified. Based on this little bit of information, it looks way too high.
  12. gordon5377


    Mar 15, 2009
    Last night I communicated via email with the seller and he said that when he bought this in NYC a few years ago it was advertised as a '78. He also said that he has done a check of the serial number and confirmed it is a '78. I then asked him for the serial number - explaining about the S8 s/n running into the early 80s and about the realease date for the color - to which he replied "whoa!". I think he may be asking himself what exactly it is that he has and questionning what he was told when he bought it.

    Pics were supposed to be sent last night; still don't have them.
  13. tjnkoo


    Apr 19, 2011
    Metro Atlanta
    I'm not thinking that looks like a 78'. I've seen a few that look just like that that I had been told were 80s. Like someone said, it should have a black pickguard, right?
  14. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    The pickguard could have been changed at some point, but yes, for a 78 it would have a black guard. In/around 1980 is when they started making changes, white guards, no more blocked/bound jazz necks, etc, but I'm not 100% on when the headstock logo changed. I have seen bound/dot 80s necks with S8 serials and I believe they still had the late 70s style writing on the headstock.

    The best place to look for dates on these basses is the neck stamp, most other parts can be changed (pots, pickguards, neck plates, etc). From about 72-80 they used an 8 digit code where the 7th digit was the year (more details here) I believe the 80s stamps had the actual year stamp on there.
  15. johng999


    Jul 14, 2008
    I paid $1100 for my 78 p bass this year, all original except pickguard. It is ash/maple, at 10lbs not too heavy and has "the sound". We did a Hendrix set Tues. to celebrate Jimi's birthday, and it was Band of Gypsies in Spades. Don't pay too much for one of these, there are good deals out there.
  16. Fresh Eddie

    Fresh Eddie

    Nov 13, 2008
  17. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    For that price, you should get two.
  18. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    That burst looks funky, but it could be the lighting. Despite that the price is way too high, I've seen much better basses go for much less. I scored a '63 P (refinished) for 2200 on the TB forums.
  19. Fresh Eddie

    Fresh Eddie

    Nov 13, 2008
    Looks pretty close to my '83, but maybe a bit brighter... I think the camera they used killed some of the transition between colors.

  20. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef Formerly "thebrian" Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    I agree with the others.. way overpriced, and it's an early '80s (I've seen S8 serial #s all the way into '83). If I was selling that bass, and it was all original, I'd be asking $13-1400 for it.