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Another '51 P-bass unearthed!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by humbucker79, May 22, 2020 at 10:49 PM.

  1. humbucker79

    humbucker79 Commercial User

    Mar 4, 2020
    San Carlos CA
    Repair/restoration luthier @ Gryphon Stringed Instruments
    Hi bass players. I have been reluctant to let the cat out of the bag for a few months, but I want to share a very cool find that was brought into the shop where I work, and I ended up scoring. For certain, the coolest bass I will ever have the good fortune to end up with. I didn't realize just how early this one was until after I purchased it, only that it was most likely a 1951. All original down to the gig bag. The owner's daughter has given me the back story, starting in 1956 when her father purchased it from Sam Ash in NY. After joining the Airforce, he decided to play the bass and purchased this P-bass. He played it regularly until 1971, and after that it mostly sat unplayed all these years. He died in 1995, and it has been in his family's possession since then. When they decided they wanted to sell it, the daughter's friend suggested she bring it in to the guitar shop where I work as a luthier. A fair price was agreed upon, I sold a kidney, and... now it's mine. With some help from Bflat, and some digging in these forums, it seems this may be the second known production run Fender bass. Body date of 10/30 and neck date of 11/7, serial # 0301. Other than the extra holes that were once drilled in the headstock (according to the owner's daughter, he did this to reinforce the gears when he put upright bass strings on it), and the bridge cover screws and pickup cover screws, it is completely unmolested and original. It plays pretty good given the original worn frets, and sounds unbelievable! Here is a gallery of shots I took:

    Brian Michael Guitars
    Last edited: May 22, 2020 at 11:08 PM
  2. DaDo625

    DaDo625 Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2017
    Oh My....
    DJ Bebop, groooooove and basspraiser like this.
  3. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Beautiful. I have a thing for ‘51s and ‘54s.
    Ghastly and humbucker79 like this.
  4. filmtex

    filmtex Commercial User

    May 29, 2011
    S. Texas Hill Country
    Annsman Pro Audio Dealer
    WOW. Just...wow.
    design, jamro217 and basspraiser like this.
  5. jeff62

    jeff62 Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Very cool “barn” find.
    humbucker79 likes this.
  6. davelowell2

    davelowell2 Uhh... FaFaFooey is BaBaBooey... Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    NYC via StL
    That’s awesome!
    humbucker79 and basspraiser like this.
  7. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    humbucker79 and basspraiser like this.
  8. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Way to go! That's amazing.
    humbucker79 and basspraiser like this.
  9. Man, that thing is older than I am, by three years! That's what a REAL relic looks like!
    humbucker79 likes this.

    ROOTSnFIFTHS Low-end Lover since '78!

    Oct 25, 2012
    NJ to Sin City
  11. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Very nice.
    humbucker79 likes this.
  12. Breathtaking!
    humbucker79 likes this.
  13. bigmikebass

    bigmikebass Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    Fairview Park , Ohio
    Thanks for sharing!
    humbucker79 likes this.
  14. bobba66


    May 18, 2006
    Arlington, Texas
    humbucker79 likes this.
  15. humbucker79

    humbucker79 Commercial User

    Mar 4, 2020
    San Carlos CA
    Repair/restoration luthier @ Gryphon Stringed Instruments
    I purchased that book recently and it's been a great resource. I reached out to the author but never heard back.
    porterbass likes this.
  16. ELG60


    Apr 26, 2017
    Nice. Congratulations.
    humbucker79 likes this.
  17. Playbyear


    Nov 20, 2019
    Thank for keeping the dream alive!
    humbucker79 likes this.
  18. Vinny_G


    Dec 1, 2011
    Magnificent. Now you just have to change the pickup, the bridge, the tuners and the frets to make it playable. :D
  19. Gyver

    Gyver Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2011
    Binghamton, New York
    Fantastic. Would love to hear how it sounds (hint hint)!
  20. PWRL


    Sep 15, 2006
    Words fail me. That is hip.
    humbucker79 likes this.

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