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CBS Fender Precision Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tightbidness, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. I'm curious how many TBers play CBS-era Fender Precisions. I've been listening to a lot of Paul Jackson lately. I know a lot of his sound comes from his physical approach to the instrument, but his tone with Herbie Hancock in the '70s -- particularly live recordings with the Headhunters -- is so unique and funky. Also I read in the April BP that Nathan Watts played a '70s Precision on some of his most famous recording, and Freddie Washington plays or played a '72 P.

    So lets see and hear about some CBS Precisions. I'm totally gassing for a 1975 P because it's my year of birth, and they still have the large font "Precision Bass," which is probably my favorite Fender headstock.
  2. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    +1 on sexyness of CBS headstocks.
  3. Yep... I love 'em too.



  4. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    Heres a quick pic of my 74 and 70 [with a chandler neck]
  5. I'd love to have a '70s P with a natural finish, black pickguard, and maple fingerboard--mainly because one of my bass heroes, Eric Axelson (The Dismemberment Plan), used one. He got a great fingerstyle tone by using bright-sounding flats and digging in hard.
  6. I've got a '79 P, is that one? It has the big headstock writing but in a less grand font...

    It got stolen the other day from a gig, but thankfully retrieved later, having been dumped and stashed in a car park. The villain returned later for it, found it gone, and petrol bombed a nearby car.:confused: Nice bloke!

    Anyway, the police now have my hardcase for 'forensics' or something but the bass is mine again. As Joni Mitchell said, you don't know what you got 'til it's gone. Amen to that.

    So yeh, I like my CBS P-bass.:hyper:
  7. Speaking of "Kink Rimson," didn't John Wetton use a CBS-era Precision in his King Crimson days? Talk about massive tone...
  8. tkozal


    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    Yes, I believe he did. But equally key was his overdriven amp.

    I have a 73 P that I have been complemented many times on, it has that "sound". I also recently bought a 72 Jazz, block board and bound neck, rosewood board, black body. It has that passive J sound to die for. Plus the neck is really, really nice, in my humble opinion.

    I think once you get to three bolt necks and the heavy bodies post 75, they are different.
  9. That is too much! Just beautiful. Is it difficult to find "vintage" Fenders in the UK? What years are they?
  10. I'm glad you got the bass back man. That is quite a story.
  11. I stumbled across my '79 in a local music shop - £599. Near perfect condition, all original with covers. It's amazing and it's been through considerable trauma (see above).
  12. herndonbassist

    herndonbassist Low Down Thumper Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Herndon, VA - NoVa

    Dunno if I'd call him a hero (an odd thought being that I'm older than he is) but he CERTAINLY got some killer tone, especially in a live setting...

  13. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    Yea I love my '73 P-bass.
  14. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    I have a '76 P that I bought in the early 90's. Besides the color and the maple board I was really impressed with the weight - it's one of the lightest full size basses I've ever played. It currently has a PBR-1 preamp with DiMarzio's and I love it.
  15. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    I have a '72 Jazz and a '77 Precision. Both basses are solidly built and sound fantastic. True the newer Fenders are built to higher quality standards but to me nothing sounds or feels better than old wood.
  16. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I a '72 fretted maple neck natural ash bodied P w/black p/g, it's a heavy mutha.
    I have a '72 fretless maple neck natural alder bodied P with tort p/g; it's a real light mutha;)
    I have a '73 maple necked trans white Tele with white p/g, and the big neck position humbucker. While it's pretty light as well, it's a huuuge heavy sound;)
    They all three have fat honkin' baseball bat necks, which I really like. Some guys don't...*shrugs.*

    I find no fault with the quality of any of these, I like them lots. I did have to replace the foam under the pups on both P basses. 30 year old foam was not holding the pups up anymore.
  17. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    I've own both Pre-CBS and CBS Fenders.
    Right now I have a 1966 Jazz Bass.
    A 1966 P-bass.
    A 1977 fretless P-bass Maple board.
    A 1978 P-Body with a 1972 P-neck Maple.
    I've also played a bunch, have friend who also are into fenders.
    To me the Pre CBS fender tend to be lighter on average.
    Where talking 1958-1965. 8 to 10 lbs.
    While CBS fenders, 1966-1979. there were more ash body basses in this period. 10 to 14 or 15 lbs.
    Also after 1968 there where more A 1 1/2 necks, and B 1 5/8 necks.
    Pre-CBs Basses tend to be rounder, fatter, sounding.
    while CBS basses are puncher, brighter, a little more treble sounding.
    I dig both sounds, to me a Pre-CBS P-bass with flats are it.
    A CBS P-bass with rounds and a maple fingerboard are it too.
  18. That's a beauty! What's the body wood on that one?

  19. permagrin


    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    I have a '73P, still my favorite bass. Very light, very growly, sounds great with any amp I've played it through, very authoritative tone.

    When I got it there was barely anything left of the black pg, and the body was stripped to bare wood (black paint in the cavities). There were several nicks that I had to sand out, and two "low spots" that made a gloss finish out of the question. I finished it with several very thin coats of poly with a little stain added to try and get it a bit darker/aged looking result. The extra string retainer appears to have been added a long time ago, and probably does help the A string.
  20. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    My 1973.





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