Classic natural ash maple Precision bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fran Diaz, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    IMO one of the most classic looks for P bass is the natural ash body with black guard and maple neck and fingerboard.

    I'd love to know more about it: When was it introduced?, famous (or not so famous) players that have played it, classic recordings, etc.

  2. Holy War

    Holy War

    Sep 18, 2008
    VA Beach
    I know theyre not offered by Fender at the moment and its a crying shame
  3. Btone


    May 5, 2001

    I believe Fender introduced the natural finish in 1970.

    Here's mine:

  4. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    It looks great. The finish on the body looks like nitro, am I right? I thought that Fender was using poly on the 70's.
  5. Btone


    May 5, 2001

    This is a '75 - poly all the way. They stopped using nitro in '68 I think.
  6. tomshepp


    Jan 11, 2006
    Maynard MA
    I remember a Fender catalog from 1972 that had the ash maple P, but with a white gard'. The other reason I remember it was a LPB jazz bass with rosewood and pearl blocks. 1970 sounds about right. Fran, don't you have the Sadowsky version of this bass?;)
  7. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    This is the photo from the 1972 catalog:
  8. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain

    You're right Tom. It was my dream bass come true. I've been playing Sadowskys for 5 years and I never asked Roger to build me a bass like this because I had never seen this combo on the In Stock page; I thought that since they usually use solid ash for natural finishes the resulting full size P would be too heavy for Roger's standards. My PJ weighs 8.4 lbs :eek:
    I've had it only for 4 months but it already has a lot of sentimental value (apart from being a fantastic instrument) because I have a little story about how I won it on ebay: I placed a bid on it like ten days before the auction ended. Early in the morning of the last day my baby girl 'knocked at the door' and I had to run to the hospital with my wife so I couldn't track the end of the auction; I lost all hope of getting the bass and I had already assimilated that some Sadowsky sniper was already celebrating the 'shot'.
    My beautiful Nora was born later that day and when I came home for a shower I checked my email and found out I had won the bass. :hyper: The 10th of July was my lucky day for sure.

    the mandatory photo (excuse the J ;)):

  9. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    I really like the matte finish on the body.
  10. spideyjg

    spideyjg Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2006
    San Diego
    They have reissued damn near everything but the ash maple P. :mad::spit:

    I found something close that was beat to hell and restored it...Walnut body though.
  11. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Not sure when they were introduced, but I agree that they can look awesome. Here's my '75:

  12. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    I've always liked the maple on maple combo. it looks classy.
  13. Hoover

    Hoover Inactive

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    I had a '72 or '73 that looked exactly like that one. Well, it wasn't really mine, I basically borrowed it from a friend...for three years (!) But man, I was an idiot for giving it back. Shoulda just handed him a fistful of benjamins.
  14. tomshepp


    Jan 11, 2006
    Maynard MA
    Great story! July 10, my wedding anniversary as well!:)
  15. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    Eventually might get a black guard.
  16. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    Good plan!

    I much prefer the black guard on a natural ash bass. In fact, my dream bass is an ash P with no pick guard (routed from the back, obviously), all black hardware including a strat jack and black blocks in the maple fingerboard.


    Some day, perhaps. I'm sure I'll have to sell something significant to be able to afford that custom body, and I'll have to sell some other significant gear to be able to afford that custom neck because it's gotta be a P profile - no jazz neck on my dream bass!
  17. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    The ash/maple came out for 1970, but a few '69 maple boards have popped up.

    If the finger rest was on the G string side, the pickguards were white. The black pickguards came out then the finger rest moved to the E string side.
  18. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    My first real bass was a gently used Precison I bought in 1976. It was natural/ash with a white guard. However, I have no regrets at all about letting it go in 1983. It weighed a ton (well, a full 13 pounds), it was all attack and sustain without any blossom, it had a wiggle in the neck around the 1st fret, and it had a big clumsy neck. We had an old 'shell guard sitting around the store I managed so I put that on it at one time. The pickguard was worth more than the bass when I sold the bass.

    I like necks that are wide (my favorite neck is my '83 VS P with a full 1.75" wide neck, but it's very thin front-to-back) but this thing was just like a big baseball bat cut in half lengthwise. It's an iconic look, but like blocks 'n' binding on Jazz basses, the look only reminds me of how horribly inconsistent and generally mediocre the stuff I had to try to sell was in those days...

  19. kenjikun


    Apr 27, 2008
    Same with Fender Japan, new MIJ PB-70 has rosewood fretboard instead of maple. I think I got the last batch of PB-70 with maple fretboard.

    Here is my S serial CIJ (late 2007 model)



    And here is the new MIJ PB-70 (2009 model)

  20. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    hmm, looks familiar, but also so different.....


    Oh, and nice story as well, congrats on the baby.