Dating Fender-P

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bickele, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. bickele


    Dec 29, 2003
    Bergen, Norway

    I'm trying to date a Fender P through the serial number (610012); I don't want to ask the owner to take it apart and look for the date stamp at the base of the neck.
    According to the Fender Support site, the serial number in question is from 1976, but I just read an ad on e-bay where Guitar Center sells a P bass with serial 618920, saying it's from 1974

    Am I missing something?


  2. dunno if you tried, but there is a book about dating guitars from different manufacturers. try google. i can't remember it's name, i think it was something like blue book, but i'm really not sure
  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I would think it's 75-76 from what I can glean...but I don't think that one that GC has on ebay is a 74...They didn't use a black pickguard until later (1976 or something).
  4. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    Well, you never know. GC isn't really the most reliable source of info.
  5. jazzbo58

    jazzbo58 Bassist for My Man Godbey Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2001
    New Orleans, LA USA
    From the Fender instrument dater : 500,000s to 700,000s are from 1976. Man I can't stand GC! I bought a 1974 Precision (new) that had a black pickguard. Before '74 they normally had tortoise guards.

  6. BassManPatsFan

    BassManPatsFan Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    San Francisco
    All the fender Ps I've dated have been great.
    great curves, nice bodies...

    watch out though, they like getting busy on the first date ;)


  7. bickele


    Dec 29, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    Finally some good advise ;) Thanks!

  8. Dough


    Dec 7, 2005
    This is kind of off topic, but is there somehing special yall do on ebay to only look at basses? Or do you have to sift through guitar stuff too?
  9. bickele


    Dec 29, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    So, if I trust the serial number dating from Fender Support, this bass is from '76.
    It is all-original and has been played a lot, the finish is heavily dented but the bass sounds and plays real good.
    I've been snooping around for a while and these basses sell for anything between 800$ and 1600$.
    I have to make an offer, any word of advise on the reasonable commercial value?


  10. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    I'm really pretty wary of paying top dollar for these kinds of Ebay auctions--especially the GC ones. There's SO much that's generally not original and there's SO much that can be wrong with the bass after all these years, I strongly encourage you to buy something you can play first, or at least return if it's ****ty.
  11. where on the back of the neck is it supposed to have a build date? my MIM P just has random letters in three different color marker, no formal print of any kind

    or is the dated neck an American thing?
  12. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Yes and no.

    The era of the dated neck was through the late 70's, when the company switched over to the S-serial number for year identification.
  13. According to "Guitar Identification Fender Gibson Martin" (1983)by A.J. Duchossoir :600000 series= 8/74 to 8/76
  14. It would seem both these would probably be late '74 maybe early'75.
  15. bickele


    Dec 29, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    The bass I'm looking at is not the one from GC on the e-bay auction, it's a colleague's bass that I've played and loved, serial 610012. He bought it many years ago, it was sold to him as a 60s model and he used it professionally for years. He doesn't play anymore, but the bass is still used for recordings in the studio he's running.

    According to Fender Support site: "Most notably, production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses."
    You'll have to unscrew the neck from the body and look there.

  16. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    Pencil markings went out after the 50's...there was a 'problem' with something that was written in one of the bodies...(at least that's the myth). The 60's stamps have a month/year and then neck shape, while the ones from the 70's IIRC is a bit more cryptic, but have the year and shape.
  17. bickele


    Dec 29, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    Does anybody owning a P-bass with serial number 6xxxxx, have a definite make year for it? We're getting inconsistent information between "Fender Support" and "Guitar Identification Fender Gibson Martin".

    Of course at the end of the day what matters is whether an instrument sounds good, bad or just average, but I guess the dating will influence the commercial value of the bass in question which, as mentioned earlier, does sound very good.

  18. shnapper


    May 1, 2005
    Call fender, you might be on hold for a bit, but they can be helpful once on the line.........

    Public info. compliments of Dex online.........

    Fender Corp.
    7975 N Hayden Rd
    Scottsdale, AZ 85258 - 3246
    (480) 596-9690
  19. B., Does this bass have a big "F" on the neckplate with the serial# or is the serial # a decal on the headstock?
  20. bickele


    Dec 29, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    I haven't seen the bass in a few months but I seem to remember the serial number being on the back plate with the big "F".