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Don’t tell me that 70s P is now amazing

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by joeinca, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. joeinca


    Mar 16, 2013
    i see it a lot. Guy sees an affordable American bass from the 70s that’s dinged up a bit and buys it. Then he claims how it’s incredible and has a certain “mojo”. Well I’m not buying what you’re selling. You paid at least what a new P Bass would go for and got a 40+ yr old bass that sounds like a poopy 70s P. That’s it. I I’ve a 2016 P that I consider the best sounding P ever. Not that it’s any different from the million others produced that year...they sound great. The build is WAY better in the new stuff...everything about the modern p trumps the 70s crap. I remember in the 90s how the 60s basses were so great and you couldn’t give away a 70s Bass. They were garbage. Now since an affordable 60s Bass is hard to come by were to pretend the 70s now are great? Nope not buying that. Okay..there are some decent 70s but they lose every time to a modern p imo. The 60s basses probably do merit more of their reputation but let’s not immortalize the 70s P. Maybe the modern reissues. I know Ed F. The bass whisperer recently been touting the 70s bad because he bought one but he’s part of the hype now. There’s no mojo...it’s bs.
  2. If you like what you play, that is all that matters!
  3. jhb138


    Sep 14, 2016
  4. image.
    roogbass, 96tbird, dtyndall and 31 others like this.
  5. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    My 70's P bass is the best P bass I've ever touched.
  6. BassFishingInAmerica


    Jul 24, 2014
    Sounds perfectly fine to me.

    This one sounds pretty good, too. Weird.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
    bass08053, 10cc, zbigniew and 24 others like this.
  7. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    70s Fenders were maligned for a couple reasons. First and foremost, having been sold to CBS, Fender wasn't Fender anymore, and this upset a lot of Fender fans at the time. Second, a lot of 70's Fenders were junky, something I believe resulted from a lack of capital investment on the part of CBS.

    I have three 70s Fenders that are all great players. Two of them are also boat anchors, but all three are great players.
    kannapples, Eric ER, Mvilmany and 8 others like this.
  8. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz

    May 26, 2010
    OP, let me do you a favor and tell you to stop right there and save yourself a massive headache. I started a thread a few months ago basically expressing the same sentiment as you and it went on, and on, and on...and on about how great these basses are, and apparently even though there were dogs, it just so happens that it's a coincidence that basically EVERY TB member who owns a 70's Fender seems to have one of the "good ones" and people couldnt stop spraying about how great their basses were. Funny, for an era when Fender was known to be making a lot of crap, there sure seem to be a lot of good ones around these parts. And yes, they're not all bad basses, but there's nothing particularly special about them either to command the prices they are commanding. It's even funnier to me that Fender even has Reissue models of 70's basses.

    Years ago when 60's basses were all the rage, everyone said the 70's basses were crap. Now that most people cannot afford, or don't want to shell out for a 60's Fender, 70's Fenders are all of a sudden great instruments, desirable and collectible, and in turn have become grossly inflated in price simply because of demand and everyone now believing that they're the bees knees. Just watch, next it will be the 80's Fenders, and soon after that any Fender bass with a rosewood fretboard, since that's becoming more and more scarce.

    I have mentioned it many times on this site. I bought a closet classic '76 P that was an great bass, and I scored it for $250. Although it really was a great bass, there were plenty of other Fender basses I've played over the years and currently own that are just as great or even better. So I capitalized on that and ditched that '76 and currently have an '08 American Standard and a 2017 Classic 50's that I bought both used for WAAAAY less than what the '76 went for, and don't regret is one bit.

    Here's the way I see it with electric bass guitars, and I don't mean to offend anyone who thinks otherwise and what not, but it's an electric bass guitar, not an acoustic guitar. With acoustic guitars you really can tell major differences in choice of woods, bracing patterns, thickness of braces, laminated vs solid top back and sides, etc., and as they age they do take on different tonal characteristics as the molecular structure of the wood changes. But with electric bass guitars I really don't think it matters that much and /or is that critical, especially given how as bass players were mostly responsible for a tonal range thats heard differently than other instruments like guitar, piano/keys, banjo, fiddle, drums, etc. Plus, once you're in the house mix with everyone else, the super small details that only the true gear geeks claim to hear will be all but undetectable by the audience.

    I can basically get the same desirable old school tone from my American Standard with a Fender PV63 pickup and GHS Precision Flats. That bass has also been PLEK'd and is set up to play nearly effortlessly. Luckily this is what works for me, and I haven't fallen for the hype of "vintage" gear magically possessing some indescribable mojo that makes them sound superior to anything else. I sold off all my vintage gear about a year and a half though and made a nice little chunk of change because I bought a lot of that gear before it became desirable or was in the right place at the right time.

    In closing I really dont think all 70's Fenders are crap, but at the same time I don't think they are anything special or better than anything they are making today. Fenders are pretty basic parts basses. A MIM Standard set up well can sound pretty much the same as that overpriced 70's Precision and for WAY less. No way to justify spending that extra coin for a 70's Fender in my mind. Just because something is old and reaches a certain age and is categorized a "vintage" doesn't mean it automatically acquires tonal perfection. If it was a crap bass back then, it's gonna be a crap bass now, and vice versa.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  9. packrat

    packrat Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2017
    There's also been a lot of filtering. It makes sense that a much higher proportion of the still remaining basses from 40 years ago that escaped being junked are the nice ones.
    MattZilla, barrenelly, RRR and 27 others like this.
  10. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Oh, this cool story again.
    mdogs, 96tbird, GregC and 18 others like this.
  11. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Ive had 10 vintage P’s. ‘56, ‘61, ‘66, etc. my fave was a’72. Who knew?
    Eric ER, Zero Cash, Aaron75 and 10 others like this.
  12. ^ This is the most sensible sentence in this thread. :thumbsup:
    RRR, plburrows, Robert B and 24 others like this.
  13. pudge

    pudge Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Some are great,some are not.Just like the ones they made in the 50's and 60's.Not every fender ever made is the holy grail.
    SJan3, Flabass, 16notes and 9 others like this.
  14. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz

    May 26, 2010
    Glad you picked that out of my epic rant! I was tempted to delete everything else and just leave that one sentence you quoted!
    Loring, BLYN, SJan3 and 7 others like this.
  15. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    So how many 70's Precisions has the OP played or owned?
    Rob L, 9mmMike, jumbodbassman and 8 others like this.
  16. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Last I played a ‘70s Fender was in the ‘70s, so I don’t know squat about whether they’re any good or not. I just remember that back then everyone said they were crap compared to the pre-CBS Fenders. So, I looked elsewhere and played a Grabber. Maybe everyone had it wrong then, and the CBS Fender era wasn’t so bad after all.
  17. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    My 73 Jazz has a gap in the neck pocket you can fly a 737 into. Bought it in 1981. I havent had to adjust the neck in years. Cant say that about my newer Fenders. All my basses will be sold eventually,except the 73J. Its that good.
    Eric ER, GrizzleTone, JaseyT and 7 others like this.
  18. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Along with being great players and sounding killer, 70s Ps (and Js) do hold their value better than any 2016 Plek'd Fender.

    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  19. Shut it down boys, this guy figured it out
    Maybe in another decade or so we can try fooling people into thinking we're happy with our awful 70's basses
  20. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Hey JoeInca, my '72, '74 and '75 P basses will murder your new one. Dead. Go troll on the Hot Wheels page bro...
    Tari, SirMjac28, 16notes and 11 others like this.

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