Fender custom shop 51 relic

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jonday30, May 15, 2017.

  1. I'm in the market for a 51-55 cs precision. Leaning more towards the slab body 51 due to the large neck profile. Way up here in Canada it's very hard to find any cs bass to try out in a store.

    I'm in Edmonton, Alberta and we have a ton of guitar stores/shops but still I rarely come across a good new/used cs bass. Strats on the other hand are everywhere!

    I have cash to order something but wanted some input before I pull the trigger. I know the neck is large on a 51 but how does it compare to the slightly smaller 54-55 shape. Any input on these particular basses will be helpful. I know it's been covered but most of the posts are from a few years ago. Do you guys still own them? What's the long term opinions.

    p.s. If anyone is willing to ship to Canada I have cash.
    Tony B. Filthy likes this.
  2. shadven

    shadven Twang-tastic Bass Player and Song Writer Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    Tampa, FL
    I rock, therefore I am.
    I have a 1952 P, I had a 1956 P. The neck on my '52 is very similar to a 1965 P or a 1975 P. These are "C" necks. My '56 had a deep "V". A totally different feel, but quite awesome. I love the '56, but the fatter "C" on the 52 is my favorite.
  3. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    The 51 model has a chunkier neck than the later P-basses, but I was able to do most of what I can do on other basses. I tried one out in a music store here in Pennsylvania. All in all it's an amazing instrument. It was in Lake Placid Blue with the slight road worn effect.
  4. IMG_3629.JPG IMG_3630.JPG IMG_3700.JPG I picked up a 51 cs relic in Toronto. Was driving from Edmonton back to the east coast so I figured why not sure for a bass along the way. Picked this up a few weeks ago, plays awesome once set up properly. It had a lighter string gauge so the action was super high. Installed flatwound medium gauge strings and with pretty much zero neck relief. Really low action and the neck is just insane. It's really large!

    My only problem is that when I roll the tone knob all the way back I loose pretty much all volume.
    Panther, Crusher47, jd56hawk and 5 others like this.
  5. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    As far as the Cust Shop goes, Im not sure they're using a different neck. I had a CS 55 and the neck was a huge baseball bat with a V shape below the 7th fret.
  6. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Fender CS recreated the wiring on those to be just like they did in 51-55 that had an extra resistor and the white pickup signal wire attached to the lug on the tone pot, so it reduces output when rolled down. In 1956 thru current P's dont have that.
    Simply clip or remove that striped resistor off the tone pot, and move the white pickup wire onto the volume pot lug like we conventionally know it to be today. No more volume drop!
    jd56hawk and Ace Of Bass like this.
  7. IMG_3744.JPG IMG_3746.JPG Yeah that's what it's wired like. The pickup green wire is soldered to the striped resistor lug though? The white and red are soldered together and the black is ground. Is this normal or should I switch the white and green wires? Seymour Duncan's site was no help for a wiring diagram. I email several times and still nothing back.
    jd56hawk likes this.
  8. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Oh, I see... you have a split coil SD pickup.

    The green wire is the pickup signal wire. Yes, that one should be moved over to the lug on the volume pot and that gray resistor bridging the two lugs on the tone pot should be removed or one leg clipped so its doing nothing.
  9. Interesting. I once played a Custom Shop 64 Jazz and I noticed a fairly large neck pocket gap, which struck me as odd on such an expensive bass. It seems that Fender reproduces the flaws as well for full authenticity.

    Congrats to the OP on your new bass!
  10. Ok, if it's normal for it to work like that I'm ok with it then. I will swap it around and remove the resistor just to see if I like it better.
  11. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I dont think so! The one I owned was perfect, and all the others I've played in the stores didn't have period installed flaws either.
  12. They do replicate the neck shelf overhang. I've seen 2 52 heavy relic teles and both had a really tight neck pocket fit but did have a overhang I guess you would call it. Not sure if it's intentional but the sales rep said they called fender on it and they said it's normal. Not sure if I'd buy it like that though.
  13. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Tough for us to say what would be better for you. Frankly, I would be more concerned that the slab body on the '51 is less comfortable to play than the '54. IT's a custom shop - they will make what you want.
  14. I've had both now, this 51 and a 55, the slab body is definitely not as comfortable but is a lot lighter than the cs 55 I had.
  15. winterburn69


    Jan 27, 2008
    Wow. Those colours look great with that body style! Too bad they're not a bit cheaper :p

    Got any more pictures?
  16. IMG_3793.JPG IMG_3794.JPG IMG_3795.JPG IMG_3797.JPG IMG_3798.JPG Been busy for a few weeks. Thanks and yes a do have a few more pics.
    GregC, Bugeyed Earl and winterburn69 like this.
  17. sleddogn


    Sep 8, 2013
    Hey jonday30, still looking for one? I have a new one for sale, its the lake placid blue, probably has 20 minutes of play time on it, beautiful bass. I've seen other people like myself, buying this bass for looks, then realizing the neck was too large for small hands. Its listed on ebay and reverb if interested in checking it out.
  18. ScarfFace

    ScarfFace Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2014
    La Crosse WI
    I used to have one just like this! Same color and everything. The lack of contours eventually wore on me though.
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