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Fender headstock shapes over the years

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lebaron, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. lebaron


    Sep 13, 2008

    I've been searching the forum for info on different headstock shapes the jazz and precision basses gone trough over the years but couldn't find much on it.

    Anyone knows about this or know where to find info?


  2. If we could get pix in this thread of all the different headstocks, that would be awesome. I'd love to see the evolution from 51 to present day.
  3. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    I thought their general, classic headstock has remained the same, as in keeping with their tendency to sue or licence any copiers, and only changing with the release of a new / limited run series like the old J-Deluxe series, or the like, where the basic outline was the same, only downsized....(tele style headstocks notwithstanding)
  4. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    The size has certainly varied a little bit. There have been some bass headstocks with the "classic" shape that were a little smaller, at least in the 80's-90's. I know that Strats have had some size variation in the past as well.
  5. Shadi

    Shadi Supporting Member

    Feb 22, 2008
    Carbondale, IL
    There are some subtle differences, for example if you look at a real 1962 P bass headstock and a AV62 P bass headstock, the AV has a slightly more rounded profile on the bottom curve of the headstock. I assume the headstock profiles changed with the tooling used to cut them to shape...and likely the change was in the early CBS era, and then again slightly in the post CBS period...
  6. I've even seen differences between a 60-61' J-bass headstock and a 64' jazz...the earlier ones seem to have slightly more rounded edges...I may be imagining it.
  7. FunkRenegade


    Jul 7, 2012
    I'm so used to modern fenders, differences in pre-cbs headstocks jump out. The curvy part on the g string side is definitely flatter and wider.
  8. My highway one 2008 (presumably the same as am Am. Standard) definitely has a shallower cut out on the treble side than that on my Nate Mendel (presumably a seventy one ish copy)
  9. I used to own a JP-90. Made in the early 90s. The headstocks were more narrow on those.
    meatwad likes this.
  10. Midak


    Sep 4, 2011
    Athens, Greece
    Here is some material I found on www.12fret.com - you can see and the decals used each year (except from the '66 Jazz, obviously -the no-info Jazz is a '61):


    Last edited: Oct 7, 2014
  11. Yep, and the cool thing is, it's a very simple matter to turn a jazz headstock into a vintage P:

    Dual Headstock.

    Can you tell which is which?


    tomcat13 likes this.
  12. Midak


    Sep 4, 2011
    Athens, Greece
    You can cheat and look at the nut width. :p
    Klonk likes this.
  13. But of course, but then you can do the same to a P Bass headstock and then what?

  14. Midak


    Sep 4, 2011
    Athens, Greece
    The Precision and the Jazz share the exact same headstock ball-end? :rolleyes:
  15. TonH


    Jan 26, 2011
    The Netherlands
    Albie Vickers likes this.
  16. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    If you want to see remarkable differences in the same hs cut, check out G&L guitars and basses from the 80's into the early 90's, especially the pointed version (as currently used). It's like each was hand cut by eye.
    /\/\3phist0 and Albie Vickers like this.
  17. Well guys if your still alive this subject certainly is and Im greatful to you who posted. You left e legacy for us to follow thoslinks are great!

    ziggybass from Spain.
  18. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    My favorite.
    28kiyon. a9xzx5.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
    JIO and Albie Vickers like this.
  19. Now thats a sense of humour Hawk. Big smile and a thank you!
    jd56hawk likes this.
  20. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    You're welcome. It's been awhile since we've had a nice headstock thread here.
    Albie Vickers likes this.

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