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Fender Historians - What Makes Old Fenders Special?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Alexander, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. Old Fenders likely got better wood and more personal involvement due to less automation.
    They have all been around long enough to have the wood age, cure, collect mojo or whatever it is that old instruments do.
    There is the theory that the poly finishes are just too sealed and hard to 'breath'.
    I buy into that...except for the effect of Fullerplast.
    I am pretty sure that there had to be some individual differences.
    Maybe Abigail was daydreaming one day and ended up with a 10% over wound pickup.
    Maybe Tedeo got carried away and shaped an extra thin neck.

    Those things can be magical.
    They didn't happen to every one that came out of the factory, though.

    They are all special in that they are old.
    Many are special in that they are not exactly to spec.
    That can be good or bad and part of that depends on who you ask and what they prefer.

    I will say that the newer ones are more consistant.

    I will also say that whether it is the very first P or a Squier built yesterday
    a little love and a good set up go a long way. :thumbsup:
    bonruiz, ajkula66 and Dabndug like this.
  2. Slightly unrelated, but I remember Sterling Ball saying that the pickups varied quite a bit in Leo’s StingRay basses.
  3. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Great post - thanks
  4. PullMyFinger


    Nov 8, 2013
    I have a couple newer Precisions and think they're great. That being said, I've been on the hunt for a 1968 for quite some time because that date is very special to me. What I've seen while looking for this elusive bass is that there are a million(exaggeration) 1969's and 1967's but hardly any 1968's? What's up with that? But I'll keep looking at every possible sale sites. I've found a few but they're close to or over 10k.
    chris_b and bonruiz like this.
  6. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    Very interesting.

    As I said earlier, if you work in a studio then the smallest differences in tone can be important, but if you work in a gig environment 99% of the basses you can buy will do a very good job for you.
    Chickenwheels likes this.
  7. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Seven words: slab Brazilian rosewood boards; old growth maple.
    Alexander likes this.
  8. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA

    RedVee likes this.
  9. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Oh that maple on the right. My my. drool
  10. pudge

    pudge Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    My guess is the newer basses are more consistent bass to bass than vintage ones..The older ones probably varied more bass to bass,so a "good" ones were much better than the average one.

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