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fender p-bass A-width neck?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kcdbass, Sep 17, 2004.


  1. kcdbass

    kcdbass

    Feb 27, 2002
    New Jersey
    Former Sales/Web, Sadowsky Guitars
    does anybody know what years fender precisions had an A-width neck? that was the thinnest one, right? felt most like a jazz?

    was the logo on the headstock also the large "serif typeface" during these years?

    any info would be appreciated. thanx.
     
  2. Mine's a '78. Don't know what the style of type is on the headstock. I saw a '72 IIRC at Gruhn Guitars that had the A neck also, and I think it had the same type on the headstock as mine.
     
  3. kcdbass

    kcdbass

    Feb 27, 2002
    New Jersey
    Former Sales/Web, Sadowsky Guitars
    the serif type on the headstock is the same font used in the words "jazz bass" on the geddy lee jazz bass. as opposed to the words jazz bass on marcus miller's jazz, which looks like helvetica bold font.

    i'll try to find a photo. sit tight. thanks for the info. i used to have a 72 73 or 74 p-bass that i have always missed. i am thinking that had an a-width neck because i was just a kid, and i remember being able to play that bass pretty comfortably. now 25 years later, after playing nothing but jazz basses since then, and i am amazed at how chunky and unwieldy some of the p necks feel.

    nothing beats the sound of a p-bass ... every bass player should have at least one in the stable!
     
  4. I'm guessing it was most likely in the years following the CBS acquisition. Probably late 60s-late 70s, when Jazzes picked up popularity and B width P bass necks were released. So yeah, generally the Black 70s font with the gold outline is your best bet, which encompasses the helvetica and serif types I'd assume.
     
  5. I had a '76 p bass with an "A" neck...too bad the bass weighed over 12 lbs.... :(
     
  6. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    I have a 79 P with the "A" neck! Sooooooooooooooooooo sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!
     
  7. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Ok, I have an '83 (USA) P, and the neck feels awesome, but I don't think it's as narrow as my J (admittedly tho, it's a Geddy, so it's prolly not standard J, either). Also, it seems to have kind of a "V" shapped curve to the back.

    Thing is, it's kind of an unusual P. All original with a "sienna burst" finish (orange-ish) with a maple neck/fb (one piece, I believe). I'm just wondering if the neck is maybe somewhat unique like the finish, or not? I've played a few P's and I don't remember one feeling this good to me.

    Here's my main question...

    How many different types of P necks are there, and how do I tell which one I have?
     
  8. I have an '84 P-bass neck & it's a C-width neck--pretty wide.
     
  9. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    How wide is it, and is it sorta' "V" shaped in the back or is it more of a standard radius?

    I'm tryin' to figure out if this P was like a custom order or something or if it's pretty much just a standard '83 P. I originally figured there was nothin' really that special about it, but after lookin' around a little, I'm startin' to wonder. A couple dealers have already offered me more in cash than I paid.

    It has a pretty boring history, but the good news is, I'm essentially it's first real owner. Guitar player wanting to dabble in bass bought it new and pretty quickly stored it for most of its life. He recently sold it to another bass player, who pretty quickly decided to stick with 5's and sell it... to me. Thing is, I doubt that guitar player ordered it custom, but I wonder if maybe the music shop did, or if it was like a Sales Rep's demo or something.
     
  10. It's a standard radius--just wide. It's 1 3/4 at the nut. It was given to me w/ a bad nut & I had to get one made for it. When I tried to put a std P-bass nut on it I realized it was different--thus my learning about this style of neck---before that I never had a clue as far as P-Basses are concerned. The width surprisingly doesn't bother me. I put it on a MIM P-Bass that was in need of a new neck. I like it--I added a badass & Fender Vintage '62 P-Bass p/u.
     
  11. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Hmmmm... mine's also 1 3/4, but the back of the neck doesn't (at least to me) feel like a standard radius. Maybe it's just me... and yeah, it's much wider than my J, but I really like it for what it is, too.

    The things got an awesome woody/organic P tone with the stock pickup, too. I'm pretty sure I'm leavin' it stock.
     
  12. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    hi!

    Mine is a sunburst '73

    Rob
     
  13. Actually the radius kinda feels thin like my Geddy Lee sig--not as thin but not as thick as a std P-Bass of today.
     
  14. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    My 78 is 1 1/2" wide at the nut.
     
  15. kcdbass

    kcdbass

    Feb 27, 2002
    New Jersey
    Former Sales/Web, Sadowsky Guitars
    i'm not a guitar historian, obviously ... just to clarify ... when i say a-width, i'm referring mostly to feel of the contour of the back of the neck.

    i perception is that p-bass has always been a 1-3/4" nut width (from e to g) and j-bass 1-1/2" nut width.

    i remember somebody telling me once that the a-width p neck had a nut with that was smaller than 1-3/4" but front to back was slimmer.

    by the way, i LOVE the feel of the geddy lee jazz neck. very thin. would love to get specs on that.

    i wonder if that a a-width back contour with a jazz nut width.

    i believe, from personal experience, that a 9" radius fingerboard (more curve) feel smaller and faster than a flatter, 12" radius board.
     
  16. No, my A-neck actually has a 1-1/2" nut width.
     
  17. chiplexic

    chiplexic

    Apr 21, 2004
    Massachusetts
    A: 1 1/2", B: 1 5/8", C 1 3/4" All were Precision necks availible at various times in "P" history.
     
    9mmMike likes this.
  18. marc40a

    marc40a

    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA
    Vics..

    The C width was the standard nut width for a period in the early 80's. Another interesting thing about that time period is that Fender used a flatter radius fingerboard - 12". Before that it was 7.5" and after that it became 9.5".

    That, Fender's return to quality control, and unique features like white pickup covers make that era a pretty unique period in the lineage of the Precision.
     
  19. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Well, what do you want to know? :) I can tell you it's a standard J 1.5" at the nut, but I think it's shaved on the back to be thinner, and I think it's also shaved at the head and heel to push the interference of the heel and headstock back a bit.

    IMHO, depends on the total design. My MTD is a really big radius, but that also makes it very "thin" regarding distance from the face of the fingerboard to the back of the neck. To me, this can feel very fast, too. I find the "slowest" necks out there are the ones with small/medium standard (non-asym) radii, and medium/wide profiles... they feel like baseball bats. Warwicks have a very substantial neck like this, and while I'm sure part of their great tone comes from the mass, I could never feel comfy on one.
     
  20. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Thanks!! Yes, mine has white pickup covers and a one-ply white pickguard, and I THINK it's the flatter fingerboard radius as well. All I know is the action is among the best I've ever felt on a "stock" Fender model!

    It also has a 4 bolt pattern AND the microtilt adjuster. Don't know if that's super common or what. I remember my old 70's J had the microtilt, but it was that annoying three bolt (and weighed a ton, which is why I had to sell it way back when). If yer interested, a few pics of my P are posted at:
    Some of my current gear...