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Fender Precision Bass, 1972. Good deal?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by spectroscopia, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. spectroscopia


    Sep 20, 2016
    Hello guys.

    I just bought this 72 p bass, and still thinking on what to do. I like more of the sound and vibe of it, but at the same time I feel quite strangled by the fact that the seller didn't mention these little problems that it has. The first problem is that the tone doesn't do anything, I looked at the wiring and it has been wired incorrectly. At the moment it sounds as with the tone all the way one ( muffled ) but still very cutting and resonant. Sustains forever!

    Second problem is that frets were in this condition, almost done :). Volume and tone knobs are not original and a slightly bent tuning peg.

    Ogh and there are some problems with severe buzzing on the upper frets, needs re-fret job and feeling the extra deep slots. As the repair for 300 gbp = 400 usd is not cheap. I bought the bass for equivalent of 2050 usd. Comes with non original hard case.

    I was thinking if I should contact the buyer and claim the repair charge?

    I think if I spend 300-350 gbp on it - it would be worth of an equivalent 72 p bass in a slightly better condition (though maybe not considering the prices that are on ebay now + shipping tax to the UK from USA).

    The seller didn't mention all these little issues, neither has stated it in the auction.

    What do you guys think?

    Would be great also to hear from vintage fender experts!

    Attached Files:

  2. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    In for a penny, in for a pound. If the ad didn't way it had been refretted, then I'd expect the possibility that a 45 year old bass might have frets like that. The tone knob is an easy fix, so I wouldn't worry about it.

    The real issue is that, from one of those pictures and from your description, it looks like it might have one heck of a ski jump. If I were you, I would get that evaluated by somebody with experience at dealing with that problem. Again, if you like the bass, go the couple extra miles to see what can be done to make it a player.

    This is the picture that concerns me:

  3. spectroscopia


    Sep 20, 2016

    Thank you for your reply.

    What do you mean by ski jump? Sorry maybe there is a meaning in the guitar tech standards. :) Do you mean high action? Or problems with deep fret slots?
  4. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Sometimes the neck warps where it meets the body. In that picture, it looks like there is a bend in the neck right at the neck joint. Also, your description of "severe buzzing on the upper frets" is usually a sign of this. It doesn't have to be a fatal problem, but it does require some professional help.

    Go here and read a little and you should be able to figure out if I am right or wrong:

    bobyoung53 and sneha1965 like this.
  5. spectroscopia


    Sep 20, 2016

    I cannot tell. I just looked at two of my fenders.

    How much would it cost to straighten the neck ?

    When I went to Luther, checked the neck and explained to me that it is perfectly straight. No warping. Though the repair man did mention that the bass needs refretting.
  6. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Your luthier may well be right. Can't be sure from a side view...you should be able to look down the length of the neck and see if you see a sharp angle change.

    Even if it is there, it may not be a big deal. Sometimes it can be fixed by leveling the frets to compensate. Sometimes you can plane the fretboard a little to compensate. I've also seen some pictures of so more drastic repairs that involve reinforcing the neck internally.

    I don't think I've ever had to deal with a bad enough ski jump that I couldn't just raise the action a hair and call it good enough.
  7. The dreaded ski jump usually shows up as a bend at about the 15th fret.
    The truss rod will not help there.
    As serious as it seems, it is NOT a death sentence for that neck.
    It can be straightened.
    The key here, is that it took about 45 years to get to where it is now
    and getting it back where it needs to be (assuming that we ARE seeing a ski jump)
    will not happen instantly.
    The key is to put gental, but persistant pressure in the right place, give it a while,
    then add pressure.
    Heat will help it move, but again not too much.

    If you have ANY doubts about this, take it to a pro.

    Even with straightening, it needs a fret job or at least serious dressing.
    I'd also refinish the back of the neck.
    Those chips would drive me crazy. (Not that it would be a long trip.) :laugh:
    Son of Wobble likes this.
  8. spectroscopia


    Sep 20, 2016

    I am not an expert but I cannot see this ski jump, unless it has to do with millimetres. At the moment the neck is straight and it has buzzing sound on: a string 18th fret. Slight buzz on d string on the 15th , 16th fret, though on the 17th fret has completely plufff sound, 19th and 20th are ok with no problems. E and G string has no problems. The action is kind of high. Here are some additional photo's. The trus rod is tightened clockwise.

    Attached Files:

  9. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Congrats on the purchase! She's a looker!

    From a playing standpoint, I'm not sure how much success you'll have on claiming repair costs on a 45-year-old instrument.

    From a collectibility standpoint, aside from a setup from an experienced luthier (in which no parts will be replaced), I'd leave everything as-is and sit on it. Some collectors start to get squeamish when they hear of anything that's been replaced.

    The market isn't great for 70s Fender basses at the moment... but who knows what the future holds?
  10. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Those pictures look better to me. Hopefully, I am wrong and once you have it refretted you will have a great bass!
  11. punchdrunk

    punchdrunk Supporting Member

    Jun 22, 2013
    Jacksonville, Fl
    I can't see any ski jump on the newer pics. A fret level is probably just the thing you need to bring the bass back up to fighting weight. Having a level done completely brought my 77 to life.
    wvbass likes this.
  12. inthebassclef

    inthebassclef Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    Here is the best advice you will get. Mandolin brothers told me this once. A sunburnt vintage P is a dime a dozen. If it has any sort of a neck issue you were not disclosed about send it back. You can find another with little to no trouble.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
    GeneralElectric and ajkula66 like this.
  13. winterburn69


    Jan 27, 2008

    9 times out of 10, a vintage Fender will be sunburst.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  14. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    I guess it depends on why you bought it. The next steps depend on if you want a player or something to look at. Fwiw I would never buy an instrument with the back of the neck in that condition, but I buy them to play them. Looks pretty damn abused with lots of odd finish dents, dings, etc. That is a total no-go for me, but ymmv. Also some of the wear on the back of the body looks relatively new, like someone wanted to further "relic" the bass.

    If you want a player, then I'd spend another couple hundred to bring it into playing condition. If it is buzzing with high action you'll never be able to get anywhere near medium/low action. My guess would be defret, level the fingerboard, refret, and I'd have the finish stripped off the back of the neck, smooth that as best you can without taking too much material off, then oil of refinish. And then whatever electronic issues need to be sorted but P-basses are pretty dead-simple.
    xroads likes this.
  15. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    I don't like what I'm hearing from your description.

    If the action is high, there should be no buzz on the upper frets regardless of the fact that the lower ones are eaten up. And it sounds like the truss rod is maxed out. All of this can be resolved one way or another, but whether it's worth one's time and money is a whole another matter.

    If it were me, that bass would be going back. A '72 P-Bass is not that rare of a find.

    My $0.02 only...

    Good luck.
    dagrev likes this.
  16. Rabidhamster


    Jan 15, 2014
    Edit: truss rod -tightened- is a bad sign - can you return it?
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
  17. Carlos Rocha

    Carlos Rocha

    Jun 11, 2017
  18. Carlos Rocha

    Carlos Rocha

    Jun 11, 2017
    I there, im looking for a neck to a fender american deluxe 5 strings jazz bass year 2014, can some help where can i find one.
  19. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Check ebay, there is a particular seller (thestratosphere) that parts-out a lot of newer Fenders and has lots of necks for sale.
  20. How were you unaware of the issues before buying it ?

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