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Fender Precision USA, 1972

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by spectroscopia, Jun 9, 2017.


  1. spectroscopia

    spectroscopia

    Sep 20, 2016
    Hello, guys.

    I just bought this bass recently bought online. I think, for a fairly decent price, considering that they go for around 2.300 gbp or 3000 usd.

    I bought this bass for slightly cheaper price but still quite a a lot of money.

    Now, the first proble is that the tone pot doesn't do anything apart from volume boost. I looked at the wiring and it seams that it was wiried incorrectly.

    The second issue or disadvantage of this bass is that it was probably re-freted couple of times and there is some buzz on the upper frets, 14th to 20th in some places. Someone who did the refret cut deep below the fretboard. It doesn't seem to affect the sound or anything, but is it reparable? Can these slots be covered with glue or wood? ( pls check the photos) Also, the frets are in poor condition as you can see, though it doesn't buzz that much at all up to 14th fret. After the 15th fret ( some notes don't buzz and some makes the pluck, plfff dead sound).

    Nut is not original, not sure of it is bone or plastic. The volume and tone knobs are not original and the bridge cover is a reissue. Everything else seems to be original, pickup, pots, wires, scratch plate, screws. No original case.

    The good vibes about this bass that it sounds awesome, has a lightweight body which I really like. Nice comfortable neck and just very simple.

    Guys do you think it is a good deal?

    The buyer did not mention any of these problems. The old worn out frets, neither the problem with the pot and that the knobs where changed. Otherwise everything else is pretty much original. I would say it is 95 % original apart from the nut, frets, bridge cover and knobs. Also the pickup has the green coloured underside where you can barely see 72 sign. Perhaps you guys can flash the light to me if it looks all legit?

    Also, anything you can recommend in terms of the frets ? Which frets were used in early 70's? Any name or sizes that you can tell me? What's the difference in sound between brass and steel frets?

    Also would you advise to keep the old wires. I thought maybe to replace them with coated cloth 60's type of wires. Worth it or would de-value the bass? If changed would they affect the sound a bit? I don't know if there is a lot of difference between coated cloth wire and plastic one.

    Also bass needs a good clean up. But the sound is a killer! Just thinking if I got a good deal.

    I still do have an option to return it as the seller didn't mention some of the problems that the bass has. Or I can keep it, but then do you guys think I should ask the seller to pay the expenses for the repair, fret job and fixing the wiring?

    I went to a music store today and was quoted that the repair all together will cost about £300. :) Even if I pay for the repair charge still makes it tiny bit cheaper than what these basses go on ebay.

    Would be great to hear your opinion guys. Thanks.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Halethorpe, MD
    I'm not a connoisseur of instruments. If the cost of repair is cheaper than getting another comparable instrument that doesn't need repairs, I'd get the repairs done. It never hurts to ask the seller to at least share in the cost, the worst that'll happen is he'll tell you what to do with that idea. I would not expect repairs to depreciate the instrument, though I wouldn't replace anything that isn't absolutely necessary to bring it to good working order. So if the wires are still conducting and the insulation isn't cracking and falling off, I would keep the original wires. It sounds like the cap took a crap. (capacitor went bad) Be careful about the fret buzz; Fender necks sometimes start warping at about the 12th fret and develop a buzz like you are describing. Have you luthier check that out and determine if is is repairable, that could be cause for a return unless the luthier is planning a refret at the cost you have quoted. I wouldn't worry about what frets were used then, I'd worry about what is there now, since you like the sound. Another thing to consider is if the neck is warped you could larger frets on the neck and use a lower profile fret at the 14th - 20th frets to help minimize the buzz. Between that and whatever tricks your luthier knows he may be able to eliminate the buzz at minimal additional cost.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
  3. spectroscopia

    spectroscopia

    Sep 20, 2016
    I asked the luthier and he said that the neck is straight and doesn't seem to be bent/warped. He said that maybe it buzzes due to a larger slots that were cut that damaged the wood , pls refer to the photo. You can see that they were cut all the way below the rosewood rosewood fretboard. He said that the electronics were wrongly wired so it's not a big issue.

    I am more worried about the slots that were cut to deep from 12 the fret onwards. Have you seen something like this before? Would that affect the sound? Can they be repaired and filled in?

    Cloth wire wouldn't make any difference in sound to the plastic wires?
     
  4. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    I'm not sure what you mean by this. What I can say is that the frets are worn, and either need to be leveled and crowned, or more likely replaced, based on the pictures you provided. That is likely why you are getting fret buzz, assuming the neck is straight.

    As far as the quality of the deal you got, that's hard to say. If the bass sounds and feels good, and you feel it's worth the money you paid, then it's a good deal.
     
  5. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Get the bass re-fretted (those frets are DONE), get a new nut installed, fix the wiring and play the heck out of it. The extra deep fret slots are not a problem, just cosmetic. And push-back (cloth) wire is for those who insist that everything has to be exactly as original. There is no sonic difference.
     
  6. spectroscopia

    spectroscopia

    Sep 20, 2016


    Here are the photo's of the damage, please look at the frets, the slots go down below the rosewood fret board. I am not sure of it is serious or ok? Cosmetic purely?
     

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  7. spectroscopia

    spectroscopia

    Sep 20, 2016
    Hello. Thank you for your reply. I hope that the extra deep slots is not a problem. Is there anyway to fix them and make them invisible? I mean maybe there is a special glue mixed with wood that can feel these extra deep slots?
     
  8. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    OK, i see it now. The fret slots were cut too deep. I've done that a few times on my own basses. I just fill them with CA glue, and haven't had an issue. Of course, you want the slots to be the exact correct depth, but things happen. I think it'll be ok.
     
  9. spectroscopia

    spectroscopia

    Sep 20, 2016
    Here are more photo's. I spent on this bass 2080 USD or 1600 gbp. Here are the photo's, as you can see this bass has a lot of lacquer chips/ worn parts on the neck and on the body. The sound is really good, it has that motown, funk of early 70's! But considering the problems it has, what do you guys think? It was worth it? It doesn't have the original case, when I got it, one of the tuning pegs was slightly bent, but works well.
     

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  10. Axstar

    Axstar

    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    I don't think there is a refret's worth of material left on those frets. Odd to see the deep fret slots, and what appears to be an overzealous beveling of the fret ends, on those higher frets. Maybe a sloppy partial refret after a ski-jump was sanded out or something?

    Looks like whoever slotted the nut munched into the rosewood behind it. Been there!
     
  11. spectroscopia

    spectroscopia

    Sep 20, 2016
    True. But actually the bass itself is very sturdy and actually a little bit lighter than my 72 jazz bass.

    I think I love the sound and general feel of the bass, really resonant and the note sustains forever. Lovely alder body.

    My only concern is that the seller didn't mentions these little issues in the online sale.
     
  12. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    When you get it refretted, asked the tech to fill the bottom of the slots with maple veneer. When the frets are remove he will have to clean out the slots anyway, so an with an extra bit of effort he can fill the slots. I really wouldn't bother though. I'd spend some effort on getting all those chips and dings out of the neck - that would drive nuts.
     
  13. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    That will happen as the frets wear down. To compensate for the strings sitting lower on the frets you need to cut the nut slots lower. When you do that you often have to knick the end of the fretboard to keep the strings clear.
     
    Axstar likes this.
  14. Axstar

    Axstar

    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    That was a bit shady of them. However I would be all over that bass, as it says 'Geezer Butler' and 'Roger Waters' to me! Love the natural wear on it.
     
  15. spectroscopia

    spectroscopia

    Sep 20, 2016

    Here are the photo's o
    Thank you for your suggestion Turnaround. You are very helpful. In your opinion, do you think it is a decent bass and worth the price of 2080 usd, considering he problems that it has? Also by looking at the photo's do you think the neck has a ski jump?
     
  16. spectroscopia

    spectroscopia

    Sep 20, 2016

    Here are the photo's of the neck. I personally cannot see ski jump on the neck by looking at it.

    Perhaps you guys might see anything in the additional photos?
     

    Attached Files:

  17. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Halethorpe, MD
    Sit your camera on the strings between the pickup and the bridge. also on the bass side of the body beside the pickup. Post those.
     
  18. Axstar

    Axstar

    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    I don't see a ski-jump. My hypothesis was that it had one in the past, and this was corrected by pulling the higher frets, leveling the board, then re-fretting. Whoever replaced these frets cut the slots deeper, put a more pronounced bevel on the fret ends (unless this is just a '70s Fender thing?) and used frets cut a wee bit too short for the job. The shots in post #6 make it look like the fret ends have a very gradual bevel, which is, apparently, sometimes the sign of an amateur luthier.
     
  19. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    I cannot comment on the worth the bass generally, only what it would be worth to me. And I have no love for 70's era Fenders so there's no point commenting further.

    It looks to me as though the instrument has already been treated for a ski jump. Whether there is one there now, I can only determine from hands-on measurement. You do need a re-fret and a decent re-fret in my area would run you $300 plus the cost of a setup. Fixing up the wiring would run another $25 or so, act that would give you a playable, functional bass, assuming there are no hidden issues. So you need to consider that along with the purchase price. Perhaps you can find someone to do the work cheaper. Just remember that price and quality are often on opposite sides of the equation.