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Fretless 71 P-bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TheMute, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. TheMute

    TheMute Commercial User

    Apr 12, 2010
    Sam Ash
    I've got a relativity new p-bass body, believed to be MIM and I want to emulate a 71 fretless. Maybe change the fretboard to Pau Ferro (Jaco). My main questions are

    1. What wood is used for the body in this year? I've haven't seen consistent results for this on google.

    2. Which neck option ( All maple or maple/rosewood) was more popular.
    3. If you know which neck Juan Alderete had on his 71' p-bass fretless that he used on Frances, the Mute.

    4. And if I got a rosewood fretboard, whats recommended to protect it from round/mid wounds?

  2. I have a '78 P for sale in the classified (check my sig if you want to see it). While I don't know all the answers to your question, I can tell you that there were a lot more rosewood boards in those days than maple boards for fretless.

  3. Jazzcat


    Jan 20, 2009
    Titusville, FL
  4. Jazzcat


    Jan 20, 2009
    Titusville, FL
    Here's my refurbished 73 fretless P, for grins and giggles. A PO had a luthier add lines to the rosewood fretboard.

  5. TheMute

    TheMute Commercial User

    Apr 12, 2010
    Sam Ash
    I think I've actually come to the conclusion that the bodies were made of alder. Or at least some were.

    Thanks for all the helps guys. I had already found most of those sites but you guys prove that talkbass is a great resource!
  6. MKoby


    Jul 14, 2004
    MD/Metro DC




    1972. Authority suggests alder body, three piece. It is just over 8 lbs. Had flats until I put half rounds on in 1980. Fingerboard has held up well.
  7. tomshepp

    tomshepp Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Maynard MA
    OK, so in answer to some of your questions, most body woods were alder. Boards are a matter of preference. Jaco had an older jazz, with rosewood and boat appoxy ??? how the hell do you spell apoxy? Generally, maple has a harder, brighter tone while rosewood is softer and darker. I don't know what Juan used but he sure sounds great!

    I put boat/marine apoxy on my 1970 P and it turned out great. Many coats with fine sanding in between seem to work. While I did this many years ago, I would hire a professional luthier now. Someone like Mike Pedulla. Again, I hope I'm spelling that right. Best of luck with your bass.
  8. TheMute

    TheMute Commercial User

    Apr 12, 2010
    Sam Ash
    Well you'd think its ash because there is no inclination of change on most timelines. But after reading from this link
    and showing this link
    to my father, who is very knowledgeable with wood species. He was positive it's alder. And the species looks the same to me as what you've got MKoby.

    But I could be way off. If its solid ash is should be heavier but if its swamp ash it should be lighter than alder.
  9. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    For the post-50s era, I believe natural/transparent finishes were ash, solid/sunburst were alder.
  10. TheMute

    TheMute Commercial User

    Apr 12, 2010
    Sam Ash
    I KNOW!!!! LOOOOOOVE his tone and playing on Frances. And all the other cd's for that matter. It's all spectacular.

    But that's really helpful. I've always wandered why the Jaco signature has a Pau Ferro Board and his actually one didn't. I mean I know its more durable. But still.

    That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the tip. I think your dead on. Problem solved.

    And if anyone cares. Here's a vid of Juan playing what I presume is his 71 fretless P-bass.


    New question.

    What's the nut width on the 71' P- fretless? This site's telling me 1 19/32? Is that right?


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