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Funny What A Neck Change Can Do ('70s Fretless P Content)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FenderP, May 7, 2010.

  1. FenderP

    FenderP Supporting Member

    May 7, 2005
    In 2008 I bought a '76 maple neck fretless P in Japan (can be seen here: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showpost.php?p=7788462&postcount=20). It was actually the last thing I thought I'd get over there.

    Anyway, the more I played it the more I didn't love the neck. I've played plenty of Ps over the years - both good and bad. My '78 fretted P I got in 1988 is the one I judge all others by (still my favorite bass, and is perfect live or in the studio; it's got mojo where a lot of '70s are inconsistent). I love that neck so much both my Rob Allen Deep 4 and Solid 4's necks are basically clones of it.

    The neck just didn't feel comfortable in my hands and it had nothing to do with my high action, as it was no different than any of my other basses (in fact, the plate I put under the BadAss II came from my '78 P so they would be equal in height). I had my standard Roto RS 77LE set - nothing. Although on my fretless basses over the years I generally put the RS88 set.

    Last August I was in Sam Ash (well, the space formerly known as Manny's) and played a pristine '78 rosewood fretless P that was a clone in looks to my '78 and wasn't far off in serial numbers. Played like a dream, felt right ... had what the '76 was missing. I just couldn't justify $2500 on it. I walked away, and regretted that decision a few months later.

    Fast forward a bit, and I got a '78 fretless rosewood P neck off of a fellow TBer which is about 400 serial numbers (headstock) off of my fretted. NOS minty fresh. So I made an appointement with Mouradian here in MA and Jim put that neck on the '76 body (along with the tuners/bushings from the '76). I also had him set it up with the RS88 set.

    I know the guys at Mouradian well - they've been servicing my basses for like 15 years now. I went to pick it up Tuesday. Jon immediately could tell when I picked it up to try it the action was too low :) So Jim readjusted it. As he said to me, usually he'll do it in 5 minute incremements. He had to do four full cranks around to get it to where I like it.

    I have to say, wow! What a difference! Plays and feels like that '78 I tried at Sam Ash, minus the body matching of my fretted '78. In fact, it's about as close to my fretted as I've played on any other bass. I took it to a big band rehearsal last night, and it was great.

    Even with the "new" neck, the '76 was cheaper than buying that one at Sam Ash, but whoever got it is a lucky SOB.

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