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Gold Hardware On '78 P Original?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by john nam, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. I'm looking to buy an all-original '78 P bass, but it has gold tuners, knobs, and a solid brass thumbrest that is supposedly original as well; could they be original?
  2. Sounds like a P bass special from the early 80s. How are you dating it as a '78? from a S78 serial number? as serial numbers like that continued into the 80's. What the body color?
  3. it's this exact bass:

    Attached Files:

  4. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    No it wouldn't be factory installed on that 78.

    But all the pieces existed on the Precision Special in 80-83, and the parts would swap exactly over.

  5. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
  6. thanks guys, you prevented me from getting bamboozled.
  7. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    Fender always did special orders ... the Mary Kay had gold hardware and was made in the fifties . There were others with gold hardware too .
  8. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    That's pretty unusual, though. I don't think I've ever come across a late-70's Pbass with gold hardware. Unless that bass came with paperwork showing that it was ordered with gold hardware, it's a safer bet to assume the hardware was changed.
  9. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    A dealer could have also bolted on the stuff too. Like maybe it hung on the wall too long and they wanted to try getting more attention from it.
    The big clue being the gold finger rest. Those just weren't around way back then until the Special.
  10. So is it safe to say that gold tuners and knobs were available by special order before the 80s, but gold thumbrests/tugbars were only available after 1980?
  11. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Well the old saying among collectors is 'never say never with Fender'.
    But it would sure seem odd to me that someone would factory order gold hardware and only the standard sunburst finish. Where in the case with the Mary Kaye, it was a custom color. If that makes any sense, but all we can do is speculate.

    Is the string tree round or rectangular? Is the seller the original owner?
  12. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Fender introduced a whole line of after-market brass and gold-colored hardware for basses and guitars around the very early '80s. Bridges, thumbrests, tremelo arms, strap buttons, etc. And while it was never offered on a stock instrument, lots of dealers did install it in an instrument to help sell the parts. Looks a lot better on the bass than in the plastic pouch they shipped it in.

    Plus, they had at least one Strat and a Precision with that hardware for a photo shoot to create the advertising. But I think the promo material showed the "Claw"bridge, not the gold colored bent metal one.

  13. elgranluis


    Feb 14, 2003
    El paso, TX

    i believe the collector's saying goes more like "if theres a doubt, theres no doubt" (AKA is there's something funny, walk away)

    The"never say never" saying is more of a FDP/fender historian saying.

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