Has GC sold me a fake P-Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Cerpin Taxt, Jun 25, 2005.

  1. Cerpin Taxt

    Cerpin Taxt

    Jun 12, 2005
    Today I purchased a very used "1973 MIA P-Bass" from a Guitar Center for the very reasonable price of 1,200. I was told that the bridge, pickguard and tuners were not original but the rest was.

    When I came home, I took off the neck and checked the numbers. I don't know very much about neck markings, but something tells me this is BS:
    0905 1935

    On top of that, the "Fender Precision Bass" logo on the headstock looks like a decal that has been laquered over. It also doesn't have ANY writing under the "Fender". Under the "Precision Bass" section are the words "Made in the U.S.A." From photos I've seen of real 73s, this doesn't match up.

    To top it all off, the body looks like it was spay painted, sanded to look worn, and then subsequently varnished.

    I called the GC and they said they would take a look at it tomorrow morning. Am I right in thinking that these guys tried to rip me off, or am I just being paranoid?

  2. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    If they sell the bass with all concern of this was a fake,you have to contact a lawyer,is a fraud.
  3. metallicaorion


    May 31, 2005
    Oswego IL
    I almost had the same problem.... i was gona buy a fender standard p and it dident seem right for a p-bass. i was like what heck. the numbers dont read write and on the plate on the back there were no number or anything. it dident sound right either. i personally dont trust guitar center anymore. if they try to bull **** you go to a local music store and get a second oppinion.

  4. Without plenty of pics to go by, I wouldn't say a firm yay or nay but it would be fairly easy to tell by most with experience. And if it was an authentic vintage P, then someone with experience was supposed to see it and price it. I say they were supposed to but whether they actually did is anyone's guess. Your only hope right now is that the person that see's it this time has enough experience and is honest enough to spot a fake.

    BTW, Get on the web right now and start getting your ducks in a row...Get the serial number nailed down and get some photo's of examples of the basses of that year and especially the headstocks. Get evidence that what you have isn't what you were sold. You'll need it and even if you don't, you'll need it.

    Good Luck
  5. Cerpin Taxt

    Cerpin Taxt

    Jun 12, 2005
    The told me that they had "a meeting about that bass, and that they dediced it was real", but the headstock logo clearly looks fake. You can see the edges of the decal. And what's with that neck number?

    I am doing to print out photos, but I'm not too worried. I can always just flat out return the bass. GC has a 14 day return period on eveything.
  6. what color is the bass? did you happen to check the number on the body?
  7. Cerpin Taxt

    Cerpin Taxt

    Jun 12, 2005
    The plate number is correct - the plate is from 73.

    The body is blonde... but you can see through to the wood beneath.
  8. not the plate number, but the number on the body where the neck attaches, you have to take the neck off to see it.
  9. Roundwound


    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    Did you get this date off the neck plate on the back where the bolts are? Or did you get it from inside the neck pocket?

    Either way this number doesn't jive, unless there is a different number elsewhere.

    Check out these sites for more helpful info:
  10. Cerpin Taxt

    Cerpin Taxt

    Jun 12, 2005
    Ahhh... my apologies. like i said, I dont know much about the numbers... one second...

    there is no number... the wood has been painted over and some indecipherable **** has been scrawled in blue pen... nothing like a number though...

    the neck reads: 0103 1932

    on the flat part of the neck there is a stamp that says "G. Garcia". Also on that part is the number 3212.
  11. Jason Brown

    Jason Brown Supporting Member

    May 1, 2000
    SLC, UT
    I think the "Made In USA" script showed up around '76 or '77 when the serial number started to appear on the headstock underneath the Fender logo.

    Also, the decals were being lacquered over at the factory even before the '70s. I'm not sure you're not talking about a second lacquering though.
  12. hmm... that does sound a little fishy
  13. Cerpin Taxt

    Cerpin Taxt

    Jun 12, 2005
    There isn't a serial number anywhere on the headstock... no numbers at all.

    What I meant by the second laquering is that the front of the headstock is darker than the back... you can also see where some of the laquer or whatever built up and dried, forming un unseemly bumpy area. Part of the neck has this darker stain as well. The salesperson said he thought that the last owner must have "started to refinish it, then decided no to".

    ...let me be more specific about the headstock "decal". You can see very clearly a line where the darker stain built up in a perimiter around the Fender logo.
  14. Roundwound


    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    Based on from the info from that first link I sent, you have a p-bass with a fretted maple neck, manufactured during the 19th week of 1973, on Tuesday. If yours has a fretted maple neck, then we might be on to something.
  15. Believe it or not, I'm pretty sure I can personally vouch for a "G. Garcia" stamp on an American Precision neck. I had a fretless 1973 maple neck that I had on my 1975 body in 1976. It had that name stamped on it as I recall along with other markings but I remember always wondering who Mr. Garcia was.

    That's damned incredible! :eek:

    Doesn't mean a thing to the authenticity of the body though.
  16. kaiwahine


    Jun 25, 2005
    Are the numbers stamped in red or green ink? In '72 and '73 Fender used two different neck codes, one of which was an 8 digit stamp in red or green ink.

    GC is usually pretty good about verifying vintage equipment. Dave Belzer knows his ****, and GMs have a lot on the line and take special care when taking in trades and buying used equipment. They don't just take the customer's word and are pretty thourough.

    May I ask which GC?
  17. Cerpin Taxt

    Cerpin Taxt

    Jun 12, 2005
    First off - thanks to everyone for all your help on this. I'm feeling much more hopeful about this bass being real...

    the 0103 1935 is in green ink... it IS a fretted maple neck.

    It's GC Larchmont, NY.
  18. Roundwound


    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    It sounds like you have what they advertised.

    When I dated my '81 P-bass, I also verified the numbers on the volume/tone pots more or less as "secondary" evidence. But since your pickguard was replaced, there's a slight chance the pots were too, but it might be worth the look anway.

    Basic pre-74 vs. post-74 Fender pots:

    An excellent resource on dating Fender pots:
  19. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    There should not be any "made in USA" on that headstock because all Fenders at that time where MIA.
  20. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    I wouldn't be too quick to accuse GC of scamming you. You should have done all of this research about old Fender P's before you went out and dropped $1200 on one.