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HELP Dating "Fender" P-Bass Body!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GravyGoodness, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. OK - run across an oddity at the pawn shop and I really need to figure out what's going on with it. The guy that works there said that he "put it together from some leftovers the owner had lying around." Neck is from a standard 2007 MIM - but there's a really weird grain pattern in the Maple I love - like the span of 3 frets look like a totally different color, but the finish is pristine so I know it hasn't been mucked with. There is a set of 1990's EMG pickups - passive but without exposed polepieces. All of the wiring came out of the 2007 bass, so no way to trace that. And the pickguard is one they had laying around.

    Now - here's the curious bit that I can't figure out but maybe you can. The body is black with a well-worn poly finish. I know it's an older finish because it looks "thin" - like you can see the waves of the wood grain under it if you get the glare right, and judging from the wear and damage to it you can tell it's been around the block a few times. Looking at the bridge, there are 2 screw holes on either side from the cover that was on there at one time. The bridge on there has the threaded saddles, with the slotted screw heads to adjust them instead of the standard grub screws from today. It is obviously older judging from corrosion - BUT the dude did a COMPLETE HACK JOB of making it a "string through" just drilling through the bridge and body - the ferrules on the back are a joke. Just as a footnote...

    I am on great terms with the guys that work there and I am certain they would take it apart for me to check out. But what am I looking for to date it? Stamping, tool marks, wood grain patterns? What about under the pickguard? IF we assume the bridge IS original to the body, the cover holes are original and the finish taken into account - is there an estimation of the body age?

    I genuinely appreciate your time and assistance with this. I will go by there today and try to grab some photos.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  2. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Um... buy it a drink and give it your phone number?

    [Sorry, I'll just show myself out now....]
    Wisebass, teh-slb, oZZma and 33 others like this.
  3. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Check the pocket, theres usually a mark there with date info if it is a fender body.
  4. Darn I'm 11 minutes late on this one !
    oZZma, Pbassmanca, Fletz and 7 others like this.
  5. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    How does it play?
    Hoe does it sound?
    How much are they asking for it?

    Dr. Frankenstein didn't care where the parts came from.:)
  6. Yeah, I know that - but I am just curious is all. Plus it's an opportunity to learn something about dating instruments.
    Pbassmanca and EatS1stBassist like this.
  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Here's an example of a recent (1998) MIM neck pocket with a stamped date:


    Older ones are usually hand written, like this one from 1953:


    Some expert could tell you exactly when Fender started using stamps.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  8. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Suspended Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Try this, maybe you'll get "lucky."

    candle light dinner.jpg
  9. OK - so by this logic if the wood in the neck pocket appears unmolested then there should be a date stamp of some form if it is a FENDER? I ask that because on my Squier I cannot recollect a date stamp in that neck pocket.

    Thank you again.
    Pbassmanca and EatS1stBassist like this.
  10. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    I'm 2 hours and 45 minutes late, on yours...
  11. OK - here's some info and this leaves me more in the dark!

    There's a fifth hole in the center of the neck bolt pattern. It also looks like someone sanded/filed the back of the neck for easier truss rod access - from a truss rod at the base of the neck. So that makes me think this is an older Fender, or NOT a Fender? The only stamp I see is "CMA" ( or C MAY?) and it looks like this may of been refinished at some point? Does anyone have insight to this? Does anyone know anyone that knows!! Seriously - thank you again.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
  12. Reminds me of this going around on the Internet...
    coffee maker.jpg
  13. TheReceder


    Jul 12, 2010
    What's scary is how many of us were probably coming up with the exact kind of humor :)
    Pbassmanca and jamro217 like this.
  14. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    How’s the one who makes the tea?
    Pbassmanca and 96tbird like this.
  15. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Suspended Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    How about a pic of the hack job string thru mod, it’s the only reason I’m looking at this thread!! :woot:
    Pbassmanca and bobyoung53 like this.
  16. MotorCityMinion


    Jun 15, 2017
    How is the date even relevant on such a molested body from that era? Is it even worth the effort to unscrew the neck?
  17. Well, I don't want to pick on the guy that did this - but I mean at least drill straight or something. You can still see the red sharpie on the front of the bridge in the other photo posted already.

    Attached Files:

    Pbassmanca and Kukulkan61 like this.
  18. It's hard to beat $125 for something to play with. I just want to know when the body is from. So yeah, it's worth the effort for me.
  19. ...bag...
  20. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Suspended Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    I just recently sold a black body like this and it had the same finish where you can see the waves of the grain and it was a 2006 Fender MIM, so maybe it’s a 2000s MIM Fender Body??
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Feb 27, 2021

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