Help Identifying 1972 P-Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Seaweedchampion, Nov 26, 2015.

  1. Seaweedchampion


    Aug 22, 2015
    Hey guys,

    I recently came upon an offer to purchase a 1972 P-Bass for $600. This price seems a bit too good to be true, so I'm coming to you guys to help me sort out if this is a legitimate deal or not. The guy selling it is a friend of my boss, who said his father gave it to him years ago. He's looking to move it asap to make some cash for a Rickenbacker. It doesn't appear to have any decals on the headstock, but it does have a date stamped on the bottom as well as a neck plate with a serial number. If you've got any information about this bass, please let me know.

    Attached Files:

  2. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    i have a 72 Serial # on the plate is 35xxxx. neckdate.jpg
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    A few red flags....

    That white looks WAY too white to be 40+ year old Olympic White. It should be at least cream colored if not dang near yellow. In those (pretty awful) pics it looks like white rattle can refinish.

    Why would anyone remove decals from a Fender Precision bass? Even back then?

    Mirror guard? Or reeeeeeally shiny black guard with no wear at all. Not original on a 40+ year old bass if you ask me.

    The A string saddle it not even under the string. Why would a bass player who is saving for another bass allow a vintage Fender to sit that way?

    So...... I doubt the guy is a bass player at all. I doubt virtually anything about the bass is original or in great shape. So, even if it is a real 72, it has been refinished (poorly), the guard isn't original, the bridge is messed up, the decal is missing, etc. I would say it isn't even a great (or "too good to be true") price in that shape. Seems about right for one with so many issues.
    fretter likes this.
  4. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Neck plate and neck heel stamp appear legit. Can't verify the rest of the bass, though. Looks like a body refin. Tuners appear original, too.

    For $600, it's not a horrible price. I'd bite if I had the extra cash, and didn't already own 3 p basses.

    I paid $600 for my 1975 P 5 years ago which I feel was a pretty low price. It's a great playing bass.
  5. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    The neck and tuners are worth 600
  6. The neck looks to be original, but possibly was refinished. The body was obviously refinished, and the black pickguard is likely not original, as Fender did not begin using black pickguards until 1974. It's hard to tell from the picture if the bridge is original, but the A string saddle seems to have a serious issue.
  7. Seaweedchampion


    Aug 22, 2015
    I'm looking for a bass to play out rather than add to a collection so things not being original aren't a big deal to me. I'm not too worried about any sort of work it may need, considering that people are asking for upwards of $2k to $3k for pristine examples. If the paint is sub-par, it can be sanded and sealed or repainted by someone who knows what they are doing. My main concern is if the serial numbers and dates check out with what's here and if $600 is a fair price to pay given the condition. For $600, is this a better buy than a 2015 Mexi P-Bass?
  8. scourgeofgod


    Aug 17, 2006
    Looks like there is no A saddle at all.
  9. Seaweedchampion


    Aug 22, 2015
    The A saddle appears to be loose and under the D string. I think string tension is all that holds them down so I don't imagine it's s tough fix to pop it back under. I don't know why he wouldn't fix that for the picture, though.
  10. scourgeofgod


    Aug 17, 2006
    Ah I see it now, it should be fine unless the screw is bent. Guy must not actually be a player.
  11. locanda


    Apr 26, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Looks legit to me. Mine, according to s/n# 39xxxx was 1973. Haven't checked the neck stamp, but you're in the ballpark. I think the body was refinished - mine was originally Olympic White w/the maple neck (also paired with the torti pickguard), and the pictures you posted are too bright a white.
  12. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I would buy it.
  13. Seaweedchampion


    Aug 22, 2015
    Hey guys, thanks for all of the replies and information so far. I brought up these issues to him and here is what he told me: Yes, it's been refinished. He thinks it was originally Lake Placid Blue according to the neck pocket. The decal was removed because it was worn and peeling. The A saddle is loose because he popped the neck off for a picture and didn't bring the strings back up to tension when he took the body picture. He's also a professional bass player, and has been gigging 3 to 4 times a week on the bass. It definitely seems like it needs some TLC and some restoration, but at this price, it's hard to complain.
  14. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Are the pickups original? I know there is a way to tell but I don't know the specifics.
  15. Worth more yes but i don't know about better as you have all the problems that come with vintage instruments and this one is beat to hell with some after market parts and no decal (how you gonna get chicks?? :confused: ). So you've really got to ask yourself are you buying the best bass to gig or something you will be spending more time repairing.
  16. fretter


    May 24, 2012
    Out of curiosity, were the dates stamped that neatly, back in those days? As I'm trying to learn about vintage Ps, all I ever see is photos of sloppy stamps, with much of the ink missing.
  17. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Yes, a lot of dates were stamped perfectly. That neck is 100% legit.
  18. Seaweedchampion


    Aug 22, 2015
    What kind of issues should I be looking out for? I'll have to ask about the pickguard and pickups, but the only thing I've confirmed as being aftermarket is the paint job.

    That's a good point. I'll ask.
  19. Truss rod!! That's the main problem with vintage basses make sure that still works. There are a few other issues you need to look for but I don't know enough to give you the answers do a search on issues with 70s fender basses for more info.
  20. Seaweedchampion


    Aug 22, 2015
    Excellent point. I'll have to ask about that.

    He said pickups and pickguard seem to be original and that the finish is indeed a quick over spray. I should be able to sand it back down to the blue if the finish is terrible.

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