1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Help O Great Fender Gurus

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Joe Smithberger, May 10, 2010.


  1. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    I own an old P bass that I always assumed was a '78. From these photos, can anyone clue me in to the real year of manufacture? If you can't read the codes, pipe up and I will list the digits in the thread.

    http://www.smithbergerphoto.com/projects/pbass
     
  2. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    I'm no Fender guru, but everything appears to check out. Looks like you have a nice 1977-1978 P bass. :D
     
  3. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    Here is a wider shot.
     

    Attached Files:

    • 78P.
      78P.jpg
      File size:
      58.6 KB
      Views:
      136
  4. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    No arguments?
     
  5. JimB52

    JimB52 User Supporting Member

    May 24, 2007
    East Coast
    I think the S8 serial numbers were used until at least 1981.
    That being said, I don't think there's much of a price difference between a '78 P and an '81 P.
     
  6. Bone

    Bone

    Oct 28, 2006
    There is nothing in the pictures to help date your bass. No pot codes,neckcode,or pickup codes.
     
  7. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Haha yup, unfortunately. You had the neck off but didn't catch the date code on the butt, which would probably be the best bet. Same for the pots, if you pull the pickguard again, check for a 137XXXX number which would give you the year and week of pot manufacture. Of my three 78 fenders, one of the Ps has pots dating to 75 and the J has pots dating to 77. The third one I haven't taken apart, but bone had all the numbers up in his for sale thread, so he might know :D.
     
  8. Bone

    Bone

    Oct 28, 2006
    Joe, here are the codes for coreys bass. Pot codes date 49th week of 78, Pickup codes date 77. Neck code is to fadded to make out clearly but I'm pretty sure the second to last number is 8. Like your bass "R. FRIEND" is the name stamp and cavity stickers match on coreys bass.
     
  9. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    I will check the pot photos again (these were shot quite high res). There was no date code on the butt of the neck.
     
  10. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Many of the early 80's don't have neck stamps. My '82 P doesn't have a neck stamp, so I had to pull the pickup to find the 82 stamp, and of course the pots were stamped 82 as well. It was funny when I checked the dates because when my uncle gave it to me he thought he bought it in 1979.
     
  11. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    The pots are stamped 1377815 (tone) and 013348 (volume).

    I was trying to avoid taking out the pickups since I have a nice setup happening, but I just checked and they say 203178.
     
  12. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    So that tone pot dates to 15th week of 78 and the pup dates to 78, unless the volume pot was replaced, there should be a 137 number on it but it may be covered by the solder. That says it's likely a 78 to me, but certainly not conclusive. What does the route under the pickguard look like?
     
  13. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    Thanks for the help.

    Do you think the volume pot is a replacement?

    Anyone else have experience with undated necks on old P's?

    I have had this bass for about 5 years. It has had at least two owners prior to that. If I decide to let it go, I would like to value it reasonably. As far as I know now, the only non-original part is the jack that I replaced last year and the scratches and scuffs it received in it's 32 or so years in existence.
     
  14. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I think you are reading the p/n on the volume pot.
    There are three stampings on the pots; 1st stamp has part number, second one has the rating 250k, and the third stamp has the manufacturer with date.
     
  15. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I heard '83.
     
  16. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    Thanks. I guess my photo didn't get that side of the volume pot.
     
  17. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    I tried to get the part number of the pots on my P basses but they're both soldered over. I could read 01 and 013 but not the rest. The jazz bass (which has a different style pot) did have the part number 013346 so I'd say that your pots are probably original.
     
  18. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    judging by the neck's serial number and all of the other codes that you've listed,it was made in 1978. the neck's serial number 'S'=seventies and the first number '8', would make it an S8 or '78.
     
  19. Just this last weekend I emailed Fender with a serial # of a Geddy Lee Jazz to try to get they year it was made. Monday morning I had a response with the exact date and all kinds of info I didn't even ask for.
    Maybe try that.
    consumerrelations@fender.com
    Good Luck,
    Steve
     
  20. Bone

    Bone

    Oct 28, 2006
    On the body routs, I think about 1982 fender started routing for a grounding screw(it may be earlier), they also start to see a round rout for the jig.

    This body is from a bass with an S8 serial number with 82 neck date. Neck pocket sticker matches headstock serial number. Pot and pickups swapped out to EMGs so no dating there. Note ground screw rout and jigging hole.
     

    Attached Files:


Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.