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Is a 1973 Fender Precision bass considered vintage?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Doublesixes, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. Or it's just an old Fender? At what point in the past a Fender Bass is considered vintage and valuable? I know there's nothing set in stone but there's has to be a modicum of consensus as to what is a defining age for an instrument of this kind to be considered vintage/collectible.
  2. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    Lot of people see "vintage" as any instrument being more than 25 years old, so a '73 Fender would definitely qualify.

    Personally, I refuse to accept that anything younger than myself can be considered vintage...:D

    Enjoy that P-Bass.
  3. Old, yes. Better, who knows?
    Vintage/Collectible? - just rock it.
  4. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    I own two "older" stringed instruments, the cooler, older one is a 1974 Telecaster bass. Is it vintage? Um... maybe? Sure? Why not? Honestly, it doesn't matter to me.

    1974 Fender Telecaster bass.JPG

    My other elderly stringed instrument is a 1980 MIJ Ibanez ST-50 guitar. No matter how old it gets I'll likely have trouble calling it vintage.

    1980 Ibanez Studio 50.JPG

    Come to think of it, I also have a 1972 Tele Star bass. It barely qualifies as an instrument. ;)

    1972 Tele Star bass.JPG
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Depends. When I was growing up (70s and 80s), if it wasn't pre CBS, it had no value because of age. There are lots of differences in opinions on 70s Fenders, since quality had gone downhill (check Fender's own website). But now, there is some value. Take a look in the classified to see prices.
    Bushrod Johnson and Doublesixes like this.
  6. B-Mac

    B-Mac Sorting Things Out Supporting Member

    Guitar Center seems to think so......
    Doublesixes likes this.
  7. Kmrumedy


    May 12, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    In the collector world and with Fender die hards - vintage fenders are Pre-CBS.
  8. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    FedEx views any guitar older than 20 years as vintage, and limits insurance claims to $1000 on such.
    Rudyboy98, 12BitSlab and Doublesixes like this.
  9. I know the rules here: Pic or it never happened. Here's my '73 Precision which became uncollectible once I carved the wood to make room for a Jazz bridge pickup back in 1978 or 1979. It may have lost its vintage collectible attributes ($$) but the bass, as is, is far more usable than it was when original. OK, torch me, I have my fire extinguisher handy.

  10. Stackpole


    Mar 20, 2016
    My 73 A-neck walnut, at least to me, is vintage and collectible.

    Attached Files:

    Road Hat, drummer5359 and Doublesixes like this.
  11. Spirit of Ox

    Spirit of Ox Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Chelsea Mass
    I have a 73 P bass as well. It's a vintage players piece. It's missing the original pickups and there was a cavity routed out for a battery. Your is modified so you also have a vintage players piece.
    drummer5359 and Doublesixes like this.
  12. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Pretty neck.
    Doublesixes likes this.
  13. Stackpole


    Mar 20, 2016
    Thanks. All the credit to Herb Gastelum.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
    ukulelelab, Doublesixes and Low84 like this.
  14. Pocket4

    Pocket4 Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Nice to have regardless of any vintage discussion
    Doublesixes and Stackpole like this.
  15. mr80htz


    May 15, 2018
    I think it depends on the scale of age...like when was the first made. In this case electric guitars/fender. If it's under 50% of the total age of company then it is vintage. 70s basses are now vintage though they are cheaper made instruments. I have an original Small Stone EH phaser from 75 / 76 and I think that's defffinitly vintage due to the same premis of % of age of company
    Doublesixes likes this.
  16. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    I call this Vintage because it's Leo Fenders best work..81 G&L L1000... 20181105_104752.
    MG Wolf and Doublesixes like this.
  17. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Some will say vintage. To me ( I value things on their ability to make great music)....old.

    It’s worth what someone will pay you for it. I wouldn’t be top bidder. Play it.
  18. CentralCoastBass

    CentralCoastBass Guest

    Feb 4, 2004
    lermgalieu and Doublesixes like this.
  19. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    I played guitar, not bass in the 70's. I had a '72 Tele and '73 Strat that were good guitars but nothing special. 70's guitars and basses hold no mystique for me at all. I'm sure some of them are great players and some are crap, but that it true of Fenders from any age. I sure wouldn't pay the premium they are going for now unless I came across something very special.
    Doublesixes likes this.
  20. 2F/2F


    May 26, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    "Vintage" can be applied to ANY year. The word is supposed to be used along with a specific year, or even a general period, in order to be used properly. It's meaning is, basically, "made in the year," and then you fill in the year before (or after).

    You can use "vintage" alone like so: "Of what vintage is that P-Bass?" But technically you can't say, "This is a vintage P-Bass," and actually have it clearly mean anything.

    So, you have a 1973 vintage Fender P-Bass – just as one who bought a brand new P-Bass would have a 2018 vintage Fender P-Bass.

    People who use "vintage" alone to mean "old" are using the term incorrectly, and there is no definitive rule as to how old something must be in order to qualify for this misuse of the term.

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