NONOOBD! Fretless 70s Ibanez.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by -Shaun-, Aug 30, 2020.

  1. -Shaun-


    Feb 10, 2018
    New Zealand
    Yes, folks. You guessed it. It's New-Old-Neck-On-Old-Bass-Day!

    This is my Ibanez Precision which, to the best of my knowledge, is from around 1976. I've owned it for about 9 or 10 years and got it for an absolute bargain. It was somewhere around $230NZD, or about $150USD. Soon after buying it, I swapped the original fretless neck out for a "Dr. Parts" fretted neck. I already had a fretless Jazz, so I didn't really see the point in having another fretless bass. And besides, I was about to start playing in a band that did Chicago blues and jump blues. Not wanting to be looking down at my fingers all night, I figured a fretted P bass would be what I needed. I kept the fretted neck on all this time, but also carried the fretless neck around as I moved from flat to flat as a student. All that time, I had a desire tugging at me to put the original neck back on. The only problem was that I found the fretted bass so practical. But I finally did it! It's still wearing the same set of GHS Precision flats I put on when I bought the bass, but I'm thinking of trying out some Galli Jazz Flats I can buy nearby.

    I can't put it down! A fretless P is a beautiful thing! And this neck is obviously much higher quality than the Dr. Parts one I had on before. After using it at rehearsal a couple of nights ago, it does sit quite differently in the band than my fretless Jazz does (obviously, a P and a J are different beasts). One song calls for a bass part up around the 10th-14th frets on the A, D, and G strings, and it just doesn't cut through like the Jazz does. But for everything else, it is just right. The action is a little higher than a fretless often would be set, because I don't want it to sound like a fretless all the time. Unless I want it to sound fretless, it sounds fretted (as long as I'm in tune! Haha). Anyway, that's enough jibber-jabber. Pics:
    20200830_165936.jpg 20200830_170000.jpg 20200830_170011.jpg 20200830_170113.jpg 20200830_170348.jpg
  2. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Thats a beauty! I love early Ibanez stuff! When I play a fretless it's a Precision! I love my two 70's P basses! They just sound so good!
    -Shaun-, JRA and crobasster like this.
  3. PWRL


    Sep 15, 2006
    I had no idea they even made those. Very nice!
    -Shaun- likes this.
  4. LowEndLobster

    LowEndLobster Bass reviewer and youtube dude guy. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2003
    Northern MA
    All hail the king of the acronyms! ;P

    That looks awesome!
    -Shaun-, JRA and luciens like this.
  5. CTBassGuy


    Feb 3, 2018
    Danbury, CT
    That’s really beautiful.

    Out of curiosity, is the maple fingerboard finished in any way? Just wondering as if not, it seems like it might get scored/dirty pretty easily, so a finish of some kind would help protect it (and enhance the mwah potential like polyester or epoxy coated boards).
    -Shaun- likes this.
  6. Abner


    Jan 2, 2011
    What is wrong with you? :oops:


    Would have originally had a polyurethane finish on it, but a neck of this age, it may not be there anymore. I would say that it is, though, as maple quickly turns grey when exposed to oxygen and moisture.
    -Shaun-, Shaggai and CTBassGuy like this.
  7. -Shaun-


    Feb 10, 2018
    New Zealand
    Thank you! I agree.

    Yes, it is. If you look at the end of the fingerboard, in the neck pocket, you can see where some of the finish seems to have been chipped away.
  8. That bass looks familiar. I grew up in the South Island of New Zealand. My bass teacher back in the early 90s had the exact same model - fretless Ibanez Precision with the old school logo. I think that he mentioned that he'd bought it from an old student.

    So I guess that there's at least two of them in New Zealand.
    MarkA and -Shaun- like this.
  9. -Shaun-


    Feb 10, 2018
    New Zealand
    Wow. I've never seen another one of these, online or in real life. I bought it from a guy who seemed to have owned it for a long time. This was the North Island, though. Around Paeroa, or Matamata, if I remember correctly. Where in the South Island did you grow up?
  10. hieronymous


    Nov 28, 2002
    Northern CA
    That is a really cool looking bass - glad it's back together with itself! I love that old Ibanez logo too - don't often see it, I seem to remember them reintroducing it several years ago but it was for acoustic guitar stuff? Anyway, nice to see it on a bass.
    -Shaun- likes this.
  11. -Shaun-


    Feb 10, 2018
    New Zealand
    Thanks, godofthunder! I often picture J-style basses when I think fretless, but the P is amazing, too. I guess people like fretless for the melodic capability, and a P isn't as articulate as a J.
    They seem to be pretty rare. I've seen it in the old Ibanez catalogue from '76, but I've never seen another besides the catalogue picture.
    Thanks, LowEndLobster! On both counts. :D
    I'm glad, too! Even though it was awesome as a fretted bass, it seems whole again. I remember seeing this same logo on some recent acoustic guitars, too. Or a very similar logo, at least. Thanks!
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
    PWRL likes this.
  12. -Shaun-


    Feb 10, 2018
    New Zealand
    By the way, I don't suppose anyone knows what pickups Ibanez were using in the mid-late 70s? These look like Dimarzios. They're pretty hot. But I don't know whether Ibanez actually used Dimarzios.
    godofthunder59 likes this.
  13. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX

    Maple Necked Fretlesses Make The World Taste Good. Rock on, brother!.

    You can rub very light tung or similar oil if you are concerned about the wood. It doesn't take much and it could last eons.
    -Shaun- likes this.
  14. And, finally, a great example of side markers at every "fret" for a fretless that is unlined on the front (mostly). Unlined boards should all be like this.
    Bleecker, BAG, Thegrandwazoo and 2 others like this.
  15. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member


    ;) fretless-ness may be the only thing that makes a "P" worthwhile! :laugh:

    nice story/history, OP! your fretless ax looks killer. congratulations on your new, old, wherever-it-came-from instrument! :thumbsup:
    -Shaun- likes this.
  16. -Shaun-


    Feb 10, 2018
    New Zealand

    The polyurethane, or whatever it is, is still in good shape. There's one 'scar' around where the 11th fret would be, under the E string, but that hasn't grown or shown any issues in the 10 years I've had it. And it doesn't interfere with the sound at all. And then there's the little bit that has worn away at the neck pocket end. But, again, it's not an issue.
    I gotta say, it's a very nice system. The lack of lines looks so much cleaner - especially on a maple board.
    Thanks, JRA! Your regular input on fretless threads was part of the impetus for me to swap this old neck back and go 2/3rds fretless!
    JRA, hieronymous and dkelley like this.
  17. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Ibanez had there own "P" pickup I found them rather unremarkable, the Dimarzio isn't stock but it's definitely a upgrade!
    Rabidhamster and -Shaun- like this.
  18. -Shaun-


    Feb 10, 2018
    New Zealand
    Good news! Thanks.
  19. Abner


    Jan 2, 2011
    More than likely Maxon. Pretty much DiMarzio clones.

    Funny, two of my fretless are P/J, one is dual P. (The fourth is an acoustic. The fifth is not currently in playable condition.)
  20. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Nice one!
    I happen to own the same model. Black body, maple neck, cream pickups. Mine dates to '78 and the headstock says Silver Series, but apart from that, they look pretty identical. Pickups are hot and she just sings when I pick her up.
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