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Old Fender Precisions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ModestCargo, Jun 21, 2007.


  1. Alright so a year or two ago I walked into a music store and this old beat up P-Bass caught my eye. It was yellow, and had cracks through the finish like you wouldn't believe, dents, dings, a decal of a naked woman.. you get the idea.

    I picked it up and it was the best feeling bass I have ever played. I still remember it like it was yesterday. That neck.. But it was over a grand (don't remember the price exactly) and I was in no position.

    Anyway I have some money on my hands and I would like to know.. are all 70s Precisions like this? When looking for an old Precision are there certain years to look for? Certain years to avoid? What about 80s? What type of finish is on these basses?

    I'm going to the city tomorrow to look for one so I'd appreciate your input. Thanks.
     
  2. AB53211

    AB53211

    Apr 15, 2004
    Milwaukee,WI
    NO, they aren't all like the one you played. Fender has always made amazing basses and horrible basses. I don't believe there was really a good or bad year for 70's p-basses. The main thing I would look at is the neck. There's almost always a dead spot near the 6th fret on the G string, some worse then others. Also, make sure the truss rod functions. If you find one you plan on buying, take the neck off and check the dates. You also may want to check the dates on the pots and pickups aswell.

    edit: The 80's Japanese Fenders are great. Pretty steady quality with them, real work horses.
     
  3. Thanks. Yeah, I always check every fret on every string anyway :D

    I'll keep that in mind - check the dates, make sure the truss rod functions.

    One more thing - are those Highway One basses any good? Just curious.
     
  4. SuperSnake2012

    SuperSnake2012 floppy b strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    Bronx, NY
    No dead spots on my '79 P. :hyper:
     
  5. bassman10096

    bassman10096 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    MKE
    Then you'd be one of our lucky winners (LOL). I've owned a couple and played lots of P's and J's from various years in the '70's. All had (some worse, some better) some issue with dead spots.
     
  6. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man

    Feb 11, 2003
    :cool:
    In a nutshell, no.

    70's fender were very different.
    Weight.
    neck shape.
    finish thickness.
    pickup output.
    All adding to tone.

    If you find a good one, buy it if you can.
     
  7. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    They only way to tell is to play 'em, and the problem with that is that without control over the set-up (including strings), a familiar rig, and a musical context, it is still kind of a crap shoot.

    The biggest issue I have run into with older P-basses, it that some necks have lost all of their truss rod adjustment. Neck pockets are sometimes sloppy, too.

    So, if it sounds good, and the neck, frets, and pocket seem OK, then it is down to price. That is a place where I have no advice. Prices are what they are, for better or worse.

    However, I'd be sure to play these:
    http://www.fender.com/products/search.php?partno=0190116800
    http://www.fender.com/products/search.php?partno=0193262712
    http://www.fender.com/products/search.php?partno=0111360300
     
  8. cadduc

    cadduc

    Mar 4, 2006
    several years ago i bought a 76 p/sunburst for 200
    the body and finish are in great shape
    it looks cool

    the neck is like a baseball bat
    and the bass weighs a ton
    but it looks cool
    and sounds good
    and looks like it was left in the closet for years
     
  9. Not all received the same care. Just like all things used, some were abused. After 34 years, the worst dents on my 73's finish are the ones that were there after the first year and a half, before I owned it. It also came with a horrible setup, which was corrected and hasn't changed since 1979. You have to play them and love them. Some had better owners and some had folks that tried to make them into every other fad bass along the way. If you find a good one again, jump on it. The ones that are in good shape regularly are above $2K now.
     
  10. 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.

     
    Jan 16, 2021

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