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Opinions on Restoring a 1960 Slab Board Precision

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kmrumedy, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. Aged Sunburst

    82 vote(s)
  2. Aged Olympic White

    78 vote(s)
  3. Natural wood

    71 vote(s)
  1. Kmrumedy


    May 12, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    I was in search of a pre-CBS Pbass for a while and earlier this month a TB member reached out with an awesome offer and we made a deal on a 1960 PBass.

    It looks to be originally a sunburst but the poor thing had been covered in house paint. Other than the finish it is all original except for a ground wire and 1 missing screw on the bridge.

    The paint has now been removed without any sanding and it is ready for the restoration process. Here is the current picture of the bass as it sits now.


    It has really nice wood and Brazilian board.

    Still debating on the resto but leaning towards going with MJT who I have worked on with other projects. To replicate a soft worn nitro sunburst like these examples below.

    MOST IMPORTANT - to understand my choices I just want to be clear on the goal of this restoration.

    The goal of the resto is to return it to a condition the original sunburst finish would have looked like if the original owner had not covered it in house paint! Grrrr. The nitro finish will be thin so as I play it everyday it will wear very quickly and look more and more natural.

    Just going to have the resto give me a head start.

    It will look something like this... ( if I go this direction)



    Just a nice light natural worn look - not huge missing paint chips/ scratched up look that so many purposed relics have. I worked with MJT on project like this before and they are amazing at what they do.

    If not this route then oil it up seal the neck and have the lacquer aged to look something like this... Still deciding but I think it will be sunburst.


    ( this is 66 but you get the idea)

    However, my favorite vintage PBasses are aged yellowed olympic white but if I do a refin I think it should go back to original aged finish. I think these are very cool too.


    Thoughts anyone? What would you do if this was your project?

    I am curious to know as I seem to flip flop every week on the direction. Seems like more people are easier on refins these days than they were at the height of the vintage craze in 2006-2008.

    The bass will be going to MJT the week of Jan 6th.

    This is a players bass to be enjoyed and played. No relic fights please. I consider this an accurate restoration of what should have been and just righting a wrong that was done to this bass in the 70's.

    Poll and comments welcome.
    bluesdogblues likes this.
  2. Bassdude15


    Feb 26, 2013
    I voted olympic white because thats what I generally prefer but after actually seeing the bass I think sunburst would look better on it.
  3. MIMike


    Jan 1, 2013
    West MI
    When you use the term "restore", I can't help but think " return it to as close to original as possible". I would make it sunburst and play the heck out of it to let it age naturally and beautifully.
  4. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX
    I voted sunburst, but then I always vote sunburst. :D

    By the way....congratulations on snagging a VERY COOL bass!!!
  5. Kmrumedy


    May 12, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    Thank you for the kind words.

    This poll is quite interesting. I know it is early but not the direction I thought it would go. Neat!
  6. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
  7. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    There are an absolute bazillion sunburst Precisions out there, pre and post CBS. Why refinish it to the most run-of-the-mill paint scheme out there. If it were me, I'd have it refinished to my favorite factory color, and match the headstock.
  8. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member


    NOS in nitro is going to take a few years but not many to show natural wear.
  9. Kmrumedy


    May 12, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    Agreed and I thought about it. But the pictures I saw of pre-CBS instruments with brand new finish looked wierd to me. Looks like an old neck bolted to a new body. I didn't like it as much.
  10. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    I love sunburst so me personally I would go with that. I kind of hate the natural look that was popular in the 70's, way too bubba for my tastes, never liked it then and always thought the folks that stripped the basses for that finish were nuts. But I'm not a big furniture bass fan in general. The answer for you of course might be different. And chances are no matter what you choose you'll be back looking at the TB classifieds in a couple months anyway, lol.
  11. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings
    Why not go natural and then stain it walnut and then clear coat it. Just another option. That is a rare color option btw.
  12. Bassdude15


    Feb 26, 2013
    +1 Alder is without a doubt the most drab wood Ive ever seen :yawwwn:
  13. My view is that if Olympic White is your favorite, go with that. I'm lucky that I have a '65 Jazz Bass in Oly White, and since I bought it in 1978 its turned a very mellow yellow. I think a well applied Nitro finish, followed by some moderate artificial aging, would give you the look of a reasonable-well cared for 50+ year old instrument. But is budget is an issue, the oiled-up basses are eye-catching too.
  14. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    That makes sense. Maybe a light aging of the finish (without damaging the wood like we've seen on some "heavy relic" jobs) would look good?
  15. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    True there is a bazillion sunburst ones (but it always looks so sinister in burst with proper tort guard), but the next color in line at half-bazillion is white. You asked for a vote and white is my least favorite color on a Fender.
    I would go for a more rare custom color that is period correct.
  16. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    Another vote for sunburst. When I picture a Fender bass, I see sunburst with a tort PG.
  17. Kmrumedy


    May 12, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    That is the goal. A lot of great comments on here and food for thought. Poll is pretty much split even three ways right now which is quite interesting.
  18. Kmrumedy


    May 12, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    I was considering that too as the original owner thought that the original color was a burgundy mist.

    Does anyone know what custom colors were available for 1960?
  19. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    If you remove the pickguard it will shrink.

    Be careful. It's in nice shape.
  20. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Voted sunburst, maybe not the most exiting but also never wrong for an older instrument.

    All my basses and guitars are either sunburst or clear, so I'm a bit biased. :)