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P restored

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PortugalWillie, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. PortugalWillie


    Jul 17, 2009
    I decided to restore my late 75/early 76 Precision bass. I had bought it in a pawn shop awhile ago for $700 Canadian (at the time that was about $450 US dollars), and it was a bit of a basket case, the bridge was wrecked, the OG pickup and electronics long gone and replaced with a weird cream coloured pickup that sounded like a fart, and a shattered non-original "tortoise shell" pickguard that was so crappy looking, it made Squier tort look like the finest vintage guards that money can buy. Light as a feather and comfortable to play, I bought it and got rid of my ultra cheap and crappy Harmony P bass copy.

    I had fixed it up with a fancy Schaller roller bridge, an active EMG pickup, and a really nice nitro tort guard. It stayed that way for a decade and served me well, but I got sick of changing batteries and decided I wanted to revert to a passive pickup. So I decided to try and return the bass to what it was like when it was all original.

    I nearly shat myself when I saw what vintage parts were selling for on ebay ($50 for a potentiometer!?) so I decided to use reissue parts from Fender. The pickguard is a WD one, since Fender doesn't sell any with the 70's screw hole pattern. The electronics are not Fender branded, but they're CTS/Switchcraft, so same thing. I couldn't find a vintage looking cap, so I just used a modern Sprague Orange Drop. The bridge is the same one Fender uses on the AVRI '75 Jazz Bass RI, looks identical to the original. I had planned to put in the "'62 Vintage" p bass pickup from Fender, but since nobody on earth seems to have it in stock, I instead put in a new Fender pickup as used on the American Deluxe Precision bass. This ended up being for the best, since it has plastic coated wires and non-staggered pole pieces, therefore looking a lot more like the OG '70s pickup than the '62 pickup would have. I even nerded out and put in a brass shielding plate underneath the pickup. I didn't buy the ashtray covers, since they just get in the way while playing.

    I was originally restoring it to sell it but now I'm not sure... plus I have no idea what it's worth. Yesterday I checked Ebay's completed listings, but p-basses in similar condition from the mid seventies have sold at prices ranging from $600 to $2100. Anyone have any ideas what the market rate would be for this one? I love this bass but I'm so happy with my Mustang bass that this one doesn't get as much play time anymore, so I don't think I can justify keeping it.

    I forgot to take a "before" pic, so here is an "after" pic:

  2. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Man, that's pretty sweet. Love the amber in the headstock.

    I'd hang on to her - even if u could fetch maybe $1100-$1800 for it, I'd still keep it...hard to find 76's that are "light as a feather"
  3. dannnnn


    Nov 14, 2007
    Beaufort, SC
    I don't know what it's worth, but I do think you should keep it........or give it to me. ;)
    Seriously; you might regret selling it.
  4. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Also, not sure if you're into relics, but u should age that pickguard and hardware to match the body - it'd look a lot more complete IMO
  5. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    very cool looking bass! (now)
    IMO, you done GOOD!
    if you want a vintage capacitor for it, let me know. i bought a bunch of fender's 70's surplus stock of cornell-dubilier .047 ceramic caps years ago. if you you PM me with your address, i'll drop one in the mail for you.
  6. bh2


    Jun 16, 2008
    Oxford, UK
    Yes... hang on to it... superb!
  7. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Nice job ! I think you should keep it for sure.

    If you decide to age the hardware, let me know...I can give you a few tips that will help a lot.

    John - nice offer on the CD caps. Too cool.
  8. Randall


    Aug 6, 2009
    That looks real nice. As a guy with too many basses I would hang on to it unless you really need the cash. Think of it as a "retirement plan" that you can enjoy for many years :bassist:
  9. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    This is why I love TB. So many genuine people around here...makes me feel all warm inside :smug:

    I'd age that pickguard a bit - its too shiny :D
  10. 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
    Cool restore of a bass dripping with Mojo! Congratulations.

    Got any "before" pics?
  11. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    Don't get rid of it. You'll be sorry you did it, later.
  12. PortugalWillie


    Jul 17, 2009
    okay. Right now I am leaning towards keeping.

    But just because I'm curious . . . how much do you think it would sell for if I did sell it?
  13. wyldryce


    Feb 15, 2010
    Not enough to justify selling it ;)
  14. Jazzcat


    Jan 20, 2009
    Titusville, FL
    With that nicely aged head and body, it will easily break $1000 IMO.

    Nice resto. Nice bass.
  15. JaySwear


    Apr 15, 2010
    Gaithersburg, MD
    i agree. even with non-original parts that is one seriously nice looking vintage bass. it would fetch a decent amount. definitely more than the $450 USD you payed. looks great!
  16. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Keep it. After a while of playing it, it'll be your go-to bass.
    P-Basses just have that inherent ability to sit in the right spot in the mix.

    Trust us.:hyper:
  17. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    A light 76? That would make it a keeper just for that. Most of the mid 70s on basses I've played were pretty heavy. Northern ash being the culprit. Every bassist needs at least one P bass. ICTKH Its cheaper to keep her.
  18. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses

    looks like an alder bodied one, which is kinda rare in '76.
    i'd keep it if i were you too.

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