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precision ´78?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SweDB, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. SweDB


    Aug 4, 2008
    Hi everybody.
    I just wondered about this fender precision ´78 (or is it?) and the wood work on it, to me it seems the body could have been remade, if you look at the body it seems there are 3 different boards.
    Maybe it is suppose to be that way, I am not a fender expert so it would be nice with some comments from you guys that have all the knowledge in the world =)

    I have also heard that the (S8) series where made even in the eighties. If that is true, how would I know what year it really was produced?

    Thanks in advance/ERIK

    PS. I know that the pictures are not the most brilliant, but it was the best i could get. (the bass is not mine... YET) DS.

    Attached Files:

  2. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    It looks like it was once a different color, and stripped. Thats why it has nonmatching woods.
  3. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    If that is the original body, it has been stripped and refinished natural.
  4. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    AFAIK, NO 80's fenders were made with "S8" serial numbers.

    that bass looks correct to me, other than it may have been refinished as previously said by J. Crawford.
  5. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Wow! Rather odd. Actually no. This bass was stripped of it's original finish I'm guessing. It was NOT unusual to see this much difference in a body that Fender knew would be painted a solid color. I've even seen Naturals that different, but, if this was natural, what happened was, the two different grains reacted differently to the light stain (maybe) or clear coat applied to it. That said, I can't tell much else because of the small pic size of the full front. True about the S8 running straight out to late '82. We'd need pickup and pot date codes to narrow it down. That finish, to me, would keep this bass in the $1000 MAX range. A solid color refin would help greatly.
  6. SweDB


    Aug 4, 2008
    Ok, thanks for the fast replies.
    Is there anyone of you guys that know how much a refinished (s8) could be worth?
  7. Not true. The S8 serial number was found on basses up until 1983 I believe....82 at the latest. There were even some transitional models with white pickup covers and S8 numbers.

    The easiest way to tell is to check the heel of the neck.

    Fender often used poorly matched three piece bodies. Like everyone said this was most likely stripped.
  8. tdizzle


    Aug 3, 2009
    Detroit, MI

    The date stamp on the neck heel is a good way, if it is still present. If it is not, the best way to check for the year is to look at the date code on the pots (assuming that they are original). The last four digits in the code should give you an approximate date; 7418 would translate to the 18th week of 1974. Pots could have been sitting around for a year or so in the factory, but that will give you a good ballpark estimation.

    So if you have an S8 serial number and pots that read 8216, then it is an 82, or so.

    There might be another code on the neck heel that is not exactly the date, but can be dated by that code. I will post the website that tells you how to read that.

  9. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    that may be true as i've never liked or owned anything that they've made after '73 with the exception some of the Am Vint. RI's. although i do recall seeing headstock serial numbers that begin with E2xxxxx.

    pot date codes (as long as they're original) are another way to get an approximate build date without having to remove the neck. and some of the neck's date codes in that era are difficult to read too (rubbed off, blurry or very faint).
  10. 78 - 79 = bad years for Fender = not highly sought after = don't worry about it, just play it :D
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    This. Beware of Instruments with late S-numbers...they could be 80's instruments that you're paying more for as 70's instruments. You really need to look at the sum of the parts to tell what year its from.
  12. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    I owned a '78 pbass that I liked very much. Long ago, when there wasn't so much drama about 'old' Fenders. Mine was a stripped ugly bass also, but sounded great. Paid $150 for it.
  13. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Ask about the pot dates and neck code if they're willing to take the neck off. My 78 P is a natural finish and it has a blackguard, which was the standard for that color option. That bass has definitely been refinished, but if the guard is original it will have the matching serial number on a sticker on the back. If it was original, it should have screw holes for a thumb rest as well.
  14. reubeni


    Sep 28, 2009
    Did they all come with screw holes? mine I had from new and there are no holes in pg for tr/pu cover and no no holes for bridge cover the guard is black 3ply and the match in the grain is to die for,but as of yet not pulled the neck and I don't think I will plays like a dream.
  15. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Ummm... would respectfully disagree with that as a blanket statement. My 78 P (black/black/maple) has been my one-and-only since 1981 and everyone I've let play it, loves it. I've seen used 78s go as high as $1,800... so... maybe not all of them are bad and they do seem to fetch some value on the used market.
  16. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    If it's a stock 78 it should come with covers and a thumb rest, so yes it would be pre-drilled for them. In the 80-83 transition, covers and rests were phased out and there may be, as mentioned above, some lingering S8 numbers. My two 78's both date to early 78 (by neck stamp and pickup codes), and both have covers and thumb rests.

    +1 to this. There is NO year that can be said to be top notch while others are complete crap. There were good and bad basses every year, just as there are now, the overall volume of "rejects" may have been higher some years, but there were still gems as well. I have a 78 jazz and a 78 fretless P and they're both beautifully playing/sounding basses.

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