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Question about 70s P-basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by red40, Mar 26, 2003.


  1. red40

    red40

    Mar 25, 2003
    Wilmington, DE
    I'd tried a P-bass a few years ago that I thought played incredible, but it was $1100 and I was in college. I always said if I got a P-bass I'd get one like that but I thought I'd post here to try to get a bit more info. It was a 70s P-bass, not sure what year, it had a thumb rest and a metal cover over the pickup. The store employee told me it had a J-bass neck, and the J-neck was one of the reasons I liked it so much. So I was wondering if all 70s P-basses had these thinner necks, or how can I tell which ones do? Do they sound good compared to a modern P and how mcuh would one in good shape be worth? Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  2. Unless you absolutely MUST have a bass from the 70s, why not just go to your local store and check out a regular MIA P-bass? The neck isn't that wide, though it's wider than a Jazz neck. I bought a P-bass brand new back in 1976, and it was one of the worst basses I have ever owned. This put me off on Fender for a few years. Since then I've played a number of them, and they all seemed to be good to excellent in playability and sound.

    I simply got a lemon. :(

    A MIM Deluxe P-bass Special has a Jazz neck and a Jazz pickup added by the bridge for variety. If you're curious about the neck differences, check one of these out. http://www.fender.com/gear/gear.php?partno=0135700


    Most Fenders play great. The only way to tell what you really like is to play at least 5 or 6 of them, more if possible.

    Good luck.

    Mike
     
  3. A 70's P-bass with a Jazz neck - sounds like a rare model that Fender produced for only a few months. Nate Mendel (Sunny Day Real Estate, Foo Fighters) plays a red P-bass just like you described.
     
  4. red40

    red40

    Mar 25, 2003
    Wilmington, DE
    Ohhh, if Nate playes one then I will seriously have to look into it. Besides liking the one I played, Nate's got some major bass playing mojo that I can only dream of having.
     
  5. Taking this thread on a scenic detour, you aware of Nate's side project?

    Fire Theft

    If you're a fan of SDRE, you'll want to check out the new band sans Dan.

    Also, Nate mentions his P-bass on Fender's Bass Street. I can't find the link but there is an artist blurb where he talks about his bass.
     
  6. red40

    red40

    Mar 25, 2003
    Wilmington, DE
    I just saw them last friday, they rocked :) Only problem was the sound at the TLA was so muddy you couldn't make out much of what Nate was doing (or Jeremy either), which was a shame. Half the reason I went was to see Nate play. The other half of course was to hear Jeremy scream for an hour. He's been becoming a bigger influence for me of late, its a shame he doesn't play those cool basslines as much in the Foo's
     
  7. Ziggy

    Ziggy

    May 9, 2001
    Orange County, CA
    Red40,

    I found, bought and still own my 71' Fender 'P'... it does have the nicer thinner neck w/ a rosewood fingerboard. Since then, I've bought two other basses;

    Fender 'J' Fretless w/maple fretboard (it weighed a ton and wore me out) Sold it for $1,000

    Alembic fretted 4 - string, w/active p/j pickups. A beautiful bass that sounds very nice and is currently for sale - $1,100 obo w/hardshell case.

    You can get some good information on 'Vintage Fenders' at; http://www.provide.net/~cfh/

    michael s.
    BTW: Price paid for 71' Fender 'P' - $75 plus tax!
     
  8. jcadmus

    jcadmus

    Apr 2, 2000
    Yeah, most of the P-basses I've played from that era have necks like baseball bats.
     
  9. For a while, during the 70's at least, you could order a new Fender Precision bass with an "A" neck which had a 1.5" nut width. This neck would have the same profile/shape as a jazz neck but decaled as a Precision Bass and it wouldn't have blocks. I assume that the bass you played was ordered with this option. They aren't as rare as hens teeth but they are out there if you look. In fact, I believe that Jeff Rader just picked one up from the Swami at the Dallas show.
     
  10. oddentity

    oddentity

    Nov 20, 2000
    Philly
    I was there too, great show. Too bad the sound at the TLA sucks!
     
  11. red40

    red40

    Mar 25, 2003
    Wilmington, DE
    I've noticed lately the sound everywhere in Philly has been bad. I mean the Electric Factory always sucked, but the past few Troc shows I went to sounded bad too and in the past bands have sounded incredible there (Helmet, Foo Fighters). Even the TLA has gone down hill. And I won't even get into how bad sound seems to be getting for local bands (like mine!)
     
  12. You know, I posted the exact same thing on the Fire Theft Forums a few weeks back. You Fire Theft fans on that? It's a pretty active forum...I check it out quite often.

    Curse them for not coming to Vancouver (yet)!
     
  13. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    Ive got a 78 MIA P thats 1.5" at the nut.[​IMG]
     
  14. red40

    red40

    Mar 25, 2003
    Wilmington, DE
    Yeah, I'd say the post-chorus on "The Blankets were the Stairs" (I think its also the outro) is the high water mark for bass playing in my eyes. It managed to beat out that crazy part from the Violent Femme's "Never Tell".
     
  15. oddentity

    oddentity

    Nov 20, 2000
    Philly
    I've always hated the sound at the TLA and Electric Factory. I find the Troc hit-or-miss depending on the band. IME, any show that R5 Productions puts on sounds great, no matter what venue.

    Of places my band has played, the Balcony, the Fire, and the Pontiac have had decent sound.

    The same night as the Fire Theft, my gf and I were at the Kimmel Center for the Kirov Orchestra's performance of Stravinsky's Firebird Suite. Now THAT concert sounded amazing.

    Yep, I check it every other day or so. I'm also oddentity over there.
     
  16. Damn...I posted about that too. Okay, is Nate using double-stops or a chorus pedal to do that? I fake it with double-stops but I want to know how he does it.

    Oddentity, I guess I should spend more time looking at names and not the avatars. I go by rabid_granny over there too.

    PS. I envy everyone who managed to see the Fire Theft live. :spit: :bawl:
     
  17. red40

    red40

    Mar 25, 2003
    Wilmington, DE
    Ok, I am going to sound totally ignorant here, but what do you mean by double-stops? I thought he ended up getting that cool sound just by sliding down a few frets on a bunch of the notes. I know a friend helped me tab it out once, I could dig it up and post it in a new thread. Maybe I should just go sign up at the Fire Theft forum, I'll probably end up being red40 there too.
     
  18. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Interesting history about the P-Basses.
     
  19. Ziggy

    Ziggy

    May 9, 2001
    Orange County, CA
    Red40,

    Don't know that anything is really "ignorant" in the forums...

    Double stops;

    -two (2) notes played simultaneously:
    typically, a I - III, I - VI, or I - VII are fairly common. (I - V if you're playing old Black Sabbath tunes)

    -Jaco is infamous for the foremost; I - III

    Hope that helps you out... michael s.
     
  20. Well, I did say I was going to take it on a "scenic detour"...

    And I only learned the definition of double-stop a little while ago. I learned that from a guitar teacher. :eek: