re: Dating 1969? Fender P Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by erposner, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. erposner


    Jun 12, 2012
    I am having a terrible time trying to date my Fender P Bass. Any assistance is appreciated. Thanks!

    Here are some details and photos to assist:

    The neck plate has a large "F" and reads "274619" which should be a 1969 - 1970.

    The neck stamp is in green and has some illegible numbers or letters. The left side appears to say "0166" although it could be a "01" then a "0", a "5" or a "6" then another "6". The right side appears to read "0161A".

    The most legible pot reads "4250K AUD" and has the number "R1379718" which should mean it's a CTS pot from the 18th week in 1997.

    The resistor reads "WMF 254T, .047 MFD, 200 VDC".
  2. SamanthaCay


    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    Wow that is a strange one.
    Your bass definitely appears to be vintage but there are a few things there that I must say are quite puzzling.

    For starters it has a separate rout for the pickup and control cavity indicating it is pre '73
    the neck on the other hand has a stamp that coincides with being post '75
    It also has a plug on the headstock which to the best of my knowledge was never offered with a rosewood board until the 80's yet it has the late 60's early 70's logo
    also the pots date to '97

    To me this looks like a bass assembled from mostly vintage and some new parts.
  3. erposner


    Jun 12, 2012
    Thanks Samantha! I posted more photos to shed some more light on the subject.

    Based on what you are saying, the body is pre-1973.

    A rosewood fretboard with a skunk stipe down the back wasn't offered until post-1980 and the neck stamp is post-1975, so the neck is somewhere between 1975 and 1980+.

    Elsewhere it states: "J. Torres is well known and his necks have a good reputation. He worked at least from January 1975 to January 1981 for Fender CBS (in the USA)." If this is so, then the neck should be from between 1975 and 1981 with a late '60s and early '70s headstock logo.

    I guess the "F" plate with the 1969-1970 serial number is not a reliable means of dating the instrument.

    It appears I am closer to what I have but the evidence still is not 100% conclusive. Any more tips are welcome.
  4. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    To me, the neck looks to be from early '76. The skink strip on a rosewood board was common place on this era.
    Also it has the TV logo and the tuner shape and R logo (71-76), all which were used up through mid '76.
    But yeah, an earlier body for sure. The long G intonation screw and it always had a G-side mounted tugbar, to me indicates a 71-73 body.
    To me, the neckplate doesn't match this project, probably was a bass assembled years ago when parts were alot cheaper to find.
    Spinal Tapper and REMBO like this.
  5. erposner


    Jun 12, 2012
    Thanks Mike! Every little detail adds up to helping me date the bass. I hadn't even noticed the long G intonation screw. It's a shame it doesn't have the original p/u, pots and case but so far so good.

    Does anyone know anything about the pick-guard and the thumb rest being below the G-string instead of above the E-string? I'm trying to figure out how to date the pick-guard as well.

    Someone told me there might be a date number written underneath the p/u. I will check that and post as well.

    Thanks for the help!
  6. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    The neck stamp wouldn't fit this pattern:

    But could fit this one:

    Which would put it at a 76 and code for a rosewood P bass neck.
  7. erposner


    Jun 12, 2012
    Thanks Corey!

    So for my neck no. 0106-0161 A, using this system it would be:

    01 = Precision Bass
    06 = What does this number code refer to? It could be 06 or 08
    01 = Week Code : week 01
    6 = Year Code : 1976
    1 = Day of the Week Code : Monday
    A = width of neck at nut : 1 1/2"

    1976 checks out using this system except for the 3rd and 4th digit, which are questionable.

  8. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    I thought you had said 0101, which would be p bass, rosewood. I suppose it could be 0103 which would be skunk stripe on rosewood which this neck is, but it's a bit hard to tell.
  9. erposner


    Jun 12, 2012
    Thanks again Corey! 0103 makes total sense . . . I think you nailed it.

    Any ideas on how to date the "tortoise shell" pick-guard with a thumb rest below the G-string?
  10. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    The tug bar mounting (below strings) would be period correct and fit with the extended G saddle screw which points towards a 69/70 body. If the pickguard is period correct, the color should be tort/w/b/w I believe (which this is) and I believe the amount of foil on the back is correct for late 60s/early 70s. When the serial number moved the the headstock they started putting serial number stickers under the pickguard as well, but I'm not sure about before that. I'm not as good with these as some of these other guys so I'm sure someone will be along to correct me if I'm wrong but the guard seems like it likely could be original to the body.
  11. KlunkerBill


    May 19, 2013
    Does anyone know the year they started putting that 5th hole in the neck pocket of the body? I noticed it on my '71, but I have another body that I thought was much earlier and it also has the hole between the bolt holes.
  12. REMBO

    REMBO Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2011
    The neck looks like a 76!! the body is like a 68-72ish body ..... if you posted a picture with the bridge off... it would be easier to tell
  13. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    The OP hasn't been since about three days after this thread was created, almost four years ago. I wouldn't hold your breath for those pictures.
    REMBO and FranF like this.