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Real 1951 Precision Bass on eBay 4/01/06

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Arizona Jones, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. I hope someday I get lucky and find one of these at a garage sale somewhere!

    I've turned up a late '50s Danelectro "Copper Top" and a '60s/'70s hollow body Mosrite "Celebrity" bass - I think I only paid $50 for the Danelectro and the Mosrite wasn't much more. But still no '50s Precision! No Fenders for that matter!

    The guy selling this doesn't appear to really know anything about the music gear he's selling. It looks like he bought the contents of an old warehouse somewhere. Why not me!

    What do you make of his "one of a thousand made" statement.

    Did they really build over 700 basses in late '51?

    How do you know if it's a '51 or '52?

    Does anyone know the production numbers on these early Fenders? How many '51s did they really produce?

    Arizona Jones

  2. Headroom


    Apr 5, 2002
    Funny, but when I look at the photos all I can make out is five new Sadowskys and a trip to Belize. Must be an optical illusion.
  3. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Cool. I had a '56 in sunburst until last summer. Mine brought about 9K.

  4. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    No they didn't make 700...they only did 83 in 1951.
  5. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    Fender SNs were notoriously erratic, but I'd be overcome with the vapors if that proved to have been sold in 1951. I understand that some were built that year (where did your numbers come from, Caca de Kick?) but none were marketed until 1952.

    Norm Harris, out in Hollywood, had, or maybe still has, SN 163.

    The interesting thing, to me, is that it looks pristine. Does that mean it's a dog? Collectors don't care about playability, I guess.
  6. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey

    ya know, if i shell out 20k for a bass. should i expect to pay shipping?

    hell no. i'm not really paying shipping on my new fender, and that was a 1/20 of the cost.
  7. Stox


    Mar 18, 2005
    London UK
  8. lbpark

    lbpark Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Blurry pictures and a crappy description won't land him 20k any time soon.
  9. I read the Fender Forum posts. That bass does have some really weird issues - the lack of screw holes for the pickup cover, the weird pickguard, the "new looking" bridge with steel saddles, etc.

    Look at this poor old '54 Precision!

    I love the discription on this one!

    "The original owner has had this guitar since 1970 and taken very good care of it."

    How is he the "original owner" if it's a '54 and he didn't get it until '70! ***!

    Taken very good care of it? It's wasted!

    Well, I guess I've done some stupid things in my life too!

  10. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    Having read the other thread, I guess some who know more than I are not impressed either. Interesting discussion of all the anomalies...so it's a real '51..."but it's sorta not really original, except if you don't ask specific questions I won't have to make something up."

    As usual, my virtual $.02 worth. If anyone pays that kind of money for it without an ironclad appraisal, he or she is nuts.
  11. Groundloop


    Jun 21, 2005
    That is, without a doubt, the funniest thing I've seen all day.

    The condition is actually pretty good, considering it must have seen some use as either a canoe paddle or snow shovel.
  12. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
  13. lbpark

    lbpark Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005

    Ha! I didn't noticed that before. That's hilarious. Someone should shoot him a message.
  14. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    I think someone already did. The description has been revised. I think I'll ask him to pick up the shipping costs if I pluck down 20 grand for it.

    This is what I asked him,"I was wondering if I could ask a small favor of you. If I win this auction, could you find it in your heart to pick up the shipping cost as I'm down to my last $20,000?"
  15. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    That is absolutely the shiniest bakelite p/g I've ever seen.
    I've never seen a neck that old in that good of a shape.
    No evidence of the "tug bar."

    I call shenanigans.

    My bet: original tuners and pup in a late model reissue.
  16. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    Now, that's some nice mojo...but not twenty grand of mojo.
  17. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Well, I got my info from the various books and articles that have been published about the 51's.
    "According to Richard Smith (the author of Fender: The Sound Heard 'round the World) the first Precision Basses left the factory October 1951 and offered for sale the next month. Leo Fender's personal notes show that 83 were sold in 1951."

    Hope this helps....
  18. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    Caca de Kick, thank you. After I posted my question I realized it sounded like a challenge, but it wasn't meant that way. I don't have that book, but it sounds good. I have Smith's book on Rics, and it seems to be thoroughly researched, within the limitations of dealing with companies that didn't keep a history of themselves.

    Other writers have speculated that the first Precisions weren't shipped until early '52, and that's what I was relying on. Either way, the numbers are a long way from "1000."
  19. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    Oh, and about that '54 that the original owner "took very good care of"...while using it for a hockey stick? That thing is hammered!

    Still and all, if I were in a position to buy an early '50's P, I like this one better than the '51 we've been discussing. At least it looks like somebody thought enough of it to pull it out of the case once or twice over 50+ years.
  20. Eisenmann


    May 12, 2004

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