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? Vintage fender 54 p where to find?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jonb9, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. jonb9


    Sep 13, 2004
    I played a 54 or a 57 p bass--similar to stings I guess. Call me crazy but it just felt right I really liked how it was wearing as well-what I didnt like was the $8000, price tag!!! Now I just got to have one but it seem like they are all over 8000. Does anyone know of someone that would like to trade for a fodera monarch 4string, or where I might be able to find one that is just beat on that might not be so much $? I'm sure it's a long shot but aybe someone knows.... Thank you for your time

    i've looked at
    bass palace
    where else might i find a one? Thanks again
  2. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
  3. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
  4. Well Jon, it pretty much comes down to supply and demand. Fact is, Fender only made so many of them in this time period. Most of those have either been snapped up by collectors or they've been modified to one extent or another. Also, the parts are so valuable that many basses have simply been parted out. I happen to have a '57. '57 is the transition year in which p basses went from the old telecaster look to the p bass style that endures to this day (mine is from later in '57 and has that style).

    If you're looking for an all-original bass between 54 - 57, then you're going to find the prices right at what you've found now....and it isn't pretty! If you go to vintage stores like Chicago Music Exchange, Southworth Guitars, Gruhn's or Manny's you're going to pay those big bucks...again, it's supply and demand. The method I chose and heartily recommend is to buy a modified instrument. Buy a refin and/or a bass with some replaced parts....the cost drops significantly....it's not worth as much if you sell, but then again you didn't pay as much either! Case in point, my '57 cost less that 3 grand but it's a refin with a number of non-original parts....but it's still got that vibe from a well-worn neck and that old wood. I saved over 5 grand and still have an old p from that era...plus, I'm a player, not a collector. If you're buying one to play than skip the all-original bass and get a refin...unless money is no object. Much as I hate to say it, Ebay is your best bet for finding one of these, but you have to ask a heck of a lot of questions. I've learned over time after buying a number of these basses and owning about a half dozen of them what to ask. I'm no authority but you can feel free to enlist me anytime if you're checking something out. If you're just checking prices you'll probably want to pick up a copy of Vintage Guitar Magazine....that's the best source that I know for dealers, though again you probably won't want to pay their prices. Also, I think you'll take a beating on a trade in...just sell the Fodera and operate from a cash basis...you'll be better off on negotiation if this is really what you're going for.
  5. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    Guitar Center in Boston, has a white 56-P.
    All original except for paint.
    Nice playing bass.
    $3999.00 asking price.
    Talk them down to $3000.00.
  6. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Jazz5757, thanks for the '57 P-Bass history. You cleared up my confusion. The latest Bass Player profiles Sting's basses and his tech. Sting's main bass is a '57. I thought the refined body style (still made today) was considered the '57. Thanks again.

    Jonb9, the collector's market is a wierd thing; I remember when the 70's-era Jazz basses weren't considered 'collectable'. I even remember when they were thought of as 'second-rate'. :confused: Now they're selling at huge prices. Probably because people started buying them as an alternative to the pricey 60's models, then came 'supply and demand', bang :eek: .

    I'm with Jazz5757, a 're-fin' (like the one Mojo-Man's talking about) is certainly the way to get the vintage Fender you're after.

    I look at the old P's and J's on ebay constantly. It never ceases to amaze me how much they're being sold for today.

    Best wishes, I hope you find a good deal on the bass you're after, Art.
  7. ive played a hand full, 2, mid 70's telecaster basses, one was one of leo fenders brain childs, modded with 3 exxtra pickups and one exact as this, except for the covers....but they were both awesome instruments, this one is still for sale $1800aus and the other was $2000...the modded one kinda tempted me just before i bought the kubicki

    i want one of these tele basses

    heres the modded tele, was simular to this, the pickup allignment was the same..im now thinking i probably should of bought the tele bass.....was the same price as my exfactor
  8. Heath... you want a Humbucker Tele?

    So did I, and despite warnings from *everyone*, I eventually bought one.

    It had a feel and a neck to die for, but it was unusable as an instrument. No matter what I did to tweak it, that fat humbucker produced a tone that could only be heard by earthworms. And this is coming from me, a fan of warm, thumpy P's...!

    I sold it.


  9. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    I'm sure the Fender Custom Shop could make you anything you want and build it with period correct parts. I would try that route before even considering 8 grand for a used P bass. Especially if this bass is for playing and not collecting.
  10. id love one..that tone is awesome sometimes....i know the guy from cake uses one, im not fully into them yet unfortunately :( , but i find myself trying to get that thick creamy tone frm my kubicki sometimes, by soloing the neck pup and using the darkest passive mode on it.....i really like that tone, cos im fully getting into RnB/Soul/Hip Hop/Funk music, well ive always been into it, but now im writing the music i can do with one of those basses....i want :crying:
  11. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Keep your eyes open. Be patient. I found this '56 this summer. All original. Awesome

  12. Excellent advice!
  13. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    If you want to pay a lower price you'll need to consider refins, mods, etc.

    Personally I could care less if the finish is original if I'm going to PLAY the bass...so I don't even look at vintage basses with original finishes any more. My 61 P stripped to natural and no case was only $1500, it would have been at least 3-4 times that with the original sunburst, case and covers.

    There are still lucky deals out there, but they are very, very rare. A friend of mine found a 56 P, all original but missing the covers for $200 at an estate sale two years ago. Funny part is he didn't like it so immediately put it up for sale, making a few grand in the process.
  14. jonb9


    Sep 13, 2004
    Thanks everyone, I'll keep looking, if anyone knows of anything for sale let me know, thank you, Jon