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Vintage Precision owners help please..

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jmbstudios, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. jmbstudios

    jmbstudios Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    South AZ
    I got an offer to trade one of my guitars for a 79 P-Bass. Its natural with a maple neck. The owner says its in excellent condition. Only thing non-original is the thumb rest and a bad ass bridge.

    Now I know I will want to play it and inspect it before I do a trade. I have not seen pics as this just popped up today.

    My guitar is valued at $1400 more or less. Now I know that it also depends on do I love the bass. Do I need it. Etc. Well im not using the guitar (mint fender 62 american vintage reissue Telecaster) and a vintage PBass to sit with my 77 MM Stingray will be cool.

    So I would like to ask. If the bass is in the condition he says its in and it plays nice, smooth low action as he says, and all that stuff...........

    Would it be a fair trade?

    I appreciate the help and advice.
  2. IME, a 79 can be a real crapshoot- there were some real dogs in that era, as well as nice ones.
  3. johnboy65


    May 22, 2009
    I agree.

    As far as the trade, it's not a BAD price but it's not that good either.
  4. jmbstudios

    jmbstudios Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    South AZ
    I'll have to make sure it has the vibe!!!

    And really check the neck and bridge. I suppose these would be the biggest problem areas. As well as the weight.
  5. jackcheez


    Sep 13, 2010
    Long Beach, CA
    Make sure you're getting a player, because you're not getting the resale value you're giving.
  6. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    1979 isn't "vintage:" it's more like the period that Fender was starting to unravel under CBS. Personally, I love the look of the natural ash/maple (I have a fretless like that) but it depends on the instrument. I'm a dedicated Precision guy (four of 'em, currently) but some are songbirds and some are turkeys, especially from that era. If it sounded great, I'd get it. If it sounded so-so, there are much better deals out there that you wouldn't take a bath on at resale.
  7. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    1979 is my least favorite year for Fender. Still, play it and decide. The neck, truss rod, and pocket are key areas of concern.
  8. baileyboy


    Aug 12, 2010
    I have a '79 P and the tone is great, however, it weighs 10.5 lbs. If weight is an issue you might want to investigate that first. Some late 70s models were quite heavy. Also, you can get an all-original '79 for that price. The non-original thumbrest and bridge has an impact on overall value.
  9. Fresh Eddie

    Fresh Eddie

    Nov 13, 2008
    How is the seller determining the year? Keep in mind that "S9-" serial numbers were used for quite a few years starting with 1979 and going through the early '80s.

    I would definitely play it first, there are good and bad Fenders from that era. I tend to take off the thumbrests from my basses anyway, and a Badass is easy to take off and replace if you do not like it, so those mods are not too awful IMHO if you are using it as a player.
  10. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    play it first dude! that's the only way to tell...could be a smokin deal though! there's a lot of dudes here who love their 79's. I have a 75, and it's my favorite next to my 62.

    the price is decent...$1000-1200 would be a great deal IMO.
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    This. The S9 serial number could be a 79-83 bass. This instrument may not be as 'vintage' as you think it is.
  12. Mitchthebassplayer


    Jan 7, 2008
    Queens, NY
    Endorsing Artist: Olinto, La Bella, JuleAmps, Epifani
    I actually love my friend's '83 P Elite but I don't think I'd trade my crappy Ibanez for a '79 Fender....but if it plays well and speaks to you, grab it!....just my .02....
  13. jmbstudios

    jmbstudios Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    South AZ
    During this time did they have a code or something written on the end of the neck?

    If an S9 number can go into the 80s how do you date it correctly? Pots? Ouiji board?
  14. jimbilly


    Apr 19, 2006
    Pot codes is an accepted way to tell year built: 137 xxyy (yr wk). Whenever I sell something older I state that 'per the pot codes this was built in 19xx'. Obviously the bass was not built the same week and year as the pots, but probably pretty close.
    I had an S8xxxx P bass that had pot codes dating 1979.
  15. interp

    interp Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    First of all, a 1979 P bass is not 'vintage' in my book. And Fender put out a lot of crap in the 70s.
    I would not do this deal unless the bass thoroughly checks out in terms of fit, playability and sound.

    My $0.02.
  16. StarchMan


    Jul 30, 2003
    First of all, I'd like to say my that a pre-EB Stingray + older Fender P = amazing combo and is exactly what I play live.

    However, I would really check it over. Maybe he has the old bridge tucked away? Also, is the thumbrest installed with new holes or something? Drilling new holes kills some of the future value. Check the neck over thoroughly. I also concur regarding the actual date of the bass...

    The other thing about P's is that I prefer the A-style neck. I have an A on my '71 and that's what really made it a winner for me. If you like the feel of the old 'Ray, I'd look for an A style neck. The pre-EB neck is thin and slick - my fav neck on a bass thus far.
  17. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    S9+ 5 numbers covers the years 78-81. I have a S9 P bass and the only way to know what year it was from was the pots/pups which date 78'. To judge any bass on the year its built is foolish..Yeah.. even fenders. The only thing I have found Tbers to be correct about the later 70's Fenders are the weight. Most are around 10lbs some heavier and the necks are chunky.

    I have played quite a few and they were not all crap at all. Its just more TB'ers sticking to some of the same old tired ideas insted of letting people find out things for themselves and letting them decide. :rolleyes:
  18. jmbstudios

    jmbstudios Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    South AZ
    Well I saw a couple of pics and the neck pocket looks tight. Overall condition looks excellent.
    Only mod is the bad ass bridge and new thumb rest and I don't think the pickguard is original. Its tortoise shell. I think these were all black back then right??

    Next I will have to get it in my hands and have a go at it.....
  19. Aspidites


    Oct 20, 2009
    Berkeley CA
    What leads you to believe that the thumbrest is not original?
  20. +1 - I had a '78 that I loved, it also had a natural finish with a rosewood board, it sounded and played beautifully, the only problem it had was sharp fret ends, but that was simply due to it being about 15 yrs.old when I bought it, not an inherent fault due to bad construction. Oh, but it was indeed heavy, it weighed about 10.5 lbs. That didn't bother me, I usually play sitting down anyway . :D
    I figure, if there's one good 70's Fender bass, there must be more out there somewhere. As someone else said, if you try it and you like it, I would go for it.

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