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Year Bass was made from pots used?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rip Van Dan, Sep 12, 2017.


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  1. Rip Van Dan

    Rip Van Dan Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Duvall, WA
    A while back on of the TB'ers mentioned to me that I could check out the pots on my bass instead of pulling the neck to see when it was made. Reason for the question on "when" is because the serial number says late '77 to early '78 but it has a lot of features that weren't available then. Here's a shot of the bass:

    413508251.

    It is Olympic white with white binding on the neck, white pickup covers, and white stratocaster-type knobs. Reputedly Fender did some of that in '81 and '82. I bought it in '85 and it was in mint condition.

    Since the truss-rod adjustment is in the heel of the neck and there is no routed ramp to get to it, I have to remove the neck to make any truss rod adjustments. I did that back in 1997 and haven't touched it yet. I didn't even think about checking the date on the heel of the neck at the time. I can pull it when I change strings in a year or so but in the meantime, below are some pictures of the control pots. I understand some of the numbers on them can tell you when it was made.

    Bad news is there was only one pot I got a decent picture of the part number on, the tone pot. Here's what I've got:

    As they sit on the control plate:

    413547600.

    Tone Pot:

    413547605.


    The volume pot closest to the neck pickup:

    413547604. .

    this is the volume pot in between the other two controls...not a lot to see here:

    413547601.

    Can anyone decipher these from what you can see, or will I need to wait until I pull the neck when I next replace strings to answer the question of when this bass was really made.

    Thanks!
     
  2. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef Formerly "thebrian" Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    California
    I was the one who said it's an early '80s bass because of the features it has, and that you could take a look at the pots to get a better idea of the year. The one pot that you can read the code on dates to 1982 (R137824x). We can't see the last digit of the code, but that's ok, it's just part of the code that indicates the week (137YYWW). So we now know that tone pot was made between week 40-49 of 1982. We can reasonably say the bass likely left the factory in very late '82 or '83 because the pot wasn't manufacured until towards the end of '82. The appoinments on the bass support that as well.
     
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  3. hombass

    hombass

    Jul 5, 2012
    No. As i understand it parts were sometimes in a drawer and some parts were from then and some were from the now. One thing i can say, is if you want real replacement pots that wont shag out on you at the gig, always buy fender pots, theyre still made by Centralabs with the same quality as the olden times with carbon tracks on a resin backs. Nit the mylar cheap crap that dies on you. Never use any pot cleaner that has mineral oil in it as that kills pots fast by building up dirt. Ive even taken these pots apart and manually cleaned them with no problems. There are also linear military grade pots guarenteed for 500,000 activations. (Cue the experst to swear im wrong) loool
     
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  4. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef Formerly "thebrian" Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    California
    You don't even need to pull the neck on this particular bass if you don't want to because there was only a very short window that Fender did bound and dotted necks with "S" serial #s and 4-bolt plates - the early 1980s (besides, a lot of necks in this era weren't even stamped with the date anyways). This bass can't be late '70s because it's not a 3-bolt, it doesn't have a thumbrest, it doesn't have holes for chrome covers, it doesn't have black plastic pickup covers or knobs, and the neck is 4-bolt with the binding and dots. All early 1980s features. I'm sure your neck shoulders are a bit "sharper" and feel more triangular compared to a "normal" jazz bass neck profile too - another trait of these early '80s necks. And then there's the late '82 pot that just further confirms it's early '80s (late '82 or '83 to be exact).
     
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  5. Mark76

    Mark76

    Dec 1, 2015
    Leicester
    What's that dark/discoloured area just above the nut between the A and D strings?
     
  6. Rip Van Dan

    Rip Van Dan Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Duvall, WA
    Not trying to replace pots or I would have unsoldered them so we could really see the numbers. I'm just trying to figure out when my bass was made without removing the neck to check the heel.
     
  7. Rip Van Dan

    Rip Van Dan Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Duvall, WA
    Yes on most, no on others.

    •Absolutely it is the 4-bolt neck and not the 3-bolt.

    • It did come with the chrome covers but the were never mounted. I was working at a music store when someone brought the bass in as a trade-in on an Aria Pro II. The fellow who checked it in pulled the pickup covers out of the bass case at the store and put them in the Accessories case at the front register to sell separately. So it did come with them, but I don't have them.. If you look carefully where they go, you can see that the were pre-drilled for them and the finish dimples down slightly where they were to be screwed in.

    • nope doesn't have a thumbrest or holes for one.

    • This neck absolutely feels exactly like my '65 did - exactly! Shoulders of the neck don't feel sharper to me, but like I said it's exactly the same feel as my '65 and that's the only other Jazz I've played, so it's the only other reference I have. There's nothing on them I would really see as a sharp angle.

    • I was wondering how much of that part number was the number and what was the year. I figured it was either 78 or 82 as the digits R137824 were visible in a row. So I can safely assume this is an very late '82 or early '83 - probably '83 then.

    I still will go ahead and pull then neck when I change the strings next time just to see what that says.

    Bass Clef, thanks a LOT for your help on this.
     
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  8. Rip Van Dan

    Rip Van Dan Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Duvall, WA
    If it was MIM, that would be where the truss rod adjustment is. But the truss rod adjustment is in the heel of the neck, not up by the nut. That appears to be just a wooden plug - might be rosewood. It's seamless so I presume it was there before they started shaping the head.
     
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  9. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef Formerly "thebrian" Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    California
    Yes, that's exactly what it is... a (walnut) plug. 1-piece vintage and reissue maple necks have this and the walnut "skunk stripe" on the back, which are used to cover up the truss rod after it's installed from the back. Rosewood necks don't have the plug or the stripe because on those, the truss rod is installed from the top before the rosewood fretboard is glued on, so no need for the stripe/plug. Although, only in the late '70s, there were some rosewood necks that had the stripe and plug becasue Fender thought it looked cooler.
     
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