Fender Precision Bass Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1966)

Fender  Precision Bass Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar  (1966)
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Item # 10410
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Fender Precision Bass Model Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1966), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 128578, sunburst lacquer finish, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, alder body, original black tolex hard shell case.

This is a very clean example of an early CBS-era Fender Precision Bass, appearing not too much played since new. The CBS Corporation had owned Fender for just over a year when this bass was built; it shows only minor cosmetic changes from the pre-CBS pattern and still retains the feel of Leo's earlier instruments. Most of these basses have been played for decades so finding one in this sort of condition is a real treat.

This bass shows the typical features for this period; a thin-lam rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlay and the older smaller frets, the silver "transition" Fender logo decal on the headstock and a 3-ply tortoise pattern plastic pickguard in place of the earlier nitrocellulose piece. The thin lacquer sunburst finish is the brighter and tightly defined "target" burst typical of 1965-66. The neck is still finished in the thinner lacquer that feels more comfortable to most players than the thicker finishes Fender began using the next year.

We snuck a look under the pickguard to verify the electronics are untouched and the visible pot date is 6603. The ink stamp on the heel of the neck is 5 Feb 66C, so this bass probably was assembled and sold in the early spring of that year. Besides its looks, this is a superbly light and resonant bass; an effortlessly excellent player. We often find that 1966 era Precisions have a distinctive sound, a bit brighter than earlier versions and with a noticeable midrangey growl. They can make great rock basses; this one is mellowed out a bit by the 1960s Nylon flatwound strings fitted and has a lovely warm sound.
 
Overall length is 45 in. (114.3 cm.), 13 in. (33 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm.) . Scale length is 34 in. (864 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.).

This lovely bass shows signs of use but not too much wear, especially considering it is now 55+ years old. There are a few minor dings, dents, and chips to the finish, and light wear to the edges and back of the neck. The sunburst lacquer on the body shows very strong color with hardly any fade to the red layer. This Precision never sat in the sun in a store window! The lower body edge has a few deeper wear spots, mostly from bouncing around in the case. The pickguard has two small and relatively inconspicuous extra screw holes from someone experimenting with relocating the thumbrest, one on the upper front tang and the other just forward of the chrome pickup cover. Apart from this it remains completely original with all hardware original and intact down to the last screw, and pretty much the strings!

There are no other alterations or repairs, and this fabulous bass is still waiting to be played properly. It appears to have only ever had two sets of strings on it; the black nylon Fender strings it bears now, and the original green-silk Fender flatwounds it came with in 1966 neatly coiled up in the Fender string package still in the case pocket. As a result the frets show virtually no wear. That original black Tolex "no logo" Fender case shows a lot more wear than the bass itself with some old damage to the ends, but is still in solid functional shape. This Precision looks pretty much as it would have sitting in a pawnshop during 1967's Summer of Love, magically transported to spread good vibrations to our times Excellent + Condition.