Fender Precision Bass Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1958)

Fender  Precision Bass Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar  (1958)
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Item # 10835
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Fender Precision Bass Model Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1958), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 31324, sunburst lacquer finish, alder body, maple neck, re-issue tweed hard shell case.

Sometimes simple and classic is the way to go. This 1958 Fender Precision Bass is a great example of what many players and collectors hold to be the finest electric bass ever made, the template for so many to follow. In mid-1957 the Fender Precision bass was re-designed with this combination of features: gold anodized pickguard, deep 3-color sunburst finish, split pickup, fully adjustable 4-saddle bridge and a larger "Strat style" headstock on the one-piece maple neck. These basses have been sought after since the earliest beginnings of electric instrument collecting. They are generally regarded as some of the most desirable of all Fender basses and the apex of Precision Bass design.

This fabulous bass is a played-in but entirely original maple-fingerboard example from late 1958. It was assembled about a year after this updated version went into production and around 9 months before the model was altered to receive the new "slab" rosewood fingerboards. The production run for this version of the Precision was only that two-year span; although always popular these basses have never been common! It still has raised A polepieces on the split pickup; this is a late bass for that interesting if inconsequential feature. The beautiful gold anodized metal pickguard would last into the late summer of 1959, then replaced by celluloid. The tendency of the metal to wear through was the reason Fender Sales insisted on the change but the "gold guard" has been a status symbol ever since!

The bass carries a lovely three-tone sunburst lacquer finish with plenty of red hue remaining; under the pickguard it is deeper still. The natural-finished neck has a round-backed but slim profile; it is a bit meatier than some we have handled. The headstock is adorned with the old "Spaghetti" Fender logo decal, which is in excellent shape. This bass has major Mojo and is an absolute classic, as played by the great majority of the then-new electric bassists of the late 1950s and heard on countless recordings. Even in the 1960s one of these old maple neck, gold guard basses was often considered a status symbol by the discerning bassist (Amusingly illustrated in the film "That Thing You Do"). It remains a wonderful instrument for any style of music, an absolute joy to play, and a prime example of the ultimate glory days of Fender.
 
Overall length is 46 in. (116.8 cm.), 13 in. (33 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 34 in. (864 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.).

This bass shows moderately heavy wear overall but no repairs or alterations. The finish has some noticeable checking with a collection of dings, dents and scrapes over most of the instrument but no large areas worn away except for some typical belt-buckling on the back. Many of these basses were played for decades and a large proportion of them have lost the original finish entirely; this one is worn but unaltered. The body edges are the most heavily marked, as is common, there are some deeper dings and dents in spots and areas worn off the lower end around the strap button. The neck has the light lateral checking on the fingerboard typical of '58s and many small marks into and through the finish, but again is not substantially worn through to the wood as many are. The anodized pickguard has typical playing wear to the face but retains a very attractive patina.

Internally the bass is untouched original except for a bit of added foam under the coils to allow the pickups to be correctly adjusted for height. All components and solder joints are unaltered original. All hardware is original down to the screws and both chrome covers are intact; the foam mute is gone under the tailpiece cover but can be replaced if desired. The original small-wire frets show some light wear but are quite playable; the maple neck is lovely and straight and the truss rod does not even appear to have been adjusted much over nearly 65 years. This bass is currently housed in a modern re-issue tweed Fender case; this is simply one of the best playing and sounding Precisions we have ever had. Excellent - Condition.