Fender Precision Bass Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1966)

Fender  Precision Bass Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar  (1966)
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Item # 10836
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Fender Precision Bass Model Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1966), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 147318, Olympic White lacquer finish, alder body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard,, original black tolex hard shell case.

This is an extremely fine and beautifully well preserved original example of an early CBS-era Custom-Color Fender Precision Bass, appearing not too much played since new. CBS had owned Fender for creeping up on two years when this one was built; it shows only cosmetic changes from the pre-CBS pattern and still retains the feel of Leo's earlier instruments. The Precision underwent fewer changes than many Fender instruments through the CBS years, the simplicity of the design was left intact.

Olympic White was one of Fender's most popular 1960s custom colors, and looking at this bass it's easy to see why. While far from the rarest of these player/dealer ordered finishes, all are much scarcer than the standard sunburst. Custom color Precisions have a whole different aesthetic than their sunburst siblings, saying "look at me" more than "I'm just the bass player standing at the back!" Many of these flashier Fenders were striped to "hippie wood" later on in the '70s; when the lacquer wore that was considered the cool thing to do.

Typical Precision Bass features for this period include a thin rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlay and the then-new larger frets, the silver "transition" Fender logo decal on the headstock and the 3-ply tortoise pattern plastic pickguard in place of the earlier nitrocellulose piece. Of course the most notable feature on THIS bass is a beautiful unfaded Olympic White lacquer finish on the body, which shows some light wear but has retained its icy white color extremely well over 50+ years, with far less darkening and yellowing of the overcoat than many; we have seen many that have turned nearly banana yellow by now!

The original pots are dated to the 18th week of 1966; we snuck a look under the pickguard to verify the electronics are untouched but did not lift the 'guard fully as these are now often a snug fit around the pickups after 55+ years. There is no date stamp on the neck heel, which is not common but not unheard of in 1966. All the small details are correct, including the undercoating of the finish and "paint stick" mark in the neck pocket. Besides its killer looks, this bass is fairly light at 8.5 Lbs. exactly (with both covers mounted) and handles superbly, an effortlessly excellent player. We often find that 1966 era Precisions have a distinctive sound, a bit brighter than earlier versions and with a midrangey growl. This is an especially super sharp looking and great playing example.
Overall length is 45 in. (114.3 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.)., 8.5 lbs.

This bass is not absolutely pristine but it is all original and WAY better preserved than many Custom Color basses from the 1960's. It remains a true beauty in its gleaming white finish, which shows only some light check lines and minor dings and dents with far less yellowing than most Olympic White instruments from this period. This bass was simply not exposed much to light and likely never saw a smoky club or bar; it appears to have spent most of the last 55+ years sitting in the case. Many of these white Fenders from the early CBS era have curdled to a yellowish amber color; this one retains much more of the original bone-white look, offset by the tortoise pickguard.

There is mostly just minor wear overall; most noticeable are a couple of small dinks on the top on the upper face in the armwear zone. Apart from this there are just small dings and dents; the body edges are cleaner than most without the typical wear from banging around in the case. The back of the body has one decent sized area of belt buckle through the lacquer in the neckplate area and some scattered dings and dents; this is really the only serious finish loss.

The clear neck finish is quite clean, with a few small very dinks and dents but no worn away areas on the sides as is common. The peghead has light checking and some small scratches by the A string tuner, relics of some long-ago stringing error. The pickguard has shrunk up just a bit, most notably at the forward edges but there are no cracks or breaks at the screwholes.

The all-original and complete hardware has minimal wear or corrosion; the bridge and saddles are very clean underneath the chrome cover. The original (now ossified) foam mute under the cover is still partially in place; the pickups have been re-foamed to allow for proper height adjustment. The original frets show just a touch of wear and play great. This bass looks fantastic and sounds even better, with the typical '66 growl. The original "No-Tail logo" case is included, with some wear but still solid. Excellent + Condition.