Fender Precision Bass Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1973)

Fender  Precision Bass Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar  (1973)
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Item # 11441
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Fender Precision Bass Model Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1973), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 509434, black finish, alder body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

This great playing and sounding Fender Precision Bass dates to the early 1973, but still maintains more of a '60s vibe than those from even a year or two later. It has a black-and-white "Tuxedo" livery on the body and rosewood fingerboard maple neck with the '70's style narrower "B" width neck (1 5/8" at the nut). The black finish on the body is still fairly thin, not the heavy "Thick Skin' poly that soon replaced it. Old-school P-Bass features like the chrome bridge and pickup covers, white plastic pickguard and the fingerrest below the strings still lend it a classic period look dating back to the 60s. The larger decal, bridge with solid, non-serrated saddles and the narrower "B" nut width on the neck are the notable newer features incorporated by this time, as the '70s rolled on.

The serial number on the neckplate is typical for 1973. The neck has no legible date code stamped on the heel, but carries the correct inspection marks for the period on the underside. The pickup bobbins are a mixed lot; one is the typical grey fiber piece coded on the underside to 1973; the other is an older looking black bobbin. This is unusual but not unheard of; it is possible this bobbin was replaced long ago but all solder joints and wiring appear original and undisturbed. The pots date to the 33rd and 43rd weeks of 1973, all cavity wiring appears original. The pickguard is a correct repro of the early '70s style marked as "genuine Fender" on the underside; this bass has likely had several 'guards over the years but is back to its exact original appearance now.

This bass looks great but is also a fine player, light for the period at 8.43 Lbs and handles perfectly with the strong midrangey honk typical of period Precisions. While not 100% original this is still one of the cooler '70s Fender basses we have had of late, a hot-rod of sorts with its skinny neck, handy body and always sharp black-and-white look.
Overall length is 46 in. (116.8 cm.), 13 in. (33 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 34 in. (864 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.)., 8.43 lbs.

This bass has some general wear but overall remains nicely original, in better condition than many from this era The not-too-thick finish has dings, dents and scrapes but no large areas of loss. The top has some long check lines and small dings through the finish, the edges some dings and the back a lot of belt buckle scuffing mostly into but not through the finish. The back of the neck has some dings and dents (the deepest just below the nut) but is not heavily worn.

The hardware is mostly original except as noted above. The wiring appears stock; the single black bobbin is odd but we cannot absolutely say it is or is not an original fitting to this bass. The solder joints appear untouched and the factory lacquering over the poles is consistent on both coils. It sounds great either way! The white 3-layer pickguard is correct style but later, the tuners, knobs, bridge cover and fingerrest are original, the center pickup cover is a later part. The frets are original with a bit of crowning down and some minor subsequent wear. This is a light bass by 70's standards at under 8 1/2 Lbs. and handier than many; it is an excellent very fast player with a comfortable low action. It resides happily in the original Fender black Tolex HSC Overall Very Good + Condition.