Fender Coronado Bass II Hollow Body Electric Bass Guitar (1967)

Fender  Coronado Bass II Hollow Body Electric Bass Guitar  (1967)
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Item # 11542
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Fender Coronado Bass II Model Hollow Body Electric Bass Guitar (1967), made in Fullerton, California, Firemist Silver Metallic lacquer finish, laminated maple body, maple nack with rosewood fingerboard, original black tolex hard shell case.

The Coronado series represents the CBS/Fender attempt to challenge Gibson, Gretsch, and Guild in the booming 1960s hollowbody electric market. The British invasion bands that took over America's airwaves in 1964 often favored hollow or semi hollow instruments, especially basses. As a response to this trend the Coronado line was launched in January 1966, about a year after CBS bought Leo's company. The finishes were initially only Cherry or Sunburst, though the palette was quickly expanded. While ultimately not a big hit with either Fender loyalists or players of other brands, the Coronados are interesting and often attractive instruments, particularly in the rare custom color finishes.

The single pickup Coronado Bass I was part of initial the line, this twin-pickup Bass II model added in 1967. It mates a 30" scale bound, block-inlaid maple/rosewood Fender bass neck to a double cutaway, fully hollow body with triple-bound edges and bound f-holes. The twin pickups are not Fender-made but were sourced from Rowe industries, makers of the DeArmond line. They have adjustable screw poles inside the plastic center inset in the thin metal covers. The wiring is the typical Gibson style 4-knob, 1 switch array. The trapeze tailpiece has the Fender "F" in the plastic center. The bridge is a sort of staggered metal trough with adjustable plastic-center saddles on twin metal feet, one of several ideas Fender tried. There are finger rests both above and below the strings.

The most striking feature of this particular bass is of course the beautiful metallic lacquer finish on the body and headstock that has hardly faded at all over time. This is Fender's rarely seen Firemist Silver Metallic, which replaced Inca Silver in 1964-5. We thought it might be the equally rare Ice Blue Metallic, but close inspection does not reveal any unfaded blue hue under the hardware. The Bass II is about the rarest of the Coronado series to begin with, but this custom livery takes this one to another level; it is the only one in this finish we have ever seen. In later 1967 this bass would have cost $471.98 ($449.50 + 5% upcharge for the color) PLUS $64.50 for the case. A custom Color Jazz Bass was $293.50 on the same price list.

Apart from the color this is a very good-playing and sounding bass, the nicest of these we have had and a far better instrument than its original reputation suggests. It is very reminiscent in feel of the contemporary Harmony H-27, which has very similar features and layout but of course lacks the more reliable Fender neck. In its metallic mist hue this is a truly striking instrument too behold. The Coronados were discontinued after 1970; while in general they are not uncommon, this twin-pickup bass in one of Fender's least common custom colors is a VERY rare example
Overall length is 45 3/4 in. (116.2 cm.), 16 1/4 in. (41.3 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 30 in. (762 mm.). Width of nut is 1 9/16 in. (40 mm.).

This is a REALLY clean instrument overall, all original and showing only minor signs of use. There is a small circular stain on the headstock face just below the "II" part of the logo, source unknown. Apart from that the finish is very well preserved, with a handful of tiny dings and dents here and there and some shallow scratching on the back.

There is some visible fretwear but the instrument plays perfectly, currently strung with black Nylon strings. It has a very versatile sound, more so than many hollow or semi hollowbody basses and is quite light and handy. This bass lives in its original Victoria luggage yellow-lined HSC, with some signs of touring use and period band graphics applied for extra vibe. Overall Excellent + Condition.