Fender Mustang Bass Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1966)

Fender  Mustang Bass Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar  (1966)
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Item # 11634
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Fender Mustang Bass Model Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1966), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 181321, Dakota Red lacquer finish, alder body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

This is a very nice first generation example of Fender's Mustang Bass from late 1966 in all original condition. This bass was built near the beginning of the run for the model, which was introduced in mid-1966 but not in full production until the end of the year. The deep red lacquer finish on the body was one of three available color options; it does not have the clear topcoat used on higher end Fenders, and thus maintained its original color without the yellowing often seen on '60s guitars.

The pots are dated to the 31st week of 1966, the neck date is November that year. The small split-coil pickup is housed in the middle of a snazzy pearloid pickguard, and the strings are run through the body in a cool if inexplicable throwback to the first 1950s Precision basses. The 30" scale rosewood-fingerboard maple neck is in between the Precision Bass and Jazz Bass in nut width. The tuners have the rounded "egg" shaped buttons used on some of the earliest Fender-made pegs after the switch from Klusons.

The Mustang Bass was Leo Fender's last original design for the company that bore his name. Although intended primarily for students, the instrument is so well-designed that many professional players have used them extensively in the decades since. Ideal for players with smaller hands, the Mustang is still one of the best short-scale basses ever designed, well-balanced and comfortable with a very punchy and surprisingly fat sonic signature. Modern generations have re-discovered its charms of late, and the model is now more popular than ever. This early red-hued beauty is top cull of the Mustang herd, a superb bass and a neat piece of Fender history.
 
Overall length is 42 in. (106.7 cm.), 12 3/8 in. (31.4 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 30 in. (762 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).

This bass is in fine original condition overall showing only fairly minor finish wear, mostly small dings and scuffs to the body, with a number of tiny dinks in the top finish mostly into but not through the lacquer. The back has light buckle wear again into but mostly not through the lacquer. The original deep red finish has maintained excellent color, hardly having faded or yellowed at all. There is some noticeable checking to the top clearcoat on the headstock, with a few flaked spots. Some finish is rubbed through to the wood on the back of the neck and the feel is prime vintage Fender.

The bass is original and all hardware complete except the foam mutes once mounted on the front of the bridge base are long gone; the layer of ancient adhesive that held them is still there. The chrome is mostly worn off the rear flange of the bridge, but all the other hardware is quite clean. The pearloid pickguard has only shrunk up a tiny bit, completely intact with no cracks or heavy pulling at the screw holes. The pickups can still be easily raised or lowered; they are not caught in a "celluloid death grip" like some shrinking Fender pickguards can create! The original small frets and the fingerboard have some minor wear but play fine. This beautiful little red hot rod of a bass is set up with very supple flatwound strings and is effortless and fun to play, as Mustangs were intended to be! It includes a modern HSC. Overall Excellent - Condition.