Fender Precision Bass Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1966)

Fender  Precision Bass Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar  (1966)
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Item # 11982
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Fender Precision Bass Model Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1966), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 150835, sunburst lacquer finish, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, alder body, original black tolex hard shell case.

This is a moderately played-in original example of an early CBS-era Fender Precision Bass, appearing gigged but not TOO heavily worn since new. The CBS Corporation had owned Fender for about a year and a half when this bass was built; it shows only minor cosmetic changes from the pre-CBS pattern and still retains the feel of Leo's earlier instruments. Most of these basses have been heavily gigged for decades so finding a one like this is always a treat.

This bass shows the typical features for this period; a thin-lam rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlay and the older smaller frets, the silver "transition" Fender logo decal on the headstock and a 3-ply tortoise pattern plastic pickguard in place of the earlier nitrocellulose piece. The thin lacquer sunburst finish is the brighter and tightly defined "target" burst typical of 1965-66. The neck is still finished in the thinner lacquer that feels more comfortable to most players than the thicker finishes Fender began using the next year.

We snuck a look under the pickguard to verify the electronics are untouched and the visible pot date is 6618. The ink stamp on the heel of the neck is 5 Jul 66C, so this bass probably was assembled and sold in the late summer or early fall of that year. Besides its looks, this is a superbly light and resonant bass; an effortlessly excellent player. We often find that 1966 era Precisions have a distinctive sound, a bit brighter than earlier versions and with a noticeable midrangey growl. They can make great rock basses; this one is mellowed out a bit by the flatwound strings and can be dialed back to a lovely warm sound.
 
Overall length is 45 in. (114.3 cm.), 13 in. (33 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm.) . Scale length is 34 in. (864 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.).

This bass shows signs of use but no major repair and not TOO much wear, especially considering it is now nearly 60 years old. There are numerous minor dings, dents, and chips to the body finish, and very light wear to the edges of the neck. The sunburst lacquer on the body shows very strong color with hardly any fade to the red layer. The back and lower body edges have some deeper wear spots, dents, scrapes and dings and minor strap burn in a couple areas. The pickguard has had the area around the truss rod opened up somewhat to allow for easier adjustment. The "tug bar' fingerrest looks like a repro, apart from this the bass remains original including both chrome covers.

There are no other alterations or repairs, the original frets have been recrowned showing minimal subsequent wear and this is a very fine player. That original black Tolex "no logo" Fender case shows a more wear than the bass itself with some old damage to the ends, but is still in solid functional shape. This Precision looks pretty much as it would have sitting in a pawnshop in the early '70s magically transported to spread good vibrations to our times. Overall Excellent - Condition.