Fender Precision Bass Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1958)

Fender  Precision Bass Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar  (1958)
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Item # 12033
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Fender Precision Bass Model Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1958), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 32014, sunburst lacquer finish, alder body, maple neck, tweed hard shell case.

Our initial reaction to popping open the (later) case this 1958 Fender Precision Bass rests in was "Geez, Fender has really upped the game on these re-issues". Then reality sank in; this is no re-issue but one of the cleanest, most perfect basses from that iconic year we have ever seen. While it is not absolutely untouched this bass looks like it was bought maybe 6 months ago, not 65 years!

This is a simply stunning example of what many players and collectors hold to be the finest electric bass ever made, the template for so many to follow. In mid-1957 the Fender Precision bass was re-designed with these new features: gold anodized aluminum pickguard, split pickup, fully adjustable 4-saddle bridge and a larger "Strat style" headstock on the one-piece maple neck. The deep 3-color sunburst finish was added shortly after. These basses have been sought after since the earliest beginnings of electric instrument collecting, generally regarded some of the most desirable of all Fender basses and the apex of Precision Bass design.

This incredibly original example likely dates to mid/late1958, based on the serial number and general features. While normally we dismantle older Fenders to gather the dates enclosed, this bass appears to have never been broken down so we elected not to turn those screws and disturb that pristine history. The production run for this version of the Precision was only that two-year span; although always popular these basses have never been common. The beautiful gold anodized metal pickguard would last into the late summer of 1959, then replaced by celluloid. The tendency of the metal to wear through was the reason Fender Sales insisted on the change but the "gold guard" has been a status symbol ever since! At the same time the original maple neck was given a rosewood fingerboard.

This 100% original bass carries a lovely three-tone sunburst lacquer finish with plenty of red hue remaining; The natural-finished neck has a round-backed slim profile, though not as thin as some we have encountered. The headstock is adorned with the old "Spaghetti" Fender logo decal, which is in excellent shape. This bass has been in a private collection for decades, and remains completely unaltered. It is still strung with the period blue silk, plug end LaBella strings that have become major collectibles in themselves. The mute under the bridge cover is still intact, further enhancing the Mojo and making for an exact period-correct playing and sonic experience.

This '58 Precision remains an absolute classic, as played by the great majority of the then-new electric bassists of the late 1950s and heard on countless recordings. Even later in the 1960s one of these old maple neck, gold guard basses was often considered a status symbol by the discerning bassist (Amusingly illustrated in the film "That Thing You Do"). This is the finest example we have ever had, a piece of Fender (and music) history, a wonderful instrument for any style of music and a prime example of the ultimate glory days of Fender.
 
Overall length is 46 in. (116.8 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 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

While we wouldn't rate this bass as "Near Mint' it comes pretty close, especially after 6 1/2 decades. The finish and hardware still shine like they did when Ike was in the White House. There is some light checking overall and TINY dings and dents and scratches here and there, mostly on the upper back area. The anodized pickguard has lacquer wear just under the fingerrest, where someone actually anchored their digits; other than that is practically pristine.

The magic LaBella strings still have their original sound, they do not appear to have been much played on. The lightly lacquered fingerboard and original thin frets have hardly any wear. There is no original case (Many of these were originally purchased with a plasti-leather gig bag which has deteriorated) BUT the original Fender Bass instruction manual is included, in very good shape and offering the pithiest advice on bass playing we have ever read ("remember not to be too repetitious of the third"). This is a museum quality piece, simply one of the finest Fender Basses we have ever seen. Overall Excellent + Condition.