Fender Precision Bass Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1966)

Fender  Precision Bass Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar  (1966)
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Item # 9796
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Fender Precision Bass Model Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1966), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 171438, Lake Placid Blue lacquer finish, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, alder body, original black tolex hard shell case.

This is a very nice original example of an early CBS-era Custom-Color Fender Precision Bass, appearing not too heavily played since new. CBS had owned Fender for about a year and a half when this bass was built; it shows only cosmetic changes from the pre-CBS pattern and still retains the feel of Leo's earlier instruments. This one is fairly light at just over 8 1/2 Lbs. and handles superbly.

Typical Precision features for this period include a thin rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlay and the then-new larger frets, the silver "transition" Fender logo decal on the headstock and a thick 3-ply white plastic pickguard in place of the earlier greenish nitrocellulose piece. Of course the most notable feature on THIS bass is a beautiful unfaded Lake Placid Blue lacquer finish on the body, which shows some wear but has retained its color extremely well over 50+ years, with less of the green tinting effect due to the overcoat yellowing than many.

The pots are dated to the 18th week of 1966; we snuck a look under the pickguard to verify the electronics are untouched but did not lift the pickguard fully as these are now a snug fit around the pickups after 55 years. The date stamp on the neck is October 1966. Besides its killer 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 midrangey growl. This is a lovely looking and great playing example.
Overall length is 45 in. (114.3 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 3/4 in. (44 mm.).

This bass is not pristine but better preserved than many from the mid-'60's and remains a true beauty in its lightly worn metallic blue livery. It is also all original except for the chrome cover plates, which are the correct style but more recent. Oddly enough the original screws are still present holding them in place.

The original Custom Color finish is nicely preserved overall, showing some light checking and minor play wear. There are only two really noticeable wear spots through the lacquer down to the wood on the face, one just above the top dip in the pickguard and the other in the typical armwear area on the top edge. There is a fairly deep scratch in the same region, but it does not go through the top coats. Looking closely at the top, there was script written on a piece of paper (or something) over the forward horn, leaving shallow impressions in the finish. This is not conspicuous except on close inspection. Apart from there are just small chips and dings, mostly on the edges. The back has some belt buckle scuffing onto but not through the lacquer, mostly in the center.

The neck finish is relatively clean, with small areas worn away on the treble side edge. There is one "classic" cigarette burn on the headstock face. The hardware has some minor corrosion to some areas, especially the bridge saddles, some screws and the sides of the volume knob. The original frets show very light wear and play fine. This bass looks great and sounds even better. The original case is included, it is a bit dirty externally and does carry a slightly musty smell inside but is solid and fully functional. Excellent - Condition.