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Fender / Precision Bass / 1963 / Lake Placid Blue Body Only Refin Over Original Sonic Blue / Bass

A truly superb pre–CBS P Bass. An old body only refinish directly over the original Sonic Blue. The rest of the bass is completely original and in exceptional condition. Plays effortlessly and has that classic vintage P Bass tone, as to be expected. Looks super cool too. Read on for full detailed description.


This superb P Bass has had one owner from new until recently. Originally bought from Selmers in London in 1964 for the grand sum of 135 Guineas (see original Selmer hang tag) the bass was originally factory finished in Sonic Blue. The original owner played it in a covers band for a couple of years until the band broke up in 1966. In 1968 he decided to have it refinished (or sprayed over) in a colour very similar to Lake Placid Blue (believed to be Triumph car paint) and from there onwards it was occasionally played at home.


The Lake Placid Blue (LPB) was sprayed directly over the original Sonic Blue with a cream coloured primer below the top coat. The original Sonic Blue (and Desert Sand primer) can be seen clearly in the cavities as well as around some of the screw holes. All electrics were taped in the cavities when the cream primer and LPB top coat was applied so all solder joints remain untouched. The original Sonic Blue can also be seen under the guard in three small areas around the pick-up cavity where the masking tape was applied. The neck pocket was also painted with the cream primer but not the LPB and the original shim was left in/painted in at the same time. The neck angle is perfect as it is with no need for any further shimming. Three of the original nail holes are visible (one by the edge of the neck pocket, one at the bottom of the control cavity and one under the bridge) but were sprayed over during the refinish.


As the original finish wasn’t stripped but sprayed over, theoretically it could be restored by a highly skilled luthier by painstakingly removing the LPB top coat and cream primer to reveal the original Sonic Blue beneath. This can be a risky procedure though with no guarantee as to how it will look when the paint over is removed. We think it looks very cool as it is in LPB and this is all part of the history of this bass, so we’d be inclined to leave it as it is.


Aside from the body only refinish, or paint over, the rest of the bass is completely original and in exceptional condition. As it’s only had light home use since the mid 60’s there is minimal wear to the neck and hardware anywhere else on the bass. There is some shrinkage on the original nitrate guard as to be expected but there is no splitting anywhere. This bass has had flats on all of its life so there is no wear at all to speak of to the original frets. The original chrome covers are also present – the original foam mute is still in the bridge cover but has hardened over the last 60 years. At some point the bass has spent considerable time on a stand and the LPB paint on the bottom edge of the bass had reacted with the rubber on the stand causing some burning which has been touched up and polished out.


The neck is a joy to play with its comfortable medium C profile and 1 ¾” nut width. The action is low and slinky with flat wound strings. It’s hard to put this one down once you pick it up.

Tone wise it’s everything you’d expect of rosewood board pre-CBS P Bass. The original split pick-up delivers the instantly recognisable warm, woody and punchy Precision Bass tone that has been the backbone of so many great records. There can be few players who would argue with the fact that a good Precision Bass is all the bass you’ll ever really need. If there is one bass that can pretty much do it all and have you covered in most genre’s then it is a P Bass.


Here is a great chance to own a superb pre-CBS example that is in exceptional condition and which due to the body only spray over is much more affordable than an original custom colour example.

Comes with the original Selmer hard case which is in reasonable condition but has a broke handle, and the original Selmer hang tag.


Weight: 8lb 12oz with chrome covers on, 8lb 8oz with them off.
Pick-up reading: 11.4k


**Please ask about shipping outside the UK**

Instrument sold

20th Century Toys, UK  

Contact name:
Phil Bourne
Fender, Gibson, Rickenbacker, Gretsch, Martin, Epiphone
Vintage and vintage reissue guitars and basses
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UK based vintage and vintage reissue dealer. We hand select original vintage guitars and limited edition reissues.

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