Fender / Precision Bass / 1965 / Olympic White Refin / Bass
A fantastic player grade late ‘65/early ‘66 Precision Bass. An old body and neck refinish from the mid 70’s, repro pick guard, thumb rest and a replaced capacitor. All the feel, tone and vibe of a vintage P Bass at an affordable price. Read on for the full story.
There can be few players who would argue that if you had to choose just one bass then it would have to be a Precision Bass. There’s not a lot you can’t do with a good P Bass. Here we have a late ‘65/early ’66 player grade P Bass that has all of the tone, feel and mojo of a vintage P Bass but at a very affordable price.
So what’s the story? First off, it has had a complete body and neck refinish. There is an initial and date (dated 21/5/75) pencilled under the clearcoat on the heel of the neck, so it looks like this is the likely date when the refinish took place. It blacklights like an old refinish and going by the play wear on the back of the neck and general patina of the finish on the body it certainly looks like the finish could date to the mid ‘70’s. The original decal was preserved and oversprayed with the original lacquer underneath and blacklights as such.
Upon close inspection under the pickguard (and you have to look very close to see it) there is evidence that the body was once routed for a Jazz Bass pick up in the neck position. Most players converted their P Basses to a ‘PJ Bass’ by adding a Jazz Bass pick up in the bridge position but this one went the other way and added one in the neck position. Presently there is a faint outline where the pick up route and wiring channel has been filled prior to the refinish. The original pickguard would have been modified to accommodate the neck pick up and then discarded when the bass was put back to standard configuration prior to the refinish. The bass appears to have had several different pickguards over the years and the previous owner had at least three different guards on the bass. It now sports a repro tortoiseshell guard which is close to vintage tortoiseshell in colour and has been lightly aged to blend in with the patina of the body.
Other non-original parts include the capacitor which was replaced several years ago, the thumb rest and the chrome covers which are repros. There has been some touch up of the solder and a couple of the wires have been replaced with the correct cloth covered wire. Also the original foam under the pick-up had deteriorated, which is common, and replaced with new period correct foam.
So that’s the bad news out of the way, now on to the good news. The neck, the frets, the body, the pick-up, the pots, the tuners, the bridge, the neck plate, the string retainer, knobs and the strap buttons are all original. The neck is dated Nov ’65, the pick-ups dated Dec ’65 and the volume pot dated 42nd week of 1965. The tone pot date is partly covered with solder but the first digit of the year (a 6) can be seen and there is nothing else to suggest that this isn’t the original tone pot. The serial number dates to very early ’66 and the body could be either late ’65 or early ’66. The type of inspection stamp in the neck pocket (a small circle with either a number or letter in the middle) first appeared in late ’65 and was prevalent throughout ’66. The small bump (known as the Fullerton Bump) that is usually seen in the treble side cutaway where the body meets the neck pocket appears to have been smoothed out during the refinish.
So how does it play and sound? Just as you’d expect a good vintage P Bass to play and sound. The neck has a very comfortable C profile and feels nicely worn in and the original frets have been recently crowned and still have significant life left in them. The original grey bottomed pick-up delivers all of the warm, punchy, woody tone that P Basses from this era are known and loved for. It is fitted with a new set of D’Addario flat wound strings which sound and feel great on any P Bass.
So if you’ve been wanting a vintage P Bass but the prices that 100% original examples are now commanding has meant one is getting out of reach, here is an opportunity to own a player grade example that has all the important stuff still original, and feels and sounds right, for the cost of a Custom Shop reissue.
Comes with a later mid to late 70’s black Tolex Fender hard case.
Weight: 8lb 9oz with chrome covers on, 8lb 5oz with them off.
Pick-up reading: 11k
**Please ask about shipping outside the UK**