Mid 70s Fender product isn't all shite ... infact...

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sookwinder
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Mid 70s Fender product isn't all shite ... infact...

Post by sookwinder » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:07 pm

... some of it is top shelf.

I have a few guitars and basses from the Fender's 70s period, two 1973 strats that are perfect, a late '73 Jazz bass and a '75 Jazz bass that are both awesome instruments. But I have always shied away from anything after '75 … the constant comments of the instruments having neck pockets one could drive a train through and the propensity for the wood used to be very heavy may have contributed to my non scientific rejection of anything post 1975.

Then I saw this 1976 Precision Bass.
I wasn't going to even do a thread about this bass, but given that it goes against all the bad notions that have become lore in the interwebz concerning post 1975 Fender product I thought I should throw together some words.

I never really got into P Basses, not being a guitarist/bassist the wide (1 3/4") nut widths put me off immediately. So I gravitated to Jazz basses as the instrument for that part of the tonal pallet. Later, a Bass VI and a couple of Hofner Club basses also entered the stable.

But recently I have been continually going back to a guitar website (where I had previously sourced my '58 J200 from) hoping that a certain P Bass had been sold. Eventually the GAS got the better of me and a week or so later after winging its way across the Pacific I am now the proud owner of a 1976 Olympic White Precision Bass.

It seems that this P Bass was a special order for early 1976 (there is no serial no. decal on the head stock, so one can place it in the first half of 1976) having been a custom colour order, plus a maple neck cap AND with a thin nut width, similar to that of a Jazz bass. It was this last factor that kept me coming back to the website. I had never seen or heard of P Basses with Jazz bass width nuts. Note: it is not a Jazz bass neck, but in fact a P bass neck with the nut width the same as a jazz bass (1 1/2").

I picked up the shipment last Tuesday and immediately saw that it was in great condition (as the website photos showed). There are areas on the back that show where the yellowed clear coat had worn through somewhat and the usual nicks and scratches throughout. It all looks great. The instrument only weighs a tad over 9lbs. It is lighter than one of my Les Pauls! The neck pocket is tight with none of they usually spoken about gaps that are associated with the late '70s Fender product. Frets are barely touched. The neck is smooth with no marks or gouges. Was fitted with repro thumb-rest (already removed) and a repro ashtray cover. I have a vintage 1970 ashtray being shipped to me as I type this. Everything else is original.

Best thing is … it sounds huge, plays very easily and is very comfortable. In fact I may even argue that it is more comfortable than a Jazz bass.
So I have to adjust my opinion of mid/late '70s product … there are great instruments there amongst the also-rans.

One last thing, the neck was made by the long term Fender employee Herb G.
https://www.fender.com/articles/artists ... r-56-years

Photos from the sellers website (other than the neck pocket gap close up):
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relaxing alternative to doing actual work ...

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Re: Mid 70s Fender product isn't all shite ... infact...

Post by HNB » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:12 pm

Looks beautiful. One of my favorite color combos. :)
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Re: Mid 70s Fender product isn't all shite ... infact...

Post by jimboyogi » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:26 pm

I've been looking forward to this write-up. Looks superb David, congrats!

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Re: Mid 70s Fender product isn't all shite ... infact...

Post by MechaBulletBill » Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:16 am

Wow, it's a lot like my grandad's old P (76-78, i can't remember). That one has a pretty bad neck pocket but it's got massive tone! It's pretty heavy, probably closer to 10 lbs than 9 but man, the sound of the thing! Hope yours sounds just as good.

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Re: Mid 70s Fender product isn't all shite ... infact...

Post by mbene085 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:08 am

That looks amazing and it's incredible you found a late-stage CBS that was custom made with an A-width neck. Enjoy the hell out of it.

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Re: Mid 70s Fender product isn't all shite ... infact...

Post by Maggieo » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:36 am

I would totally hit that beauty!! :-* :-* :-*

Congrats! You got a Unicorn!
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Re: Mid 70s Fender product isn't all shite ... infact...

Post by Larry Mal » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:53 am

Wow! Can't argue with that, and it seems you got something very inspirational that suits you personally very well. Always nice to see! That's a wonderful bass.
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Re: Mid 70s Fender product isn't all shite ... infact...

Post by andy » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:41 am

The 70s fender stuff gets a bad rap. Yes, there are duds but my roommate and I both have 1975 Mustang basses and they are both fantastic. Congrats on the P-Bass!!
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Re: Mid 70s Fender product isn't all shite ... infact...

Post by X-Ray Spex » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:49 am

Love it, seems like you got a real gem there.
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Re: Mid 70s Fender product isn't all shite ... infact...

Post by Despot » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:40 am

Such a cool bass Sookwinder - nicely done.

I've also had a few '70s unicorns - I had a '74 hard tail Strat that was pretty nice, and even a '76 Tele Custom that was, without any exaggeration, the nicest old telecaster I've played and which I still regret selling (even more than the '66 I had for a brief minute). Not everything CBS was awful - just like not everything Gibson turned was terrible. It was just that the odds of a clunker were higher. You always end up feeling extra lucky when you find a really good 70s guitar.

May it wear well!

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Re: Mid 70s Fender product isn't all shite ... infact...

Post by BlixaFan » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:15 pm

what a beauty! also i had a similar experience with my p-bass (japanese 1992 p). it is by far the superior bass to my jazz bass (unfortunately for the jazz bass). honestly, my jazz bass is still around for merely sentimental reasons. :D

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