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Rick's Fine '52

'66 Slab Precision...Anyone seen one/got one?

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[quote name='EliasMooseblaster' timestamp='1465463202' post='3068375']
Just to say, if people would like to continue this discussion, I'm really enjoying all these old clips of The Who...
[/quote]

Oi! I told you - check out Felix Pappalardi!

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[quote name='Happy Jack' timestamp='1465464975' post='3068413']
Oi! I told you - check out Felix Pappalardi!
[/quote]

I did - your comparison is very flattering indeed!

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[quote name='andydye' timestamp='1403194174' post='2480715']
oh hello nurse :gas: that's awesome!
[/quote]

Oh I remember when you were talking about looking for one or "Did someone have on"? and now it's here. Are you really going to clean it? If no one has died touching it, I certainly would just love to look at it as it is. Anyone going to polish the Holy Grail? Nah! Still I grew up in Portobello Road. Learned the value of dirt on an icon a long time ago. Good luck to you.
How about some sound bites using those original strings? That would be one of the most awsom recordings for a collection. I am sure we would all enjoy and respect an opportunity to hear the authentic sound before you took it apart (probably way too late now!)?.

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[quote name='Cosmo Valdemar' timestamp='1465390267' post='3067758']
Assuming it is a Slab on the recording, the fabled Slab sound seems to be in the treblier end of the tone - thumb-plucking at the neck with (presumably) the tone turned down is always going to result in a more trad sound.
[/quote]

Just sounded like a P bass to me.

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[quote name='EssentialTension' timestamp='1465917462' post='3072081']


Just sounded like a P bass to me.
[/quote]

Exactly. Had he been playing with the tone up we would have a better idea.

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[quote name='Cosmo Valdemar' timestamp='1465930734' post='3072256']
Exactly. Had he been playing with the tone up we would have a better idea.
[/quote]
But I mean they always sound like a P bass to me with typical variances for strings, pick/fingers, etc.

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[quote name='Happy Jack' timestamp='1465980628' post='3072520']
You mean you couldn't hear the Slab?

:lol: :lol: :lol:
[/quote]

I've tried for ages to come up with a smart arse reply to that comment but I've gone blank. :unsure:

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I've played one of John Entwistle's actual slab. Definitely has a bark to it, but a lot of it is how you play I guess, but in my opinion they've got something over other P basses at the time

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[quote name='dmz' timestamp='1332277861' post='1586100']
Has anyone ever made a replica ? Fender (US or JP), Tokai, Shuker, Bravewood etc etc
[/quote]

Bass Centre Bass Collection have a Frankenstein model. In pink. Which is weird, as I don't think he performed it in that colour. Haven't tried it though.

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[quote name='pintspiller' timestamp='1468895338' post='3094132']
Bass Centre Bass Collection have a Frankenstein model. In pink. Which is weird, as I don't think he performed it in that colour. Haven't tried it though.
[/quote]

I believe the original body might have been finished in sunburst (could be wrong), but he had it resprayed in "salmon" - perhaps unsurprisingly, given it was supposedly assembled from a collection of smashed bass parts.

[quote name='pintspiller' timestamp='1468895472' post='3094133']
[url="http://www.basscentre.com/british-bass-masters/the-bass-centre-frankenstein-bass.html"]http://www.basscentr...stein-bass.html[/url]
[/quote]

I think I've seen these on another thread, though the reaction from others was a little lukewarm overall...anybody know whether they're much cop compared to a similarly-priced Precision copy?

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[quote name='EliasMooseblaster' timestamp='1468913203' post='3094192']
I believe the original body might have been finished in sunburst (could be wrong), but he had it resprayed in "salmon" - perhaps unsurprisingly, given it was supposedly assembled from a collection of smashed bass parts.



[/quote]

Frankenstein did indeed begin it's blasphemous life with a sunburst body - JE resprayed it fiesta red years later, long after it's retirement from active Who duty.
IIRC the neck and electronics were from the Slab, the bridge and tuners from a Jazz.

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that basscentre replica is nowhere near a Frank in my opinion. Yep Ben you're correct, could give some credence to the extra bark that Slabs had, as John used the same Hiwatt rig for IoW as he did for Leeds, but used a stock P bass. Then again that was a rosewood neck, could explain the warmer tone

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Ok, as far as I'm aware, the "Slab" P Basses were exclusive to the UK yet, whilst browsing the book "American Music" by Annie Leibovitz, I stumbled upon an interesting image.

On page 82, there is an image of a blues player named Johnnie Billington. Taken in 2001, this image shows him with some of his students at his blues school. The young bass player is clearly playing a slab-bodied p bass with a gold anodised pickguard.

I've attached a copy found on Google which is a little hazy but in the book, you can clearly see the slab body! Of course, it could be retrofit or even one of our 66's that may have found its way over the pond but I just thought it looked interesting.

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[quote name='steviebee74' timestamp='1472248696' post='3119881']

On page 82, there is an image of a blues player named Johnnie Billington. Taken in 2001, this image shows him with some of his students at his blues school. The young bass player is clearly playing a slab-bodied p bass with a gold anodised pickguard
[/quote]

Looks like a regular P to me, '57 reissue. The Slabs had maple cap necks, so no truss rod tiger stripe, hence no walnut cap on headstock, like this one has, also looks like rounded body edges when you zoom.

Edited by Rick's Fine '52

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Does a '62 count..? played my mates one which wasn't anything special, IMO, but then he wasn't a bass player so it probably wasn't set up well...
But it had the finish taken down to the bare wood-which was ugly- and that knocked so much money off it.

I'm pretty sure he said it was a '62, but I didn't have much regard for it myself.

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[quote name='steviebee74' timestamp='1472295251' post='3120114']
Ok so this time, I took a close up from the actual book rather than google. I'm still convinced it's a slab!
[/quote]

The neck isn't maple cap. Probably not even a Fender. If he's letting kids play it in school, it's probably a typical cheap school copy, hence the poor contours.

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As part of my ongoing plan to try and build my perfect P bass (hence my shout out for a Jazz neck) I'm thinking of building a bass that apes the aesthetics of the Slab basses, albeit with a contoured body....

In short, I'm thinking of attaching a maple Jazz neck to a white P bass body, and then add a BWB pickguard, black thumbrest, chrome pickup cover etc... I have the Slab book, so I'm biased. I built a dodgy replica Slab when I was a student, using a Dr Parts neck and some anonymous MIJ body from the '70s that needed a lot of additional routing.

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[quote name='steviebee74' timestamp='1472248696' post='3119881']
Ok, as far as I'm aware, the "Slab" P Basses were exclusive to the UK.....
[/quote]

Well obviously not as Larry Taylor had a black one in Canned Heat in Monterey Pop in 1967/8. Was black a custom colour then as well? He bought it in a regular music store in the US.

Which got me thinking - that would be a good build for someone to order from the Fender Custom Shop....Larry Taylor is actually one of my favourite bass players of all time and I still use fills and patterns he played, especially with John Mayall - and especially the album Jazz Blues Fusion........ hmmm an interesting thought - I think I'd have a spare tort guard done though!!

Edited by drTStingray

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[quote name='steviebee74' timestamp='1472295251' post='3120114']
Ok so this time, I took a close up from the actual book rather than google. I'm still convinced it's a slab!
[/quote]

It might be the slab at the bottom of this page: [url="https://www.talkbass.com/threads/slab66-owners.1103565/"]https://www.talkbass.com/threads/slab66-owners.1103565/[/url]

The roundover on the bass you posted looks sharper than on a normal Precision bass, but the players arm covers the top contour area, which would make any identification a bit more definitive. Fender have altered the roundover on their instruments over time though. I did see an interesting article that compared a '60s Strat body with more modern variants, and I found the following images through Google:





My point is, simply, that Fender have changed this over time, so an older P bass body might have a different roundover and look more slab-like without being a true slab. The white Strat above has smaller roundovers, and may even appear slab-like in the right lighting conditions.

The Slabs weren't truly a UK-exclusive product. Barry Matthews reckons that there were two production runs. The first are the classic ones with the blonde body, capped maple neck and black pickguard. These were shipped to the UK and distributed through Arbiter in London. The second run, produced later in 1966 used other surplus parts. A lot of these had rosewood necks and tortoiseshell pickguards. Some of the UK slabs went to the US, such as Bob Daisley's example, while others were modified or had their bodies stripped and John Entwistle smashed one and another was lost in a fire.

Other manufacturers have made slab bodies. As I mentioned before I bought a plywood slab body for £8 when I was a student. It could have been from something like an Ampeg Little Stud or similar Japanese-made instrument. It came with the factory-original cream poly finish, albeit with tan marks from various stickers. It was only routed for a small pickup, probably a Maxon humbucker or similar. It stands to reason that other manufacturers will have made slab basses as well, as you are simply building a Precision copy and not bothering to contour the top and back, or smooth the edges.

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Guys,
that Billington Bass in the photo Is definetely a normal P with a contoured body. Definetely no Slab body and also no Maple Cap neck.
As for Entwistle:
he did own only 3 Slabs!
The First one, The famous Three Knob. Still existing nowadays.
The Second one, that one was smashed at a gig in the US and it's parts went to become Frankenstein lateron.
The Third one, that one was auctioned Off At The Sothebys auction.

I Do own two Slabs. One beeing a Rosewood one.
All I can say on extensive research for two upcoming Magazine articles, that many facts yet distributed about the Slabs, Need to be corrected!!

Cheers
Oliver

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[quote name='senmen' timestamp='1473186152' post='3127840']
All I can say on extensive research for two upcoming Magazine articles, that many facts yet distributed about the Slabs, Need to be corrected!!
[/quote]

Agree with you there Oliver!

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