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Mr Fudge

Genuine P bass?

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Hi all,

I haven't been here since 2011, hope everyone is well. I've put a deposit on a P bass from a reputable shop in my local area. I'm a bit worried about the provenance of the bass after checking through various bits and pieces on the Internet.. There is no serial number under the Fender decal on the headstock or anywhere else on the headstock. We're any not stamped during this period for any reason? Why would the number be missing? The bass is 73/74. The neck plate backs up the year and the bass certainly reflects its age. That's is one of the reasons I'm drawn to it. The shop tells me they have dated the pots and neck stamp and that the bass has parts from 73 and 74 which I understand was common practice for different parts from different years making up a whole bass. I will of course ask to see this for myself upon full purchase.

The tuners look genuine and the whole thing plays and sounds great. The frets are well worn and i am well aware that a refret will be required at some point. Another reason why I'm happy the neck is original. I'm just worried about the number not being under the Fender headstock decal. I have no pictures but may return to the shop and take some and post early next week.

Assuming their is an explanation and the heel stamp dates the neck to the time would there be any issues in its value with serial numbers missing.

Thanks all in advance of any advice you can supply.

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I wouldn't expect a serial number on the headstock :)

Check out some headstock pics, if you can't find any I have photos of ones that I've owned, that I can mail to you.

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Thanks Gary,

You can tell I've been away for a while. There is no patent number under the Fender decal ( looking for suitable emoticon) The F shape plate has a number that will be easily checked I will insist on seeing the neck stamp.

All this adding up do I have anything to worry about. Would lack of patent number effect value?

All the best.

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Photos of the bass needed

This will enable the basschat experts to get working

Ideally as many as possible and including headstock front and rear, neck butt, pickups, pots, underside of pickguard, neck plate, on and off, body neck and control cavity.

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My seventies P basses have all had the patent numbers, under the the Fender part of the decal. So I would investigate closely if the numbers weren't present.

Like Gareth said pics would be good.

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My 1970 P bass doesn't have a serial number beneath the headstock logo - it's on the neck plate. But there are corresponding part numbers on the neck socket, pots, pickups.

I think headstock serial numbers came in at about 1976 onwards.

But yeah some pics would get us to the bottom of it!

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Thanks all. I have been using this shop for years and know the owner and retail staff well. I might go and pick it up tomorrow if I get chance. I trust they have done their homework and I am also aware of my consumer rights. I've tried the bass a few times and asked the relevant questions but I will post pics ASAP. It's just disconcerting with the pat numbers absent. All the P basses I have googled from 72/74 have numbers under Fender logo. I wondered if there were ever any exceptions. It's my only worth.

Edited by Mr Fudge

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Sorry you're right - I misread the original point.

Yeah mine does have four patent numbers beneath the big black Fender headstock logo.

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[quote name='Mr Fudge' timestamp='1472241939' post='3119810']
Thanks all. I have been using this shop for years and know the owner and retail staff well. I might go and pick it up tomorrow if I get chance. I trust they have done their homework and I am also aware of my consumer rights. I've tried the bass a few times and asked the relevant questions but I will post pics ASAP. It's just disconcerting with the pat numbers absent. All the P basses I have googled from 72/74 have numbers under Fender logo. I wondered if there were ever any exceptions. It's my only worth.
[/quote]to help you, here is a 1973 p bass being sold by Andy Baxter, hopefully your bass will be very similar, note there were no real feature changes between 1972 and 1975 on p basses

http://andybaxterbass.com/details.php?id=1124

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Thanks Gareth,

The one I have put a deposit on is exactly the same with tort shell, except it is a maple neck. It has the original bridge and pup cover. It's had one owner and has been used in a big band. It is very well worn, which is its appeal to me. I don't want a "clean one." I know it's down to personal choice. I just wish those patent numbers were present. I'll post pics when I get chance

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All sorted. All pat numbers were there on headstock. F plate puts the bass in 1973. I need a refret but the balance a vibe of this guitar is like nothing I've experienced before. The back history is sound and the shop filled me in on everything I needed to know. As I said it's a reputable shop owned and run by top people.

Anybody recommend a luthier to refret her in the Birmingham/ Black Country area please. I'm a very happy Mr Fudge with a great bass to play every Saturday night!

Edited by Mr Fudge

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LOVE the look of that! A well worn 70s (I don't mind a heavy bass and I think they generally sound lovely) p-bass in sunburst/tort/maple with chrome covers for me is pretty much perfect. Nice to know your bass' history too.
Unfortunately I only play 5 strings these days so hoping my humble Squier VM P5 looks something like this in 43 years time.

Edited by Painy

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