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1960/61 Fender Precision


Boodang

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Interestingly the equivalent cost today that Fender were selling the P bass back in the day is around 2K, so not cheap. Makes you realise how far we've come in terms of quality/price, especially in the last few years.

My Squier jazz is one of the best I've ever played in the 40 years of being a bassist and even with the hardware mods I've done still very cheap by comparison. 

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It's funny, isn't it. There is no doubt that manufacturing tolerances are better now. There will always be a market for "things which were cool when I was young but I could not afford them then so I will have it now". And what those things are will change with time. But does older = better? For me? No.

 

When I were a lad anything that was after 1965 was uncool. Now anything from the 70's is considered exciting. I have a 66J from Jan the 5th (so very nearly 65!) and a neck and body from a 73P. Both function very nicely and the sniffiness which I would have met had I been championing the 73 in the 80s has completely dissipated. I would not have been championing it in the early 80s anyway, because I knew that anything from the 70s sucked badly. 

 

The only real difference I can see apart from the actual wood is finishes. The wood they were using was probably better quality lumber because that was what they had and it had been drying for longer. That was how they did it. None of it was deliberately fancy. It was just what was at the local lumber yard. So there is an argument for the wood - but I am not going to go there.

 

Do I prefer a nitro finish to a poly finish? Yes, I do. For THE TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE!!!!!!!!? Not really, I just like the tactile nature of it. I like the aesthetic. And the aesthetic is a very important part. I have been through 3 Bravewoods in my time. For me they have that aesthetic in spades. And they sounded great (and were not using that old wood). Just not enough strings. But they totally ticked that box.

 

If I were to A/B one of theses Bravewoods against my 66 then they would be different. Not better, or worse, just different. Two different flavours of great. And as soon as we subjected either to Guitarmageddon and a Drummer then any of the subtleties would disappear without a trace. And I suspect that working out which was which in a blind test would be virtually impossible. Two 66Js from Jan the 5th would be different from each other. The infamous Bass Bash where someone played 17 gazillion basses behind a curtain and virtually no one could tell the difference between them was very telling.

 

On a straight up plugging in and recording or playing metric, my newer basses are better instruments. And I have played/owned the good, old stuff so am at least entitled to an opinion. Of course, there are other metrics in play here. It is arguable that 1 bass which can do ALL the tones will have the owner spending more time sorting the tone than they would actually writing and playing that killer song/riff. There is a discipline created by limitations which means that the creativity has to be directed in a different direction.

 

Any bass you can buy now, once it is set up will do all we need. We would do well to get over ourselves and actually write music. I am talking to myself here more than anyone else.

 

This stream of consciousness rambling has been brought to you by an empty staff room during my lunch hour. 

Edited by owen
because of the spelling.
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I was just going to say the opposite 🙂

 

The finish on these things isn't exactly robust. The ones which have been played regularly tend to show it. The biogunk which comes from our fingers and sweaty hands can do terrible things to the old finishes. The red in in the 3TS finish tends to fade when exposed to light over time too. The ones which look nice and clean have usually not seen so much action. It doesn't mean they're dogs, by any stretch, but pre-poly instruments tend to show they've been played fairly quickly, even if they've been lovingly cared for.

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39 minutes ago, musicbassman said:

......and to rather demonstrate this, here's Michael League (Snarky Puppy) playing a 1952 Precision with a band called Forq.  :thank_you:

 

 

Im not entirely sure what this is demonstrating Mr League tends to sound good playing whatever... again I'm not sure what I'm demonstrating but here's another good player with a more recent Mexican fender. 

 

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On 30/11/2021 at 17:53, Happy Jack said:

I really, REALLY hope that bass is worth £14,500.

 

I have a 1957 P and a 1965 P so that would mean that I'm RICH!!!

 

Bwahahahahahahahahaha!!!

 

[Diabolical laughter]

keep laughing - prices gone silly the last two three years

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5 hours ago, Burns-bass said:


In a blind test I’d take that bet.

Possibly something that has been done in a previous bass bash? I’ve yet to play a vintage fender with replacement pickups. I suspect no one would do it, but it’d be interesting to hear the same vintage Fender first with original pickups and then with repro pickups. Would its sound maintain the vintage characteristics?

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30 minutes ago, OliverBlackman said:

Possibly something that has been done in a previous bass bash? I’ve yet to play a vintage fender with replacement pickups. I suspect no one would do it, but it’d be interesting to hear the same vintage Fender first with original pickups and then with repro pickups. Would its sound maintain the vintage characteristics?

Would a modern clone of an original pickup, with the same type wire and slightly degaussed magnets sound that different? If you have an original pickup rewound does it change the tone? 

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1 hour ago, Doctor J said:

 

What are vintage characteristics in the sound?

Obviously it’s hard to put into words and subjective, but I would define it as very warm and honky evenly across the neck. It’s a sound I’ve heard from Fender Ps and Js from the 60s and 70s period that disappeared in the 80s versions and from there on. I don’t hear the same sound from other manufacturers of that era either.

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