Jump to content

1970’s Fender Precisions - be warned, they are not all the same


gareth
 Share

Recommended Posts

People unfamiliar with these basses sometimes talk about them as though they are all the same

 

This is a mistake as changes occurred throughout this decade and in to the early 1980’s
 

Ive has loads of 70’s precision basses and have kept just two that both happen to be early 70’s sunburst basses - a rosewood and a maple 

 

I sold most of the others to Martin Petersen at the Bass Gallery

 

My observations based on these precisions is that on average there is a deterioration through this decade and in to the early 80’s in the following areas:-

 

1. Weight increases from the ideal 8 to 8 1/2 lbs to over 10lbs 

2. The tightness of the neck pocket diminishes

3. The natural resonance when played acoustically diminishes 

4. Cost cutting measures increase - single ply guides, three hole bridges, less substantial tuners, etc

5. Problems with body finishes especially black

6. Decreasing attention to body contours so that bodies become more angular


This is not to say there aren’t great late 70’s precisions and early 70’s dogs

 

Its against this background that I find the early vintage reissue series started in 1982 such a breath of fresh air and a return to form at fender 

 

For anyone interested in AVRIs I started this gear thread here

 

And this thread on Talkbass

 

https://www.talkbass.com/threads/fender-fullerton-reissue-club.511899/

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember the one I bought from you Gareth, Olympic white (tho had gone nearly TV yellow over the years) think it was a 77. Great bass, weight was 10.5lbs, but a mate of mine had the exact same bass to look at, same year but his weighed 13lbs!

 

I also had two 78s, again identical to look at but one was 8lbs, the other was 10lbs. The 10lb one was the angriest sounding bass I’ve ever played (I nicknamed it Ian Paisley), whereas the 8lb sounded just like a regular Precision. 
 

So much variation in items made at around the same time. Have to say tho, all 3 basses were great.

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’ve been looking for a 71/72 for a while now so I’ve seen a few, I wouldn’t say any were bad , the reason I didn’t buy them was that the sellers were economical with the truth about them being all original 🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And at the end of that line there are the early 80s ones built with 70s parts and with 70s serial numbers, but with the difference that they can actually be well built with good fit and finish and a lot rounder contouring. I have an 81 like that, an ash/maple jazz that weighs just 4.2kg.

 

I like this comparing example that shows the difference in contouring from the back. Both are jazz basses with an s8 serial number. The one above is from 1978, the one below from 1981:

 

IMG_20211209_094338.jpg.452d20416c6a637588f916c548bf79b3.jpg.bd9cbd19b9584d7bf896b8215602f3ff.jpgIMG_20211209_094400.jpg.e636c786f320e5b4e9872f2503d565e7.jpg.c149f6e6cd07a0d537c913ba7e4f55f2.jpg

 

I've seen the same difference among precision basses (needed to say this to keep on topic ;) )

Edited by SurroundedByManatees
Link to comment
Share on other sites

49 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

I remember the one I bought from you Gareth, Olympic white (tho had gone nearly TV yellow over the years) think it was a 77. Great bass, weight was 10.5lbs, but a mate of mine had the exact same bass to look at, same year but his weighed 13lbs!

 

I also had two 78s, again identical to look at but one was 8lbs, the other was 10lbs. The 10lb one was the angriest sounding bass I’ve ever played (I nicknamed it Ian Paisley), whereas the 8lb sounded just like a regular Precision. 
 

So much variation in items made at around the same time. Have to say tho, all 3 basses were great.

Yes exactly 

 

I had a very light black 79 - I think it was under 8lbs

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

It wasnt just the 70s that the weight crept up. My '69 is a hefty 10.2lbs, the heaviest of all my basses.

 

OK, it had an Allparts neck a few years ago to replace the original, but fundamentally it was a bit of a boat anchor when it left the factory.

 

However, the sound of this beast is enough to reduce grown men to tears of joy so its worth putting up with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having owned a couple of 70's P basses (74 which I still have and 77 which I sold here a couple of years ago) I also notice that the rosewood on the fingerboards was less dark and more brown over the decade - almost half way towards the Pau Ferro that they are using on the MIM basses these days .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine is a 1970 according to serial number, but there are parts ranging from 1966 (pots), 1968 (neck) and 1970 (pickups) and it has the long G intonation screw from that era too.
 

Paint job is very fragile and thin (possibly nitro) rather than the thick poly which was introduced at that time.

 

So yeah - it was available to buy in 1970 but it’s not very typical of what you’d expect “a 1970s Fender” to be. And it’s only 3.8kg. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...