SOLD - Vintage Fender Precision Bass Refin – USA 1958/59
Pickup currently unavailable
It is difficult to overstate the significance of the Fender Precision Bass, an absolutely revolutionary instrument which was introduced in 1951. The Precision Bass can be considered the first true electric bass guitar, and its popularity was hugely influential in the development of country, jazz and rock & roll.
It was basic, stripped down, totally playable, and it roared. The P Bass totally revolutionized the way musicians approached “the bottom end” from 1951 onward.
By 1958, the changes implemented in 1957 were made standard for P Basses. A new split-coil pickup, a new smaller anodized aluminium pickguard, a wider headstock that more closely resembled that of the Strat, and a switch from string-through body construction to the strings terminating at through the bridge were now the norm for the Precision.
Years of Production: 1951 - present
Unique to 1958: In late '58, the pole pieces of the pickup went from staggered to level. First year of three-tone sunburst instead of two-tone.
Body Style: Double cutaway solidbody
Wood Composition: Adler body, Maple neck
Design Elements: Split single-coil pickup with level pole pieces, aluminium pickguard, 34-inch scale length, dot inlays
Finish Specifications: Three-tone sunburst was introduced on the Precision Bass starting in 1958.
This lovely Fender Precision Bass was bought by its current owner in 2012 as a refurbishment project direct from its US owner, where it had had a bad refinish job sometime beforehand. And what a project it’s been – it now presents as a fine vintage P Bass in excellent player grade condition.
The body & neck were taken to Sydney’s master of refinishing Frank Grubisa, who applied his renowned skills to deliver a wonderfully lustrous nitro finish in glowing sunburst. The finish was deliberately not polished, resulting in a low sheen, “out of the gun” finish.
At this time it was determined that the body is from 1958 as there is a date stamp of 7/58 in the pickup cavity – see pics. The neck is from 1959/60 and features the correct profile, slab Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, tuners, clay dots and thinner truss rod of the era. There is no neck date, which is not uncommon for 1959/60. The neck was also treated to an excellent refret job which was finished off and dressed by Mr Grubisa.
The bridge is from the late 50s, while the anodized pickguard is a modern reproduction.
The knobs and pots appear to be original -- pot codes 137916 = 1959. The decal is an era correct vintage reproduction. Electronics all work as they should – the volume and tone pots are smooth and adjust smoothly.
The pickup is a high quality Lindy Fralin P Bass unit which delivers the classic P Bass punch and girth expected form an instrument of this era.
This has been a go-to instrument for a busy part time player, and it ticks a lot of boxes.
The original tuners are strong and hold pitch perfectly. The back of the neck has seen its lacquer worn away and is now sleek and smooth like a well used billiard cue.
Serial # 33xxx = 1959
Weight is 8.7 lbs
Nut width is 1 11/16” / 42mm.
Overall this old girl is in excellent shape, and it is a great player. Balanced output in all registers with no dull spots. It plays cleanly in all positions without fret buzz or any compromise required. Currently set up with a comfy medium-low action, but you can dial this one in with action any way you want it.
The hardware is all clean and the truss rod is fully functioning with no issues.
Comes with a newer Fender style hard case in excellent condition.
UPDATE - the owner of this lovely bass has decided to keep the bridge cover and pickup cover, which were later editions and not original to this instrument. So while they remain in the photos in our listing, they are not included in the sale. This update coincides with a significant price drop announced 4th May 2022.