FENDER | BASS GUITARS

Fender electric bass guitars

Vintage basses made by Fender

1958 advertisement for the Fender Precision bass
1958 advertisement for the Fender Precision bass. The Precisions portability is demonstrated here, by showing it inside an upright acoustic bass case.

The first bass guitar

When it comes to bass guitars, one name looms way above all others, and for very good reason. Leo Fender launched the first commercial solid body electric guitar, the Fender Broadcaster in 1950, and just a year later came out with the Fender Precision bass. At the time, this was a bold step. Bass players played upright acoustic basses, but the Precision offered such clear advantages over an upright: firstly in portability as the advertisement to the right demonstrates, but also by having frets - allowing 'precision' playing.

Naturally the Fender Precision bass took off, and it has been in production ever since.

Other vintage Fender basses

But Fender did produce other bass models; the 1960s saw a massive boom in guitar-buying, and Fender experimented with different ideas. The Jazz bass was another very big sauces, appearing right at the beginning of the decade, and like the Precision, is still in production today. The next basses were less successful; Fender tried a six string version, the Bass VI in 1961, followed by a 5 string bass the Bass V in 1965. Neither sold in particularly large numbers.

Hollow-body guitars were all the rage in the mid 1960s, and inspired by the likes of the Gibson EB2 and Epiphone Rivoli, Fender hired designer Roger Rossmeisl to create the Coronado bass in 1966. Unfortunately they were poorly received, and another commercial flop.

1973 Fender Precision bass advertisement
The Worlds Favorite Road Machine - by the 1970s, the Fender Precision was the bass guitar, widely imitated by just about every other guitar maker big and small. As this advertisement states, "professionals choose a Fender Bass more than any other"

But another bass introduced in 1966 did fare better, the short scale Fender Mustang. Although it had just one pickup and simple controls, it was a great bass, and sold well.

As the Sixties turned into the Seventies, the American guitar manufacturers started receiving real competition from Japan. Combined with a generally poor economic climate in the US, guitar sales were going down. Companies were closing down, or moving production overseas. This lead to the introduction of some low-priced models, the Fender Telecaster bass in 1968 and the Fender Musicmaster bass in 1970.

Many of the basses designed at Fender have changed very little in the following years, a testament to the strengths of the original concepts. They got it right first time around.

Vintage Fender basses

Vintage Fender basses

Old Fender basses are very highly prized by collectors and players alike, consequently prices for vintage Fender Precision and vintage Fender Jazz basses can be quite incredible. Pre-1965 instruments are especially desire able; before Fender sold out to CBS. Newer Fenders still sell for good money, and there are some great basses even among the originally less popular models, such as the Musicmaster.

Find out about some of the vintage Fender bass models by following the links below

Got an opinion on the contents of this page? Disagree with something written above? Please comment

Fender bass guitars for sale

1962 Fender Jazz Bass ultra rare & all original 3 Knob w / a "Slab" Fingerboard !

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, 33327, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$17495

WE ARE FLORIDA'S OLDEST VINTAGE GUITAR SHOP ! 1962 Fender Jazz Bass ultra rare & all original 3 Knob w / a "Slab" Fingerboard ! This is an incredible original 1st issue “3-knob” Jazz Bass in very good yet quite played-in shape, its has an original Sunburst finish over a lightweight Alder body, its Slab-neck is slim like its so famous for & has a pencil’d in neck date of 3-62, its been refretted at least once & has a few frets thru the rosewood into the maple neck where the neck meets the ... more

1970 Fender Jazz Bass a true 1-off in Olympic White w / a Maple Cap neck ! CLEAN

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

£7972

When ordering from the US, parcels may be subject to import tax and duty charges, which the buyer is responsible to pay. WE ARE FLORIDA'S OLDEST VINTAGE GUITAR SHOP ! 1970 Fender Jazz Bass a true 1-off in Olympic White w / a Maple Cap neck ! This is an incredible all original Jazz Bass w / the rarest “Maple Cap” neck in exceptionally clean shape, its has an original Olympic White finish over a lightweight Alder body, its ultra rare Black Block / Bound inlaid Maple Cap neck (crazy rare having... more

1965 Fender Jazz Bass "Unbound" neck w / all Pre-CBS features completed early 1966

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

£10763

When ordering from the US, parcels may be subject to import tax and duty charges, which the buyer is responsible to pay. WE ARE FLORIDA'S OLDEST VINTAGE GUITAR SHOP ! 1965 Fender Jazz Bass "Unbound" neck w / all Pre-CBS features completed early 1966 This is another incredible original early CBS made “3-knob” Jazz Bass w / all Pre-CBS features in exceptionally clean shape, its has an original Sunburst finish over a lightweight Alder body, its “Unbound” neck has some nice birdseye to it & ... more

Fender Musicmaster 1963, all original, good condition

GLENDALE, CALIFORNIA, 91205, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$3550

Fender Musicmaster 1963, priced to sell, all original, w / OHSC... more

VINTAGE 1974 (4-BOLT) FENDER JAZZ BASS w / CASE -100% Original- 74 75 1975 guitar

LAKE ARROWHEAD, CALIFORNIA, 92352, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$3495

Vintage 1974 Fender Jazz Bass100% Original w / Original Hard Shell Case Awesome vintage Fender Jazz Bass made in Fullerton, CA, USA in 1974. Original natural finish (over ash wood with beautiful grain), white 3-ply pickguard and bound maple neck with pearl blocks. Nothing has been changed or modified on this instrument - It's 100% original down to the last screw and has the original “tail logo” case. It has some finish wear, dings and scratches here and there, but overall very very nice ... more

1957 Fender Precision Bass Sunburst Vintage electric bass guitar

EMERYVILLE, CALIFORNIA, 94608, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$14950

All original metal pickguard Precision bass with a very straight neck This is a clean bass with some wear on the pick guard and includes the original tweed "righty" case.... more

Find more vintage guitars for sale at vintageguitarsforsale.co

There are 0 comments on this article so far. Add your comment

Comment on this article

Name
Email address
Anti-spam question - to catch web robots
How many legs does a spider have?

Contact
info@vintageguitarandbass.com

Follow

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Google+

Other Great Sites