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

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Fender bass guitars for sale

Vintage USA 1976 Black Fender Mustang Bass Guitar. A Stunning Short Scale Bass

USA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$3999

Very Rare Vintage 1976 USA Fender Mustang Bass All original and in great vintage condition. Fully setup with low buttery smooth action. The bass plays like a dream. This Bass also sounds amazing. This is the REAL DEAL highly sought after USA Made Fender Short Scale Bass, not a knock off or newer attempted copy of the real thing. This is the real thing. You will love this bass. Please view the photos herein, for details, regarding the condition of this bass. You will notice some scratches on the ... more

Vintage 1978 Fender Mustang Bass Guitar USA  Original w / HSC

DES PLAINES, ILLINOIS, 60018, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1500

Vintage 1978 Fender Mustang Bass Guitar USA  Original w / HSC. Condition is Used. Shipped with USPS Parcel Select Ground.... more

Vintage Fender Lefty Precision P Bass Natural 1978

BROOKFIELD, WISCONSIN, 53005, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1699

Vintage Fender Lefty Precision P Bass Natural 1978 PLEASE CONTACT US WITH ANY QUESTIONS OR FOR AN IN-HAND DESCRIPTION A really wonderful player's grade Lefty P-Bass in classic natural finish. Pro set up included & ready to play straight out of the case. Cosmetic Condition: Various nicks, chips, dents & dings; scratches, buckle rash & some finish wear. Neck: Maple neck with black dot inlays. Frets are in great shape with hardly any wear. Fender open-gear tuners in perfect working condition. 1 5 /... more

1975 Fender Mustang Bass Vintage Short Scale Bass Ash Lake Placid Blue, Lollar

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, 98117, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2249

Up for sale, a 1975 Fender Mustang Bass in excellent condition and in perfect working order. Refinished in nitro lacquer Lake Placid Blue and fitted with genuine '60s Fender lollipop chrome tuners as well as a modern wide bevel mint green pickguard, this Mustang Bass is our latest vintage restoration here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, representing a custom color finish never offered by Fender on this model and a "what if" of classic cosmetic appointments. This ultra lightweight Mustang Bass is ... more

1978 FENDER PRECISION BASS GUITAR RARE MOCHA FINISH "NICE"

GLEN BURNIE, MARYLAND, 21061, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2295

SELLING MY BABY, 1978 FENDER PRECISION BASS GUITAR IN EXCELLENT CONDITION, RARE ORIGINAL MOCHA FINISH, ORIGINAL FENDER CASE ALSO INCLUDED, ALL THE CHROME IS IN PERFECT CONDITION, NECK HAS NO WEAR, BODY HAS A COUPLE VERY MINOR NICKS BUT OVERALL IN SUPERB SHAPE, NO WEAR, SOUNDS AND SHOWS BEAUTIFUL, ORIGINAL FENDER CASE IS IN GREAT SHAPE, HAS A COUPLE MINOR BLEMISHES ON THE EXTERIOR BUT OVERALL IN VERY GOOD SHAPE, HATE TO SELL THIS GEM BUT ITS TIME TO LET SOMEONE ELSE ENJOY A TRUE CLASSIC TOP OF ... more

1959 Fender Precision 59 P Bass Vintage all original Collector Amazing Condition

PLEASANT HILL, CALIFORNIA, 94523, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

C $22211

Vintage 1959 Fender Precision Bass with original tweed case. Everything On This Beauty Is Original The Finish Is very good for it's age. All Parts / Pickups / Electronics Are Original. Tone is fat and warm. Just plays like a dream. Very light weight. The body date is 9-59 under the pickup.... more

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