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 Fender MUSTANG BASS 1977, MINT, MUST SEE ORIGINAL CONDITION, w / Many Pics

AGOURA HILLS, CALIFORNIA, 91301, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2499

41 year old Vintage Fender MUSTANG BASS This one is in MINT, ALL-ORIGINAL, COLLECTOR condition   Original Natural finish over an ASH Body with a solid 1-piece Maple neck. These are considered Short Scale with a string length that measures 30 inches, and they make wonderful Bass tones.   This beautiful Vintage bass was built back in 1977, it is an original 41 year old U S. Made Fender instrument. This bass has never been modified or damaged. It was kept as a collectible and only used sparingly ... more

One Owner 1978 Fender Precision Bass Olympic White with Original Hardshell Case

MURRIETA, CALIFORNIA, 92562, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

£2233

FREE SHIPPING TO THE "LOWER 48 " !CHECK OUT OUR SUPERB FEEDBACK FOR YOURSELF!CALL FOR A HANDS ON DESCRIPTION OF ALL OF OUR INSTRUMENTS!Guitars West, Inc. From a large collection out of Chicago, we are pleased to offer this 1978 Fender Precision Bass, serial# S871519, in Olympic White, one owner. As the first production model bass guitar, the Fender Precision bass was an absolutely revolutionary instrument upon its introduction in 1951. The Precision or P Bass evolved throughout the ‘50s with ... more

VINTAGE! Fender Precision Bass Fretless 1976 Black + OHSC

RAMONA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

£2045

When ordering from the US, parcels may be subject to import tax and duty charges, which the buyer is responsible to pay. VINTAGE! Fender Precision Bass Fretless 1976 Black OHSC Lovies Guitars is offering up this vintage, Fender P Bass guitar in a Black finish! This is an absolutely classic bass! This fretless bass is in overall good shape for being over 40 years old! It has dings and scratches. Right by the thumb rest is a worn spot on the paint. Considering the year it's in very good ... more

VINTAGE 1980 USA FENDER PRECISION P BASS GUITAR HANG TAG CASE CANDY

RICHARDSON, TEXAS, 75081, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$129

PLEASE READ BEFORE BIDDING-I AM UNABLE TO SHIP TO ANY DESTINATION THAT USPS CANNOT INSURE, SORRY. ALL AUCTIONS PAYPAL ONLY, WILL SHIP TO YOUR PAYPAL MATCHING ADDRESS ONLY, NO ALTERNATE SHIP ADDRESS. WINNING BIDDER TO PAY WITHIN 2 DAYS OF AUCTION CLOSE. ANY NEW EBAYERS ( LESS THAN 5 POSITIVE TRANSACTIONS) EMAIL ME BEFORE BIDDING, OR YOUR BID WILL BE CANCELLED. TEXAS RESIDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO PAY 8 25% SALES TAX. PLEASE ASK ALL QUESTIONS EARLY…SOMETIMES I AM REQUIRED TO BE AWAY FROM THE ... more

1960 Fender "Stacked Knob" Jazz Bass early 9 / 60 production 1 owner since 1962 !

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, 33327, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$22495

WE ARE FLORIDA'S OLDEST VINTAGE GUITAR SHOP ! 1960 Fender "Stacked Knob" Jazz Bass owned for 56 years by 1 owner ! This is an incredible original 1st year “Stacked Knob” Jazz Bass in very good shape, its 3-tone Sunburst finish over an alder body is simply from the very 1st batch of these, its Slab-Rose neck is slim like its so famous for & has a pencil’d in neck date of 9 / 60, its pretty pepperoni colored Tortoiseshell pickgard has 1 chip yet pulls this all together making it one of ... more

70's Fender 3 color sunburst Bass Body USA vintage Precision 1974 thru 1978

PORTLAND, OREGON, 97218, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

C $695

Vintage Fender Precision 1970's bass bodyRefinish in 3 color sunburst looks excellentWeight is 6 lbs 12 ouncesRouted for a 9 volt battery as seen in picturesSome arm and buckle wear / a few minor nicks and extra strap hole on bottom boutGreat looking precision body Thank you for checking out the pictures... more

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