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 1972 Competition Red Fender Mustang Bass Guitar. A Gorgeous Short Sc

HALLANDALE, FLORIDA, 33009, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$3999

Vintage USA 1972 Competition Red Fender Mustang Bass Guitar. A Gorgeous Short Scale Bass Proudly offering another beautiful and extremely Rare Vintage USA Fender Mustang Bass This Competition Red Mustang Bass was made in 1972 All original and in great vintage condition. Fully setup with low buttery smooth action. The bass plays like it should. However, it could certainly use a new set of strings. This Bass sounds wonderful, even with the current older strings that are installed. This is another ... more

Vintage Fender Mustang Bass Black 1978

BROOKFIELD, WISCONSIN, 53005, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1499

Vintage Fender Mustang Bass Black 1978 PLEASE CONTACT US WITH ANY QUESTIONS OR FOR AN IN-HAND DESCRIPTION 100% original Mustang Bass finished in black offering superb tone & playability. The short scale makes a favorite among guitarists & the comfortable neck plays great up & down the fretboard. Professionally inspected & set up by the experts at Cream City Music, so it's ready to play straight out of the case. Cosmetic Condition: Good honest play wear - various nicks, chips, dents & dings; ... more

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 1979 USA FENDER PRECISION P BASS GUITAR HANG TAG CASE CANDY

PLANO, TEXAS, 75025, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$149

ALL AUCTIONS PAYPAL ONLY. WINNING BIDDER TO PAY AT 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 COMPUTER. INTERNATIONAL EBAYERS: WE DO NOT USE EBAY'S GLOBAL SHIPPING PROGRAM. BIDDER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY AND ALL IMPORT DUTIES, TAXES OR FEES, (I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THIS). YOUR ITEM WILL BE... more

1970s Fender Mustang Bass Silverburst w / Lollar Thunderbird Pickup, G&G Case

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, 98117, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2299

Up for sale, a 1970's Fender Mustang Bass in excellent condition and in perfect working order. One of our custom vintage restorations here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, this genuine vintage Fender Mustang Bass is an unholy Fender / Gibson alliance, custom routed for a Lollar Thunderbird pickup and finished in an aged nitro lacquer Gibson-esque Silverburst. Featherweight at only 7lbs 13oz and featuring a solid ash body, this bass has a rich and roaring sound, with lots of articulation, accentuated... more

1952 Fender Precision Bass #0038 ALL ORIGINAL!!

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, 11232, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$14000

Fender Precision bass #0038! What else is there to even say!! 98% original, including the original pleather Fender gig bag! Only non original things are the volume pot which was changed long ago, and the original chrome pickup cover was lost. Bridge cover is original and still has the original foam in it!! Initials “TG” for Tadeo Gomez, Fenders most famous neck carver are found both on the neck as well as the body. Hand written date in pencil says 4-29-52! Pickup sounds incredible, weight is... more

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