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FENDER | BASS GUITARS

Fender electric bass guitars

Vintage basses made by Fender

The first bass guitar

Vintage Fender basses

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.

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.

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.

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

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"

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 desirable; basses built in the period before Fender sold out to CBS. 1970s and even 1980s Fender bass guitars are rapidly increasing in value. As earlier instruments become unaffordable to the majority of musicians, the prices of these basses only increase.

Newer Fenders also 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

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1966 Fender Precision Bass

1966 Fender Precision Bass

Encinitas, California, 920**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$12000



1966 Fender P-Bass in factory custom color Candy Apple Red !

Beautiful golden age P-bass that plays and sounds incredible

All original save for a repro pickup cover and the original owner had diamonds inlaid on the fingerboard but has since been replaced with factory dot inlays

This is a FANTASTIC Fender bass and you will not be disappointed

Thank you for looking!
... more
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1966 Fender Mustang Bass Daphne Blue

1966 Fender Mustang Bass Daphne Blue

Seattle, Washington, 981**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$4861

Up for sale is a super cool and wonderful sounding 1966 Fender Mustang Bass in its original Daphne Blue finish. Short scale 4 string bliss! Neck is stamped 17DEC66B, visible pots are coded 3046631 dating to the 31st week of 1966. Pickup is replaced and is from a 1980s Fender Bullet Bass and one pot has been worked on and has a partially open back. Overall in very good condition and comes with a vintage non original case. Weight: 7lbs. 9oz
... more
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Fender Musicmaster Bass 1970s Refinished Silver with OHSC and Case Candy.

Fender Musicmaster Bass 1970s Refinished Silver with OHSC and Case Candy.

Las Vegas, Nevada, 891**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1200

Here we have an early 70s Fender Musicmaster bass that has been professionally refinished in silver
It plays great and includes all of the original parts. The pickguard, volume pot and pickup have been replaced. The original pickup works great but I preferred the Seymour duncan that has replaced it. The volume pot unfortunately was accidentally broken and has a disconnected shaft. The original owner replaced the pickguard with a reproduction because of damage as shown to the original ... more
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1976 Fender Precision Electric Bass - Natural

1976 Fender Precision Electric Bass - Natural

Dobbs Ferry, New York, 105**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$3199

This is a good condition 1976 Fender Precision Electric Bass in Natural finish. This classic instrument plays very well when connected to an amplifier. There is a large hairline crack across the front just above the bridge, in addition to several smaller hairline cracks across the front and back (all pictured). This bass will come with a gig bag
Please reach out with any questions
... more
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Early ?80s Fender Parts P-Bass, w /  80??s Neck, Badass II Bridge, Porter Pickup

Early ?80s Fender Parts P-Bass, w / 80??s Neck, Badass II Bridge, Porter Pickup

Woodbury, New York, 117**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1600

Early ?80s Fender Parts P-Bass, w / 80??s Neck, Badass II Bridge, Porter Pickup, Warmoth Body
Everyone needs a workhorse P-Bass! This P-Bass is built up in the style of a classic 80??s groove machine. The Badass Bridge adds a crazy amount of sustain, and the high-output Porter Pickup is chock full of tone. The classic 2TSB finish over the Warmoth Body adds all the vibe the doctor ordered with this offering from Tone House! No matter the style of track, this bass is ready to deliver
This ... more
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1958 Fender Precision Bass

1958 Fender Precision Bass

Loveland, Ohio, 451**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$30500

1958 Fender Precision Bass, Early ??58 with a Two tone burst, Anodized pickguard, Maple neck, Both Covers, Spaghetti logo, Wonderfulinstrument from the family of the original owner, VG++, Original tweed hardcase.
... more
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1971 Fender Jazz Bass a really nice all original classic example ready to use.

1971 Fender Jazz Bass a really nice all original classic example ready to use.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 333**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$7495

We??ve just acquired a really clean & original 1971 Fender Jazz Bass w / all the right features, its has its original Sunburst finish over a lightweight Alder body, its White Bound & Block inlaid 4-bolt Rosewood Neck is super clean w / perfect logo & frets, its ink date stamp is quite illegible but she has pot date codes from the 16th week of 1971, its original Tortoise-shell pickgard pulls this all together making it one of Fender??s last great Jazzes, its 2 pickups are super smooth... more
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original 1971 Fender MUSTANG BASS Competition Red w / MATCHING HEADSTOCK!!!

original 1971 Fender MUSTANG BASS Competition Red w / MATCHING HEADSTOCK!!!

Carbondale, Illinois, 629**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$5190


Add Me to Your Favorite Sellers
Olivia's Vintage would like to present this 1971 Fender Mustang Bass in its original Competition Red finish with a matching headstock. It has a great playing neck with great frets. It's all original with the exception of the nut and the added Jazz Bass bridge cover. It is also 100% complete with the exception of the mute pads. The original hardshell case is included and has a broken "repaired" handle. This bass looks great with some nicks + dings finish ... more
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1966 Fender Mustang Bass (Hard Case Included)

1966 Fender Mustang Bass (Hard Case Included)

Bend, 977**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$4000

This vintage 1966 Fender Mustang Bass is a classic piece for any bassist. With its iconic design and versatile sound, this bass is perfect for any level of player. The brand is well-known and highly respected in the music industry, and this instrument is sure to impress

The bass comes with a hard case for easy transport and protection. It has been well-loved and played, but still produces a quality sound. This instrument is a great addition to any collection or live performance setup... more
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1971 Fender Jazz Bass a groovy example in Sunburst w / a 4 bolt rosewood neck.

1971 Fender Jazz Bass a groovy example in Sunburst w / a 4 bolt rosewood neck.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 333**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$6995

Another cool one just acquired its a pretty clean & very original 1971 Fender Jazz Bass w / all the right features, its has its original Sunburst finish over a nice Alder body, its White Bound & Block inlaid 4-bolt Rosewood Neck is pretty clean w / a perfect logo & frets, there's no date stamp on its neck typically from this period but she has pot date codes from the 16th week of 1971, its original Tortoise-shell pickgard pulls this all together making it one of Fender??s last great ... more
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Fender Jazz Bass 1978 Black With Maple Block Neck

Fender Jazz Bass 1978 Black With Maple Block Neck

Ballston Spa, New York, 120**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$3500

This Fender Jazz Bass from 1978 is a classic beauty with a black body and maple blocked neck. The unique features of this bass is the low weight (for this era) of 9 2 lbs and rich sound. I would rate overall condition as very good. Original black finish shows honesty wear of a 45 year old bass. The original black pickguard and a second off white is included. Original pickups, pots, wiring, tuning heads, even the frets are in very good condition. Only the bridge , tug bar and knobs are not ... more
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Vintage 1966 Fender Precision Bass w /  Original Hardshell Case NEAR MINT

Vintage 1966 Fender Precision Bass w / Original Hardshell Case NEAR MINT

Boca Raton, Florida, 334**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$15100

Offered here is a true closet queen.
An Original 1966 Fender Precision Bass in Sunburst finish
Comes in its original case and is in NEAR MINT Condition It has been stored in its case and never played by me as long as I've owned it, which is 40+ years It also has its original vintage Fender guitar strap Located in the U S. for easy shipping
See photos for accurate description.
An Original 1966 Fender Precision Bass in Sunburst finish.... more
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1978 Fender Jazz Bass factory left handed Natural Ash 1 of a kind & Minty !

1978 Fender Jazz Bass factory left handed Natural Ash 1 of a kind & Minty !

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 333**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$5995

Here??s a very cool one just acquired & its 1 of the very rarest factory Left Handed all original 1978 Fender Jazz Bass, its has its original bright & beautiful Natural finish over a nice grainy Ash body, its White Bound & Block inlaid 3-bolt Maple Neck is like new w / very little yellowing fade at all, she has pot date codes from 1978, its got its original black pickgard that pulls this all together, its 2 pickups are super smooth w / that quintessential ??Jazz Bass?? sound ! Its so... more
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Vintage 1969 Fender P Precision bass, Original!

Vintage 1969 Fender P Precision bass, Original!

Little Falls, New Jersey, 074**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$7655

Here is a beautiful example of a great solid Vintage P-bass! Tunes excellent, action is very low, plenty of life on the frets! This thing plays and feels beautifully! Sounds thunderous, P-Bass , Vintage tone! Pickups were replaced, as the original ones were intermittent, but they are included. I just ended up with too many basses, and have to unload some! Comes with original case (somebody before me stamped their band name I would guess).
... more
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1978 Fender Precision Bass Sunburst Electric Bass Guitar w /  Case & Cable #51344

1978 Fender Precision Bass Sunburst Electric Bass Guitar w / Case & Cable #51344

North Hollywood, California, 916**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$3250

ebay template
eBay Template Design by OCDesignsOnline HomeAboutTestimonialsPoliciesContactSell your Gear 1978 Fender Precision Bass Sunburst Electric Bass Guitar w / Case & Cable #51344 ××××××××××××××××××××××××××××××××××× Item DescriptionWORKING CONDITION: Excellent - Tonally this bass sounds incredible. The knob pots were a ... more
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1965 Fender Jazz Bass

1965 Fender Jazz Bass

Loveland, Ohio, 451**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$14900

1965 Fender Jazz Bass, Sunburst finish, ??L?? Plate, Both covers, Sounds amazing, Stunning clean example of a sought after model, EC, Original hard case... more
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Fender Jazz Bass 1964 - White - Refin

Fender Jazz Bass 1964 - White - Refin

Brooklyn, New York, 112**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$9250


This Fender Jazz Bass was made in the USA in 1964. Neck date is January '64. The parts are completely original although the neck pickup has been rewound. The body has been refinished a long time ago in sonic blue that has faded to almost white. It is an old refin that was well done and has aged nicely giving the bass a great look. The neck has the original finish. This bass has been pro-setup in our store and plays great. It weighs 9 lbs 6 oz and comes with the original case in the pictures... more
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1963 Fiesta Red Fender Precision Bass

1963 Fiesta Red Fender Precision Bass

Loveland, Ohio, 451**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$37600

1963 Fender Precision Bass, Very Rare! Fiesta Red finish, Greenpickguard, Nice Dark Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard, Clay dots, Spaghetti logo, Both covers, Fantastic instrument, Absolutely gorgeous, EC, Original White hardcase
... more
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1961 Fender Stack Knob Jazz Bass

1961 Fender Stack Knob Jazz Bass

Loveland, Ohio, 451**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$37500

1961 Fender Jazz Bass, Rare Stack Knob, Brazilian RosewoodSlab Board with clay dot inlays, Lovely Sunburst finish, Tortoise Pickguard, Two Pickups, Both covers, One of the finest basses ever made, VG++, OriginalBrown hard case.
... more
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1953 Fender Precision Bass

1953 Fender Precision Bass

Loveland, Ohio, 451**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$31500

1953 Fender Precision Bass, Attractive Butterscotch Blondefinish, Beautifully grained Ash body, Black Guard, Stunning example, Signed byTadeo Gomez TAD 2-6-53 in the neck pocket, Fantastic feeling neck, Fabulousinstrument, Both Covers, EC, Original Brown gig bag.
... more
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1971 Selmer guitar catalogue

1971 Selmer guitar catalogueScan of 1971 Selmer guitar catalogue showing the range of electric and acoustic guitars distributed by the company: guitars by Gibson, Yamaha, Selmer, Hofner and Suzuki. 1960s Selmer had always placed Hofner at the front end of their catalogues, no doubt these were the better sellers - but into the 1970s Hofner were slipping somewhat and only appear at the tail end of this publication, pride of place going to Gibson, and to a lesser extent Yamaha. In fact this is the last Selmer catalogue to include the many Hofner hollow bodies (Committee, President, Senator etc) that had defined the companies output for so many years - to be replaced in the 1972 catalogue by generic solid body 'copies' of Gibson and Fender models. A number of new Gibson models are included for the first time: the SG-100 and SG-200 six string guitars and the SB-300 and SB-400 basses.

1968 Selmer guitar catalogue

1968 Selmer guitar catalogueScan of 1968/1969 Selmer guitar catalogue (printed July 1968), showing the entire range of electric and acoustic guitars distributed by the company: guitars by Hofner, Gibson, Selmer and Giannini. Selmer were the exclusive United Kingdom distributors of Hofner and Gibson at the time, and this catalogue contains a total of 18 electric guitars, 7 bass guitars, 37 acoustics, and 2 Hawaiian guitars - all produced outside the UK and imported by Selmer, with UK prices included in guineas. This catalogue saw the (re-)introduction of the late sixties Gibson Les Paul Custom and Les Paul Standard (see page 69) and the short-lived Hofner Club 70. Other electric models include: HOFNER ELECTRICS: Committee, Verithin 66, Ambassador, President, Senator, Galaxie, HOFNER BASSES: Violin bass, Verithin bass, Senator bass, Professional bass GIBSON ELECTRICS: Barney Kessel, ES-330TD, ES-335TD, ES-345TD, ES-175D, ES-125CD, SG Standard, SG Junior, SG Special GIBSON BASSES: EB-0, EB-2, EB-3 - plus a LOT of acoustics branded Gibson, Hofner, Selmer and Giannini

1961 Hofner Colorama I

1961 Hofner Colorama IHofner Colorama was the name UK distributor Selmer gave to a series of solid and semi-solid guitars built by Hofner for distribution in the UK. The construction and specifications of the guitars varied over the period of production, but by 1961 it was a totally solid, double cutaway instrument, with a set neck, translucent cherry finish, six-in-a-row headstock, and Hofner Diamond logo pickups. Available as a single or dual pickup guitar, this sngle pickup version would have been sold in mainland Europe as the Hofner 161.

1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)

1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)Commodore was a brand applied to a series of guitars produced in Japan at the well-respected Matsumoku plant from the late 1960s to the mid 1970s - and sold primarily (perhaps exclusively?) in the United Kingdom. The models bearing the Commodore name were all guitars available from different distributors with different branding. Although there may have been some minor changes in appointments (specifically headstock branding) most had the same basic bodies, hardware and construction. Equivalent models to the Commodore N25 (and this is by no means an exhaustive list) include the Aria 5102T, Conrad 5102T(?), Electra 2221, Lyle 5102T, Ventura V-1001, Univox Coily - and most famously the Epiphone 5102T / Epiphone EA-250.

1960 Hofner Colorama II

1960 Hofner Colorama IIThe Hofner Colorama was the name given by Selmer to a series of solid (and semi-solid) body Hofner guitars distributed in the United Kingdom between 1958 and 1965. The Colorama name actually applied to some quite different guitars over the period, but in 1960 it was a very light, semi-solid, set necked guitar with one (Colorama I) or two (Colorama II, as seen here) Toaster pickups. Although an entry-level guitar, it was very well-built, and a fine playing guitar; certainly a step up (at least in terms of craftsmanship) from many of the Colorama guitars that would follow, and a good deal of the guitars available in Britain circa 1960.

1971 Epiphone 1820 bass (ET-280)

1971 Epiphone 1820 (ET-280) bassBy the end of the 1960s, a decision had been made to move Epiphone guitar production from the USA (at the Kalamazoo plant where Gibson guitars were made), to Matsumoto in Japan, creating a line of guitars and basses significantly less expensive than the USA-built models (actually less than half the price). The Matsumoku factory had been producing guitars for export for some time, but the 1820 bass (alongside a number of guitar models and the 5120 electric acoustic bass) were the first Epiphone models to be made there. These new Epiphones were based on existing Matsumoku guitars, sharing body shapes, and hardware, but the Epiphone line was somewhat upgraded, with inlaid logos and a 2x2 peghead configuration. Over the course of the 70s, the Japanese output improved dramatically, and in many ways these early 70s models are a low point for the brand. Having said this, there are a lot worse guitars out there, and as well as being historically important, the 1820 bass can certainly provide the goods when required.

1981 Gibson Marauder

1981 Gibson MarauderProduction of Bill Lawrence's Gibson Marauder began in 1974, with production peaking in 1978. But by 1980 the model was officially discontinued, though very small numbers slipped out as late as spring 1981. Over 7000 examples shipped between 1974 and 1979, and although no totals are available for 1980 and 1981, it is unlikely production reached three figures in either of these years. These final Marauders were all assembled at the Gibson Nashville plant, and had some nice features not available through the later years of production, such as a rosewood fretboard, and in this case, an opaque 'Devil Red' finish. It's a great looking and fine playing guitar!

1971 'Pick Epiphone' Catalog

1971 Pick Epiphone catalogWhen Epiphone production moved from Kalamazoo to the Matsumoku plant in Japan, a whole new range of electric, flattop and classic acoustic guitars was launched. Between late 1970 and 1972 the new models were launched and refined. This 'folder' catalog contains various inserts released over these years detailing four electric six-strings (ET-270, ET-275, ET-278, and thinline EA-250), three bass guitars (ET-280, ET-285, and thinline EA-260), three folk/steel acoustics, four jumbo flattop acoustics, two 12-string jumbos, four classic acoustics, and a banjo.

1981 'Gibson Specials' Pre-Owners Manual

1981 Gibson Specials Pre-Owners Manual'Gibson Specials' was part of the June 1981 pre-owners manual series, but unlike the other folders contained a mish-mash of different guitars: limited editions, test marketing and close outs. "You will find the unusual, the brand-new, and the bargain within this folder". End of line 70s guitars like the Marauder, S-1, and L-6S Custom mixed in with brand new models the The V, The Explorer and the Flying V Bass.
It was the largest folder in the series, with 24 inserts, (19 guitars and 5 basses): Guitars: 335-S Standard, Melody Maker Double, Marauder, L-6S Custom, S-1, RD Artist, Firebird, Firebird II, Flying V, Flying V-II, The V, Explorer, Explorer II, The Explorer, The "SG" Standard, Les Paul Artist, Les Paul Artisan, ES-335 Heritage, ES-175/CC Basses: Grabber, G-3, L-9S, RD Artist Bass, Flying V Bass

1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bass

1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bassRose-Morris were selling Shaftesbury-branded Rickenbacker copy instruments from the late 1960s right through the 1970s. The 3263 bass was one of the first models, (alongside the 3261 six string and 3262 twelve string) available from late 1968 until about 1974. The earliest incarnation was a set neck bass, produced very briefly in Japan. But production quickly moved to Italy. This bolt-on neck example was built by Eko, in Recanati, using the same hardware and pickups as fitted to Eko, and Vox basses built around the same time. It's certainly a fine looking bass, and not a bad player either.

1961 Hohner Zambesi

1961 Hohner ZambesiThis very early, and pretty rare British-built guitar is branded Hohner London. Hohner were, of course, a German company, better known for their harmonicas and accordions, but they were keenly expanding into guitars at the birth of the 1960s. This model, along with the Hohner Amazon and (particularly) the Hohner Holborn, bear some similarity with Vox guitars of the same period; furniture manufacturer Stuart Darkins constructed bodies and necks for both brands, with Fenton Weill assembling them using their hardware and pickups. These guitars do have some hardware peculiarities, and they are not the most adjustable of instruments, but they actually play very nicely, being solidly built out of some very nice woods. Check out the video on this page.

1963 Vox Super Ace

1963 Vox Super AceThe Vox Super Ace was a mid-priced British solid body electric guitar, produced by JMI at their factory in Dartford, Kent. It was broadly modelled on the Fender Stratocaster, and a sibling model to the dual-pickup Vox Ace. Both the Ace, and Super Ace (along with several other models), were redesigned in 1963 with a new body shape, headstock style, and pickup layout - only increasing the resemblance to the aforementioned Fender. The Super Ace had a 1963 price tag of 47 5S. It's a pretty nice playing guitar with some lovely sounds - check out the videos on this page, and in the Vintage Guitar and Bass supporting members area

1966 Vox New Escort

1966 Vox New EscortThe Vox New Escort was Vox's version of the Fender Telecaster, at a time when American guitars were out of reach for most British musicians. It was made by JMI in England, for the British market, and unlike the majority of other models, didn't have an Italian-made equivalent. But the New Escort wasn't a slavish Fender copy, adding Vox's stylish teardrop headstock to the tele-style body, with a stop tailpiece and two Vox V2 single coil pickups. And it's a pretty substantial, and nice playing guitar, with a very comfortable neck. Check out the images, specifications, and watch a video of it in action. There is also extra content in the vintageguitarandbass supporting members area.

1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin' Care

1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin CareCatalog scan. The 1969 Fender Lovin' Care catalog consisted of 48 pages of electric guitars, basses, amplifiers, steel guitars, acoustic guitars, banjos and keyboards. Like the previous catalog, this featured the company's guitars in a variety of interesting settings around California, from the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, to the Hollywood Bowl. Several instruments were making their first appearance amongst it's pages: the Telecaster bass, Montego and LTD jazz guitars, and the Redondo acoustic. It was the final catalog appearance, however, of the Electric XII, Bass V, Duo-Sonic, Coronado I and Coronado Bass I.

1973 Eko Ranger Folk

1973 Eko Ranger FolkThe Eko Ranger series of guitars was incredibly popular in the second half of the 1960s and through the 1970s, selling in very large numbers. The Ranger Folk was 1 1/4" smaller, and 1" shallower than the Ranger VI and XII - and with a narrower waist. Not a bad guitar; a little quiet, but pretty playable. These were great value in 1973, and because they sold so many, they are easy to find and excellent value today.

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitar

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitarThe Symphonic bass was built in the UK, by Vox parent company JMI. It was the Vox equivalent to the Fender Precision bass, and was one of the most expensive Vox guitars produced. It was actually a great playing bass, rather similar to the Precision in feel and sound, but was probably just too expensive compared to an actual Fender and consequently sold poorly. When Vox hit financial problems in 1968, unsold guitars and basses were passed on to Dallas Arbiter, who briefly sold the excess Symphonic bass stock as model 4537. This bass, although with a neck date of February 1966, was most likely one of the unsold Vox guitars sold on by Dallas Arbiter. Check out the bass, and the two video demos through 1960s Ampeg and WEM amplifiers.

1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog

1968 Shaftesbury catalogThe 1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog was just four pages long, and contained four guitar models: the six string Barney Kessel-style 3264; and three Rickenbacker-styled semi-acoustic models: the six-string 3261, the twelve string 3262 and the 3263 bass. Shaftesbury was the house-brand of major UK distributor Rose-Morris, and seems to have been launched as a response to the company's loss of it's distribution deal with Rickenbacker. The guitars were mid-priced, and built in (initially) Japan, and later Italy, by Eko

1970 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns Celebrated Classics' catalog

1970 Rose_Morris catalog1970 Rose-Morris catalog, dated April 1970. It featured 6 electric guitars, 32 acoustic guitars, 3 basses and 1 steel guitar. It contains the following instruments, over 20 pages: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3262, 3264, 3265, 3400; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Colorado, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12; Aria 1674, 1675, 1676, 1679, 1680, 1695, 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk; Rose-Morris 15-11, Kansas, Georgian, Florida; Suzuki 1663, 1664, 1665, 3054, 3055, 3060; Tatay 1713, 1714, 1715; Peerless 3052; Steel guitar: Aria 3425

1971 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns' catalog

1971 Rose_Morris catalogThe sixteen-page 1971 Rose-Morris catalog featured electric guitars by Rose-Morris' own brand, Shaftesbury, and budget brand Top Twenty; aswell as acoustics by Eko, Aria, and for the first time Ovation. The catalog contains the following instruments: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3264, 3265, 3400, 3402; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Ovation: Balladeer, 12 String, Glen Campbell, Glen Campbell 12 string; Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12, Colorado, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Studio 'L'; Rose-Morris Florida; Aria 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk

1972 Fender Precision bass

1972 Fender PrecisionA detailed look at an early 1970s Fender Precision bass guitar in custom black finish, with rosewood fretboard. 1972 list price, $307.50. The Fender Precision had been shipping since at least very early 1952 - with just one re-design circa 1957. This example, then, shows a model already two decades old, but barely changed since the '57 revamp. Fender got it right first time around, and although there are numerous minor cosmetic differences, the essence of this bass is effectively the same as it was in '52: a simple, single pickup instrument with a GREAT sound. Check out the demo video through an old Ampeg B15. It's no wonder this is the bass that everybody wants!

1967 Vox Stroller

1967 Vox StrollerThe Vox Stroller was the brand's entry level electric solid body guitar, fitted with just one pickup and a fixed tailpiece. Although aimed at student guitarists, it wasn't a terrible instrument, but did lack somewhat in adjustability, having no accessible truss rod and only a floating rosewood bridge. But this example is actually quite an improvement on earlier versions, with a standard 1/4" jack and a solid mahogany body. 1967 price £18 2s. JMI ceased UK guitar production in late '67, and combined with decreasing demand for the Stroller, this surely must be one of the last examples shipped.

1963 Vox Clubman Bass (left handed)

1963 Vox Clubman Bass left handedA nice example of the Vox Clubman II bass, built by JMI in Dartford, Kent in 1963. This is a lightweight bass, short (30") scale and very easy to play. It is an early example, and as such has a thin black scratchplate and side mounted, coaxial output jack. JMI offered left handed examples of their solid body Vox guitars and basses at 10% premium. Production numbers are unclear, but left-handed examples rarely come up for sale

1977 Gibson ES Artist 'prototype'

1977 Gibson ES Artist prototypeNot to be confused with the Gibson ES Artist launched by Gibson in 1979; this ES Artist was an early model designed by the Gibson research and development team in Kalamazoo in 1977, the instruments themselves constructed by Gibson artist Chuck Burge. It was planned for launch as a high end semi acoustic with 335-style construction (central maple block) and innovative circuitry - but was pulled at the last minute, being deemed too expensive. Apparently, several examples were produced with varying specifications, though exactly how many actually left the Kalamazoo plant is unclear. Certainly two guitars were sold to LaVonne Music by Gibson in around 1980. Read more about the development of this guitar, with details from Chuck Burge and the story of it's sale to LaVonne music

1959 Hofner Committee

1959 Hofner CommitteeThe Hofner Committee was a truly beautiful guitar produced in Germany, primarily for the UK market. It was a large bodied (initially 17 1/2") guitar with a carved spruce top, available as an acoustic or electric guitar. By the early sixties the carved top was replaced with a laminate, and although still a very fine guitar, the earlier carved top examples, with frondose headstock (like the example shown here) are far more highly prized amongst musicians and vintage guitar collectors.

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins TennesseanThe Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean, or model 6119 was Gretsch's best selling hollow body of the 1960s. This wonderfully faded example from 1965 was originally Dark Cherry Red, but has turned a mid-orange brown. The original color, however, can be seen underneath the pickup surrounds. 1965 specs: maple body, two-piece neck, Brazilian rosewood fretboard and Hi-Lo 'Tron single coil pickups. Nickel plated Gretsch Bigsby tailpiece.

1965 Gretsch 'For the Spectacular Sound of the Times' guitar and amp catalog

1965 Gretsch catalogThe 1965 Gretsch catalog, or catalog #32, featured 10 hollow body electric guitars, including the newly launched Gretsch Viking; four solid body electrics, including the Astro Jet - making it's only catalog appearance; just one bass, the single pickup PX6070; nine acoustics and 12 tube amplifiers. Pride of place went to the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman that adorned both the front and back covers. 24 pages, six of which are in full color.

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret ends

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret endsLoose frets are especially problematic in certain old guitars, but are generally very easy to fix. You'll be amazed at the difference you can make with just a few tools, a bit of knowledge, and a little time. Fixing loose frets can eliminate fret buzz, remove sharp fret ends, and greatly improve the tone of any guitar. If your luthier bill will be greater than the value of your guitar, definitely time to have a go yourself!

1966 Hagstrom 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog (Merson USA)

1966 Hagstrom guitar catalogHagstrom guitars were distributed in the mid-1960s United States by Merson of USA. This eight page 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog, printed in two-colors contained six solid body electrics, three solid body basses, two electric acoustic guitars, two electric acoustic basses and five acoustics.

1965 Hofner President

1965 Hofner PresidentThe President was produced by Hofner in Bubenreuth, Germany, specifically for Selmer, who distributed the brand in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other commonwealth nations. The President was a hollow body electric acoustic, available as a full body or thinline, and with blonde or brunette finish. It was a great playing guitar that sold fairly well in the second half of the 1950s, throughout the 1960s, and into the very early 1970s. The example shown here is a full-body depth guitar in blonde - and as a 1965 guitar, one of the last to feature the rounded Venetian cutaway. From late 1965 until 1972, the President sported a sharp Florentine cut. Naturally, such an electric acoustic suggests jazz and blues, but many of the original British Hofner President players were part of the rock 'n roll, skiffle and beat scenes of the late 50s and early 60s.

1963 1964 Fender catalog

Fender 1963 catalogue"The Choice of Professional and Student Musicians Everywhere" This eight page catalogue was included as an insert in the 1963 annual "school music" issue of Downbeat magazine (September 1963). As well as keyboards and pedal steels, this catalog contains seven guitars, three basses and ten amplifiers - from student guitars such as the Musicmaster and Duotone to professional models like the new Jaguar.