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FENDER | BASS | PRECISION

Fender Precision Bass

The mother of all bass guitars?

Fender Precision Chronology 1950s | 1960s | 1970s

Fender Precision bass guitar
Fender Precision bass guitar
Fender Precision bass guitar
Fender Precision bass guitar

The Fender Precision is probably the most famous, most used and potentially the most respected bass guitar design of all time. Although the story of the electric bass guitar goes back at least 20 or 30 years before the advent of the Fender Precision, this was the first instrument to gain any commercial sauces, and despite modifications, exists in a very similar form today.

The earliest electric basses were made to appeal to bass players, and guitarists alike; guitarists attempting to play bass often found the scale of an upright bass (42") to large, and imprecise. Not to mention the unwieldy nature, and lack of volume. After Leo Fender created the Esquire and Fender Telecaster models in 1950, he moved on to a bass instrument. The Precision dealt with all of the fore mentioned problems. Its scale was just 34", the frets allowed 'precise' pitch (hence the name), and the amplified nature could compete with the electric guitars and bigger drum kits starting to be employed in the music of the time. It has a wider neck than the Fender Jazz bass; Fenders two-pickup bass launched in 1960. It did of course change over the years... The earliest examples were built in very late 1951, most likely not shipping until early 1952.

1955 'slab body' Fender Precision bass Image Heritage auctions

Just like the Telecaster guitar, the Precision started as a square sided slab ash body, one piece 20 fret maple neck, and just one single coil pickup. From 1954, body contours were introduced. The example above, from '55 has this - but note the other early features: large scratchplate, Telecaster-style headstock, metal control consul, angular bridge cover, and matching pickup cover/handrest. The pickup, although not visible, has a simple single coil on a single former. But by 1957, the design was pretty much refined to the bass still made today: controls mounted on the scratchplate, new split coil pickup and larger headstock.

1962 Fender Precision bass Image Heritage auctions

1972 Fender Precision bass - front view

1972 Fender Precision bass - have a closer look at this bass here

Vintage Fender Precision advertising

Electric bass advertisements originally published from 1953 onwards. Click on the images for larger copies. Check out other vintage Fender advertisements

Fender Precision - Bassmen! Play the original Fender Precision electric bass & Bassman amplifier

Fender Precision - Bassmen! Play the original Fender Precision electric bass & Bassman amplifier (1953)
Early fifties advertisement for Fenders first electric bass, the Precision, and its companion amplifier, the Bassman
[more]

Fender Precision - Instruments get out of date too

Fender Precision - Instruments get out of date too (1953)
Early fifties advertisement underlining the modern features of the Fender Precision bass, and bassman amplifier
[more]

Fender Precision - Don

Fender Precision - Don't cheat yourself (1953)
Early Fender advertisement featuring three guitar/amp combinations: The Precision bass and Bassman amp; the Telecaster guitar and Twin amp, and the three-neck pedal steel and Pro amp.
[more]

Fender Precision - Fender fine electric instruments

Fender Precision - Fender fine electric instruments (1955)
Early Fender advertisement for four pedal steels, three amplifiers, and three electric guitars. At this point in Fender history, it is the pedal steels that top the page; electric guitars are still...
[more]

Fender Precision - The best things don

Fender Precision - The best things don't always need big packages (1958)
The electric bass was always designed as a replacement for upright acoustic basses. This late fifties advertisement demonstrates the Fender prcisions portability in relation to an acoustic bass
[more]

Fender Precision - From Arbiter the Most Wanted Guitar in Britain Today Telecaster by Fender

Fender Precision - From Arbiter the Most Wanted Guitar in Britain Today Telecaster by Fender (1966)
Mid 1960s UK advertisement for Fender guitars and amplifiers. In the early 1960s, Fender had been distributed in the UK by Jennings, but by the middle of the decade Arbiter had won the contract. Th...
[more]

Fender Precision - The lowdown on the bass

Fender Precision - The lowdown on the bass (1972)
The pickup is the real secret to the Precision Bass. At the conception of the electric bass, this pickup was designed to simulate the sound of a true bass. Not overbearing or extremely "bassey" but...
[more]

Fender Precision - The Worlds Favorite Road Machine

Fender Precision - The Worlds Favorite Road Machine (1973)
Part of a larger series of Fender full colour artwork/cartoon advertisements issued between 1973 and 1974, all with a "Worlds Favourite" theme. The Fender Precision was indeed (and probably still i...
[more]

Fender Precision - In Concert

Fender Precision - In Concert (1974)
The world's favorite performers appear "In Concert." And 9 out of 10 times the electric bass is a Fender. ABC-TV's "In Concert." Far more than entertainment, it's the ultimate experience in the con...
[more]

Fender Precision - Goldilocks and the three bears

Fender Precision - Goldilocks and the three bears (1975)
...someones playing my Precision bass right now, said baby bear, "and shes's really cookin'!"
[more]

Fender Precision - The Hearty-Roaring, Wide-Ranging Preecision Bass

Fender Precision - The Hearty-Roaring, Wide-Ranging Preecision Bass (1976)
Found in virtually all musical environments, the Precision Bass is by far the most prolific of the species Basso Electrica. The frequency of the sighting reflects upon the enormous range of the Pr...
[more]

Fender Precision - You Can Take A Fender Anywhere

Fender Precision - You Can Take A Fender Anywhere (1977)
Whatever band you play in, you've got to pick up on a lot of musical styles. But you'll never have to pick up more than one electric bass, Because Fender® gives you Rock Bass, Soul Bass, Country...
[more]

Fender Precision - Fenders new dimension Precision Bass Special

Fender Precision - Fenders new dimension Precision Bass Special (1980)
The Precision Bass Special was a step up from the regular 1980 P-bass. It featured a new split-coil pickup design, with both active and passive modes; one of the first active Fender bass guitars, "...
[more]


Fender Precision catalog appearances

The following description is taken from the 1969 Fender Lovin' Care catalog

1969 Fender Lovin

Fender's Precision Bass has become the most well known and widely used electric bass in the world. It's acceptance in all fields of music comes from true performance proven bass tone qualities, size, ease of playing, volume capabilities and mobility on stage or off.

A special split pickup is positioned for excellent string response and each section may be adjusted for custom string balance. Tone and volume controls are conveniently located and permit any desired response the player may choose. Individually adjustable bridges may be set for perfect string intonation and comfortable low playing action. As a result most bass players find their technique improves rapidly and difficult passages are played more easily. With the Precision Bass it is possible to obtain considerably greater volume than with a conventional instrument. It is convenient to carry and store inasmuch as it is lighter weight and approximately 1/6 the size of the old-type upright bass.

The comfort contoured body is finished in beautiful hand polished Sunburst or may be obtained in selected custom finishes and left-hand models.

Fender Catalogues: 1960s


1963 1964 Fender Fine Electric Instruments catalog

1963/64 Fender catalog

One of the most popular of modern instrument developments, the Fender Precision Bass has rapidly become the choice of bassists in every field

1964 1965 Fender Fine Electric Instruments catalog

1964/65 Fender catalog

Requires only a fraction of playing effort as compared with old style acoustic basses; compact in size allowing freedom of movement on stage

1965 1966 Fender Fine Electric Instruments catalog

1965/66 Fender catalog

The fast action neck facilitates playing technique, playing in tune and is extremely comfortable

1968 Fender guitar and amplifier catalog
1968 Fender Musical Instruments On the Go
1968 Fender catalog
The Precision bass appears on pages 6-7

Fender's Precision Bass has become the most well known and widely used electric bass in the world

1969 Fender Lovin Care catalog
1969 Fender Lovin' Care catalog

The Precision bass appears on pages 6-7

The beat is big. The playing is comfortable. The instrument is a Fender bass. Upbeat sounds of today's downtown music reflects the musical impact of Fender electric basses which, for nearly two decades, have meant quality design, durable construction, and great bass sound!

1969 Fender bass catalog

1969 Fender Bass catalog

The Precision bass appears on page 4

The smooth sound of Fender's Precision Bass has made it the most widely used electric bass in the world.

Fender Catalogues: 1970s


1970 Fender electric guitar and amplifier catalog

1970 Fender catalog

The Precision bass appears on page 22

the famous electric bass with true performance proven bass tone quality

1972 Fender electric guitar and amplifier catalog

1972 Fender catalog
The Precision bass appears in fretted and fretless versions


Fender Precision technical information

Fender have published regular list of replacement parts for their instruments, along with part numbers. Some of these parts lists are reproduced here

  • 1968 - photo, parts list, parts illustration, wiring diagram. 5 pages.
  • 1969 - just a simple list of parts. 2 pages.
  • 1976 - photos, parts list an prices. 3 pages.

Check out the interview with bassist and collector Bob Daisley, on his Fender basses.

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Fender Precision bass for sale

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original 1955 Fender Precision Bass Blonde w / Tweed case

original 1955 Fender Precision Bass Blonde w / Tweed case

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

$21900


Add Me to Your Favorite Sellers
Olivia's Vintage would like to present this 1955 Fender Precision Bass in its original Blonde finish. It has a great playing neck with great frets. It's all original with the exception of one changed pot, an added ground wire and a screw holding the jack cup in place. Aside from the cloth covering being removed from the pickup, it's 100% complete along with both original covers and the original tweed hardshell case. It looks great with nicks + dings, a ... more
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1961 Fender Precision Bass a lovely original example w / a slab rosewood neck.

1961 Fender Precision Bass a lovely original example w / a slab rosewood neck.

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

$19995


... more
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1965 Fender Precision bass

1965 Fender Precision bass

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

$9395

1965 Fender Precision Bass, Sunburst finish, Tortoise pickguard, Pearldot inlays, L-Plate, Bridge Covers, Very cool bass! VG++ condition, Original hard case... more
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1977 Fender Precision Bass Natural Ash w /  EMG & Badass

1977 Fender Precision Bass Natural Ash w / EMG & Badass

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

$3100

Up for sale, a 1977 Fender Precision bass in excellent condition, outfitted with an early EMG pickup and Leo Quan Badass Bass II bridge. Tonewoods include an ash body and a maple neck capped with a rosewood fretboard. Weighing 10lbs 14oz, the bass has plenty of sustain, punch and power. The EMG P Set pickup is an early example featuring distinctive molded covers and a brass baseplate, running at 9V. From rich grind and growl to thick low end, this pickup delivers the goods. This Precision Bass ... more
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1976 Fender Precision Bass USA Natural Vintage

1976 Fender Precision Bass USA Natural Vintage

Pleasanton, California, 945**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$3300

1976 Fender Precision Bass USA Natural Vintage

It's in beautiful overall condition and in excellent playing shape!

Original natural finish. Just one small blemish on the back of neck (pictured) just adds to it's character. Comes with hard shell case. This is definitely the one you've been looking for!
... more
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1960??s Fender Precision Bass pickup Cover  #301-B

1960??s Fender Precision Bass pickup Cover #301-B

West Point, Mississippi, 397**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$220

This vintage Fender Precision Bass pick up cover from the 1960s is a must-have for any serious musician or collector. The cover, marked with the number 301-B, fits snugly over the pick up and gives the bass a classic, retro look. Made by one of the most iconic brands in the music industry, this pick up cover is a great addition to any vintage guitar or bass collection

Crafted to last, this pick up cover is a testament to the quality and craftsmanship of Fender products. Whether ... more
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1964 Fender Precision Bass Pre-CBS Vintage Bass Sherwood Green (Riggio) w /  Case

1964 Fender Precision Bass Pre-CBS Vintage Bass Sherwood Green (Riggio) w / Case

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

$10800

Up for sale, a 1964 Fender Precision Bass in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, complete with its original receipt / layaway paperwork from '64 and a vintage hardshell case. Featuring a stunningly accurate body-only refinish in Sherwood Green courtesy of Riggio Custom Guitars, this Precision Bass is a deeply resonant instrument, channeled through the original black bobbin pickup. This bass has lived in the Pacific Northwest for its entire life, complete with the original layaway... more
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vintage squier by fender precision bass with case + cable  /  SN IC00070811

vintage squier by fender precision bass with case + cable / SN IC00070811

Jersey City, New Jersey, 073**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$800

vintage squier by fender precision bass with case + cable / SN IC00070811... more
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1983 Fender Precision Bass Guitar Vintage USA P-Bass w /  EMG Pickups, HSC 8 1 lbs

1983 Fender Precision Bass Guitar Vintage USA P-Bass w / EMG Pickups, HSC 8 1 lbs

Berkeley, California, 947**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1800

Up for sale is a sweet sounding 1983 Fender Precision Bass in its Sunburst finish. This instrument has an S9 serial number on the headstock, a 1983 neck date and late 1981 pot codes. Overall in very good condition less some scattered play wear and finish wear. This is the last of the vintage style Fender basses. Later in 1983, they introduced the American Standard versions
The single pickup has been replaced with a vintage EMG PJ setup. The controls are volume, volume tone. These pickups ... more
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1965 Fender Precision Bass - Pristine All Original

1965 Fender Precision Bass - Pristine All Original

Downers Grove, Illinois, 605**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$15000

Up for sale, a 1965 Fender Precision Bass in 100% original, time capsule-clean condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case, polish cloth, strap, and unopened case keys.
A transitional example from mid-1965, this bass retains a number of Pre-CBS-era features including reverse gear, long stem tuners, an L-prefix neck plate, a deep red nitrate tortoise pickguard and a transitional split-coil pickup with one black bobbin and one gray bobbin. Most notably, ... more
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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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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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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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1977 Fender Precision Bass w /  Jazz Bass Body

1977 Fender Precision Bass w / Jazz Bass Body

East Liverpool, Ohio, 439**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2000

This is a bit of a parted together bass as I??m sure you can see the 1977 Fretless Precision Bass neck paired with (what I was told) a 1975 Fender Jazz Bass body. The neck is all original however the body has been stripped to a natural finish. The bridge has also been replaced. This is a cool bass you can play right out of the box with tons of vintage mojo! No case included
... more
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VINTAGE FENDER PRECISION BASS NECK USA 1969

VINTAGE FENDER PRECISION BASS NECK USA 1969

Oakland, California, 946**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1599

For sale is a 1969 Fender Precision Bass neck. No logo, stamp, or clear coat There's a slight forward tilt in the neck, but is otherwise straight and plays perfectly The truss rod is fully functional This is a fantastic neck. Only selling because I now have a Jazz bass Mounting dowel beneath E tuner demonstrated in last photo for authenticity
... more
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Fretless Fender Precision Bass Neck - One Piece Maple - 1973

Fretless Fender Precision Bass Neck - One Piece Maple - 1973

Glen Ellyn, Illinois, 601**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1000

Fender Precision Bass Neck - Fretless - Maple - 1973. Heal is stamped "5 Jan 73 B " . 5 is the Fender model number (Precision Bass) - January of 1973 - B width (1 6" at the nut). Big original CBS era headstock logo. 4 bolt mounting. Will fit all Precision Basses made after mid 1957. There is a little wear and tear on the back of the neck - the most noticeable being a piece of the polyurethane finish on the back of the treble side of the neck at about the 5th fret as shown in the pictures. ... more
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1965 Fender Precision Bass pickup Cover #104

1965 Fender Precision Bass pickup Cover #104

West Point, Mississippi, 397**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$365

1965 Fender Precision Bass Pick Up Cover #104. Shipped with USPS Ground Advantage.... more
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1977 Fender Precision Bass - Natural

1977 Fender Precision Bass - Natural

Bedford, New Hampshire, 031**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2500

Fender Precision Bass
Natural
Pre-Owned Circa 1977 - Good Condition
Okay - we swear we didn't steal George Porter Jr's original bass! ;) This thing has the vibe and is ready to Cissy Strut. Deep fret wear - will be needing a fret job soon!
SPECS:
Body Material: AshBody Details: Solid ash body Neck Material: MapleFingerboard Material: MapleNeck Profile: C shapeFingerboard Radius: 7 25 " Nut Width: 1-5 / 8 " Scale Length: 34 "  
ADDT'L INFO:
Comes with Original Fender... more
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1972 FENDER PRECISION BASS PICKUP BRASS SHIELD PLATE USA

1972 FENDER PRECISION BASS PICKUP BRASS SHIELD PLATE USA

Plano, Texas, 750**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$149

Original 1970s Fender, sponges in place-hard, normal vintage wear with patina as shown. Thanks for looking
... more
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FENDER PRECISION BASS 1973 ORIGINAL 4-STRING ASH / MAPLE ELECTRIC BASS GUITAR USA

FENDER PRECISION BASS 1973 ORIGINAL 4-STRING ASH / MAPLE ELECTRIC BASS GUITAR USA

Whittier, California, 906**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1600


JUM-PAWN-IT
Located in historic uptown Whittier, California

 
FENDER PRECISION BASS 1973 ORIGINAL 4-STRING ASH / MAPLE ELECTRIC BASS GUITAR USA!!!
 
!!!!NO RESERVE!!!!
 
Looking for great deal... more
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Find more Fender Precision bass for sale at vintageguitarsforsale.co

There are 1 comments on this article so far. Add your comment

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Anthony Comment left 2nd October 2015 17:05:32 reply
Hi, I've just been to see a fender Precision bass, apparently it's 1978ish. The neck looks old but a bit suspicious, for example the headstock is a different colour of worn to the rest of the neck (maple). The serial number matches up, but I took the scratch plate off and it has a sticker saying "made in Japan". The pots have serial numbers on them but are quite hard to read as they have solder on them. The only number I can make out is R1377846. The fender pot serial number finder can't find anything unless I take off the "R" at the beginning. Have you any thoughts on this? Thanks

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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

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1961 Hofner Colorama I

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1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)

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1960 Hofner Colorama II

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1971 Epiphone 1820 bass (ET-280)

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1981 Gibson Marauder

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1971 'Pick Epiphone' Catalog

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1981 'Gibson Specials' Pre-Owners Manual

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1961 Hohner Zambesi

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1963 Vox Super Ace

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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.