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TYPE: Solidbody, Passive 4-string
BODY: Twin cutaway, Ash
NECK: Solid Maple, skunk stripe covers truss rod, 20 fine frets
SCALE LENGTH: 864mm (34-inch)
FINGERBOARD: Originally no separate board, part of the maple neck with black dot inlays. On Rosewood board models the dots were white clay type
HARDWARE: Chrome, 4-saddle bridge, open reverse gear tuners
PICKUPS: Fender split-coil 8-pole
CONTROLS: Volume & Tone
FEATURES: Gold anodised metal scratchplate incorporating pickup, controls and jack socket, surface stringing, chrome cover plates over bridge and pickup, finger rest with two screws
FINISHES: Sunbust, Black, Antique White and Custom Colours
COMMENTS: This was the third re-modelling of the Precision Bass in just six years of being in existence, but this is the defining moment as it’s essentially the same production line bass sold by Fender today.
Some of what we see here was introduced on the transitional P-Bass, the first round of modifications, that introduced body contouring. Here the headstock shape has adopted the Strat styling to overcome the dead spot on the upper string that was a problem with the initial design.
Along with the fantastic split-coil pickup which allowed for more adjustment and a well balanced sound, came a four-saddle bridge and anodised scratchplate, which helped in screening the electronics. In 1959 white and tortoiseshell laminated scratchplates were introduced, and these had a metal screening plate fitted beneath.
The solid maple neck was phased out around 1959 in favour of a rosewood board, although a maple board was an option again around 1967. Fretless was also introduced in 1970 with either board. There were special editions too like the Slab Body, which can be found in this collection, and the Antigua Precision with its distinctive finish. Whatever your personal P-Bass choice this was truly the defining moment.