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Can anyone help me to find out if the body on my vintage P-Bass is original.

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by mikeowen17, May 16, 2011.

  1. mikeowen17

    mikeowen17 Supporting Member

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    I have a 1966 P-Bass - I am certain that the neck is original, and the '66 date on the neck stamp is consistent with the date on the 'L' serial number per the neck plate. It has been (quite badly) refinished and want to establish if the body and scratchplate are original to the guitar/original 1960s pieces. I know that the electronics are not original.

    Can anyone help me in my quest - any advice appreciated, things to look for etc. Here are some pics of the bass and some pics when I took it apart for a rewire/general poke around. Not necessarily expecting anyone to be able to tell me anything from these pics, but maybe you can give me some ideas of things to check for.

    THANKS!!

    [​IMG]


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  2. supa-fuzz

    supa-fuzz Member

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    From the little evidence shown, I would say there is a good chance it is a vintage body, you'll know when you strip it it should have 2 small filled pin router holes in the back of the body.
     
  3. mikeowen17

    mikeowen17 Supporting Member

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    I'm actually not sure if I'm going to strip it - if I could somehow find out the original color then maybe I would and get it refinished/aged in its original color. The one thing I can tell is it wasn't sunburst, as it has the white (green) guard on it rather than tortoiseshell.
     
  4. supa-fuzz

    supa-fuzz Member

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    The white guard was standard on those with sunburst, given the golden color in the cavity I would guess it was a sunburst.
     
  5. mikeowen17

    mikeowen17 Supporting Member

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    Ah, I did not know that - I was told it was Sunburst = tortoiseshell, custom color = white
     
  6. mikeowen17

    mikeowen17 Supporting Member

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    Anyone else able to provide some insight? Where are all you vintage Fender experts?
     
  7. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Member

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    Wrong. All sunburst basses were stock with tortoise 'guards.

    It does appear from the photos to be a sunburst on a sixties body. The major detail not shown in your photos is the "bump" located in the treble-side cutaway, at the transition from the straight side of the neck pocket to the curve of the cutaway. Sorry I cannot describe it better than that and no digital camera today, but it is best viewed from the back. It is basically an interruption in a smooth transition from straight to curve in the cutaway. I have never seen this accurately duplicated in aftermarket bodies, though some of the more diligent replicators may now be employing this detail.
     
  8. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Member

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  9. mikeowen17

    mikeowen17 Supporting Member

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    I will be heading home shortly - I will attempt to take a picture of this area and upload to see if that helps anyone to assist me.

    The assistance so far is greatly appreciated, as this is quite a significant detail in determining the value of this guitar.
     
  10. guitarman_1

    guitarman_1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Nice bass. Looks like an original body,but the guard should be tortoise. It was burst bass, as the date is visible under paint in the pickup cavity. You can see a 6 there I believe. The pots should be 137 66 xxxx. The 2 numbers after the 137 are the year, though Fender bought a ton of 66 pots and ive seen them in guitars up to 1970.
     
  11. mikeowen17

    mikeowen17 Supporting Member

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    The pots are definitely not original - as it had split shaft pots on it when I got it (the knobs did not fit on them properly) so I replaced the pots with solid shaft 250k pots while I was changing the Bartolini pickup that came with the bass in favor of a SD Antiquity.
     
  12. mikeowen17

    mikeowen17 Supporting Member

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    Ok - try these pics for size - do these show the 'bump' you guys were referring to?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Member

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    Eggs-actly!! I'd say it's real. As stated most copiers do not replicate this detail.
     
  14. mikeowen17

    mikeowen17 Supporting Member

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    Superb! The wealth of knowledge on here never ceases to amaze me.

    So I guess the next thing to figure out is what color it used to be. The consensus on here seems to be 'burst - but the scratchplate seems to contradict that. I am wondering if the 'plate is original - I remember someone saying to me that the old scratchplates used to be hand cut, so had smooth edges compared to the very sharp edges you would expect from a machine cut item - this one certainly has smooth edges, is 3 ply, a greenish color and has an aluminium (?) plate underneath, though this is quite bent and dented.

    The reason I want to establish the color is I would like to have it refinished and relic'd by Mark Jenny in its original color if I could find out what that was.

    Anyone got any pointers or thoughts on the color and or the originality of the 'plate - any markings or giveaway signs I should be looking for?

    Thanks again for the knowledge shared so far.
     
  15. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    I guess the thing to ask yourself is why would anyone have changed the body?

    That wasn't something that was commonly done, IMHO.
     
  16. Lublin

    Lublin Senior Member

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    I'd call that authentic.
     

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