Monday, April 19, 2010

Fender Japan 57 Re-issue Precision Bass (JV Serial)






This is a very early Fender 1957 re-issue Precision Bass that was made in Japan. It has a pencilled neck date from 1983 and a JV serial number. These have become very hard to find, and the collectors love them.

These early Japanese models put the US made Fenders of the time to shame, and therefore were not imported in any significant numbers to the United States. I brought this example back from Japan on one of my business trips.

It has the original black finish with some nicks and scratches in the finish from normal gig use, but definitely not abuse. It is growing old gracefully.

The neck is where this bass really shines. The original frets are fine, with very little wear. They are nicely finished on the edges, unlike a lot of the newer Fenders I have seen. The neck to pocket fit is excellent too. It has been played, so there is some wear to the finish, and there are some of the inevitable tiny dents on the back of the neck from 26 years of being leaned up against things.

The hardware is pretty darned cool too. The reverse tuners work fine and look just right. None are bent and they do not bind. The original bridge has serrated saddles, so it captures the pre-CBS look as well.

It has the original electronics, and thankfully there was no S-1 switching back then. I love the cloth-covered wiring.

The Japanese re-issue Fenders always have one or two things that just are not period-correct, and in this case it was the pickguard. It had the original cheesy single-ply white plastic guard, which I replaced with a genuine Fender anodized guard. I am not changing anything else on this bass. It is perfect to me, and at less than 8.5 pounds it is easy on my back.

It plays and sounds as good as it looks. My tech set it up nice and low with D'Addario Chromes (flats, of course for that Motown sound), and I could not be happier.

You will have to pry this one from my cold, dead hands.

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