Thursday, July 1, 2010

1982 Walnut Fender Precision Special Bass

Hi! We are looking at an early 1980’s Fender Precision Special Bass today. Some say this was the first mass-production bass with active electronics, but they are full of crap. Musicman was making active basses back in the seventies.

The original Precision Specials were made between 1980 and 1982. As I said before these are active basses, and they also have a switchable passive mode. Maple or rosewood fretboards were available, and gold hardware, including a very sturdy brass bridge, were standard. Color choices were available in Candy Apple Red, Olympic White, and Lake Placid Blue, all with matching headstocks. There were also about 200 built with walnut bodies and necks. The subject bass is one of these rare walnut ones from 1982.

This bass is in very good condition considering it is 28 years old. I was the third owner of this bass (more on that later). It was used over the years, because it is a GREAT sounding bass, so it is not a fabled closet or under-the-bed model bass. It has surface scratches indicative of its age, but nothing major or through to the finish.

It is unmodified, except for the addition of Dunlop straplock buttons. Note that the customary gold-plated brass thumbrest is missing. On the walnut basses, they were whipped in a baggie inside the case, leaving it to up to the owner to install it or leave it off. This one never had it installed.

As I said earlier, it is a fantastic-sounding bass, and it plays very well. I have had a few of the colored Precision Specials over the years, and this one blows them all away. The neck is fantastic, with nicely rolled edges, and my tech was able to get a very low action with no buzz or high spots.

The only reason I passed it on (other than because I had a very good offer on it), is that it is THE HEAVIEST bass I have ever owned. It came in at a little bit over 13 pounds. To put that in perspective, it weighs over five pounds more than my favorite Sadowsky. Geez.


  1. Hello

    Great bass this!!!
    Can you tell me the pick up impedence in passive mode?

    Thanks Luciano