Thursday, September 1, 2011

Nash PB-57 Bass

Hi there!

Today we are looking at a fabulous Precision Bass copy: a Bill Nash built PB 57. It is a great bass, but it won’t be sticking around too long.

Bill Nash has been assembling vintage-style guitars since 2001, and has gained a lot of respect and a faithful following because he builds guitars that play very well and sound incredible. These guitars have all received the relic treatment, and they will not build you a shiny new guitar. I’ve asked…

By the way, Bill Nash initials and dates the headstock on each guitar they build, and writes the serial number on the tip of the headstock. And the serial number convention is something I have not seen before. The first two letters of the serial number denote which dealer the guitar was shipped to. In this case it starts with “MB”, because it was originally shipped to the Mesa Boogie store in Hollywood.

Spec-wise, this PB-57 is a fairly faithful reproduction of a 1957 Precision Bass. It has an ash body with a Mary Kaye lacquer finish and an anodized pickguard. The beefy maple neck has a C shape and a 10-inch radius with a 1 ¾-inch width nut. They installed medium large frets on this one, which is a departure from the 1950s standard.

The hardware is also true to the theme, with reverse tuners and a serrated-saddle bridge. Nash went with Jason Lollar pickups, which I think are the best choice for a P-bass these days. There is no pre-amplifier, just the expected volume and tone pots.

And all of these fabulous things were put together very well by the folks over at Nash Guitars. The craftsmanship is very good, with a comfortable neck and great fretwork. I have not found any dead spots, and the Lollar pickups sound very rich. It does not hurt that it is relatively light, coming in at a touch over 8 ½ pounds (with the pickup and bridge covers installed).

This is one of the best P-basses I have ever owned, and it should be for a street price of around $1700.

But I am a little hung up on the way this one looks, so I will not be keeping it. The bass looks better in person than it does in these photos, but I think the relic process goes a little too far on this one. The vintage tint on the neck is a little too orange, and the wear marks on the body and neck go beyond what you would expect to see on any guitar. I must say that the aging on the hardware is very tasteful and realistic, though.

Anyway, a friend of mine is interested in this one, so I will be moving it along to him for what I paid for it. And, I have picked up a Fender Custom Shop Closet Classic with the same Mark Kaye finish to replace this one. Stay tuned for a review of that one!



  1. Regarding this hare-brained "relic treatment", take a look at that interesting paper i believe, about true "vintage" mysteries :

  2. Hello

    I am interested in Nash PB 57 bass ... is it for sale?
    Sorry for bad English.
    I am from Czech Republic, but the bass would have sent to the address in the US.
    Contact me at

    Thank you and have a nice day,

    Josef Stepan