Sunday, December 11, 2011

1978 Fender Precision Bass

Como estas?

As a rule, I am not been a big fan of 1970s Fender instruments, as they are usually heavy and uninspired. But there exceptions to every rule, and I am temporarily in love with this 1978 Precision Bass.

This one is finished in its original breathtaking Antigua (phlegmburst), which is a two-tone green fade. This finish was used from the 1960s until 1982 (or so), and appeared later on some Japanese-made reissues.

The neck is a stunning chunk of maple, and I have never seen figuring this nice on a 1970s Fender headstock. The frets are a little worn, but they are original, as are the nut and Fender-marked tuners.

The rest of the bass is unaltered, with the exception of the strap pins and that glaringly-obvious DiMarzio pickup.

The original owner had the pickup replaced back in 1978, with the idea of getting a little more output. Fortunately he did not have the gumption to install a brass nut and a Badass bridge, thus completing the trifecta of 1970s bass modification. The original pots and cap are still in place, as is the factory ground plate.

The tone is actually quite good and I have no plans to find a replacement original pickup. I have recently put on a set of the new style D’Addario tapewounds, and removed the original pickguard to put it away for safekeeping . These pickguards are impossible to come by, and the paint falls off if you look at them funny.

With a fresh set-up it plays very well, and it is not a back-breaker, coming in at just a tad over 9 pounds. In my world this is about as closed to a “keeper” as I am going to come by. We’ll see how it works out.



  1. "...and I am temporarily in love with this 1978 Precision Bass. "

    And you are the most consistently fickle bass-enthusiast I know.

    Sounds like quite a good bass, really. For phlgemburst.

  2. I had the same model; bought it in Berlin - in 1978... I was a Strangler fan, and badly sprayed it black... I feel so guilty now, and of course wish I still had it

  3. Wow ! Fender "CBS" years were the best as the worst! i am sure that these years production made instruments would become "new L series" !