Friday, June 8, 2012

1981 Greco PB-450 Spacy Sound Lawsuit Bass Review


By now you all know that I love Japanese basses, and there is a special place in my heart for lawsuit-era knockoffs of Fender Jazz and Precision basses. I have owned oodles of Aria and Tokai copies, but only rarely run into ones with the Greco brand. Well, today we are looking at one that I found recently: a 1981 Greco Spacy Sound, a faithful and unabashed copy of a 1970s era Fender Precision Bass.

I found this bass in Japan and it now lives with me here in the US. It seems to have been spared the indignity of ill-advised and unnecessary modifications over the years, which is a real blessing. Things are only original once, you know.

This one has a contoured P body that appears to be made of agathis. It was sprayed with a classy 2-tone sunburst with a bright red in it, and a 3-ply white/black/white pick guard.

This Greco’s 4-bolt neck is maple and the fretboard is still in good shape, front and back. The 20 medium frets are still in great shape, with very little visible wear. It has the typical 1 5/8” P width nut (plastic), but the neck is not overly chunky. I would call it a medium profile C shape. The truss rod adjusts at the heel, and it still turns easily.

The Spacy Sound headstock shape is an exact copy of one that would be found on a Precision Bass, and the Greco logo is styled to resemble Fender’s. Lawsuit basses always have campy small print on their headstock decals, and this one informs you that Greco is for the “Brazen Picker Professional”. Word, my brothers.

The hardware is good. The machine heads are 4-screw open-gear Greco-marked JH-6 pieces that look like Fender tuners, and there are chrome barrel knobs, and a bridge that is a copy of a 5-screw Fender unit. This one has 2 extra screw holes in the front corners, which I think is a good idea, and something that Fender should have done in the first place. Kaizen, the Japanese call it.

The pickups and electronics also appear to be original to the bass. There is not much to say about them except that they are exactly what you would expect – a split coil pickup with volume and tone pots.

This Spacy Sound is not terrible heavy, coming in around 8 pounds 14 ounces according to my digital scale. It is pretty easy on the back, not to mention the eyes.

And it is attractive. It is in good overall condition, particularly when you consider it is 31 years old. There is visible corrosion on the tuners and neck plate. The finish does not have very many blemishes and it still shiny – it has not been abused. There is visible corrosion on the tuners, neck plate and bridge.

It is a good playing bass with no buzzing and a low action. The pickup has strong output (hotter than its contemporary Fenders, and there is no buzzing or static. I play P basses with the controls dimed, and this one really makes my SVT bark (in a good way).

So, overall this bass is a real winner, and quite a bit more special than anything Fender made in 1981. Spacy Sound basses are very rare so If you want one, now is the time to buy as they are not going to get any cheaper.


No comments:

Post a Comment