Thursday, January 3, 2013

Review of 2004 Fender Precision Bass PB70-70US

Hi there!

I have been through a few of these basses over the years, and they have been consistently great instruments. The Fender PB70-70US Precision Bass is a very nice recreation of their 1970 model, and it built with pride in their Japanese factories.

The PB in the model designation designates this instrument as a Precision Bass, the first 70 shows that this is a 1970 model, and the second 70 indicates that the original price was 70,000 Yen. That was around $540 bucks back then, which was a heck of a deal. Oh yes, and the US at the end of the model name means that this bass shipped with US-made vintage style pickups.

This one is finished in a silky Olympic White, which has yellowed nicely over the years. I have heard that the body is supposed to be made of alder, but who really knows? The body shape has the classic contoured P bass shape, and the neck is attached with a four-bolt joint. As I said, there is a US-sourced pickup, with the normal volume and tone controls. The hardware is the usual Fender stuff, with a three-layer B-W-B pickguard, a chrome four-saddle bridge, and the correct large bass Fender vintage-style tuners. I hate the Japanese basses that come with the lame small-base tuners. Boo. I installed Fender OEM bridge and pickup covers because they just look so right.

The neck is not too huge, with a 1 5/8-inch wide nut and a comfortable shallow C profile to the back. The rosewood fretboard has white plastic fret markers, and a nut that might be a replacement. The neck is true and the truss rod works fine. The 20 original frets use vintage size wire, and are still nice and level with very little wear. To top it off, it has the correct big logo on the headstock, so this thing looks just right

It plays right, too. It is very well constructed, and the neck is very playable. I love the sound of it, and I do think the US pickups make a difference. I think that sometimes the Japanese pickups and pots are not quite up to snuff. One thing to note is that this one is about a pound heavier than these basses usually are, coming in at 9 pounds, 10 ounces on my digital scale. Still a couple pounds lighter than my Les Paul, though…

Anyway, it is a great bass, and if you are in the market for a new P Bass, these Japanese reissues cannot be beat for the price.


1 comment:

  1. How about scale of that bass. Is it 32"(813mm) or normal 34(864mm)"?
    Nut width it should be 40mm = 1,575" and fretboard radius 184mm = 7.25"
    R series, or Q?

    Thanks for answer.