Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Nash PB-63 Bass Guitar Review


Today we are looking at a very nice Precision Bass copy: a Bill Nash built PB-63. I was recently looking for a back-up P Bass, and this one definitely fit the bill and there is certainly not much to dislike about it.

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. All of his instruments received the relic treatment, so you will never have to worry about scratching one.

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 the writing is sloppy, so I have no idea what dealer it was originally shipped to.

From its specifications, this PB-63 is a fairly faithful reproduction of a 1963 Fender Precision Bass. It has a three-tone sunburst nitrocellulose lacquer finish and a dead-on accurate tortoise shell pickguard (since changed to black). The maple neck has a C shape and a 10-inch radius rosewood fretboard with a 1 5/8-inch width Graphtech Tusq nut. They installed tall Dunlop 6105 frets on this one, which is a departure from the early 1960s standard.

The hardware is also true to the theme, with Kluson-style 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/volume/tone pots. By the way, the pots are 250K CTS, and they included a Sprague Orange Drop capacitor in the circuit. Yay!

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. For those that complains that these are parts guitars, I say go buy a bag full of parts and see if you can do this good of a job. 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 8 pounds, 13 ounces.

This is one of the best Precision Basses I have ever owned, and it should be for a street price of around $1900.

As with all Nash guitars, I am a little hung up on the way this one looks. Even though this one is described as having light aging, I think the relic process goes a little too far -- I guess I do not have to worry about scratching it. Also, there are no bridge cover or pickup cover holes drilled in the bass, which is an oversight for a 1960s Fender replica. If that is all I have to complain about, they must have done a good job!

If you have not had the opportunity to play a Bill Nash guitar or bass, I recommend you give one a shot. It may be the closest you will get to ever owning a pre-CBS Fender.


1 comment:

  1. Really? You WANT screw holes for useless fixtures? I'm thinking the lack thereof is a feature!