Precision Bass Guitars

1966 Fender Precision Bass

Color: Three-tone Sunburst, Rating: 9.25, Sold (ID# 02216)
Call to Inquire: (818) 222-4113


"Under The Bed For Fifty-Five Years"


1966 Fender Precision Bass


This 13-inch-wide lightweight 'Three-tone Sunburst' (nitrocellulose lacquer) "dream" bass guitar weighs just 8.90 lbs. Solid alder body, contoured on back and lower bass bout. One-piece maple neck with a wide nut width of just over 1 11/16 inches, a wonderful medium profile rising from 0.85 behind the nut to 0.98 inches behind the 12th fret, and a full bass scale length of 34 inches. Veneer rosewood fretboard with 20 original frets and pearl dot position markers. Headstock decal with Fender "Transition" logo in silver with black trim, "Precision Bass" in black below it, and four patent numbers and one design number beneath "Pat. 2,968,204"  "2,976,755"  "2,573,254"  "3,143,028"  "Des. 187,001". Single circular string tree. Fender cloverleaf bass tuners. Four-bolt Fender 'F' neck plate with serial number "150710" between the top two screws. One split black eight-polepiece pickup with an output of 8.23k. Four-layer tortoiseshell over white/black/white plastic pickguard with thirteen screws. Two controls (one volume, one tone) on the lower treble bout. Chrome knobs with knurled sides and flat tops. Combined four-saddle bridge/tailpiece. Complete with both the original bridge and pickup covers, the original thumbrest on the treble side of the pickguard, and the metal shield under the pickguard. The neck is stamped "5 JUL 66C" and the pots are stamped "304 6617" (Stackpole April 1966). This amazing bass is in near mint (9.25++) condition and is an exceptional (under the bed for fifty-five years) and totally original example of a mid sixties Precision Bass, and one of the best sounding basses that we have ever heard! Over the years we have handled more than fifteen 1963-1969 Precision Basses weighing anywhere between 8.40 lbs and 9.50 lbs. This one at 8.90 lbs is right in the middle … Without doubt one of the finest 'Three-tone Sunburst' Precision Bass that we have ever seen or even heard about! There is the bare minimum of belt-buckle rash on the back of the body and a few very minor and insignificant dings/dents on the sides of the body. The finish is bright and fresh and totally without the usual fading. Complete with the original black leather guitar strap, original guitar cord, original cleaning cloth and case keys. Housed in its original Fender black hardshell case with black leather ends and reddish orange plush lining (9.25++).

Although this is a CBS guitar, the changes made by them in late 1964 were purely cosmetic: The "Transition" logo replaced the "Spaghetti" logo and "pearloid" fingerboard dots replaced the "clay" dots. These two details were the only changes until 1968 when the tuners were changed, the decal was changed yet again and most importantly, a Polyester "thick" finish replaced the original nitrocellulose lacquer.

The Precision Bass, with its revolutionary new shape, was launched in 1951, and originally had a slab body. It was not until 1954, with the introduction of the Stratocaster, that Fender contoured the body. All early Precision Basses had one-piece maple necks, but in 1959, a slab-board rosewood fretboard was introduced, and then finally in 1962 the "veneer" rosewood fretboard was introduced.

Until the Precision, the bass was an upright acoustic instrument that was difficult to hear and cumbersome to transport. Leo Fender's invention allowed musicians to hold their instrument like a guitar, opening the bass world to curious guitar players, and allowing bass players a level of freedom they had not yet encountered. Due to the bass's solid body construction, it could be amplified to any level, giving it new found aural presence. In its first fifteen years of development, the Precision Bass changed as much as the music it influenced and the musicians it inspired, having been played by everyone from The Shadows to Led Zeppelin.

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