Precision Bass (Maple Cap) Guitars

1968 Fender Precision Bass (Maple Cap)

Color: See-thru blond, Rating: 9.00, $15,500.00 (ID# 02126)
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The Rarest of the Rare and The Ultimate Precision Bass See Thru Blond Ash Body with Maple-Cap Neck


1968 Fender Precision Bass (Maple Cap)

This 13-inch-wide, 1 11/16 inch deep, lightweight "dream see-thru blond" bass guitar weighs just 9.20 lbs. Nitrocellulose finish over a nicely grained one-piece ash body contoured on the back and lower bass bout. One-piece maple neck with a nice medium nut width of just under 1 5/8 inches, a full bass scale length of 34 inches, and a wonderful thick neck profile rising from 0.88 behind the first fret to 0.99 inches behind the 12th fret. Exceptionally rare maple-cap fretboard with 20 original medium-to-thick frets and black dot position markers. Single circular string tree. Individual Fender cloverleaf tuners. Headstock with Fender 'oversized' logo, with "Fender" in black with gold trim, "Precision Bass", and beneath that  "Pat. 2,573,254  2,968,204  3,143,028  2,976,755". Third strap-button on the back of headstock. Four-bolt 'F' neckplate with the serial number "241717" stamped between the top two screws. One split black eight-polepiece pickup with a great, fat output of 10.77k. Four-layer tortoiseshell over white and black plastic pickguard with thirteen screws. Two controls (one volume and one tone). Knurled chrome knobs with flat tops. Combined four-saddle bridge/tailpiece and both original bridge and pickup covers. The neck is stamped on the end "5 AUG 68 B". The neck pocket has "3/8" in red marker. The potentiometers are both stamped 304 6631 (Stackpole, August 1966) and the wiring is still the original cloth (not the later plastic). An exceptional example of the rarest of all Precision basses in totally original and excellent plus/exceptionally fine (8.75-9.00) condition. The nitrocellulose lacquer finish on the see-thru blond ash body has uniformly aged to shade of yellow (except under the pickuard, neckplate, bridge and bridge cover). There is some finish checking on the top and back of the body, some edge wear and some light scratches on the bass side of the top. The neck, maple-cap fretboard and original medium-thick frets show very little signs of wear. This is a truly amazing playing and sounding P. Bass and certainly one of the most beautiful that we have seen. Housed in its original Fender three-latch rectangular black hardshell case with black leather ends and reddish orange plush lining (9.00).

Our guitar is an ash bodied, see-thru blond with the extremely rare maple-cap neck and fretboard, which was most likely specially ordered at the time. We know of only one other similar guitar - that one was sold in the late 1990's to Mike Mills of R.E.M. and has become his favorite bass which has been used on every video, TV appearance and concert performance by him since. Mike Mills can be seen in concert with R.E.M. playing his bass at:

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. Many players missed the comfort of the maple fretboard, so from 1965 to 1969 a maple-cap neck was available to special order. From around 1967 to 1969, a one-piece maple neck was offered as an option.

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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