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FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / 1951 P-bass just came up for sale

Next 20 Messages  
edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Nov 9th, 2017 04:36 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Just saw this old plank come up for auction and it looks real. These are rare beyond rare and never never come up for sale. It's mostly a numbers game...so few were ever made and there is no clear understanding of how many have survived.

So this is the beginning of the beginning, the one that started it all.

The exact number of these produced has been the subject of intense discussion and debate over the years on this and many other forums. I have always believed that no more than about 85 were assembled and out the door between 10-31-51, the date they were first available for retail, and 12-31-51, the end of the year.

Scroll down to "See full item description" for a series of close-up photos.

It will be fun following the discussion of this bass on this thread.

I have absolutely no affiliation with the seller or the bass.

I know very little about the amp for sale and so will wait to read the comments of others who have some knowledge of these.

George

1951 P-bass

(This message was last edited by edmonstg at 06:47 PM, Nov 9th, 2017)

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Nov 9th, 2017 04:54 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The harness appears to have a replacement capacitor and I'm not for certain about the pots. Leo's earliest pots, at least the few examples I have seen, tend to have lettering and numbering with dating information stamped in blue ink. Also, the soldering I see on these pots does not look old. On the other hand, I think I see "Clarostat" stamped on one of them. Clarostat is one of the suppliers of early pots for the Fender company.

Nacho Banos' book THE BLACKGUARD has photos of 1950-51 harnesses in early Esquire, Broadcaster, and Telecaster guitars featuring pots used by Fender at that early period, but my copy is on loan with a friend right now, and I don't have access to it to make comparisons. Maybe one of you has your copy handy and can check for us.

USK may want to comment on this in more detail.

Also, I have no opinion about the pickup or its authenticity. The ad copy/photos do not have enough to go by to allow the deeper analysis.

However, as with anything Fender, never say never.

George

(This message was last edited by edmonstg at 06:47 AM, Nov 10th, 2017)

liverbird

UK

Searching for L40278.
Nov 9th, 2017 06:44 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

What's that red discolouration around the edges of the control cavity?

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Nov 10th, 2017 04:37 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Good question.

George

super400
Contributing Member
**********

Snohomish WA USA

Look at Them Beans!
Nov 10th, 2017 11:04 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Not that it matters much but, the wear on the pickguard indicates an interesting style of play. I may be wrong but I would guess the player rested the heel of the right hand on the pickup cover, placed a couple of fingers below the tugbar and played mostly with the thumb. A little wear at other spots looks like there was some playing done from the bass side, but not too much. Maybe placing the thumb on the bass side corner of the neck. Maybe more than one owner would seem likely, both with different styles. But most wear is obviously from the tugbar.

Now, I'll go find something less critical to do. :)

mrbassist

usa

Nov 12th, 2017 07:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

george,
I guess here we go again, what a beautiful bass. I to believe at least 84 of them were sold but as we have always disagreed in a friendly way I believe on 47 went out in 51, ther is some evidence to support this George Fullerton on page 7 of Nach's book says he thinks some were shipped in 51 and the rest in 52....oh well it doesn't really matter....somethings have changed since you took your break.....remember when you found 0144 with a September 18th date, 2 more have surfaced and I aquired one of them 0017 and the original owner is still alive and remembers the day he got it very well for an 84 year old man. we did a thread on this a couple years ago here it would make a good read if you haven't seen it.they have 2 hole tugbars as does my 0017 I'll try to find it. there is a youtube video of the California Playboys and Arlis Mcminn with my bass in it with a 2 hole tug bar..... this bass has a 6-57 neck not a 6 -51 and that can and is being verified right now by me and Craig Brody who has the bass....the route at the nut on a 55 -57 has a different slope than the 51=54 neck. I just got off the phone with him and we should have some pics tomorrow or so to confirm this. but the pic here shows a 57 slope. this bass also has the wrong resistor.

(This message was last edited by mrbassist at 10:32 PM, Nov 14th, 2017)

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Nov 12th, 2017 07:15 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

bassist...I knew you would be on here at some point, or was hoping you would anyway.

I like your numbers for 51-52 and I think that may very well be what really happened during that first year of production on the original planks.

George

(This message was last edited by edmonstg at 05:11 AM, Nov 13th, 2017)

mrbassist

usa

Nov 12th, 2017 07:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

george,

that was fast.
there is an incredible story that goes with that 51 you found 0144. I put together a microsoft word doc with pictures of all of the differences the volume plate is a telecastor plate machined down to fit a cavity that is 3/4 of an inch longer than the other 51. no route under the bridge etc Let me find it and send it to you it will blow your mind.
anywaymy 0017 is the same way.

you might want o read this some of it is here

http://fenderforum.com/forum.html?db=&topic_number=796012

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Nov 13th, 2017 03:22 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

bassist...when you get a chance send me that 144 doc when you have a chance. My email is in my profile.

George

mrbassist

usa

Nov 13th, 2017 12:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I noticed this bass pickup has a raised A and D pole also, I would suspect the entire electronics has been replaced on this bass.

digiboy

New York City

Nov 14th, 2017 01:32 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hey Mr. Bassist. I'd kinda like to get that word doc too if it's not too much trouble. I'm not a collector or any kind of expert like some of the others here. Just a long time P bass fan boy and I do love reading about all the historical nuances, etc.

My email is in my profile or just click on my username. Thanks, Mike B.

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Nov 14th, 2017 08:02 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Everyone:

Got the 144 doc from bassist and it's fascinating.

It contains information about Fender's earliest Precision basses which can't be found anywhere else and represents a ground-breaking contribution to a study of the subject.

My hat is off bassist for the time, effort and money it took to compile this stuff.

Many years ago, when I wrote the text for Detlef Schmidt's book on the early planks, I wish I had known about this additional history our FDP brother has uncovered.

Also, for fans, students and professors of Leo Fender history, the video on the California Playboys is a must-see. Find it on YouTube by searching for California Playboys.

There's a SoulFunk band by the same name with a lot of their discography on the Tube, so it's not them.

When you do the search, the CPB band where you need to go will be obvious.

George

(This message was last edited by edmonstg at 02:43 PM, Nov 14th, 2017)

rwb
Contributing Member
********

Canada

The Plankster of Love
Nov 14th, 2017 04:23 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

here's a couple links to the Playboys stuff... there may be more, I don't have time to keep searching

First one on Arlin McMinn's Esquire, with Richard Smith

Mrbassist, is it an imposition on you to send that document? I would absolutely love to read it - although I'm a player and not really a collector, I've always been a huge aficionado of the slab-body basses.....

My email is rwb4166@gmail.com if you can send it. Thanks

Richard Smith on Arlin's Esquire:

(This message was last edited by rwb at 06:25 PM, Nov 14th, 2017)

rwb
Contributing Member
********

Canada

The Plankster of Love
Nov 14th, 2017 04:26 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

... and another, more a retrospective of the California Playboys

California Playboys reminisce

(This message was last edited by rwb at 07:33 PM, Nov 14th, 2017)

JackL
Contributing Member
**********
*

Chico CA

If you rest, you rust.
Nov 14th, 2017 05:35 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

mrbassist...yet another person wishing I could read up on your research. Rest assured if you're willing to share it I will not pass it on.

Thnx, Jack

bassjack51@yahoo.com

digiboy

New York City

Nov 14th, 2017 06:15 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks guys, great posts, fascinating info. Thanks also for those Youtube links.

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Nov 14th, 2017 06:26 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Great videos. This thread (shameless self-promotion) is knocking 'um out of the park.

George

mrbassist

usa

Nov 14th, 2017 07:41 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

George,
Its all your fault!! If you hadn't found 0144 the gears would never started turning. Thanks for the kind words George, It was a labor of love.....Arlis saw 3 on a table could there be more?????

rwb
Contributing Member
********

Canada

The Plankster of Love
Nov 15th, 2017 08:42 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It's great to revisit this fascinating story. IMO one of the greatest mysteries in vintage guitar history. Also great to see you guys on here.

Danny Nader

usa

You should have been there!
Nov 15th, 2017 11:45 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

George,

Can you send me this document? Thanks!

Danny

Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / 1951 P-bass just came up for sale




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