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FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / My Holy Grail has arrived! 1951 P-bass

Previous 20 Messages  
edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Dec 12th, 2018 04:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

Many I have seen are cracked.

Mine are cracked.

They do have an affect on tone. Kind of hard to describe. You know it this way: If you change to steel saddles the tone changes.

My 51 sort of sounds like an electric upright. Is it the saddles? Maybe.

It's subtle but it's there.

George

digiboy

New York City

Dec 12th, 2018 05:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

Some Danelectro basses use a wooden bridge. It's a one piece affair, no option to adjust individual strings. There are metal replacements with 4 moveable saddles but many Dano geeks say you can't get a true Dano tone without that wooden bridge.

I gotta have the metal on my Dano for intonation, it still sounds pretty darn good. At least your '51 P has the classic 2 piece saddle design. Boy I would love to hear that thing, bet it just sounds incredible.

uncle stack-knob
Contributing Member
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united kingdom

Dec 13th, 2018 05:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

The material is a material known over here as "Tufnol".
Still made and used in industry widely,albeit in up to date form.
It is a paper/resin mixture,or a cotton fibre/resin mix.
A google search reveals all.
Originates years back in Birmingham England,where they still exist.

Stack-Knob

uncle stack-knob
Contributing Member
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united kingdom

Dec 13th, 2018 12:47 PM   Edit   Profile  

To clarify the history and get it right for one and all: Saddles were vulcanised fibre from 1951 up to 1953.
From 1953 up to mid 1954 (ish) they were made of ebonite rod. (note this explains to some the change in the colour appearance with the use of this material)
1954 on: saddles were made of steel.

Hope this helps,
Stack-knob.

digiboy

New York City

Dec 13th, 2018 01:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks USK! I wouldn't know one type from the other but it's significant to me that Leo chose NOT to use metal in the original design. I think the type of bridge does impact the sound. Perhaps more noticeable on an acoustic upright but Leo clearly gave it some thought.

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Dec 14th, 2018 07:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

I want to believe the saddles impact the sound and I would never change mine for both historic and also for tonal reasons.

On the bandstand, this bass has a cut-through the mix like no other Fender bass I have ever played.

George

(This message was last edited by edmonstg at 09:50 AM, Dec 14th, 2018)

Bubbalou
Contributing Member
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USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Dec 14th, 2018 09:52 AM   Edit   Profile  

"On the bandstand, this bass has a cut-through the mix like no other Fender bass I have ever played."

Even compared to the 52 P bass you had once?


edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Dec 17th, 2018 02:16 PM   Edit   Profile  

Better.

George

Bubbalou
Contributing Member
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USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Dec 18th, 2018 10:38 AM   Edit   Profile  

I would love to hear that one played. However the distance from Portland to Dallas/ Ft. Worth area make it not likely but I am really glad for you George. Bet that was like "A kid in a Candy Shop"

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Dec 20th, 2018 05:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yes for sure Lou.

George

rwb

Canada

The Plankster of Love
Dec 21st, 2018 05:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

I always referred to those saddles as phenolic. Are the u=above terms some form of that?

Detlef made a set of saddles from phenolic, and I tested them several times on my Telecaster bass, which at the time was otherwise all stock. Only detected a slight difference in tone, slightly more warmth maybe...

I seem to recall that the very first basses had different strings supplied, i.e. a type of upright string but with a metal core. Wondering how long those stayed around, and when flatwound metal strings came to be. While we're at it, whoever dreamed up roundwound bass strings? When (and why? (LOL... just trying to play the purist devil's advocate there)

I imagine the combination of those very early strings and the early bridge components would be quite different than today. Definitely trying to sound like the conventional upright was Leo's objective...


uncle stack-knob
Contributing Member
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united kingdom

Dec 22nd, 2018 08:18 AM   Edit   Profile  

Roundwound bass strings?
James Howe Industries in England.
Better known to one and all as Rotosound.
Info from FENDER here as well.

Stack-Knob.

Rotos'

mrbassist

usa

Dec 22nd, 2018 04:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

for what its worth my 1936 Audiovox bass guitar still has the original 80 year old strings on it and they are roundwounds. go figure

liverbird

UK

Searching for L40278.
Jan 17th, 2019 04:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

George, have you seen this? I thought you might enjoy...

It still happens apparently

bAss-Flyer

SLO County CA

Just a simple Country bass player
Jan 29th, 2019 09:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

CONGRATS!! Very cool!

Bubbalou
Contributing Member
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USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Jan 30th, 2019 01:17 AM   Edit   Profile  

Very nice find

Arild

Norway

Feb 3rd, 2019 03:28 AM   Edit   Profile  

Wow!
Congratulations!

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Feb 6th, 2019 06:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

Liverbird...amazing story!!

Sorry, just saw this today.

George

BargeOn

CNY

Feb 7th, 2019 05:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

My parents had furniture that color. As you know "blond" was a popular color in the early 50s. It had the same translucent quality, frosty white when new and aged similarly to your slightly yellowed color after many years. Neve got to butterscotch as I see in some pics, but then it led a very sheltered life.

rwb

Canada

The Plankster of Love
Feb 8th, 2019 01:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

re. the "phenolic" (etc) early saddles - I have often wondered if there was a factor behind the change, eventually, to steel, after vulcanized fibre, and then ebonite rod. I wonder if they noticed that players were starting to play harder, I'm talking about the early years of electric bass in rhythm and blues aka rock and roll - is it possible Fender got reports of bridge saddles not standing up under the heavier hands of bassists? Or are the all the ones we see warped, bent, cracked etc strictly due to aging, drying, etc, other factors than just physical stress? All you physicists, put on your thinking caps now !!


Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / My Holy Grail has arrived! 1951 P-bass




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