(SOLD) Fender Japan '57 Precision Bass PB57-55 Black 1984
Fender '57 Precision, black, made in Japan 1984. When I first picked this up, my initial response was 'wow, that neck feels like a JV neck'. For the uninitiated: the first Fender instruments ever made outside the USA were made between 1982-4 at Japan's legendary Fujigen Gakki factory, and stamped with a serial number beginning with the digits 'JV'. Those first couple of years of production are famous for absolutely impeccable build quality and meticulous wood selection, so they sound and feel so close to original 50s and 60s guitars that it's a bit scary. Now, this bass has an 'E serial', which usually puts it's birthday between 1985-8, but this one has a November 1984 neck date... right at the end of that JV period. The only difference in terms of specs between this and an example from later in the eighties is a 42mm nut and a slim-ish profile... a little skinnier than the 45mm nut and chunky D shape you'd get on a regular MIJ '57 reissue P. The neck is a very agreeable shape, and as you might have guessed: it's an absolutely superb piece of maple. The grain on show is very pretty, it's super resonant and lively in the hands, and it's still arrow-straight after all these years... it feels terrific. The tone on deck is great too: it's lively and bright through the top end, balancing out the walloping low-end and the complex, punchy midrange. The original white guard was swapped out at some point for a three ply black guard, and you know what? I'm totally fine with that, it looks clean and mean. So, all in all, this rules, and you'll absolutely win some MIJ-nerd-points if that's your thing.
Model: Fender Precision Bass, PB57-55
Year: Japan, Fujigen plant, neck date 17 Nov 1984 (serial E769471)
Finish: gloss black, 3-ply black guard
Neck: 1-piece maple, 34" scale, 42mm nut, C shape
Mods: guard replaced
Pickup: Fender Japan PB-Vintage split single coil
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. The headstock has some minor dimples on the end and a scuff on the bottom edge. The neck is clean and smooth in the hands, there's a pair of dents in the back behind the 4th and 12th frets approx, as well as minor dimples and rub wear. The back has widespread light scuffs around the whole body, some dimples along the bottom edge and some surface scratches near the neck joint, no major marks. The sides have light scuffs on the top horn and along the top edge, a decent chip about an inch square on the back edge a bit up from the rear strap pin, as well as some light scuffs near the jack. The front has some scuffs around the bridge, some dimples in the elbow area and some standard play wear on the guard and horns. Overall: good condition (7/10).
Playing condition notes: Action is low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. All electrics tested and working properly. Frets are looking tidy, 9/10 for fret life left. Set up with fresh 45/105 Moonshiners strings.