Squier MIJ Precision Bass JV-Serial SPB-55 Natural 1983
Squier Precision Bass, made in Japan 1983. There's a whole lot of mystique and fanfare surrounding the legendary JV-serial instruments; they're certainly a significant part of the Fender story as well as being brilliant pieces of craftsmanship. Fender was experiencing some major turbulence when this was made: production in Fender's Fullerton USA plant shut down in 1984 when a group of Fender employees bought back the company, but not the factory, from the CBS broadcasting company in 83/84. The quality of the first Fender and Squier branded instruments coming out the Fujigen Gakki plant in 1983 was generally far superior to later CBS-era USA made instruments, so these were greeted with elation worldwide at the time and have since continued to grow in acclaim and desirability. This P-bass dates to October 1983, so it was birthed right in the middle of this famed Japanese golden age. Basses from this period are far less numerous than Strats and Teles, so this is certainly quite the find. It's been refinished at some point to a natural finish that's subsequently taken a bit of a beating; have a look at the pics and the condition notes below. It's certainly got an earthy charm to it; if you like a bass with some proudly displayed history, this certainly wears it's heart on it's sleeve. The absolute hero here is the neck; it's a gorgeous piece of birds-eye maple all the way from the tuners to the body... simply stunning. There's a special sort of 'voodoo' around a JV-neck, this absolutely has the magic: it's absolutely superb in the hands, far superior to all but the absolute top-tier of Fender USA's offerings. This isn't a minty-condition case-queen, but it's still a historically significant instrument that's dripping with charm and mojo. All hail the JV-P!
Model: Squier Precision Bass (SPB-55)
Made: Japan, Fujigen Plant neck date 20 Oct 1983 (serial JV811178)
Finish: natural, refinished; originally possibly black
Body: alder (possible basswood)
Weight: 3.9kg approx
Neck: maple with rosewood board, dot inlays
Mods: re-wired (standard controls), refnished
Pickups: Squier Japan PB-singles
Cosmetic condition notes: moderate finish wear. It's fairly obvious that this has been refinished, and given the wear on the finish, it was likely done quite some time ago. The finish has some 'crackling', likely from exposure to changing temperatures at some point, which covers most of the body. There's a little bit of filler/point on the side of the top horn, as well as some pretty noticeable bubble-wrap burn on the back of the body, mostly on the top horn but also in the shoulder area. There's a lot of scuffing around the bottom edge near the rear strap pin, and some larger scratches in a few spots: near the neck plate and near the rear strap pin, on the front in the body carve area. It's a pretty good candidate for a refinish, but it kinda has a 'vibe' about it as-is too. The neck and headstock are in pretty tidy shape with only minor marks (and that birds-eye grain!), and the chrome parts have some clouding/patina. Overall: fair condition (5.5/10).
Playing condition notes: Action is low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. Frets have some normal wear, there's plenty of height left and they're freshly polished, 7/10 for life left. All electrics tested and working properly, recently re-wired by our local pro to correct a couple of minor issues. Set up with fresh 45/105s. Sweet!
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