Up for sale, a 1958 Fender Precision Bass in perfect working order and soulfully played, 100% original save for a modern hand-carved bone nut. This extremely resonant Precision Bass is a very early split coil pickup example, with features and date codes firmly placing production in the first quarter of '58.
This bass has all the hallmarks of the second year where the Precision Bass would gain its now iconic split coil pickup configuration, including an early three-tone gloss Sunburst finish, raised A string pole piece pickup, and a substantial and effortlessly navigable soft V profile carve. The distinctive note attack of the maple fretboard adds a certain treble-centric snap and articulation to the deep, focused thump of the pickup, and the alder body provides a very even-sounding and smooth tonal platform. The low end is broad and robust, and the bass is currently strung with flatwound Thomastik-Infeld JF344 43-100 strings, delivering a smooth growl when plucked acoustically. The bass is extremely well-balanced on a strap and weighs 8lbs 10oz. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, this 1958 Fender Precision lives up to its "holy grail" bass status, with solid intonation, jaw-dropping tone and a feel that no modern bass or reissue can match.
The perfect middle ground between the V necks of 1957 and the slender C carves seen later in ’58, this profile still has a hint of a soft V and more shoulder than most from ’58, with the nitro lacquer worn to the bare maple along the majority of the profile. Silky smooth and effortless, the profile has good depth and substance in every register, with rolled fretboard edges, measuring .880" deep at the 1st fret and .999" at the 12th. The fretboard retains the original slender fretwire, leveled and crowned in the instrument's lifetime and playing cleanly in every register. A new hand-carved bone nut measures 1 11/16" in width, fractionally more slender than the most common width in this era (1 3/4"). The headstock retains the original reverse geared long stem clover button tuning machines anchored with large slot-head screws (one gear screw is a replacement), and these tuners are particularly clean, with sparingly little wear on the plating. The original headstock decal is also fully intact. The neck heel is pencil dated 3-58, and the finish exchange is a perfect match between the neck pocket and heel.
The electronics consist of the original black bobbin pickup with original windings, and the Stackpole pots date to the 7th week of '58. The neck plate also has a "0" prefix, only seen from 1957-58. All of the original hardware is intact, including the bridge bass with distinctive squared-off back edges, spiral saddles, knurled metal knobs, "ashtray" bridge cover (not installed, but pictured with the case) and of course the stock gold anodized pickguard which shows finger wear through the gold anodizing beneath the finger rest.
The nitro lacquer three-tone Sunburst finish is 100% original with no touchup or overspray, and the bass exhibits over 60+ years of honest playwear. This is one of the most perfectly patina’d examples of a golden age Fender Precision we’ve ever had through the shop, with very tight horizontal lacquer checking across the body, buckle rash across the back, prominent pick wear on the treble side of the pick path between the guard and bridge, forearm wear on the lower bout edge, and some case rub on the treble-side cutaway edge.
A modern Fender G&G Deluxe tweed hardshell case with red plush interior is included, along with the original bridge cover.