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1959 Fender Precision Bass Vintage Pre-CBS Sunburst, Collector-Grade w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1959 Fender Precision Bass in collector-grade condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original brown tolex hardshell case and strap. 100% original save for a new nut and professional refret with vintage spec fretwire, this Precision is remarkably well-preserved, with an uncommonly bold three-tone Sunburst. Tonewoods include an alder body paired with a maple neck and slab Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, delivering a deep, balanced natural acoustic sound.

Strung with flatwound 45-105 strings, the split coil black bobbin pickup offers plenty of fullness and woody thump, with excellent articulation and midrange growl. The flatwounds ensure a certain smoothness and high treble roll-off, and the overarching sound is lively and expressive. The bass balances well on a strap, weighing 8lbs 9oz and professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with easy-playing action and accurate intonation.

The maple neck has a very slender C-shaped profile carve at the nut with modest shoulders and rolled fretboard edges. There's a very gentle increase in overall heft up the fingerboard, and the profile measures .765" deep at the 1st fret and .960" at the 12th. The Brazilian rosewood slab fretboard is extremely dark and tight-grained with clay dot inlay, benefitting from a full refret with flawless vintage-spec fretwire. The bass plays cleanly in all registers, and the neck is straight with a responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. A modern carved bone nut measures a full 1 3/4" in width (original nut is also included). The headstock face features the original practically perfect Precision Bass waterslide decal, and the original nickel-plated long stem clover-button tuning machines have plenty of shine, turning smoothly and holding pitch well. The neck heel has no pencil date, in-line with Fender's practices in the 1959 model year, and the Sunburst in the fully-finished neck pocket perfectly mirrors the finish on the neck heel.

All of the electronics work as they should, with original windings on the split coil black bobbin pickup, and original CTS pots which date to the 47th week of 1958 and the and 16th week of 1959. The "chewing gum" tone cap is present, and solder joints are untouched. Hardware includes the bridge with threaded saddles, serialized neck plate, and flat-topped knurled knobs, all of which have bright chrome plating. Both original "ashtray" pickup covers are also present. Plastics comprise the original finger rest, pickup covers, and very early nitrate tortoise pickguard. As the tortoise guards supplanted the earlier gold anodized aluminum pickguards in the '59 model year, this is one of the first Precisions to boast a tortoise guard, and this example is extremely glossy and clean. There's some minimal shrinkage of the pickguard on the bass-side edge in particular, exposing a sliver of the aluminum shielding plate beneath the guard.

The three-tone Sunburst finish speaks to the preservation of this instrument, as the unstable red dyes Fender used in 1958-59 have a propensity to fade quickly with UV exposure. This bass has a strong central ring of red, thus its exposure has been quite limited. The finish is 100% original with no touch-up or overspray, exhibiting some pick wear on the bass side of the body extending beyond the pickguard edge, and just a few small finish chips and minor marks on the body as a whole. There is some extremely faint speckling in the clear coat on the back of the body from contact with a case lining or something similar, and the lacquer has subsequently been buffed smooth. The nitro lacquer gloss on the neck profile is exceedingly clean and free of palm wear.

The original brown tolex hardshell case is included and in excellent shape. The case features clean brown leather ends and handle, with a trio of original functional latches and a gold plush interior. The original strap is also included, along with the original fretwire and nut.