Up for sale, a 1959 Fender Precision Bass in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original brown tolex hardshell case. 100% original save for one tip of the pickguard and a single clay dot fret marker, this Precision is an extremely expressive and soulful-sounding instrument. Tonewoods include an alder body paired with a maple neck and slab Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, delivering a deep, balanced natural acoustic sound.
Strung with fresh roundwound 50-105 strings, the split coil black bobbin pickup delivers plenty of fullness and woody thump with excellent treble articulation and midrange growl. The bass balances well on a strap, notably lightweight at only 8lbs 1oz. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, this Precision Bass has an incredible feel, accurate intonation, and easy-playing action.
The maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve which gains additional heft and shoulder in the higher registers, measuring .810" deep at the 1st fret and .975" at the 12th. The Brazilian rosewood slab fretboard is extremely dark and tight-grained, with rolled fretboard edges and clay dot inlay. The original slender fretwire is intact, lightly leveled and crowned and currently exhibiting no wear, retaining good meat given their slender width. The bass plays cleanly in all registers, and the neck is straight with a responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The original nut measures a full 1 3/4" in width. The headstock face features the original 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 45th and 47th weeks of '59, along with the "chewing gum" tone cap. Hardware includes the bridge with threaded saddles, serialized neck plate, and flat-topped knurled knobs, all of which have bright chrome plating. 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 has the vibrant mottling and yellow swirls indicative of Fender's early tort. The small piece of tortoise material beyond the input jack has been replaced with the same style vintage tort and matching edge bevel.
The Sunburst is what's often referred to as a "2.5 Burst," as the red dyes used for the central ring on Fender Sunbursts from circa 1958-59 had a propensity to quickly fade with UV exposure, yielding a finish that has a bit more ruddiness and subtle transition between the deep amber center and dark brownish-black edges of the burst. The finish is 100% original with no touch-up or overspray, with buckle wear across the back, various chips and dings largely on the back and body perimeter, and some additional case rub on the outside edge of the treble-side body horn. There is also a spot of targeted pick/finger wear just beyond the pickguard edge by the E string. The majority of the neck profile gloss is worn to the smooth, bare maple behind frets 1-9 from contact with the palm, and there is one ding into the rosewood on the treble side fretboard edge on fret 4, worn smooth from decades of additional play.
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.