Up for sale, a 1970s Fernandes FPB-70FL fretless P-Bass in excellent condition and in perfect working order. Crafted in Japan, this bass bears Fernandes’ distinctive stone logo, used from 1977-80, also signifying a shift in production from Kawai to Tokai.
This Fernandes has all the visual trappings of a ‘70s Fender Precision bass, and tonewoods include a sen ash body, maple neck, and un-lined rosewood fretboard, resulting in a particularly thick and full tone with a smooth upper-midrange. The brass nut and bridge saddles ensure articulate trebles and a certain tonal immediacy, and this bass offers the traditional round and broad sound of a split coil P Bass pickup, with ample thump particularly when the Tone knob is rolled off. The bass weighs 9lbs even, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 45-100 strings and comfortable action.
The maple neck has a substantial U-shaped profile carve with plenty of roundness and generous shoulders, measuring .930” deep at the nut and .995” at the octave. The rosewood fretboard has a 7 1/4” radius and shows some light wear into the rosewood beneath the strings (mostly the A and D), but nothing particularly of note or impeding playability in the slightest. This bass plays cleanly up the 34” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The brass nut measures 1 1/2” in width. The headstock retains the late ‘70s Fernandes stone logo, and the nickel-plated tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch, with consistent patina on their clover buttons and baseplates.
All the electronics work as intended, with the split coil pickup governed by Master Volume and Tone controls. The Volume pot has been replaced with a full-size Alpha pot, and the original Tone pot is still present. The original flat-top knurled knobs, top-loader bridge and brass saddles all have a light dusting of patina, and the three-ply black pickguard shows some light scuffing along the pick path.
The bold gloss three-tone Sunburst finish highlights the dynamic grain in the ash body, with cosmetic wear limited to an area of light wear on the back that falls short of full-on “buckle rash,” a small cluster of nicks and dings on the treble-side lower bout body edge, and a handful of faint finish scratches and dings on the body as a whole. The gloss finish on the profile is clean and smooth, with a few minuscule dings that are imperceptible to the palm.
A padded gigbag is included.