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1971 Fender Mustang Bass Vintage Short Scale Bass Guitar Dakota Red


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Up for sale, a 1971 Fender Mustang Bass in excellent condition and in perfect working order. One of the last original slab-bodied Mustangs before the contoured “Competition” models would eclipse the initial design, this bass is 100% original save for an upgraded carved bone nut and modern finger rest. Resonant and responsive, this bass has a rich, round acoustic voice with smooth sustain and a touch of growl in the top end. There's a certain pluck and punch unique to this Fender short scale model that's particularly appealing and sits well in a mix, with a thump that doesn't have quite the breadth of a Precision pickup, yet fills out the low end nicely. Strung with flatwound 45-105 strings on the 30" scale, the bass produces a smooth top end and balanced lows that have a surprising amount of oomph when plucked with authority. The bass is exceedingly lightweight at 7lbs 9oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with comfortable action and accurate intonation.

The maple neck has a chunky, round C-shaped profile carve with generous shoulder and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .870" deep at the 1st fret and 1.005" at the 12th. The rosewood fretboard features pearl dot inlay and retains the original slender fretwire which has well-rounded crowns, showing only light uniform wear on the crowns of frets 1-5 and virtually no wear further up the board. The truss rod is responsive, the neck is straight, and this bass plays cleanly in all positions. The nut measures 1 9/16" in width, upgraded to a hand-carved piece of bone for optimal note clarity and sustain. On the headstock, the bass features a matched set of original Fender-stamped clover button tuners along with a clean and original logo on the headstock face.

The electronics are untouched, with original solder joints and the stock gray bobbin Mustang Bass split coil pickup, and stock CTS pots that date back to the 42nd week of 1966 (Fender bought a huge batch of pots from CTS in late '66, which were used through the very early '70s). The original stamp on the neck heel is also present and bold, dating to December of '71 and rounding out the essential date codes. The chrome hardware is bright and clean on the bridge base and control plate, with light patina on the barrel saddles. Plastics include original knobs and pickup covers, with a modern finger rest. The white pearloid pickguard is original, sitting flat with sparingly little shrinkage and great dimension, and there are two extra thumb rest mounting holes on the bass side of the guard (these mounting holes are in the guard only, not the body).

The original Dakota Red gloss finish exhibits tight finish checking, with buckle rash at the bass-side waist on the back with some additional dings and minor marks, mostly relegated to the back and body perimeter. The neck profile retains its smooth gloss with a few small scattered nicks.

This Mustang Bass is a resonant, rumbly example that’s quite lively and warm, with the original Dakota Red finish and a great feeling neck.

A padded gigbag is included.