Up for sale, a 1992 Fender Custom Edition Bass VI in near-mint, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original padded gigbag and hangtags. This exceedingly rare Fender is one of the earliest known examples of this "Made in Japan" model.
While the short-lived Custom Edition line would see numerous high profile releases in the 1993 catalog, including the Bass VI, this example was produced a full year earlier. The Custom Edition headstock badge would set this model apart from the first well-known Bass VI limited reissue offered in ‘95, and this Bass VI was made at the Fujigen factory, only intended for sale to the domestic Japanese audience.
With this Bass VI, Fender stuck closely to the features introduced on this model in 1963, with a four switch control plate and three Jaguar-esque single coil pickups. Originally designed for studio players looking to nail the Nashville "tic-tac" bass tones, the Bass VI has a present and clear low end, with a sinewy snap that cuts through a mix yet still retains plenty of warmth. For guttural surfy twang, the Bass VI is ideal, and when drenched in Fender reverb, the tones can be haunting and ethereal. Of course the range of the instrument allows the player to also strum full chords and augment bass lines with leads and complex chord shifts not possible on a conventional bass. Beloved by session musicians, used prominently in the Beatles catalog, wielded by Jack Bruce on a good chunk of Cream's recordings, and central to much of the Cure's output in the past 40+ years, the Bass VI is an indispensable tool for a wide range of musical styles. This Bass VI weighs 9lbs 5oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 25-85 roundwound strings, easy-playing action, and spot-on intonation.
The maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve with well-rounded shoulders and lightly rolled fretboard edges, with a gentle increase in heft and roundness in the higher registers of the fingerboard, measuring .820” deep at the 1st fret and .965” at the 12th. The rosewood fretboard has a vintage-spec 7 1/4“ radius with pearloid dot inlay and flawless slender fretwire. This bass plays cleanly in all registers with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. In line with traditional spec, the scale length is 30” and the nut measures 1 9/16” in width. On the headstock, the original Kluson-style Gotoh tuning machines turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch. The back of the headstock retains the “Custom Edition” decal, and the “Made in Japan” text and L-prefix serial are present above the four-bolt neck plate. Both the neck heel and pocket retain their Bass VI factory stamps too.
On the alder body, all of the electronics work as they should, with three individual pickup on/off switches as well as a low cut "strangle" switch for when even more top end presence is needed. Master Volume and Tone controls round out the basic and intuitive layout. The original full-size Japanese pots date to February, 1992. The bridge design is faithful to the original in terms of the correct 1" width, with Mustang-style barrel saddles that are more reliable than the spiral saddles seen on other reissues of the VI. Fender's classic offset vibrato unit tops things off, and the growls and twangy warbles that the vibrato can coax out of the Bass VI are truly unique. The chrome-plated vibrato and control plate have plenty of shine, with light surface patina on the saddles and bridge. Plastics comprise the uniformly yellowed pickup covers, original knobs, and four ply red tortoise pickguard.
This is an extremely well-kept Bass VI, with cosmetic wear on the gloss three-tone Sunburst finish limited to a few small nicks and faint finish scratches in the clear coat on the body as a whole. The neck profile retains its smooth ambered gloss.
The original “Fender Custom Edition” padded gigbag is included, along with all hangtags.