Up for sale, a 2012 Fender Bass VI in near mint, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. This limited release instrument was produced in sparingly small quantities and was discontinued a decade ago. Fender Japan's quality craftsmanship and eye for detail is evident in this faithful vintage reissue, and with this Bass VI release, Fender stuck closely to the features introduced on this model in '63, with a four switch control plate and three Jaguar-esque single coil pickups, along with a three-tone Sunburst gloss finish.
Tuned E to E (an octave down from a standard guitar), the Bass VI can cover a vast tonal range, working as both a bass and a lead instrument, depending on the situation. 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 low, 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 you to also strum full chords and augment bass lines with leads and complex chord shifts not possible on a conventional bass. Used on Ennio Morricone's Spaghetti Western film scores, Beatles tunes, a good chunk of the Cream catalog, and 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 particular Bass VI weighs 9lbs 6oz, balances well on a strap, and has solid note attack and a surprising amount of sustain. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, this Bass VI is strung with roundwound 25-85 strings, specifically tailored for this model, dialed in with solid intonation and comfortable action.
The one-piece maple neck has a well-rounded medium C shaped profile with quite a bit of shoulder and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .845" deep at the 1st fret and .930" at the 12th. On the dark slab rosewood fretboard, the slender frets show no wear and the fretboard is inlaid with dot position markers. The 1 9/16" nut width is consistent with vintage spec, as is the 30" scale length, and 7 1/4" fretboard radius. On the headstock, the Kluson-style Gotoh tuning machines turn smoothly and work as intended. The JD12-prefix serial and "Made in Japan" text is present above the four-bolt neck plate.
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 bridge design is faithful to the original in terms of the correct 1" width, with Mustang-style saddles that are more reliable than the knurled saddles seen on other reissues of the VI. Fender's classic offset vibrato unit tops things off, and the guttural growls and twangy warbles that the vibrato can coax out of the Bass VI are truly unique and appropriate to much of the music for which a Bass VI has been utilized over the decades. The vibrato jumps back into tune with relative ease, and the spring tension is more than adequate.
The Sunburst gloss finish is stunningly well-kept, with just a couple faint finish scratches in the clear coat of the gloss on the back and a bit of faint pick wear on the treble side of the brown tortoise pickguard. The ambered neck profile is flawless, the chrome is near spotless, and this instrument is as nice an example as you'll find, given the rare and discontinued nature of this Bass VI model.
The original Fender gigbag is included.
***We are dealers for the Mastery M1 bridge and OMV-P Offset Vibrato, and Lollar Jaguar/Bass VI pickups, any or all of which can be installed prior to shipment for an additional charge***