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1962 Fender Bass VI Vintage Electric Bass Guitar Pre-CBS Slab Board Sunburst w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1962 Fender Bass VI in excellent condition and in perfect working order. Boasting all the first generation features of this model only seen from 1961-early '63, this Bass VI retains its original trio of black bobbin pickups with original winds, each featuring its distinctive large metal surround and wound hotter than the subsequent Jaguar-esque pickups used in this model. A dark slab Brazilian rosewood fretboard and three switch control plate round out the essential early features, and this Bass VI is 100% original save for a hand-carved bone nut and very light lacquer overspray on the parameter of the original Sunburst nitro lacquer gloss.
Tuned E to E (an octave down from a standard guitar), the Bass VI can cover an incredible 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 Bass IV weighs 9lbs, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar and strung with LaBella .026-.095 roundwound strings, dialed in to play its best with low action and accurate intonation.
The maple neck has an effortlessly slender and fast-feeling C profile carve at the nut with appreciable roundness and heft as you travel up the fingerboard and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .795" deep at the 1st fret and .975" at the 12th. The Brazilian rosewood slab fretboard is a dark, tight-grained cut, retaining the original slender frets which have been leveled and crowned, currently showing just a hint of wear on the crowns of frets 1-3. The nut has been upgraded to a hand-carved piece of bone measuring 1 9/16" in width (although the “A” stamp on the neck heel would suggest a slightly more slender width). The headstock retains the original Bass VI decal, and the original Kluson Deluxe single line tuning machines are intact and turn smoothly. The neck heel retains its original very bold March, 1962 date stamp and the neck pocket is fully finished with an original shim, correct for early '62 production.
The electronics are 100% original, with stock windings on all three black bobbin pickups which meter in the mid-6k ohms range, a bit hotter and more Tele-esque than later Bass VI winds and offering plenty of detail and fullness. The wiring harness includes a trio of original pickup on/off switches, and the Stackpole Volume and Tone pots date to the 52nd week of 1961. The plastic parts include the original and practically perfect nitrate tortoise pickguard which has a warm, lighter shade of tort only seen on the earliest Fender guards with a distinctive marbled appearance with prominent yellow swirls. The chrome hardware is extremely bright, and the vibrato tailpiece retains its original arm, actuating easily for broad expressive gestures and warbles.
The original nitro lacquer three-tone Sunburst gloss finish is intact, very warm, and nigh unfaded with a broad central red ring. There is one extremely slender, flawlessly repaired split in the alder on the treble side body corner just beyond the control plate, and very faint black lacquer overspray on the body edges. Cosmetic wear includes buckle rash central to the back and various minor scuffs and dings, with some finish chips on the body parameter. The neck profile is silky smooth, worn to the bare maple along its length from natural palm wear, while still retaining the original nitro gloss on the headstock and heel.
A brand new Fender G&G Deluxe black tolex hardshell case is included.