Vintage Fender Precision Bass

Vintage Fender Precision Basses

In 1951, the introduction of Fender's solid body Precision electric bass guitar changed modern music.

The Fender Precision bass get's it's name from the then novel fact that it had frets, a departure from the upright bass that it sought to replace. It was marketed as not only being 1/6th the size of an upright, but being easier to play with the frets allowing more precise (Precision) intonation. 

Don Randall, (a general manager of Fenders early distributor Radio & Television Equipment Co. who went on to work for Fender) named all of Fender's products except the Precision Bass. He recalls that the name came from Leo Fender who took great pride in the fact that for the first time, a bass instrument, his creation, could be fretted down to a hundredth of an inch with great accuracy. The fret layout on his new bass had a then unprecedented degree of precision. Leo said it was so precise it should be called the Precision Bass.

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Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Precision Bass Fretless 3 Tone Sunburst
Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Precision Bass Fretless 3 Tone Sunburst

$111.00
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Fender American Vintage Reissue 1957 Precision Bass W Tweed CaseCandy
Fender American Vintage Reissue 1957 Precision Bass W Tweed CaseCandy

$999.95
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Fender American Vintage 58 Precision Bass in Black w Case
Fender American Vintage 58 Precision Bass in Black w Case

$1,779.00
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Vintage USA Fender Precision Scratchplate Pick Guard White Nr MINT 31yrs old
Vintage USA Fender Precision Scratchplate Pick Guard White Nr MINT 31yrs old

$32.16
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Fender American Vintage 58 Precision Bass Maple Fingerboard White Blonde
Fender American Vintage 58 Precision Bass Maple Fingerboard White Blonde

$1,999.99
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Fender American Vintage 58 Precision Bass Maple Fingerboard Black
Fender American Vintage 58 Precision Bass Maple Fingerboard Black

$1,999.99
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Fender American Vintage 63 Precision Bass Rosewood Fingerboard Seminole Red
Fender American Vintage 63 Precision Bass Rosewood Fingerboard Seminole Red

$1,999.99
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Fender American Vintage 58 Precision Bass Maple Board 3 Color Sunburst
Fender American Vintage 58 Precision Bass Maple Board 3 Color Sunburst

$1,999.99
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Fender Japan Precision Bass Standard model PB STD Vintage White Made in Japan
Fender Japan Precision Bass Standard model PB STD Vintage White Made in Japan

$498.00
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Fender Vintage Hot Rod 60s Precision Bass Black Rosewood 744
Fender Vintage Hot Rod 60s Precision Bass Black Rosewood 744

$1,869.99
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FENDER AMERICAN VINTAGE 58 PRECISION BASS WHITE BLONDE ASH MAPLE
FENDER AMERICAN VINTAGE 58 PRECISION BASS WHITE BLONDE ASH MAPLE

$1,999.99
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Fender Squier Vintage Modified Precision Bass Fretless less case 3 Tone Sunb
Fender Squier Vintage Modified Precision Bass Fretless less case 3 Tone Sunb

$299.99
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Was Leo Fender out of his mind? That was the thought of some in 1951 at the NAMM show when the Fender Precision Bass was introduced. The thought of a solid body bass with frets that was held like a spanish guitar and electrically amplified was quite a stretch for many.

Lionel Hampton and his bass players Roy Johnson and later to a greater extent, William 'Monk' Montgomery played an important role in bringing the Fender Electric bass to prominence. Lionel Hampton appeared in one of the first print ads for the Fender Precision bass in July of 1952. Monk Montgomery would make quite an impression playing electric bass with Lionel Hampton's band as they toured Europe in 1953 giving the Concept of Electric bass in general and the Fender Precision bass in particular, the exposure that it needed to really catch on with other present and future musicians.