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Fender Precision Bass Serial Number Guide



Fender Precision Bass Serial Number Guide




If you own a Fender Precision Bass, you might be curious about its history and value. One of the best ways to find out more about your bass is to look at its serial number. The serial number can tell you when and where your bass was made, and sometimes even what model it is. But how do you decode the serial number on your Fender Precision Bass? In this article, we will show you how to use a Fender serial number decoder to date your bass and identify its features.




Fender Precision Bass Serial Number Guide



What is a Fender Precision Bass?




The Fender Precision Bass, or P-Bass for short, is one of the most iconic and influential electric bass guitars ever made. It was introduced by Leo Fender in 1951 as the first mass-produced electric bass guitar, and it revolutionized the role of the bass in music. The P-Bass has a simple and solid design, with a single-coil pickup, a volume and tone control, and a maple neck with 20 frets. The P-Bass has a distinctive sound that is punchy, warm, and versatile. It can be heard on countless recordings across genres, from rock and blues to funk and jazz.


Why is the serial number important?




The serial number on your Fender Precision Bass is a unique identifier that can help you date your instrument and learn more about its features and specifications. The serial number can also be used to verify the authenticity of your bass, as some counterfeit or modified instruments may have fake or altered serial numbers. The serial number can also affect the value of your bass, as some collectors may prefer certain years or models over others.


Where can I find the serial number on my Fender Precision Bass?




The location of the serial number on your Fender Precision Bass depends on the year and model of your instrument. Here are some common places where you can find the serial number on your bass:


  • On the back of the headstock, near the top.



  • On the back of the headstock, near the bottom.



  • On the front of the headstock, below the logo.



  • On the neck plate, on the back of the body.



  • On the bridge plate, on the front of the body.



  • On a sticker or label inside the body cavity.



Some basses may have more than one serial number, such as a neck date and a body date. These dates indicate when the individual parts were made, but not necessarily when they were assembled into a complete instrument. To date your bass accurately, you should use the serial number that corresponds to the whole instrument, not just a single part.


How do I decode the serial number on my Fender Precision Bass?




The easiest way to decode the serial number on your Fender Precision Bass is to use an online tool like Fender's Serial Number Lookup. This tool will provide you with information such as model name, year of production, country of origin, and color. However, this tool may not have all the serial numbers in its database, especially for older or rare instruments. In that case, you can use a manual checklist to decode your serial number based on its format and length.


The format and length of the serial number on your Fender Precision Bass can vary depending on the era and factory where it was made. Here is a summary of some common formats and what they mean:


FormatExampleMeaning


XN + 5 digitsXN12345American-made P-Bass from 1979-1981


E + 6 digitsE123456American-made P-Bass from 1982-1984


A + 6 digitsA123456American-made P-Bass from 1985-1986


N + 5 or 6 digitsN12345 or N123456American-made P-Bass from 1990-1999


Z + 5 or 6 digitsZ12345 or Z123456American-made P-Bass from 2000-2009


US + 6 digitsUS123456American-made P-Bass from 2010-present


S + 5 or 6 digitsS12345 or S123456Mexican-made P-Bass from 1991-1999


MZ + 5 or 6 digitsMZ12345 or MZ123456Mexican-made P-Bass from 2000-2009


MX + 6 digitsMX123456Mexican-made P-Bass from 2010-present


For more formats and details, check out Reverb's guide to dating a Fender with serial numbers.


What are some different models and values of Fender Precision Basses?




Fender Precision Basses have been produced in various models and configurations over the years, each with its own characteristics and appeal. Some of the most popular and sought-after models are:


  • The original 1951 P-Bass, which had a slab body, a single-coil pickup, a Telecaster-style headstock, and a 34-inch scale length. This model is very rare and can fetch up to $40,000 on the vintage market.



  • The 1954 P-Bass, which introduced the contoured body, the split-coil pickup, and the anodized aluminum pickguard. This model is considered the first classic P-Bass and can range from $15,000 to $25,000 depending on the condition and color.



  • The 1957 P-Bass, which featured a sunburst finish, a maple neck with a gold logo decal, and a white pickguard. This model is often associated with James Jamerson, the legendary Motown bassist, and can cost between $10,000 and $20,000.



  • The 1960 P-Bass, which had a rosewood fingerboard with clay dot inlays, a tortoiseshell pickguard, and a three-tone sunburst finish. This model is favored by many rock and blues players, such as John Entwistle and Steve Harris, and can go for $8,000 to $15,000.



  • The 1970s P-Bass, which had a thicker neck profile, a bullet truss rod nut, a three-bolt neck plate, and various color options. This model is known for its punchy and aggressive tone, and can vary from $2,000 to $5,000 depending on the year and color.



  • The 1980s P-Bass, which saw some changes in the hardware and electronics, such as Schaller tuners, TBX tone control, active pickups, and Kahler bridges. This model is more modern and versatile, and can range from $1,000 to $3,000 depending on the features and condition.



  • The reissue P-Bass models, which are faithful reproductions of the vintage models from different eras. These models are made in various countries, such as Japan, Mexico, or USA, and offer a more affordable way to get the classic P-Bass sound and feel. These models can cost from $500 to $2,500 depending on the quality and origin.



Of course, these are not the only models of Fender Precision Basses available. There are also many artist signature models, custom shop models, limited edition models, and more. You can browse all Fender Precision Basses on Reverb to find the perfect one for you. d282676c82


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