Fender, Precision Bass, 1959 - Greg Lake


Precision Bass
Serial Number: 
Brazilian Rosewood
The Story Behind

The Fender Precision Bass (often shortened to "P Bass") was designed by Leo Fender as a prototype in 1950 and brought to market in 1951, the Precision was the first electric bass to earn widespread attention and use. A revolutionary instrument for the time, the Precision Bass has made an immeasurable impact on the sound of popular music ever since.

The original Precision Bass of 1951 was essentially a bass counterpart to the six-string Telecaster and shared several of its design features—the main difference being its then-radical double cutaway body. In 1953 the Precision Bass received contoured edges for comfort while otherwise retaining the existing Telecaster-like styling.

In 1957 the Precision Bass received a major restyling; the headstock and pickguard were redesigned to closely resemble Fender's recently introduced, ultra-modern Stratocaster guitar, with a rounder neck heel replacing the original square shape introduced in 1951. The redesigned P-Bass pickguard was made of a single layer of gold anodized aluminum with 10 screwholes (1957–59) and then changed in 1960 to a 13-screw celluloid "multilayer" with 3 or 4 layers of black, white, mint green, aged white pearloid and brown tortoise shell. The original single-coil pickup was replaced in 1957 with a new split-coil pickup with staggered polepieces, connected in a humbucking mode; however, Fender never emphasized this, as the Seth Lover patent on the humbucking pickup had not yet expired. Two years later (1959), a rosewood fingerboard glued on a maple neck featuring "clay"-style dot position markers replaced the 1-piece maple neck. The rosewood neck became a standard feature until 1966/67, when the CBS-owned Fender companies began to offer a separate laminated maple fingerboard capped on a maple neck. Rosewood fingerboards were made of a veneered round-laminated piece of wood; pearloid dot markers replaced the "clay"-style inlays introduced in 1959. Since 1969, the 1-piece maple neck option is a standard feature on many Fender basses, with the rosewood fretboard offered as the second neck wood option.

This bass has been used by Greg on some charity appearances and other shows. It is an all original pre-CBS 1959 Fender Precision bass, with a sunburst finish. It sounds magic, has that perfect P-bass tone and is a lovely light weight. The neck lacks a pencil date, which is common for this period. The pots date to the end of 1958.

If you have any questions, please contact us