Fender 60th Anniversary Precision Bass

WHEN THE JAZZ BASS CELEBRATED its 50th last year, Fender threw a party in the form of a limited edition instrument that blended trademark features of the J-Bass through the years: ’60s-style chrome pickup covers, ’70s-style block inlays, and modern hardware.

WHEN THE JAZZ BASS CELEBRATED its 50th last year, Fender threw a party in the form of a limited edition instrument that blended trademark features of the J-Bass through the years: ’60s-style chrome pickup covers, ’70s-style block inlays, and modern hardware. For its 60th birthday this year, big brother Precision has been treated to a similar trip down memory lane. With a single-ply black pickguard that recalls the P-Bass’s 1951 incarnation, a contoured body and a split-coil pickup that evoke the axe circa ’57, a maple fingerboard that flashes back to 1966, a modern neck profile, and a few new upgrades, the 60th Anniversary Precision Bass is a hybrid that incorporates design elements from across the entire lifespan of the electric bass.

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The 60th Anniversary Precision looks and feels like more than a mere re-hash of a bass that was designed 60 years ago— details from its expertly finished ash body to its novel A-string string tree make it clear this concatenated creature is an entirely new beast. The bass arrived intonated and set up to play, so I wasted no time in digging.

I immediately dug the birthday Bass’s neck, which had a slimmer, more modern profile than the vintage and reissue necks. The sound was even across the bass’s entire range, and all notes in the dead-spot danger zone around the fifth fret rang clearly. The fret and hardware installation was top-notch.

Washer machine: The washer for theA-string tuning gear doubles as a string tree, increasing the string’s break angle across the nut to help eliminate nut buzz.To think of the Precision bass as having a single sound is to overlook what might be the basses most crucial component: its tone control. Diming the tone knob and playing the 60th Anniversary Precision with a pick, the bass had a gutsy clang championed by P-Bass pickers like John Entwistle, Matt Freeman, and Mike Dirnt. Rolling the tone knob back a bit seamlessly enters into tone territory as varied as that occupied by George Porter Jr. and Roger Waters: thick, with a gutsy growl and a somewhat muted midrange. Zeroing out the tone knob allows this particular P-Bass to plumb Jamersonian, Palladinian, and Geezeresque depths. Of all the Precision Basses I’ve spent time playing— an American Standard, a Road Worn, and a ’62 Reissue chief among them—the Anniversary Precision’s tone control had the widest range and the smoothest taper.

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It’s apropos that the 60th Anniversary is also known as the Diamond Anniversary— Fender has designed a gem of a bass. While purists might bristle at the idea of altering Leo Fender’s original design (“He got it right the first time!”), Fender has taken something great and made it even greater. For that, the 60th Anniversary Precision Bass is certainly worthy of a BASS PLAYER Editors’ Award.


Street $1,500
Pros Blend of modern and vintage P-Bass features; the sound that sold a trillion records
Cons None

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Body Ash
Neck Maple
Fingerboard Maple
Width at nut 1.625"
Fingerboard radius 9.5”
Weight 9.15 lbs



Fender 50th Anniversary Jazz Bass(2)

FOR THE GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY OF ITS Jazz Bass, Fender has decided to throw a year-long party; for the rest of 2010, the company’s Corona, California factory will be crafting a limited number of 50th Anniversary Jazz Basses. Rather than replicating a single incarnation of the JBass— which has seen a fair share of design tweaks in the past 50 years—Fender has chosen to combine some of the Jazz’s most beloved features. In doing so, it set out to design a limited-edition bass that would be appealing to players and collectors alike.

Fender: Road Worn ’50s Precision Bass & ’60s Jazz Bass

TAKE THE GROOVE-GOOSING CONFIDENCE you get from gigging with a real “player’s” bass, add the reliability and comfort of playing a new, pro-quality instrument, subtract the anxiety of schlepping a collector’s item that costs more than what you drove to your gig, and what do you have? The new Road Worn series from Fender. For years, Fender’s Custom Shop has been producing top-of-the-line replicas of the vintage basses favored by players like Jaco Pastorius and Pino Palladino. Built with exacting detail of visual cues, like each cigarette burn, dent and ding—as well as tweaky tech stuff, like the tone-control capacitor’s resistance— these masterpieces are phenomenal, but their price tags are downright depressing to most of us. The Road Worn basses take this essential concept to the masses. Each bass is modeled after the most popular designs from the ’50s and ’60s. I just took Fender’s Road Worn ’50s Precision and ’60s Jazz Basses out for a spin, and my heart is still pounding. Here’s t

Retro-Rama : 1956 Fender Precision Bass

IN 1951, LEO FENDER CHANGED musical history when he unleashed the Precision Bass on an unsuspecting world. With its ability to capture the tonal essence of the acoustic bass through a pickup and amp, combined with a more manageable size and the addition of frets, the P-Bass was the “big bang” that led to an unprecedented power shift in popular music. In the hands of players like James Jamerson, Larry Graham, and so many others, the music of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s became increasingly bass driven. The rest, as they say, is history.

Fender 50th Anniversary Jazz Bass

 To celebrate 50 years of its groundbreaking and ubiquitous Jazz Bass guitar, Fender introduces the limited edition 50th Anniversary Jazz Bass. The instrument stands out distinctively among Fender's many variations on the Jazz in that it brings design elements from several important periods in the model's history together in one beautiful new bass guitar.

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Roundup: Short-Scale Basses

THE OLD ADAGE THAT “LEO GOT IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME” WITH THE Fender Precision Bass is hard to dispute; the combination of styling, ergonomics, and tone from that design forms the core of our consciousness as bass players.