1978 Fender Precision Bass (Original Fretless Neck) Electric Bass Guitar

Original, unlined, fretless Fender P-Basses aren't all that uncommon. They're out there, but you sometimes have to search to find one. This one appears to have led a fairly rock-n-roll lifestyle. Its thumbrest, pickup cover, and bridge cover were removed, a Jazz Bass pickup was fit in the bridge position, the pickguard looks like it's probably a swap-out, and a Badass bridge was installed at some point. The finish is original natural, though it's got a lot of small nicks, scratches, and dings throughout and a dulled section below the neckplate on the back. 

When it got dropped here for consignment, the wiring harness had been set-up "J-style" with two volumes and a tone control. It wasn't wired quite correctly and after fitting a new harness, I also found that the original pickup I suspected of being damaged actually is damaged. So, after talking with the owner, we decided to fit a Duncan Antiquity II (~$140) pickup in its place since the rest of the instrument had been a bit "tweaked" anyhow.

After setup and some new LaBella flatwound strings, it plays like a champ and sounds killer. It's burry, mwah-y-tastic. Pickup output is good and the bridge pickup allows it to get into some "J" territory as well. The in-between position on the 3-way is particularly nice. Weight is average for the time, too, and it came with a period (maybe early '80s?) molded Fender case.

Repairs included: fret level dress, setup, etc.


Made by: Fender

Model: Precision Bass (fretless)

Made in: Fullerton, CA, USA

Serial number: S891807


Body wood: swamp ash with some neat figure

Bridge: replacement (Badass)

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: maple
Pickups: new Duncan Antiquity II (mid) & old unknown J-Style (bridge)


Tone: deep, fat, burry, velvety

Suitable for: fusion, country, retro, rock, jazz, etc.


Action height at 12th fret: 3/32” bass 1/16” treble (spot-on)
String gauges: 105w-45w LaBella Deep Talkin flatwound set

Neck shape: medium-full C

Board radius: ~7 1/2"

Truss rod: adjustable, works

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: none!


Scale length: 34"

Nut width: 1 5/8"

String spacing at nut: 1 5/16"

String spacing at bridge: 2 3/8"

Body length: 19 3/4"

Body width: 13"

Body depth: 1 5/8"

Weight: 10 lb 9 oz


Condition notes: minor usewear throughout with small scratches, nicks, and dings around the edges on the top and all over the back. They're not too obvious, though, except in glare. The back has a patch of "dulled" finish below the neck plate (strap-in-a-case? belly-rub from shirts? who knows?) that's also not obvious. There's a circular "lighter patch" of finish on the lower bout top near the bridge where I removed a round sticker. The thumbrest and both the bridge and pickup covers are missing. The original bridge is long gone and is replaced with an old Badass bridge. A rear-of-the-headstock strap button hole has been filled. Both strap buttons are "strap lock" bases rather than original buttons. Obviously, it has an unoriginal J-style pickup installed at the bridge position. The pickguard is likely a replacement, too, as I think most '70s P-basses in natural shipped with black 3-ply guards. The volume and tone knobs are original but my wiring harness and 3-way switch are non-original. The routs are original in the body but there's a small amount of extra material removed just to fit the upper (volume) pot. The fretboard has some grooving/ribbing from roundwound strings but it's not enough to affect playability.


It comes with: a period Fender molded hard case. It also includes a set of roundwound strings, the original (damaged-coil) pickups, and the remains of the original/modded wiring harness.

















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