Drool over the past year's centerfold-worthy instruments.


June 2013
1952 Fender Precision Bass
This well-played, yet beautifully preserved 1952 Fender Precision Bass rests against a 1952 TV front Fender Bassman 1x15 combo.It shares the characteristics common to basses made between 1951 and 1954. The most prominent of these are a flat, slab ash body like the Telecaster’s with elongated horns for better balance (the body became contoured to match the Stratocaster’s in ’54), a headstock shaped like a larger version of the Tele’s (this became more Strat-shaped in ’57), black Bakelite pickguard (white by ’56, gold anodized by ’57), and a single-coil pickup (which became a hum-cancelling, dual-coil unit in ’57).

Early players of the original Precision were Roy Johnson and Monk Montgomery—two consecutive bassists in jazz vibraphonist Lionel Hampton’s band.

Original price: $199.50 in 1952
Current estimated market value: $15,000

We’ve compiled an abbreviated gallery of all the vintage gear highlighted last year by Laun Braithwaite, Tim Mullally, and Dave Rogers of Dave’s Guitar Shop in their monthly column, Vintage Vault. To read the larger history of these instruments, visit the “Vintage Vault” section by clicking here or navigating under the Premier Blogs tab above for the full monty.

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