1969 Fender Telecaster Bass
This second-year Telecaster Bass has all the vintage character one could want in a Bass. The amazing one-piece ash body is a rare find in this early CBS era.
It has a butterscotch blonde finish that I believe is a re-fin. From what I can tell only vintage blonde was available originally.
The bass has that worn-in comfortable feel only a vintage instrument can provide.
Store it all safely in the original case and enjoy that vintage aroma each time you open it.
29 May 1969
2189 (2nd Day, 18th Week, 1969)
6932* (32nd Week, 1969)
*Date barely legible, can not guarantee it is accurate.
What's known to be non-original?
- The body finish
There are various imperfections due to being a 51-Year-Old instrument, please see the pictures.
Each tuning peg only has 3 original screws. Tuning is stable and tuners function great.
It looks like someone has routed the pickup cavity for a different pickup at some point, and then has had it professionally repaired/refinished.
Looks like the tuners were replaced and then changed back for the originals.
The case has 1 non-working latch and one that can play up sometimes.
Belly cut contour added before the refin. No other contours added to the body.
I will ship worldwide, FREE, via Australia Post or TNT Express. Please be aware of any import restrictions and costs in your country as this is your responsibility.
1968’s Telecaster Bass occupies a special place in Fender history, if for no other reason than that it was the company’s first-ever “reissue” instrument.
Many years later, in the 1980s, the modern Fender corporation would start building the first of the great many reissue guitars and basses that now comprise a large and popular portion of the company’s stable of instruments. But such an idea was highly unusual at the CBS-era Fender in the late 1960s, when designers first decided to look backward rather than forward for a “new” bass guitar design.
Thus the arrival of the interestingly named Telecaster Bass. Basically a reissue of the original version of the Precision Bass, there was really very little about it that had anything to do with the Telecaster guitar. True, it had the distinctive headstock shape of the Telecaster, but that shape was also a feature of the original Precision Bass headstock.
The Telecaster Bass owed its existence to the fact that its true direct ancestor, the revolutionary Precision, was redesigned not once but twice within several years of its 1951 debut; first in 1954 and again even more dramatically in 1957. So substantial were the changes, in fact, that the Precision Bass of 1957 onward bore little resemblance to its 1951 predecessor.
It was this long-discarded design — that of the original ’51 Precision — that was re-introduced in May 1968 as Fender’s “newest” bass.
Like the first Precision basses, the Telecaster Bass had a slab body, one single-coil pickup, the aforementioned Telecaster-style headstock, string-through-body design with a two-saddle bridge, large chrome bridge and pickup covers, a pickguard that covered the entire upper bout and controls mounted on a Telecaster-style chrome plate. Priced at the time at $302.50, it was less expensive than a Jazz Bass ($356.50) but slightly more expensive than a Precision Bass ($293.50).
The differences between the 1968 Telecaster Bass and the 1951 Precision were less obvious. The Telecaster Bass’s pickguard was white rather than black, and its string ferrules were smaller and slightly raised (’51 Precision ferrules were flush-mounted into the body). The Telecaster Bass also had a two-piece maple cap neck with no “skunk stripe,” although some models built later in 1968 did have the one-piece maple neck typical of the first Precision basses. Some early models had the paddle-shaped Fender-made tuners found on the 1966 Jazz Bass.
This first Telecaster Bass version had three different headstock decals. The earliest was a regular silver Telecaster guitar logo with the word “bass” added underneath; only prototypes are known to have this decal. The second decal was the larger black Telecaster Bass logo, with “Bass” in the same script style as “Fender.” The third and most common decal had the silver Fender script with the words “Telecaster Bass” in a sans-serif font underneath.
The 1968 Telecaster Bass also bore the unusual distinction of being briefly issued with Fender’s infamous pink paisley and blue floral finishes. These were achieved by applying paisley and floral wallpaper to the top and back, with the sides shaded using a sunburst technique to match the paper and a thick clear coat covering the entire instrument.
The original Telecaster Bass model lasted until 1972, at which point substantial modifications were introduced. These resulted in what was essentially a new version of the instrument.