NAMM 2013: Fender Releases New American Vintage Series Basses

by Guitar World Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2013 at 11:57am

Fender has announced four bass additions to its acclaimed American Vintage series, all re-imagined to evoke the feel and sound of the original basses released between the late 1950s and early 1970s.

Available in 3-Color Sunburst, White Blonde, and Black, the American Vintage ’58 Precision Bass commemorates the first year in which the bass that started it all appeared in a 3-Color Sunburst finish.

That classic combination is now a longtime Fender tradition, and the ’58 American Vintage Precision Bass brings you other authentic features, including a lightweight alder body (Ash on White Blonde model), thick “C”-shaped maple neck with 20 vintage-style frets and black dot inlays, gold anodized aluminum pickguard with lacquer finish, and new American Vintage ’58 split single-coil pickup.

Also includes lower-mounted finger rest, vintage-style bridge with threaded steel “barrel” saddles, flat-top knurled chrome control knobs, reverse tuners, mounted chrome pickup and bridge covers, and more.

The year 1963 marks an important moment in Precision Bass history because that’s when a comfortable new round-laminated rosewood fingerboard first appeared on the bass that revolutionized the world of music.

That’s here on the new American Vintage ’63 Precision Bass, which evokes that year’s model with other authentic features, including a slightly wider “C”-shaped maple neck, clay-colored dot position inlays, three-ply mint green pickguard (four-ply tortoiseshell pickguard on 3-Color Sunburst model), new American Vintage ’63 split single-coil pickup, lower-mounted finger rest, vintage-style bridge with threaded steel “barrel” saddles, flat-top knurled chrome control knobs, reverse tuners, chrome pickup and bridge covers, auxiliary strap button on the back of the headstock, and more. Available in 3-Color Sunburst, Olympic White, Faded Sonic Blue, and Frost Red.

The Jazz Bass acquired an even slimmer “C”-shaped maple neck in 1964. That’s what you’ll find on the American vintage ’64 Jazz Bass, which has other authentic features including a round-laminated rosewood fingerboard with 20 vintage-style frets and clay-colored dot inlays, three-ply white pickguard (four-ply tortoiseshell pickguard on 3-Color Sunburst and Olympic White models), new American Vintage ’64 Jazz Bass single-coil pickups, lower-mounted finger rest, vintage-style bridge with threaded steel “barrel” saddles, black plastic control knobs, reverse tuners, chrome pickup and “F”-stamped bridge covers with vintage-accurate positioning, auxiliary strap button on the back of the headstock, and more.

Available in 3-Color Sunburst, Olympic White, Lake Placid Blue (with matching headstock), and Black.

Significant changes were afoot in 1974 for the Jazz Bass. The bridge pickup had been moved about half an inch closer to the bridge only the year before, and 1974 saw the last of the four-bolt necks for quite a while. Further, the slim “C”-shaped maple neck was re-sculpted with a meatier U-shaped profile (and acquired a walnut “skunk” stripe, white fingerboard binding and pearl block inlays made their first appearance, and black pickguards replaced their longstanding tortoiseshell predecessors.

The American Vintage ’74 Jazz Bass encompasses all of the above and is the sole member of the new American Vintage bass lineup to offer a choice of maple and round-laminated rosewood fingerboards, each with white binding, pearl block inlays and 20 vintage-style frets. Other authentic features include a urethane-finished alder body (ash on Natural-finish model), three-ply black/white/black pickguard (three-play white/black/white on Black model).

New American Vintage ’74 Jazz Bass single-coil pickups, upper-mounted thumb rest, vintage-style bridge with single-groove steel “barrel” saddles, ‘70s-style “Fender”-stamped open-gear tuners, four-bolt “F”-stamped neck plate, chrome pickup and “F”-stamped bridge covers with vintage-accurate positioning, and more. Available in 3-Color Sunburst, Olympic White, Black, and Natural.

For more information, visit fender.com.


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