Old School: 1962 Fender Precision Bass
After featuring a beautiful 1969 Fender Precision Bass in our Old School series, Tim Wolfe, Jr. sent us a note about his 1962 Precision.
Not only is this one great looking bass, the story is equally terrific. Tim’s grandfather gave him the bass after playing it for years.
Here’s the story…
How long have you owned it?
Around a decade or so, I forget exactly when my Grandpa gave it to me.
How did you come across it?
I inherited it from my Grandpa. Since he retired he’s been slowly passing out his instruments to his grandkids.
Stock or customized? Give us all the specs!
The bass is not quite stock (my Grandpa calls it ‘remuddled’). If I have the story straight, it was in the mid-70s that someone convinced Grandpa to put in a Jazz pickup at the bridge, and replace the P-pickup with an aftermarket one (Seymour Duncan, I think), with a 3-way selector switch to toggle between the pickups. I never use the bridge pickup though, it’s rather thin sounding.
It also has a Badass-II bridge. After I inherited it, I had to get the pots replaced. I do have all of the original electronics and the original case though.
Any special characteristics?
Aside from the aftermarket work, it’s a great sounding and feeling bass, exactly what you want from a Precision.
What’s your favorite story about the bass?
Grandpa started his career playing upright and was hesitant to buy an electric bass until he realized he was going to miss out on gigs if he didn’t.
Any special history or story behind this instrument?
I believe that Grandpa bought it used from someone who had “collected” the bass as payment for a bet. When I first took it in for work to get the pots replaced, the repair guy chewed me out for ruining the bass by cutting out all of the wood for the bridge pickup, before I got to tell him its history.
1962 Fender Precision Bass Photos:
Do you use it on gigs?
Of course! An instrument should be played. I figure if the bass has survived 50-plus years with only cosmetic wear, then I don’t have a lot to worry about. I’m careful about what type of gigs I bring it to though, and I keep it protected in a modern case.
Any other vintage gear?
Grandpa has given me a lot of his stuff, a 1930’s German plywood upright, a Mesa Boogie 400+ and a few odds and ends things.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been playing professionally since I was in high school. Most of my gigs these days are on the upright: jazz, classical, bluegrass, folk… all of the above. I do love the electric bass though!
I teach at Lebanon Valley College, as well as privately, and I just released my debut CD as a composer and band-leader called Topics of Conversation. It’s an acoustic jazz-quintet based out of the Philadelphia area. People can find out more about me at my website, and I’m on most social-media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
If you own any vintage gear you'd like us to spotlight in "Old School", we'd love to hear from you! Drop us a line at [email protected].