pre cbs bass tuners?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by cleanheadsteve, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. cleanheadsteve

    cleanheadsteve Tele-Meister

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    well, could be a telecaster bass : )
    a buddy did some trading and ended up with some rare (we think) tuners. they were installed on a 60's fretless precision bass neck and appear to be original. but how do we make 100% sure? my internet searches turn up almost nothing except that they are supposedly a special order item (gold plated) and used from around 58 to 66. here are some pics. oh, and one of the gears has a flathead screw that appears to fit perfectly but i cant tell if its gold plated cause the finish is worn off in so many spots. any info you guys have would sure help. thanks[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  2. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Tele-Meister

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    They are kluson 546 tuners used on fenders and Gibson thunder birds.
    They look like short shaft pegs from the photos , the bit that holds the clover on , but you would have to measure and find out standard length and short , but if they are they would be about 1963-1966 and a custom order being gold once. Even in very rough condition like that they are still quite rare.
    Your best bet is pop over to bass talk .com they will know for sure, but that would fit in with the age of the neck I think.
    I suppose bassists scalping necks like that to make them fret less is the vintage bass equivalent to hacking a vintage Stratocaster routes and fitting a Floyd . Poor thing.
     
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  3. Tedzo

    Tedzo Tele-Meister

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    No, actually this is not a Telecaster Bass......stick to the program.
     
  4. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Tele-Meister

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    What program? He s only askin for bit of help,
     
  5. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    I didn't know they made a fretless in the 60's.
     
  6. simoncroft

    simoncroft Tele-Meister

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    The tuners look right. One distinguishing features is that, back then, you turned to key to opposite way to modern ones. In other words, a clockwise turn raised the pitch of the string, whereas today, it would lower it.

    From memory, the slot-head and cross-head bolts are interchangeable, but the slot-heads are older.
     
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  7. simoncroft

    simoncroft Tele-Meister

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    Fender didn't. The whole point of the fretted 'Precision' bass was even a guitarist could pick up a bass and intonate with accuracy! AFAIK, Fender didn't produce a fretless version until the early 1970s. So how do we explain that neck? Here are the logically possible explanations I can think of:

    1. It's a fake! Highly unlikely, given that the forger could have put as much effort into faking a Pre-CBS Strat neck and made about 50 times more money.
    2. It's a Fender neck with a new board. There aren't many luthiers who could make a board like that without the aid of CNC, but it might explain how a heavily worn neck could have a board like that.
    3. It's a Fender custom order. Well, the board certainly looks right, but there's very little wear to that 'veneer' board if it's been played since the 1960s. Maybe Fender records could help?
    4. A Fender employee took an unfretted neck home. It's possible, but almost impossible to prove. It still doesn't explain how such a thin board has survived more than 50 years' of fretless use, while the tuners and general finish have aged so much.

    @cleanheadsteve – any more know about this piece? It's an interesting one, for sure.

    After much thinking, I've come to the conclusion it's a C1971 factory-original fretless Precision with non-original tuners. Looks close at the pics and there are too many screw holes for the tuners, and that finish looks thick - ie poly. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
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  8. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    I'll disagree with the few that said they DIDN'T make fretless necks. Fender in fact did make fretless necks. Your neck is from the late 60s to early 1970s. It has a veneer rose wood fretboard v.s. a slab rosewood board of earlier eras. The reason there is so little wear is that the previous owners probably used flat or tape wound strings for most of its life. This would be consistent with those trying to keep the upright bass sound and playing an electric bass.

    Here is a link to a very clean example. Study the pictures:

    https://www.12fret.com/no-longer-available/1970-fender-fretless-precision-bass/


    As far as the tuners, if they were gold they probably had been laying around the factory for sometime. Gold hardware was a custom option with an up charge but not many players would fork out the additional cash so those tuners had been laying around for sometime.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
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  9. pbenn

    pbenn Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm looking at Black & Molinaro, The Fender Bass, an illustrated history, Hal Leonard. Pp 100-101 has b&w pictures of the all the tuners over the years.

    There is a slot head '51-'57 tuner, a Phillips '57-'63, and a '64-'66 punched plate rather than drilled holes.

    After/during '64 the plate can lie flush to headstock because of two relief divots drilled in the headstock first.


    Starting in '66 Jazz basses get the paddle shape rather than the tulip.
    Sometime '65 or '66 the plate gets embossed with CBC era Fender script.
    Sometime '65 or '66 tuner direction goes lefty tighty rather than reverse string bass style.
    IMO if you only have one slotted screw, it's the screw that's the rogue. You're lucky to have picked it up, though.

    But your logo is '69-'76, and there's no relief divots under your plate.
    Reissue left-handed tuners had a different ratio to the originals (Black & Molinari p. 101: "Gotoh provided the vintage reissue tuners for Fender. The higher gear ratio makes it a smoother and more accurate tuner. Used from 1982 to the present.")

    What do you think?
     
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  10. Adam Wolfaardt

    Adam Wolfaardt Tele-Meister

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    The machine heads are definitely real old ones but I see two things that are odd. Those machine heads had been dropped by the time the black decal came along. They're not lined up correctly like they usually are. They should be like in my pic
     

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  11. simoncroft

    simoncroft Tele-Meister

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    I've been trying to find examples of a pre 1970 fretless Fender bass, and so far, this is all I've come up with: https://www.gbase.com/gear/fender-precision-bass-fretless-1969-sunburst. I agree that flat wound strings would minimise wear. Why anyone would fit older tuners to such an instrument is a real mystery that probably has no answer.
     
  12. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Tele-Meister

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    Maybe they just liked gold sparkly things , would have been interesting to see the rest of the neck and bass .
     
  13. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Tele-Meister

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    It looks like its just had the board planed down if you look at the depth of the finger board at the nut end , but I bet its paper thin the rest of the length . Its also possible its had a new decal put on when the other work was done.
    @cleanheadsteve any more photos of the neck or history of the bass in general?
     
  14. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    Well, the tuners may have been sitting in Fenders inventory for a while which is not unheard of. Here's a link to an old listing of a 68 Jazz bass with 64 reverse tuners. The worm gear threads and alignment of the tuners match these gold ones.

    http://bassguitartuner.us/vintage-1...k-with-1964-pre-cbs-reverse-tuners-nice-2.php
     
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  15. Adam Wolfaardt

    Adam Wolfaardt Tele-Meister

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  16. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    Right:

    My post is pretty explicit in saying that could be potentially true: "Here's a link to an old listing of a 68 Jazz bass with 64 reverse tuners." The main discussion of the o.p. is the origin and vintage of his "gold" tuners. I say potentially because Fender was know for not rotating their hardware stock.
     
  17. Adam Wolfaardt

    Adam Wolfaardt Tele-Meister

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    I can see a set of gold plated reverse tuners ending up on a 68 bass. That wouldn't bother me if they were correctly aligned but they aren't. Those in your link also aren't correctly aligned so they're obviously not original to the neck. The OP's machine heads are real deal vintage tuners without a doubt but they weren't put on the neck at fender
     
  18. cleanheadsteve

    cleanheadsteve Tele-Meister

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    but i dont see any extra holes where different tuners would have been. just notches from metal parts of these tuners digging into the wood. here are some more pics. not sure they can help. neck was indeed modified at the heel to be used on this 3 bolt jazz body. so we know neck and body aren't original to each other.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  19. cleanheadsteve

    cleanheadsteve Tele-Meister

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    i'm gonna remove the tuners again and take a better shot of the headstock back.

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  20. cleanheadsteve

    cleanheadsteve Tele-Meister

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    ok, i see it now. there are extra holes from previous tuners. it's just that 2 or 3 of them must have almost lined up thus not creating many new holes. and that probably accounts for the odd positioning of the tuners. trying to line these gold ones up to some of the previous holes. (new pics attached). so in your opinion, should this neck, body, tuners be sold as 3 separate items? any idea on value?[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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