BY DAVE ROGERS, LAUN BRAITHWAITE, AND TIM MULLALLY
When the Fender Precision bass was introduced in
late 1951, almost immediately it
had a dramatic and lasting effect
on how music was heard and
played. Compared to an upright
acoustic bass, Leo’s creation
was small and portable, and its
(like the Fender Telecaster that
preceded it) enabled players
to perform at higher volumes.
Because guitarists were able to
adapt to this instrument more
easily than the upright, they
could obtain more work, and
this was another important factor in the P bass’ success.
Other than the custom
color, the olympic white 1965
Precision featured this month
is typical of that year’s fully
evolved model. It has a comfort-contoured body (following the
lead of the Stratocaster in 1954),
a split hum-cancelling pickup
(replacing the original single-coil
in 1957), tortoise pickguard
and rosewood fretboard (1959),
pearloid fretboard dots (replacing
clay dots in 1964), and a transitional headstock decal (replacing
the “spaghetti” logo in 1964).
This month’s P bass is resting
on an early ’70s Ampeg B- 15 S.
This 60-watt amp is a variation
of the classic B- 15 Portaflex, but
with twice the power of the ’60s
studio workhorse. Unfortunately,
it never became as popular as its
predecessor because most bassists of the early ’70s insisted on
100 watts or more—the mighty
Ampeg SVT was a favorite—for
their live gigs.
If you want to dig into the
history of Fender’s Precision
bass, check out The Fender Bass:
An Illustrated History by J. W.
Black and Albert Molinaro, and
How the Fender Bass Changed
the World by Jim Roberts. The
fascinating history of Ampeg
is covered in Ampeg: The Story
Behind the Sound by Gregg
Hopkins and Bill Moore.
TOP: This Ampeg B- 15 S is a 60- watt variation of the classic B- 15 Portaflex. MIDDLE: At the time this amp was built, Ampeg was a division of Magnavox. RIGHT: This P bass sports a transitional headstock decal, which replaced the “spaghetti” logo in 1964.
DAVE’S GUITAR SHOP
Dave Rogers’ collection is tended
by Laun Braithwaite and Tim Mullally
and is on display at:
Dave’s Guitar Shop
1227 Third Street South
La Crosse, WI 54601
Photos by Mullally and text
VINTAGE & UPKEEP > VINTAGE VAULT
PREMIER GUITAR FEBRUARY 2012 57