The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Fender 1956 Precision Bass Sunburst

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The Fender 1956 Precision Bass was a transition model and the last production version of this fantastically influential instrument before it took its final form in 1957. Introduced in 1951 with a ‘slab’ body and single coil pickup, the Precision Bass was rapidly popular and in 1954 gained ‘comfort contours’ to match the new Stratocaster model. In 1957, the P-Bass was revised with a larger headstock, new pickguard and the two-coil humbucking pickup that Fender, like most manufacturers, had been developing.  

Here we’re looking at a Fender 1956 Precision Bass in all original condition except for two replaced frets, well used throughout its 65 years. The original nitrocellulose lacquer sunburst body and natural neck finish shows a fair amount of honest play wear. The neck date code is 5-56, indicating production during May of 1956 in Fullerton, California.

The case is the original rectangular tweed model with one broken latch and a replaced handle. The storage compartment in the case currently contains the original case handle and the original bridge cover.

There are a number of elements of Canadian musical history with this Fender 1956 Precision Bass. The case also contains a copy of the cover from a 1964 album by the group ‘The Whippoorwills’, on which the original owner played this bass. The Whippoorwills were a popular Canadian Country band based in Chatham, Ontario and were regularly hired as the backup band for touring artists like Johnny Cash, Ferlin Husky, Faron Young, and Jim Reeves. The band was fronted by the late Ray Francis. After the demise of The Whippoorwills, Francis toured with Gary Buck out of Sault Ste. Marie. Returning to Chatham, Ray Francis started his own band which featured his teenage son Mike Francis on lead guitar, and he has been a prominent and always-working session player for most of the time since then.  

Price: $18,500.00 CAD
  • Model: Precision Bass
  • Year: 1956
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 09180, dating to May 1956 in Fullerton, CA
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 08/06/2021

  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 7.92lbs 3.6kg
  • Scale Length: 863.6mm 34in
  • Nut Width: 43.55mm 1.715in
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