The Fender Precision Bass Guitar (better known as the P-Bass) was first introduced to the market in 1951. Leo Fender developed the first prototype in 1950. I bought this 1966 Fender P-Bass in 1967 when it was only a year old for $100 in mint condition.
Fender Precision bass guitars made up until 1964 are called pre-CBS basses. The 1965 P-Basses are considered the transition year. This 1966 was the first year of CBS made Fenders.
The bass was made with the same manufacturing standards as the older ones and have vintage quality toned pick ups. The case seems to be from older stock.
My 1966 Fender Precision Bass
This 1966 Fender Precision bass guitar has done well for me through the years. The bass has been played on hundreds of gigs and through many different amplifiers.
Some bass players have opted for the newer, active, basses, while I have stayed with the true and tried ’66 P-Bass I am still using. A five string bass is a huge overkill for playing blues and classic rock anyway.
Quality that can’t be Beat
This vintage 1966 Fender Precision bass guitar has never given me any problems. It plays like a dream the same as it did 45 years ago and has had very little work done on it.
The volume pot was changed out about 10 years ago, but I kept the old one. Somewhere along the way I lost the pickup cover. I have been looking for an original replacement for several years.
The bass stays in tune. I can pull it out of its case and the tuning is usually right on. Temperature fluctuation affects it a little but not much. Once finely tuned it will play an entire gig without needing intermittent tuning. It has never had a broken string. I usually change the strings once every year or two, if it needs it or not.
I was lucky to find this bass in mint condition, including case for $100. The bass is a special order color of some green variety which was a higher dollar option at the time. I named this bass the “Green Meanie” years before Steve Vai’s Charvel Green Meanie was christened. I also have a 1975 Fender Precision bass that is natural color and named “The Blond Bitch.”
After years of playing the 1966 it isn’t in mint condition any longer, but that is alright. I would rather have a vintage bass that can be played out on a gig, rather than sit in a display case.
This P-Bass is worth somewhere between $3000 – $5000 now, including case. Not a bad investment for $100 in 1967 for a 17 year old teenager.
Sources: Personal Experience