Wednesday, 3 April 2013

1963 Fender Precision Bass with rare original factory red sparkle finish
No it's not Candy Apple Red, this 1963 Fender Precision Bass features a very rare red sparkle factory finish. The bass is all original and comes complete with the chromed pickup and bridge covers that most players used to unscrew and lose, plus the original Tolex hard case.

Fender sparkle finishes are considered very rare, with a few appearing in the early 1960s. We have previously looked at a Duo Sonic and a Music Master (supposedly from 1959) with similar finishes. However, this silver-sparkle 1963 Jaguar was of course a re-finish.

As I already mentioned, the original Fender sparkle finishes are very rare, so you may not be surprised to learn that this red sparkle 1963 Fender Precision Bass is currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $15,000.

G L Wilson

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  1. Definitely looks like the real deal. He'll probably get close to the 15 large he's asking. On a side note, 2 months ago I bought a new Fender American Vintage '62 Precision in Sunburst, and it is a fabulous recreation of the original. And I'm one of the few people who plays with both covers on. Because it's cold....

  2. Another example of this Finish (in black) I've seen was on a '61 Jazz Bass Owned and Used By John Doe, Bassist/vocalist for L.A. Punk Band X. Here a pic (not very good) Published in the brillaint book by Pat Graham.
    scroll down to find it.

    I had wondered why his bass was sparkly, and original case. Score! It's a pity fender don't do these sparkle finished=s anymore... there is a degree of subtlety and beauty to them that modern guitar makers could learn from.

    Sadly though, he later abandoned it for a P-Bass. G.L. Wilson will just love that.

  3. '63 was a breakout year. Love these sparkles! In spite of the seller's description, while refreshingly intact and original, closer inspection shows this in rough shape. The fingerboard in particular.

    I'm no expert luthier but the work required to get this in top playing condition would step on its collectible status. This needs more than a set up.

    1. I dunno... a lot of the collectors with big bucks aren't players anyway.

    2. Tell me about it. They'll subject you to 30 seconds of limited, long fallow skills to quickly showcase their wares and immediately steer the conversation back to the item's collectibility. Where they're concerned, active players just don't get it.

      Recently CNBC's "Treasure Detectives" featured a strong arm thug who'd purchased the white LP Custom shown on the cover of Les' bio. Guy thought he was sitting on $500,000. He emphatically claimed "I'm the guy that 'found' it". Well, he bought it at Les' estate sale so that's like saying you 'found' Guiness while taking a tour of the brewery?

      Anyway, after thorough examination, while authentic, it had no real connection to 'Les'. It was only used as a prop to contrast the black tuxedo he wore for the cover shoot. Norman's Rare Guitars showed other than a quick refret to LP's customary standards, there was nothing 'special' about it all. Pure production! The seller quickly comes unglued, becomes extremely insulting to the show's host and storms out threatening lawsuits! It had 96 bids on Ebay but showed the auction 'Ended' w/ no history of bid $ amounts displayed. This poor instrument is now more 'famous' for the on air ranting of a lunatic than its connection to Les Paul.

      It really wouldn't surprise me if half these collectors didn't gravitate toward vintage guitars after having criminal records for.., financial fraud etc., barred from their former industries and the lure of easy ( untraceable ) money.

  4. Sparkle finishes were common in the 50's and 60's. It comes from accordion and can look either classy or very cheap. It was mostly a european fashion but many manufacturers tried such finishes. Probably it didn't sell so well in the U.S so Fender didn't go on producting them...There is also an extra cost for such a painting work...

    1. Good point. Now you've mentioned it, on everything from kitchen appliances to bowling balls. I think what consumers found ( and yes I hate that term ) was while stunning by itself, the finish came off as "garish" when in conjunction w/ its surroundings.

      In other words: "It looked 'great' on the showroom floor?"



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