Wednesday 6 February 2019

Very strange Precision and Jazz Bass headless conversions listed on eBay

Here are an odd pair of basses I saw listed in separate auctions from the same seller on eBay. As you can clearly see they are strangely tweaked Fender designs, namely a Jazz Bass and a P-Bass, both bizarrely converted to headless instruments. Well I say headless, but each has a mini-headstock which acts as a string anchor. The mini-headstock in itself is not inelegant; however at the other end of each instrument is a strange protuberance (a butt-stock, perhaps?) carrying the tuners. Surely there could have been a neater way of doing this, e.g using a Steinberger-style bridge with integral tuners. Also note that it would be impossible to stand up either of these basses while not being used without the right kind of guitar stand. As for getting a case to fit...

I'm guessing that these are one-off custom jobs. Judging by the photographs the conversion and finish on each has been carried out very competently. My only questions are Why? and Who will these appeal to?

EBay UK links for these  two:

Both are listed with starting prices of £199 (UKP).

More photos of each:

G L Wilson

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  1. Welcome back, Gavin, and happy new year. I can't help thinking that the string windings (especially the two outer ones) will catch on the holes in the bridge plate, and cause tuning problems. The main question, however, is simply "WHY"?

  2. Maybe the basses have a headstock crash....

  3. if you've been used to looking down that neck and seeing a headstock all your life, then suddenly you look down the neck and it's gone, it can be jarring to your muscle memory. I remember getting my first Steinberger, and being utterly lost. I can see the use of having a visual "reminder" of the headstock up there.

  4. May I simply just say what a relief to discover someone that actually knows what they are talking about online. You actually know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people ought to look at this and understand this side of the story. It's surprising you aren't more popular given that you definitely possess the gift. Guitars

  5. What are you guys talking about? The head stock is still there on all these examples. I have done headless conversions and love the look, but on these Frankenstein conversions I completely fail to see the point. All this has done is make them absolutely hideous.

  6. It could be they were trying to correct the typical Fender bass neck dead spots. That was the reason Ned Steinberger came up with the headless design in the first place. Experimenting showed that the dead spot moved up the neck the smaller the headstock was. During the '70s Gene Fields at Fender had found the same thing, but the headless bass he came up with never went beyond the prototype stage.



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