1972 FENDER TELECASTER BASS
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Major changes occurred on the Tele Bass in 1972. The single coil grey bobbin pickup with date ink stamp changed to a large chrome humbucker pickup, now located very close to the neck. The new pickup was sometimes ink date stamped on the underside. The 4 bolt F Series neck plate changed to a 3 bolt F Series neck plate with tilt adjust. Now there was a larger black/white/black or white/black/white vinyl pickguard with the volume and tone controls mounted directly onto it. Because of this, the metal pots assembly plate was discontinued. A metal foil ground shielding was added on the pickguard horn underside. A bullet shaped truss rod adjustment was introduced at the headstock.
Other 1972 Telecaster bass characteristics: Small logo including ® mark and one patent number or occasionally no patent number applied under the finish, string tree, Fender name imprintednon-reverse clover tuners with an ® mark and no rivet, solid maple neck with skunk stripe, black plastic dot fret markers, medium jumbo fret wire, neck butt date etc. ink stamps, extra hole on neck butt for hanging while painting, non-contoured slab body, neck pocket paint stick etc., extra body holes in neck pocket for hanging while painting, occasional body finish stamp, thumb rest under G string, bridge cover, flat top knobs, CTS potentiometers (one metal shaft and one plastic shaft), "orange drop" tone capacitor, metal foil ground shielding in pots cavity, plastic wiring, input jack cup, small slightly raised string grommets on body back, two saddle metal bridge, oval ground wire route underneath bridge, black tolex case with silver plastic logo and orange interior, literature.
Serial numbers ranged from roughly 338000 to 370000 although there are many overlapping exceptions. For more precise dating, cross reference the serial number with the instrument's neck butt stamp, pickup stamp and potentiometer codes.