1961 Fender VI (Bass 6)


From the 1962 Fender catalog, “NEW FENDER BASS VI GUITAR – The new six-string bass guitar is the finest on the market. It is tuned one octave below that of the Spanish guitar. The instrument incorporates three pickups that can be used together or in any combination making a total of seven tone changes plus separate tone and volume controls. The bass guitar has a 21 fret, extra slim faster action neck with Rosewood fingerboard and adjustable truss rod for perfect neck alignment. This remarkable new guitar incorporates all the Fender developments including the comfort-contoured “offset” body design and smooth tremolo action. Every convenience is provided including the “floating bridge” with six individual bridges each adjustable for string length and height, and individually adjustable high fidelity pickups. The Bass Guitar is a fine addition to the Fender line and answers the demand for a high quality six string bass.”

This October 1961 Fender VI has just come from the second owner who traded his five year old Fender Stratocaster guitar for it in 1962. It appears to be among the earliest known examples of the model with clipped Fender logo, 10/61 pencil neck date, and 20th week of 1961 potentiometers.

While the finish wears its age with pride, we observed no evidence of modifications or replaced parts. The frets show moderate wear but the instrument plays very nicely as is. We cleaned and lubricated the potentiometers and switches, lubricated the truss rod threads, and cleaned the fretboard. It’s now strung with a fresh set of handmade roundcore strings from the Gabriel Tenorio String Company. We’re confident you’ll be thrilled with this 1961 Fender VI!

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