1964 Airline Supro Valco Pocket Bass Short Scale Double Pickups Sunburst Pro Setup Orig Hard Case

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Today, Lawman Guitars is Presenting..

A really cool, and much desired, 1964 Airline Short Scale Pocket Bass with original Hardshell Case.

This Bass is awesome and all original except the thumb rests. More about that later. We had Jeff the Tech set this one up with great playing action and checked out all the electronics. All is operating correctly and it sounds fantastic.

The bass was called the Double Pickup Bass in the Montgomery Wards Catalogs. That’s where you could buy them. They were sold from 1962 thru 1965. I dated this one to 1964 from one of the guitar pots. See pic 5. It couldn’t be a 1965 as they changed that year from Sunburst to Black like the Supro Models. Valco also made the Supro Pocket Bass. This bass has a traditional strong Valco made neck pickup that you will use mostly. It also has one of the earliest Piezo pickups in the bridge. It was used for traditional violin sound but it’s a pretty weak sound. The Second knob activates the Pieze and also acts as a blend knob of the two pickups for a variety of cool sounds from this bass. Very unique.

Very good shape. Original Tuners, the logo is still good, the body has some dings but looks very cool and pretty clean for its age..the frets are not that worn and happy to say pickups, bridge pickup, tailpiece, knobs, and pickguards are all original! Very cool bass and a lot of fun to play!

Heres some info I found on the internet regarding these cool Valco made basses..

What’s the story behind these Basses? They are pretty much a guitar-sized bass, which is really just too cool. Actually, the bodies ARE guitar bodies (or, at any rate, were USED for Valco-made guitars that are the cousin of these basses). The only things different are the necks and the bridges. So, it was probably an economical way for Valco to use the bodies as a duel-purpose body to get more bang for fewer production bucks (though they probably weren’t very successful, as the productions ran for fewer than 4 years).

But back to the bass at hand (if you’re lucky enough to have one at hand). None other than vintage gear collector and ex-Bob Dylan sideman and Saturday Night Live bandleader GE Smith called these the best recording basses around. I’d agree and go one further – they are the coolest bass for jam sessions and live gigs if you’re a guitar player who plays bass on the side or a bassist with small hands.

The neck pickup is a typical Valco monster. VERY full and fat and round (put some nylon strings on this and play along to “Rubber Soul” all day long) with tremendous depth and warmth. The piezo pickup (and the blend knob) result in a much lower volume, but have an incredibly woody tone that resembles a standup jazz bass. Maybe not enough volume for the stage at this setting, but a fabulous recording setting.

The 25 7/8″ scale neck practically begs you to play chords and/or two note combos. The bass has a ring and chime to it that jumps out of a good cab’s speakers.

This bass is all original except for the Thumb rests. The Montgomery Wards Catalogs that sold these basses from 1962 thru 1965 called the Thumb rests, Plexiglas Hand Grips. Most bass players took them off as they got in the way of playing. This bass doesn’t have the originals so I found some traditional Thumb rests and put them on. I used only one hole as the second hole doesn’t align with the original holes. They are stable but if you are going to use them, you will have to drill the second hole. Or take them off, or find originals. I just thought the bass looked better with Thumb rests. The balance of the bass and the case are original. Easy access to the inner workings from the original back panel. Very easy to work on!

The original Hardshell Case is in decent shape. I was happy to have the case for this cool bass. All latches work, as does the hinges and it has the original handle. The interior is very nice. Just some wear from obvious areas and the neck rest is still with it. Very secure case that won’t let your new bass slide around in…

Sold as is no returns as its vintage and used, however, I have been hand picking my customers instruments for over 17 years now and they have loved the guitars I find for them. This cool Airline Bass will certainly not be an exception.

Thanks for checking out our cool guitars and gear.

Mike at Lawman Guitars

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