Sean Hurley anchored John Mayer’s 2013 release, Paradise Valley, with his well-worn ‘61 Fender Precision. We take a look at this replica of his favorite P-Bass.

Design

The Sean Hurley Signature 1961 Precision Bass is a production model based on Sean’s own first-call vintage P-Bass. The task here was to age Sean’s signature model until it looked and felt like it had been through 50 years of hard work onstage. Even the piece of foam Sean stuffed under the strings to deaden the sound has been accounted for. The alder body has been painted with nitrocellulose lacquer and rubbed down by specialists from Paul Waller’s team at the Fender Custom Shop. It’s available in Three-color Sunburst, Olympic White and Charcoal Frost. All of the remaining features are vintage-styled including the heel adjust truss rod, 4-saddle bridge, and tuners. Even the split single-coil pickup has been hand-wound. Other features include a thumb rest, La Bella flatwound strings, and a tortoiseshell pickguard. All the dents and gouges of the original bass have also been made by hand, as have the seemingly torn holes in the paintwork and depressions in the pickguard. You get a real feeling that the Sean Hurley Signature model has been tailored, very precisely, to cater for the needs of a highly sought-after sideman, it’s got that much identity.

Sounds

A bass in this kind of price range has got to sound great, offer superb playability, look fantastic and above all possess that crucial extra something to lift it above the ordinary. We can safely say that this Fender Custom Shop model delivers the requisite visual fireworks and offers sounds and playability of the highest order. We’d argue that it’s ‘extra something’ lies in its unique features like the hand-wound pickup and that string mute. There’s no denying that a good quality bass can be purchased for less, but if you want something really special – and tonally versatile to boot – the Fender Custom Shop deserves your attention.

Spec Points

Built in: USA
Scale length: 864mm (34 inches)
Frets: 20
Neck: Quartersawn maple
Fingerboard: Rosewood
Body: Select alder
Pickups: 1 x hand wound split single-coil
Controls: 1 x volume, 1 x tone
Bridge: 4-saddle American Vintage with threaded steel ‘barrel’ saddles
Finish: Faded 3-colour sunburst, nitrocellulose lacquer