Photo By Manny Cruz

'59 Fender Precision Bass

 When it came to gear the first thing that comes to mind is the Fender Precision bass. The 1959 bass (pictured) with stickers Duck always thought of as a 1958 until after he passed. Jeff Dunn (Duck’s son) and Leo Binetti (Bassist and Technical Guru) decided it was time that the truss rod had to be adjusted as the neck was a little bowed over many years of withstanding the heavy tension of the Labella 0760M 110-052 gauge flat wound strings. It was obvious that the neck had never been removed as it took about 15 minutes to very gently free it from the body after the screws had been removed. That’s when handwritten “4-59” was finally revealed and access could be had to the truss rod adjustment head.This particular bass which feels rigid as steel yet is light in weight (Duck didn’t like a heavy bass) is the most well known bass Duck played. It was also used on numerous audio tracks in Duck’s book “Soul Fingers” published by Hal Leonard Publishing and written and many numbers played by Nick Rosaci.

Photo By Manny Cruz

'66 Fender Precision with the Jazz Bass neck

The red Fender Precision with the Jazz Bass neck (pictured) is a 1966 model with an early 70’s Jazz neck. This bass was first known from the “Murph and the Magitones” scene  in the original blues Brothers movie. At that time it had its original neck and on the back of the body and neck “Demo” is stamped.

There has been speculation that the stamp back in the day could have notated it was a example of a Fender Precision in a store that folks can try out then order one if they wanted. The original ’66 neck is also still with the bass.

Photo By Manny Cruz

'98 Fender Duck Dunn Signature Model

The red Fender with the gold pick guard (pictured) is a 1998 Duck Dunn signature model #0001 which was Ducks personal signature bass. His #0002 was used in filming of the blues Brothers 2000 movie then went to the Hard Rock Cafe (currently in in the Orlando FL location) and #0003 was a birthday gift to Duck’s son Jeff. Fender made about 290 of this signature model.

The Fender Duck Dunn Precision Bass was available in only one color, Candy Apple Red over alder. It had a 1950’s shape 34″ scale one piece maple neck with maple fretboard and 20 frets.

Photo By Manny Cruz

Lakland Duck Dunn Model

As time went on duck started using his ’66 Fender with the Jazz neck for two reasons mainly the slimmer neck was a little easier to get around on as he got older and also the white binding with the black markers was easier to see on a dark stage or low lights.

From this and his association with Dan Lakin of Lakland basses at the time came up with the Lakland Duck Dunn model (pictured) around 2001. The bass pictured with sweat trails (Duck’s DNA) still on the back of the body is the last one he played in Tokyo hours before he passed. This bass is still made today but is now called a 44-64 after Dan Lakin parted ways with the company and now has his sweet new bass line D.Lakin Basses.

Photo By Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

'51 Fender Precision Bass

The 1951 Precision Bass pictured was placed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum in 1992. This model isn’t what you would see Duck play and he had it as a “home” or “house” bass. He didn’t know it at the time but Fender only made about 83 of 1951 Precision’s in it’s debut year making it one of the most sought after models ever.

Its prototype, designed by Leo Fender in 1950, was brought to market in 1951, the first electric bass to earn widespread attention and use, remaining among the best-selling and most-imitated electric basses with considerable effect on the sound of popular music ever since.


Other Basses

Duck did own some other bases that you normally wouldn’t see him use such as a Rickenbacker 4001 (pictured with his Niece Linda, Wife June and his trusty Kustom 200 in the background in his home around 1974) and also a Gibson Thunderbird and a Travis Bean (gift from Steve Cropper) to name a few.

Labella Strings

The strings were as much a part of his sound as the bass itself and the Labella as pictured strings were his favorite as James Jamerson also. Many knew Duck always said “don’t ever change the strings” which he never would unless he broke one then he would put a new set on. 

Flat wound strings unlike round wound strings have a lot longer life expectancy as the tone remains the same.

Bass Amps

An Ampeg B-15 pictured was the amp at Stax records Duck used on many sessions and he always said it sounded thin while recording yet just right when played back.  For live shows he needed more horsepower than the B-15 could provide and as James Jamerson of Motown used he got himself a Kustom 200 for stage use. 

Later Duck discovered the Ampeg SVT which was a little big for him to move around himself all the time yet many gigs have gear provided and it only made sense being that the SVT was a popular choice and easy to find that it became his go to amp. Former Ampeg owner Ted Kornblum worked closely with Duck to make sure Duck had what was needed and Duck endorsed Ampeg as his definitive choice. Ted now has resurrected the Magnatone amp brand with great reception. 

Photo By Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Other Instrument Links (Ted Kornblum’s new/old amp company who formerly owned St. Louis Music parent company of Ampeg)  (Dan Lakin’s who started Lakland new current bass mfg co.)