Milos, those are third edition - not going to look at them in regards to DC.
Nol, you make a valid argument. I think I will change my vote.
Over the long weekend, two other options occurred to me...
1) make bards NPC only, then this is all kind of moot.
2) start the bard as 1st level bard, ignoring the fighter and thief requirements and giving an appropriate number of hp and other statistics to make it seem like the prelims were done. This would be greatly unbalanced.
2a) like 2, but without the prelims, this would be awfully home-brewed (I am not opposed to this in general, but maybe not for the default databases)