which fender variant for me?
I've been lurking on ebay for the last week trying to decide where to plunk down my money. Right now I've decided after playing a few stingrays, fender p's, and fender j's that
1) I sure love the sound of a p bass
2) my small hands feel more comfortable on the j
I've found 2 reasonably good deals on ebay :
1) a '96 MIA P deluxe for $850 (no case, shipping not incl). This looks really sweet. Has the p pup plus a fattie humbucker at the bridge. Rosewood board. Reviews of this model look pretty good. String thru body as well
2) an MIM J bass body paired with an all rosewood Warmoth neck for $700 incl case and shipping. Seymour Duncan 1/4-lb pups, Badass bridge, pretty good parts all around.
I'm sure that for resale value I would best choose the MIA all-fender p bass. Also knowing that the electronics are properly tailored to the instrument, I have a fair idea of what the sound should be. The "mutt" would be a leap of blind faith. Many of my favorite player's sounds come from P basses, perhaps a bit fewer from using J basses. The biggest question in my mind right now is regarding the size of my hands and that I've had issues in the past with carpal tunnel syndrome. I am trying to get the neck dimensions from the seller of P bass in hopes that I make the right choice here. But assuming that the P neck is not "slim", then would it seem reasonable to grab the Franken-J for $700 or hold out until I find a more suitable used Fender?
There's also an ebay listing for a full Warmoth hybrid (p body in mahogany, rosewood/ebony j neck) but at $1300. Specs on it look really good though. Nordstrand p/j pups, John East preamp, active/passive eq, But me thinks waaay overpriced for a used Warmoth. And my target was to keep this below $1k. Thoughts?
If I may add another possibility, you may want to look at the Reggie Hamilton Standard Jazz bass. It has a ton of features: p/j pups, jazz body, active/passive controls, and a hipshot d-tuner installed. It has a jazz width nut, but it's a little chunkier front to back. It's a killer bass, $850-$899 new with gig bag, and used they go for between $550-$650. There's a club on TB for owners, and it's the 1 bass I had some regrets after trading it away. It can do aggressive active grind and anything else you want it to. Good luck, whatever you choose.
While I'm sure the Warmoth on Ebay is a cool axe, there's no way you should pay that much for a used one when you can get a brand new one that will set you back the same amount.
I will say though that I love my Warmoth build.
Instruments are one thing I steer clear of on ebay. I like a guaranteed option to return if not satisfied. Not x amount of days from the date of purchase where a seller might sit on it a week before shipping to eat up all that time.
If you are going to buy from net use Guitar Center, or one of the other big names. GC has new, used, vintage. They also have local stores depending on where you live.
Just my opinion but I have a hard time buying instruments that I haven't actually seen, held, and played. The best brands out there can have an off day and that off day might end up with you.
I've scored my best, least expensive basses from TB classifieds. If you are patient, sometimes the perfect bass appears.
Not sure how you define slim. I think of it as thickness front to back. Regardless, I wouldn't be scared of that '96 P. The price is a little high, but my favorite P is from ebay and I paid a little too much for it, too.
While I respect the viewpoint of the "I'd never buy a bass I can't try first" crowd, I just don't find that to be practical. It is an extremely limiting restriction. There are lots of good basses out there, and only a small fraction of them are within driving distance.
A MIM Jazz with a replacement neck for $700 is a terrible price. Stay away from that one.
There's TBer selling a 2 month old MIM P bass Black/ maple for 360.00 no brainer...:)
Some of the best 'deals' on ebay are for vintage G&L basses. It depends on what you want to spend, but these quality basses are still underpriced/underrated compared to a similar Fender or MM instruments. And as much as one always needs to be cautious purchasing anything anywhere (ebay or otherwise), I have not had a problem when buying an instrument on ebay. There are good and bad sellers and you need to do your homework like with anything else. Craigslist... same but with no safeguard infrastructure.
Ack!!! I just noticed my response to this thread had vaporized. Using this Talkbass android app and the quick reply doesn't seem to work properly. Anyway was just me rambling on :)
But a big thanks for all of your input. After spending some time in stores trying different basses, ive concluded I'm most definitely a candidate for medium-scale 32" bass. Small arms/hands and some issues with carpal tunnel and possible tendinitis which I've kept a close watch on over the years. Now focusing on either modifying a 32" MIJ fender aerodyne J or custom building a J with a local luthier.
Honestly, size matters much less than most electric bassists believe. I know this from teaching 9 and 10 year-old musicians to play string bass for the last few years. My students play smaller basses that still have ~37" scales!
My advice is to look at a used 2009-13 Fender American Standard P-bass. The necks on these are smaller across the nut and front to back than the traditional MIA '62 RI, '57 RI or MIM classic, Road Worn, or Classic Lacquer P-bass necks. Don't sweat the scale vis a vis 32" versus 34". The difference is way less than you'd think, and IMHO, the shorter scale strings just don't have the same tone color as on a 34" or 35" scale instrument. All IMHO, YMMV!
However, i will say that a P neck bothers my CTS less than a J neck. I would advise you to play a lot of both and see.
And the 30 day return policy at GC is your friend. Use it like a long term borrow if need be to end up with the keeper you want.
My MIM Precision standard is an awesome bass at the less than $600 price point.
Couple of thoughts. After Christmas people will be selling gear as finances Hit. I own four fender basses, all USA. A really good value is the Fender Highway One. Different than the Highway 1, main difference is the finish - less glossy but most everything else is similar. Bought mine for $550.
Any used Fender requires an in hand evaluation. Therefore try Craigslist, search nearby cities as well.
Thanks guys. I just bought a Fender Aerodyne MIJ 32" from someone here at TB. Should receive by Wednesday. I just want to get playing again! Anyway I've still got my old fretless 34" so I shouldn't become unaccustomed to playing a 34 if I continue on both. I really just want to minimize any possible impact to my hands as my (actual) career does depend on them. So if one inch makes things a bit easier, I see nothing wrong with it. Anyway I like playing heavy strings so im optimistic that I've made the right choice! :)
I have a John East with Nordstrand splits on my jazz with a rosewood neck & I dig it the most- it is a stone groove...
Have you considered a early 90's Peavey Fury? They have a decent P-bass pickup with super thin Jazz style necks. Made in America and can be had for as low as $150 on ebay, GC used, CL and TB classifieds. At the very least I'd take a look around your area on GC used and Craigslist. If there are some local I'd go give one a try. You might be surprised.
Good luck with your new bass and post pics soon!
What P bass did you play?
A 2012 AVRI has a much larger neck than e.g. a 1997 AmStd.
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