Road Worn P Bass in 2003?
I've been contemplating picking up a p bass to round out my toolbox. I've been looking at the new American Standard and some of the reissue models. I came upon a Road Worn locally and it's caused me to wonder:
It's advertised as American made. I didn't think the series started until later, an that they were MIM. When did the series begin, and did it begin in the US?
I don't know where to find specs on this 2003 RW. The pic shows typical sunburst finish, rosewood neck. If this is legit, to what year's model is this similar? Curious about the neck. Bridge appears to be top load only.
It's two hours drive from me so I'd appreciate any insight. I'm not a big fan of the faux wear, but if it feels good in the hand and ear, I may just grab it. $650 or less.
Thanks guys and gals!
The Road Worn Precision bass came out in 2008 and is exculsivley made in Mexico by people trained by the Fender Custom Shop.
2003? I don't think so. Maybe the bass in question has been relic'd and the seller is calling it "Road Worn".
*Also if I was you I would really try and get your hands on a real Road Worn because one can't describe how great they feel. People may dislike the relic work but they often overlook this magical (IMO) feel they give. Check them out in person**
Wow. Thanks. I don't know enough about the p bass lineage so much appreciate that Intel. Here's the link.
I recently got a 2003 P Bass in sunburst that LOOKS roadworn but it just from the HWY 1 series they did with Nitro. That stuff either wears really quick or the guy who had mine played the heck out of it but it has beautiful wear patterns. I think when you run the serial # you should be able to tell.
Edit: just looked at the CL add that is not a road worn. They sand off way more finish than that, I think you just got lucky to find one that looks that cool but I would haggle for a slightly lower price, $650 seems a bit high.
I got the following when submitting the SN (Z3022876):
"Your guitar was made at the
Corona Plant (Fender), USA
in the Year(s): 2003 - 2004"
Is there a database of specs out there on the web? I've been looking but not finding a good resource.
I like the looks of that P but the forearm wear not so much. You can de-relic to tone down that wear. Also the Road Worn series only does the Precision with a maple fretboard not rosewood. If that is real wear it would have to be nitro paint. That would probably be a Highway 1 series but I am not that familiar with that series and it's country of origin.
Hwy 1 bodies , as I understand it, are made and finished in nitro in Mexico because you can't spray Nitro in Cali. They then ship to the Corona plant for assembly and set up. They travel up HWY 1 hence the name.
The first full year that the Road Worn Seris was offered for basses was 2009 .. however, Fender often starts their production runs (changes) mid year, usually July, so you will see Road Worn basses that were offered in 2008.
As mentioned above, the Road Worn series has only ever been offered as MIM since its inception.
The OP bass in question, is an early edition (2003) Highway 1 (not ONE) ... and it IS NOT a nitro finish .. they used an acrylic lacquer finish on these, which does not wear exactly the same as the nitrocellulose lacquer as it tends to be more 'chippy' or 'flakey' than nitro ... the wear you are seeing on the OP bass was done by sanding, the edges of the wear would appear a bit more 'broken' had they occured naturally ... the nitrocellulose finish was introduced mid year 2006 on the Hwy ONES ...
Hwy 1's of this age sold new with a street price of around $529-549 ... they were often available in the $450-500 range new, and at the time of clearancing them to make way for the 'upgraded' Hwy ONE (mid 2006), they were being discounted in the $375-400 range if you looked around ... used market during most of the early run, they were going for around $3-350 usually .. currently I am aware of a twin to the OP bass listed for sale for $375
You will see these selling for $600 (mostly Ebay) to folk who dont realize that there is even a difference between the Hwy 1 and ONE, much less a significant one in component value ... about $450 range is accurate currently ... very good if with a case .. they came new with a bag ...
Edit to add: many people do not realize that the name Road Worn is trademarked model by Fender and erroneously use it in caps like the OP ad ...
I feel like I learned a lot already but have much more to learn. Thanks for the detailed replies. I did some more research on the Hwy 1 and there are a couple things I think I'd not like, specifically the bridge and the pickup. It also scares me a bit that someone would put sandpaper to the finish to make it appear " road worn".
I'm leaning more now towards a plain old (new) American Standard. I played one over the weekend and liked the feel and sound. Either that or a 60s reissue. I just want a somewhat authentic p bass sound, nice C neck, string-through bridge, rosewood fingerboard. I'm ok with some of the modern features, like tuners and truss rods. With all the options/ models out there, it's more complicated than I thought.
Just for context I'll share that this bass would be among a 2013 Warwick thumb nt, a '78 Ric 4001, and a '91 EBMM StingRay. I'm really wanting a traditional P bass sound and feel.
Yes, string through body and the new materials (graphite) used in the rods.
I just played what I thought was a brand spankin new American Standard and it was strung through the body. It had the smaller machines as well. It felt fine to and sounded like I expected. Then I happened upon that CL ad and got to thinking.
You bet ... the early Hwy 1 you originally posted shares virtually nothing in common with the 'New' AmStand you tried ...
The early Hwy 1's were much more similar to the MIM Standards at the time, with alnico pups instead of ceramic, a thinner finish on the body and threaded saddles on the same vintage bridge plate, and non routed body ... oh ya, and a headstock logo that said 'Made in USA' ...
Which explains there accurate valuation at about $4-450 depending on accessories ... about $100-150 over the MIM Standard ...
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