Best Fender Precision currently in production?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Alexander, Apr 14, 2014.


  1. Alexander

    Alexander

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2001
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I am hoping that I can buy a Precision bass either later this summer or perhaps this fall. I've been contemplating it for some time and after thinking about it, I really would like to stick with Fender - perhaps somewhat out of tradition.

    The thing is, I've played Sadowsky exclusively for a number of years now and all of the Fender American Standard Precisions I've tried have been really underwhelming - primarily because of quality of materials, fit\finish and playability. Sadowsky sets a really high bar in that regard, so the Fenders just feel down-market by comparison. Granted, I've played them all primarily at Guitar Center - so most have been horribly set up and in some cases beaten up a bit.

    I did try a Custom Shop 59 last week and it was the first Precision Bass I really ever liked. I guess it is technically out of production now, but there are a few of them still available new out there. It is a good option and I may have bought that one if I had the funds available today. I also want to try the AVRI series, but not really sure the differences between them all and what would really suit me the best. I don't think I want to go any higher in price than the CS 59, unless there is a really compelling reason to do so.

    Thoughts?
  2. Parkerblades

    Parkerblades

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2014
    I absolutely love my Steve Harris signiture. It's made in japan. But it play circles around any American fender I have played.
  3. Parkerblades

    Parkerblades

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2014
    Wow how did that happen
  4. Alexander

    Alexander

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2001
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    What do you like about the Steve Harris over the American produced P Basses?
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  6. IronLung1986

    IronLung1986

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    there isn't any one model that's the best. you have to go on an individual case by case basis because 2 of the exact same model could feel and sound different. that's how it is when you're dealing with mass produced stuff. with high end stuff like sadowsky, every instrument you play is going to be great. it's just a matter of preference what brand or model you buy. but with fender you could play a dozen duds from different price ranges before finding one that's pure magic. that's almost part of the fun, because when you find a good one you'll know you found something special.
  7. jerry

    jerry Definitely not trending Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1999
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Check out Mike Lull's P-basses.
    bnlwells likes this.
  8. Parkerblades

    Parkerblades

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2014
    #4
    Today, 04:18 PM
    Alexander
    Registered User

    Join Date: Aug 2001
    Location: Seattle, WA
    What do you like about the Steve Harris over the American produced P Basses?

    The feel,sound, and fit/finish to me are superior to me.
  9. awilkie84

    awilkie84 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    For me, it's the Fender Classic Series.

    I owned a MIM Classic 50s P-bass and wish I had never sold it.
    Light, resonant, punchy, loud, comfortable, amazing fret work, stable neck, solid build, no neck gap, 1 piece maple neck, reverse tuners.

    Just too much to love in 1 bass...and they retail UNDER $1000! By far better than any MIA I've ever played.
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Choose the form of the Destructor! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    +1 on the Lull Ps.
  11. Pet Sounds

    Pet Sounds

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    You may want to try the Fender American Select Precision Bass. These are Fender's highest quality production basses, and the materials and workmanship really shine. Pricey new, but can be had used for $1500-1600 or so.
  12. awilkie84

    awilkie84 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    From what I've read, it's only the wood grade that's any different. They use more exotic or boutique woods. The build specs, process & QA are all the same as the Am Std.
  13. Radio Face

    Radio Face

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    I purchased an American Standard P5 last year and, it's not bad; sounds okay to me.
    huckleberry1 likes this.
  14. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm a big fan of the new American Vintage '63 reissue basses. They are pretty true to vintage spec, and every one I have played has been an excellent bass. The ultimate to me(for a new production instrument) would be the Custom Shop Pino Palladino signiture. Its not cheap however...
  15. Alexander

    Alexander

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2001
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I didn't consider the select series just because I didn't really want a figured top - but might be worth looking at. I was also perusing the Fender Custom Shop site today. Seems expensive, although I'm assuming I could get one for 70-75% of MSRP - would be great to get exactly what I wanted, but not sure if the quality would be good enough to warrant the additional investment.

    I like Lulls - but want a Fender P - thanks
  16. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    :cool:

    If money is not an issue. The CS "Pino Palladino Sig."
    The new 2013 AV Reissues are nice. (58 & 63 )

    If your on a budget, The "Roadworn" P-Bass is sweet.
    And so is the "Nate Mendel" P-Bass. A few dollars less.
  17. Gorn Captain

    Gorn Captain Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Location:
    Queens NY
    It seems strange, but I've been most impressed with the tone of the Squier VM precision of all the P's I've played, which include the American standard, special, and MIM. It barks with the tone up and warmly sings with the tone down. I suppose that's the nature of any pbass but they really hit a home run with the Squier.
    Right now I prefer jazz basses, but if I wanted a p, I'd get the VM.
  18. TN WOODMAN

    TN WOODMAN

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Location:
    Smyrna, Tennessee.
    Have to agree that the Classic 50s is a fantastic p bass @ any price / country of manufacture .
  19. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    The deluxe. That thing is legit.
  20. elBandito

    elBandito

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Location:
    Rotten Apple
    Compared to sadowsky, factory fenders will feel like squier. Custom shop is probably the way to go.
  21. ghunter

    ghunter

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    If you're sticking with genuine Fender, it's tough to justify their US Standard and Deluxe once you've played their Custom Shop products (and can afford them, of course). From the feel of sliding your fingers up and down the neck, to the balance of the instrument when you're wearing it, to the tone coming from the jack, there is a big step up in nearly every way in CS instruments. The specs may look similar but in person it's a different story completely.

    When I bought my Custom Shop Stratocaster 10+ years ago there wasn't a huge price difference between the US Deluxe and the Custom Classic model, but it was a world away in quality. When I went to buy a Jazz Bass a few years ago I chose a Nash instead of a Fender CS as the quality was very similar but the price was back in the "only a few hundred more than the US Deluxe" range. I also own an AVRI Jazzmaster and there are many times that I regret not getting the Custom Shop version, for what that's worth.

    In the end I believe that this will come down to your budget and your perception of value. The Custom Shop basses have the quality you want but a hefty price tag. After that you'll have to make some form of sacrifice to keep a Fender logo on the headstock.

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