Fave Bass For a Classic P Tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bachlover, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. Considering a P for the classic Motown type bottom. Learned so much on the maple vs. RW thread I posted, I thought that I'd throw this one out there before I pull the trigger. What's your fave bass for that classic tone (besides a vintage Fender P - don't have that kind of $!).
  2. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Try a MIM Classic '50s P. Watch for a used one for the best value. Tone-wise, my Classic '50s stands up to any of my P-Basses. However, if you hate a 1.75" nut width, you wouldn't like it. If that's not an issue, you'll probably love it.
  3. Marton


    Sep 20, 2005
    I'm pretty happy with my 2004ish Lakland Bob Glaub for those kind of tones. Mine got a Lollar, I never tried the stock pickups on the newer ones though.
  4. DirkP


    Jan 18, 2013
    Hamburg, Germany
    Every kind of Fender P with a solid body. I would look for a mexican one from the classic series or a MIJ Fender P used. The JV ones under the Squiere label from 1982-1984 are wonderfull, but - at least in Europe - expensive. I don't believe in the maple vs. RW debatte. Your strings touch nothing but cheap plastic and metal from the tuners down to the bridge. The body mass might make a difference, but that's it. For me the RW vs. Maple debatte is an optic illusion that leads to the conclusion that darker woods sound darker and brighter woods sound brighter.
    Much more important are the strings: higher gauge flatwound strings. Labella even offers a James Jamerson set. And the pickups. These can be changed for not too much cash.
    The rest is in your fingers - and the kind of compressor or preamp you use.
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  6. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    What Jeff K said. I had been a Jazz Bass® player for many, many years until I got drafted into a cover band doing lots of Motown stuff, and quickly realized that a Jazz would never cut it. The ‘50s Classic P nailed the tone at an exceptionally affordable price.
  7. A used MIA Fender is a good option. I like American basses, but the Classic '50s, the Road Worn '50s and Lakland Skyline Bob Glaub or Duck Dunn (Jazz neck) models are great imports, though some may cost as much as a MIA Fender.
  8. hdracer

    hdracer Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Price- Roadworn
    Better- AVRI '63
    Best- CS Pino
  9. Contemporary MIM (or any along that line), thick flats, high action, you're off to the races.
  10. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003

    The Gold Standard.
  11. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Fender AM Standards have been very nice for about 10-12 years now. You can probably find a nice used one...for substantially less than retail.
  12. I use an early 80's stock G&L SB-1 with the volume rolled back just a little bit.
    That and the B15 is all I need if that is what I am looking for.
  13. What is a CS Pino? Short for? Tried googling it and got some kind of wine.
  14. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    CS = Fender Custom Shop
  15. hdracer

    hdracer Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
  16. denton57

    denton57 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    My experience with the standard American line is that I couldn't get a good vintage tone out of it. Don't know if it was the pickup, rods in the neck, or what.

    I'd find a roadworn or used 57 or 62 RI if I were you. Maybe the nitro classic 50's..
  17. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    For me, only an MIA Fender P. You can get plenty of them used for a decent price if you look around. I have seen used ones selling for close to the same price as new MIM.
  18. inate_hex


    Apr 4, 2010
    Manchester, England
    I occasionally wet the bed.
    Fender 62 Re-issue
  19. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    For a 60's "Motown" tone I like broken-in flats and a standard, low mass bridge. I personally prefer higher action as well so I can lay a little more "meat" on the strings. Muting is also something to consider, although there's different ways to approach it.