Fender Modern Player Telecaster Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Timpala, Mar 26, 2014.


  1. Timpala

    Timpala Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Location:
    IOWA
    I have searched this forum and can't find any new threads or posts on this bass. They all seem to be from 2011/2012.

    So, I was wondering if anyone had any updated (2014) opinions on the Fender Modern Player Telecaster Bass? I am one of those weird pick playin' punk rock bass players and have always been a fan of the bass player from The New Bomb Turks. He plays an old Telecaster, but mounted a very small mini looking humbucker by the bridge. I have several basses, but was wanting something with a mudbucker that I could add to my harem. I do really like the mudbucker tone when played with a pick. Here is a video of the bass player I am talking about:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7xP9CyCCyc

    I guess I am just wondering if the people who have them already are happy with them? How are they holding up, etc...

    Thanks!
  2. AaronVonRock

    AaronVonRock

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Location:
    Bangkok
    New Bomb Turks are one of my all time faves! Saw them a lot in the 90s.

    I bought a used Modern Player Tele last year on eBay and am really pleased with it. It's my main bass now. The one I have is really solid and feels great. It's got a big, chunky neck which I like. I actually dial back the volume just a hair on the neck pick-up because it can get pretty muddy and boomy, but that's just me. You can mess around with the two volume knobs to get a sound that you like. I have flats on it and play pretty aggressively with a pick. Lots of downstrokes.

    Two things I wasn't crazy about that I changed/tweaked:
    1. The output jack is recessed and often came loose then totally came out of the bass one time. Apparently this is an issue with all Teles, both bass and guitar. I bought a new output jack for $9 and had a guitar shop install it and that was the end of that problem.

    2. The bridge pick-up poles don't line-up with the strings, so the poles need to be adjusted. Otherwise, the A and D strings are louder than the E and G. I had the same guy who installed the output jack adjust the poles and it made a huge improvement in the sound.

    Hope this helps.
  3. AaronVonRock

    AaronVonRock

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Location:
    Bangkok
    Hey, I just noticed you're in Bangkok, too.
  4. GBassNorth

    GBassNorth

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    SoCal
    Aaron is spot on!
    I've had my Modern Player Tele for a couple of years now and its performed flawlessly. Fit,finish, build quality, playability, sound and sturdiness are all on par with my much more expensive MIA Fenders.

    I had the exact same issues as well - output jack came from the factory loose; G & E string pickup poles are not exactly aligned under the strings. The output jack just needed to be tightened and a drop of fingernail polish added to the thread to keep it there. The pickup pole screws just needed to be adjusted to balance the volume across all four strings. Two easy fixes that I considered part of the initial set up.

    I will say this thing is a dub monster! It has a deeper and darker sound and more "grunt" than nearly all my other basses, I frequently refer to it as my Pig! I rarely use a pic but this thing loves them. I play mostly finger style and don't slap and currently have the factory stock rounds on it. My favorite setting is neck volume on max, tone about half way up and then bring the bridge volume up to the point where it adds more definition to the notes. If you play hip hop, rap or reggae this bass should be on your short list. If you play classic rock, grunge or alternative this bass will do quite nicely. If you play hard metal and shred a lot you might not use the neck pickup as much and that would be a shame since it's the neck pickup in this bass that IMHO really sets it apart from other basses I have.

    Buy one, you won't regret it!
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  6. Timpala

    Timpala Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Location:
    IOWA
    Thanks for the info guys. The input jack and bridge pickup pole pieces not aligning with the E and G strings are things I have read about. I like the "drop of nail polish" idea to keep the input jack from becoming unscrewed.

    Most of the time I play a Fender P-Bass and have a Fender Jazz bass as my backup. Both basses can punch through 2 really loud guitars and drums. Does the MP Tele Bass cut through, or does it just have that underlying thud until you dial in the bridge pickup? Does it still have a nice punch when just the bass and drums are playing?
  7. Timpala

    Timpala Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Location:
    IOWA
    Yes, of course... Bangkok.;)
  8. Biggbass

    Biggbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    I had one for about 8 months. Although I liked the bass, the mudbuckers tones, the build quality, and the neck & playability of it, I did not like the weight. So I sold it to help fund the purchase of a lighter weight bass.
  9. GBassNorth

    GBassNorth

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    SoCal
    Good point. Mine does weigh on the high side for a four string instrument, about 10 pounds. However I usually play 5 strings so this one feels right at home to me.
    As for punch, use the neck pickup to get a deep dark fundamental supportive tone then dial the bridge pickup in to get the level of punch and clarity you want. This bass does not cut thru the mix like my Spectors or Warwick, instead it shines at creating a solid foundation and backline for the band. You can solo on it but you'll want to have that bridge pickup dialed up when you do. With both pickups full on and the tone at 50% you can do some fantastic chord playing.
  10. AaronVonRock

    AaronVonRock

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Location:
    Bangkok
    Like the above post says, it's heavy (which I like). I wouldn't describe it as cutting through the mix unless you turned the neck pickup way down. With that neck pickup, it provides a great foundation and sounds what I think a bass should sound like: Big, low, and deep.
  11. Timpala

    Timpala Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Location:
    IOWA
    I don't mind heavy basses, so that isn't a problem. I don't play fancy bass lines or solo. But, there are a few songs where it is just bass and drums playing. I like the basses I play to sound good by themselves as well as in the mix. I think I like that sound of a mudbucker played with a pick with the tone all the way up. I really like the sound of Epiphone Rivoli basses with that big mudbucker. It seems to cut through the mix in a different way. Maybe because the bass is just pounding on everyone's chest? I was kind of searching for that tone in a solid body bass. I know the Gibson EB-O is another option, but I kind of like the look of the Fender better. Plus, it sounds like it is put together much better. I'm going to go check one out tomorrow and play it back to back with a P-Bass. But, you never know how it will sound with the band until you play with them.
  12. Timpala

    Timpala Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Location:
    IOWA
    So, I found myself at the guitar store today. I had looked at the MP Telecaster bass last time I was there. I was looking for a good bass with a mudbucker. I played the showroom model they had for $600. I really liked it. So I then asked all of you how you liked yours. Thanks to the 3 people who responded. But, today I went into the same guitar store and came across a used MP Telecaster bass for $399 right next to the new one. The used one was actually in better condition than the new one. Probably because it was a floor model and everyone was playing it. So, I bought the used one.

    Now, for my initial review.

    The build quality is just as good as any of my American made Fender basses. This thing is solid. I am really impressed.

    I bought it and 2 hours later went to band practice to try it out. I have to say that people are right when they say that these pickups are HOT. They are way louder than my p-bass or jazz bass. I play through an Ampeg SVT 300 watt head through either a 2x15 or an 8x10 speaker cabinet. The pickups on this bass literally caused my amp to go on the emergency standby mode so it wouldn't destroy anything. I had to adjust my settings in a big way. I had to turn the bass knob way down and turn the high mids and treble way up.

    I have to say that I was worried that this bass wouldn't cut through the mix. It does in a really low way. If that makes any sense. It has a really nice tube, woody tone that sounds great in the mix. By itself, it doesn't sound as good as my P-Bass, but that might be the trade off. I just got this bass, so I am still dialing everything in. But, I am afraid after playing this bass that everything will seem thin sounding. The big thunderous bass could become addicting.
  13. KeithAlanK

    KeithAlanK

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Location:
    San Antonio Texas
    Have fun, although it sounds like you already are.
  14. GBassNorth

    GBassNorth

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    SoCal
    Timpala - congrats on the NBD. You made a great choice and even found a fantastic deal on top of it. Yes the MP pickups are hot, much hotter than my Gibson SG Supreme. I've only had two other basses with pickups as hot as these - a G&L 2500 and a Spector Rex5 Pro.

    I got rid of the G&L, it had tons of sounds but only one that I liked. The Spector is a keeper though. I use the Fender MP Tele and Spector Rex5 Pro pretty much interchangeably these days. Both are great basses.

    Enjoy your MP and post a pic when you get a chance.
  15. howling_hawk

    howling_hawk

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Having bought my tele bass 8 months ago I agree with you guys. And you forget something - it's a freaking beauty! The butterscotch finish is awesome and the pickups are looking fantastic as well. A question though, how do you guys like the bridge pickup? I find myself almost only using the neck one...
  16. Timpala

    Timpala Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Location:
    IOWA
    So far, I use the neck pickup on full and then dial in the bridge about half. I did lower the pole pieces on the bridge pickup. Now, it's not so loud and blends in nicer. I could easily just use the neck pickup though.
  17. Timpala

    Timpala Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Location:
    IOWA
  18. Timpala

    Timpala Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Location:
    IOWA
    Hey,

    Has anyone who owns a Modern Player Telecaster bass taken off the pickup covers? I know you can adjust the pole pieces, but is it possible to adjust the actual pickup height?

    I just thought I would ask first before I start messing with it.
  19. Timpala

    Timpala Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Location:
    IOWA
    Here are a couple of pictures.

    FTB2.jpg

    FTB1.jpg
  20. skwee

    skwee

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    I just played on one of these the other day at a local shop. That neck was so huge, but I really like it. very RAWK
  21. Timpala

    Timpala Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Location:
    IOWA
    The whole thing is basically a Precision Bass with different pickups and pick guard. It fits perfectly into my molded P-Bass Case.

    I did take off the pickup covers tonight. I found that the only adjustment for the pickups is when you adjust the pole pieces. The actual pickups don't move. That being said, you have to be careful to adjust your amp settings down. Especially the bass. The pickups are so hot that they will make my Ampeg SVT 300 watt tube head go into standby mode so it doesn't fry anything inside. I have been turning my gain and bass down and turning my mids and treble up with this bass. It really fills up the mix with a nice, full tone. After playing it a while and then playing any of my other basses, they all seem thin. They really aren't, but compared to the Tele bass, they are. It is a much different beast. So far, I am liking it.

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