Fender Plus Deluxe Club

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JIO, Jan 20, 2014.


  1. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    If a club under this focus already exists please let me know - I looked and didn't find one. There is already a (88-94 Fender American Standard- first version) "Boner" bass club, which overlaps the Plus or Deluxe series (all made around the same time), but this will be specifically for the 1990-1994 Jazz Plus and Precision Plus Deluxe series.

    This could be considered a sub-club of Fender Jazz, or P, or P/J, and even of Kubicki Factors for that matter, but I think these 20+ yr old basses are unique enough to merit their own club. We're talking about Fender J's and P's <(P/J's technically) both 4 and 5 string models made starting in the late 80's to early 90's in the US that had 22 frets (a first for Fender), active Kubicki electronics, Lace Sensor pu's, a variety of Fender stamped HM bridges, no pickguard, side-mount jack, a narrower headstock w/deluxe Schaller tuners, and came in a few of-the-time metallic-burst paint schemes similar to Kubicki Factors. (plus more standard hues) Modern, clean design and well made, this series was at the top of Fenders line. These were the product of 1980's Fender reclaiming it's integrity back from the CBS days, growing from the Precision Bass I Elite & II Elite and starting production at roughly the same time period as the Fender Custom Shop was launched. They were forward thinking designs that were produced as a total package - one that once you bought it the only thing you really needed to change was strings. The other Fender solid-body bass that was even more proprietary was the 85-86 MIJ Performer with it's narrow 24 fret neck and unique-shapped pu's. In the 80's, innovators that included John Page, Stephen Boulanger, Charley Gressett, Scott Zimmerman and George Blanda worked to move the Fender bass into a new era. Specifically related to this thread, the late Phil Kubicki's input into the Plus Deluxe series modern looking, playing and sounding Fender basses is as clear as the tone they deliver. They might have looked a little like the earlier Jazz Bass Special (no pickguard) but they sounded very different.

    To help differentiate, these were not the (first series) American Standard "boner" basses made around the same time. The so-called boners J's or P-Plus, or P-Deluxe (I've seen them listed both ways) had 22 fret necks also, and a redesigned body w/a longer upper horn. The boners look a little odd but were designed that way to help balance the longer 22 fret neck and in fact they balance well, with the upper horn flanking the 11th fret. The Plus/Plus Deluxe series had more or less standard J & P bodies - mostly alder, but (natural) ash could be ordered for an up-charge. Necks were all maple and maple/rosewood (4's) and maple/pau ferro (5r's) There was also a limited edition (400) 40th Anniversary P-bass (91-92) out of the FCS that had a natural P body w/figured maple top, w/a birds-eye maple/ebony boarded J neck, gold hardware, P/J Lace Sensor pu's, and the Kubicki preamp. The boners were passive w/a TBX tone pot, push-button series/parallel and pu switch on the P (P/J) model, and the Plus Deluxe series all had 9v Kubicki active electronics. The J's (90-94) had a 2 stacked pot + 4 click knob setup like a FCS Kubicki Factor (18v Kubicki Factors have a 5 click knob) and the P's (91-94) had 2 stacked pots. (the 9v/4 click J set-up ended up on the short lived FCS Factors) The boners had pickguards, the Plus Deluxe - no pickguard. The (unique to this day) early 80's Schaller Elite HM fine-tune bridge used on the Elite series ended up on both boner P-Pluses and Plus Deluxe P's, and another style HM bridge made by Schaller (very G&L-like) was installed on the 4 string Plus Deluxe J. Late 80's Jazz Bass Specials sported a black version of this same bridge. The 5 string J-PD had yet another HM bridge made by Gotoh w/standard barrel saddles. Somewhat confusing.., but apparently much was changing back then and things moved around from model to model. As with the tuners - some had flat paddles and some sculpted paddles which appeared on various models. Boner headstocks were standard Fender shaped and PD's were narrower w/a mix of trad and "modern" graphics.

    I'm no authority on this period, just interested in that era of Fender and the unique products they produced. I'm not aware of a definitive tomb on those years and will appreciate enlightenment if one exists. Tony Bacon & Barry Moorhouse's updated "The Bass Book" 2008 has a good bit of series information on all era's of Fender basses.
    So needless to say, please correct me on anything I've stated so far and feel free to add your knowledge or insight related. Like, correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I could find, the Jazz Bass Plus V debuted in 1990 and there was no Precision Plus Deluxe 5'r in this series. (w/Kubicki electronics, no pg etc) Instead, a 5 string boner P was called the Precision Plus (89-93) and it had Lace Sensor pu's and a TBX tone pot. fine-tuning bridge and deluxe Schaller tuning pegs. (as far as I know)

    Numbers will not be given out - it will be more to have a place where you can share with other Plus Deluxe players/owners. Pics (old or new) of you playing your PD J's or P's are welcomed as well. As far as I could find, the colours it was offered in were: (06) Black, (07) Vintage White, (15) Lipstick Red, (19) Mystic Black, (28) Crimson Burst, (36) Antique Burst, (80) Arctic White, (87) Electric Blue, (90) Blue Pearl Burst, (91) Black Pearl Burst. I've seen a few in classic Sunburst (not listed), so I wonder if that was what they called "Antique Burst"? I've seen only a few of these that are listed so would love to see the whole spectrum! (Mystic Black?) :eyebrow: My own recent acquisition is a colour not found on that list either - as far as I know it's called Midnight Wine:

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    Schaller F-stamped tuners on a '92 American Standard/boner J - these were used on many models both before and after this series - note standard Fender HS shape - boner P's had the Deluxe sculpted tuners (as on both P & J-PD)
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    Schaller F-stamped Deluxe tuners used on (boner) Precision Plus, Precision Plus Deluxe and Jazz Bass Plus w/sculpted paddles (same cast "F" unit as above) note narrow HS design and "stretched" Jazz Bass graphics / this narrow headstock profile, Deluxe sculpted tuners and 22 fret neck continued to be used on the later American Deluxe series
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    Jazz Bass Plus V in Blue Burst - note 5 in-line Gotoh (?) tuners
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    the 5 string Jazz Bass Plus bridge made by Gotoh was yet another HM version more like modern HM bridges w/barrel saddles as on some current Fenders.
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    the other HM G&L-like Schaller bridge on a Lipstick Red Jazz Bass Plus. This one has a lined fretless neck, but they were not offered on this series. The later 90's American Deluxe series did offer these (22 fret) lined fretless necks, which this is probably one.
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    Precision Plus Deluxe (P/J) in Black Pearl Burst/maple neck w/fine-tune Fender stamped Schaller Elite HM fine-tuning bridge - moulded HS Fender case
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  2. Basshappi

    Basshappi

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    Nice bass JIO, congrats!

    I have encounted several of these over the years and have always liked them. Unfortunately I've never seen a lefthanded version and, like the Elite I & II, doubt Fender ever produced them.
     
  3. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    As a right-hander, I admit I take such for granted. Do you know what the history of Fender making lefties is? I would guess they did special requests over the years, but it would be interesting to learn when it was a matter of course to offer both.
     
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm in are we handing out numbers? here is my baby


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  6. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

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    Jio I love that color she is a beauty what kind of strings are on yours? Mine has Ernie Ball Slinky's which I really like on this bass.
     
  7. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    I won't be doing numbers, it's just for all interested to have a place to find out about this series and share their personal pics and stories related.

    I will be receiving mine on Tuesday FedEx so will give a full NBD account once it's here. I've never used Ernie Ball strings so a thumbs up is useful info. I've owned a few Factors and always had strings that were 'chime-y' as the Kubicki electronics were so rich and present. Can't wait to hear that again - it's been a while. Like you, I had been searching out this bass for a while. I've never even played one, but I own the same era "boner" so know what the 22 fret neck will feel like.

    Welcome to the club! :bassist:
     
  8. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

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    Ok cool can't wait til your new bass day and the neck on these is to die for love it.
     
  9. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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  10. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

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  11. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    ? do you mean looking out for the Kubicki electronics? There was a set-up from a Fender Urge bass on ebay a while back and I missed it for the $100 BIN price. Whoever saw it first probably didn't hesitate. Ha - you'll be bidding against me again if one came up! :smug:

    Is there something wrong with yours in that new bass?
     
  12. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

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    Mine are working perfectly but I wouldn't mine having a backup.
     
  13. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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  14. Feezelbum

    Feezelbum

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    Here is my contribution to the club (sorry for the low quality iphone pic):

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    '92 Precision Plus in Black Pearl Burst
     
  15. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

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    Hey; where'd you get the pic of the blue-burst 5 string?
    I'm reasonably sure that's my bass, on my carpet ;)

    Don't have it anymore, but, it was a great bass.
     
  16. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Gold Supporting Member

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    Here's mine. I had it since new.
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  17. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    Beauty - does the maple neck give it an edge tonally? Thanks for posting!
     
  18. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    Nice! Do you know the official Fender name of the colour?
     
  19. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    Ha! I found it when I googled Fender Plus Deluxe bass. It was included under "images". My custom Supersonic comes up a few times on the Fender Performer "image" pages.

    The internets... :D
     
  20. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

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    thread is looking great JIO thanks for all of the info.
     
  21. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

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    Beautiful
     

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