NBD: Fender Roadworn Classic 50s Precision

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by davidjackson, Apr 7, 2014.


  1. davidjackson

    davidjackson

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    After a while of looking I finally found a used Roadworn P at a great price. I already own a Steve Harris MIJ P bass so wanted something that had a different look and feel to it and - in truth - something I didn't mind getting a few dings in it once in a while!

    Like most people I've read comments from on here, I was reluctant to spend so much on a MIM bass but I tried hard to judge the bass on the look, feel and sound rather than the country of origin stamped on the back of the headstock.

    I have been genuinely impressed. Whilst not as well made as any of the MIA Fenders I've played it's got a great feel to it and a fantastic neck. I also hadn't realised how much the narrow frets would change the feel but I really like it. It's got a great p bass sound and I love the roadworn look which is evident all the way across the instrument - not just the body. Even the screws look like they are 60 years old!

    I guess what I'm saying is that once you park the analysis it simply comes down to the fact that this bass is a lot of fun. It does sort of feel like a vintage bass and that's something I enjoy too without having to worry about it being worth thousands of pounds.

    I'm keeping the Steve Harris P which currently has some heavy La Bella flats on it so the Roadworn with rounds will be a nice addition to the arsenal.

    Apologies for the crappy camera phone pics!

    Attached Files:

  2. davidjackson

    davidjackson

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    ...and one more.

    Attached Files:

  3. Pentatonic

    Pentatonic Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Location:
    San Francisco
    I played an almost identical roadworn at a shop in San Jose yesterday it was by far the best bass of many I played. I was surprised to find it was MIM.

    Congrats.
  4. davidjackson

    davidjackson

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    I'm hearing that a lot - when people play these basses alongside others they generally come out top.

    I know these instruments have been around a while but I wouldn't mind betting that they are starting to change the image for some people of what "Made in Mexico" means.

    I've always worried that there is something ever so slightly racist about the Korean/Mexican/Chinese/Japanese/American quality 'hierarchy' anyway so maybe we are beginning to see that quality of design and construction is something that can improve globally rather than nationally.
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  6. tedsalt

    tedsalt Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
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    The Mild Midwest
    Nice fiesta! I'm digging my 2t burst RW P!
  7. gomez hacienda

    gomez hacienda

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Location:
    Urbana, IL
    The MIM that I currently play (2013) is as good as ANY Fender I've owned. I've played Squiers that sounded and felt like MIAs.
    I am a charter member of the "Spend Less Than $1K" club. MIM is fine by me.
  8. gomez hacienda

    gomez hacienda

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Location:
    Urbana, IL
    +1
  9. Gaolee

    Gaolee The Fat Violin Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    I have been flogging a 2010 since 2010. I'm interested to see that the "worn" spots on your new one are smaller than their equivalents on my bass. Mine has a burst finish, so perhaps that's part of it, but I like the smaller "worn" spots on yours. I thought the whole relic thing was silly, but that P felt so good I had to have it, never mind what it looks like. And, as you have said, it's not a bass you worry about scratching. That's worth a whole lot more than I realized.

    By the way, the finish does continue to wear. The back of the neck on mine has worn through to what I assume is a thin layer of poly under the nitro finish. Likewise, parts of the body on mine are through the finish entirely. The finish is very thin, so if you like a thin finish, RW is the way to go.

    The whole poser thing amused me so much that I put ashtrays and a tug bar on mine, and I have come to really like both.
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Choose the form of the Destructor! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I just don't get paying more to get something beaten up looking.
  11. BillySid

    BillySid Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Location:
    Weatherford, TX
    And that is not what this thread is about.
  12. portpc

    portpc

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Yes, I agree some import instruments have gotten better then they were.

    I've got a KSD burner Ignition that plays great,
    I gig with all of the time & leave my heavier MIA P Bass at home.

    For many years I thought the majority of imports were inferior, Well, they were until many modern contruction processes & ISO9000 QC procedures became commonplace.

    I'd be careful though when defining it as your fear of the lowest common ethnic denominator being the reason for their non-acceptance.

    If I complain about the P.O.T.U.S. I'll hear similar rhetoric.
    & It'll also be untrue..












  13. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    deeper underground
    Jeez dude, take off your "race goggles". The 'hierarchy' you refer to is more a matter of quality of the components involved, than about the ethnicity of the workers at the various factories.

    Singling out the USA vs MIM...

    Everyone knows (except perhaps you) that USA Fender guitars have been built largely by workers of Mexican heritage, going back decades. Decades. Yet, most Americans still consider the USA-built guitars to be of higher quality than MIM Fenders.

    I prefer the MIM Fenders for what I see as a better value, but I also know the USA stuff is clearly a notch above, in terms of quality. The quality gap between the two is not big IMO, and we can discuss to death whether a USA Fender is worth the extra cost.

    The only racism involved around here comes from people like you, who continually inject that assertion into the narrative. It's unfounded, divisive, and ought to be treated like any other hater/troll post.
  14. bobalu

    bobalu

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2004
    Location:
    above the 49th
    Just wondering what exactly you mean by not as well made? There isn't a MIA Road Worn to compare it to (outside of the Custom Shop). I have several MIA Jazz & P basses, as well as a RW Jazz, and it's as well made as the MIA's. I have also owned several of the Classic series (MIM) and the quality was stellar (fit,finish, construction). Hope you don't mis-interpret my post here, everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, I'm just curious. :)
  15. Arizona Jones

    Arizona Jones Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Location:
    Oxnard, CA
    OP, congrats on the new bass. I have one just like it.
  16. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    I own a Road Worn and a Classic 50s P. Both these MIM basses are fantastic - the best new off-the-production-line Fenders I've played/owned, which includes 2 2008 MIA Standards that I parted with without regrets.

    Regarding paying more for the Road Worn over the Classic 50s (arguably the same bass without the relicing): IT IS WORTH THE EXTRA $$.

    Why? The finishing work is better.

    The new 50s Classic is terrific but will need a complete fret-end dressing, which I will have to pay for. The Road Worn requires no such work, as it seems to have had this finishing done in the factory. Hence, it is worth the extra $$, which will not have to be spent at the guitar repair shop.

    CASE CLOSED.
  17. davidjackson

    davidjackson

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    Woah!!

    No offence meant my friend. I said I have worried about it being ever so slightly racist. I'm neither saying that perception really exists, that there is any truth there, or that there is a perception that Mexican/Korean workers are not as skilled or competent as Japanese or American ones. I know Fender and other companies employ people of huge capability from all kinds of backfgrounds and that is a brilliant thing.

    The whole point of this thread was how pleased I was with the quality of a MIM bass and I commented that I hope the MIM operation gets the praise it deserves for this range.

    I'm not trying to divide anybody or make unfounded statements. I don't hate anybody (in the World, anywhere) and neither do I post to inflame or provoke.

    Sorry if it came across the wrong way but I was just putting up a NBD post saying I loved my new MIM bass.
  18. Tbone76

    Tbone76

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Location:
    Niskayuna, NY
    Nice bass! I had the RW Jazz in Fiesta Red a few years ago. They really are well-made basses. I traded it for something new and shiny, and I regret it now! Mine had a quirk where the holes weren't drilled for the neck pup metal cover, but the thumbrest and bridge cover holes were there! I've never played the RW P, but I can only imagine that it's a great player. Congrats!
  19. Dragan

    Dragan

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    roadworn series are great! that been said, classic 50 P bass is aswell helluva instruments!

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