New Fender P vs 1980's Fender P

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kopfjaeger, Nov 27, 2012.


  1. Kopfjaeger

    Kopfjaeger Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    How do the new Fender American standard P bass rate as compared to an early 1980's CBS made Fender P?

    I bought my 1981 Fender P brand new in 1982 for a whopping $562. and was wondering about it's value now and how it stacks up against a brand new one in sound, fit/finish, playability, and quality.

    Sepp
  2. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    The 80's stuff is overpriced IMO. The only 80's Fender I'd go for is either the Precision Special (the one with the active electronics), or the Fullerton 62 (or 57) Reissue series.

    But I'd have to find a great deal on either to even consider it.
  3. Kopfjaeger

    Kopfjaeger Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Thanks. I've seen minty early 80's basses going for well over 2k. Crazy money! I've read the early Fullerton necks on the P basses were some of the best as far as playability but I suppose that is in the eye or hands of the beholder.

    Sepp
  4. Immigrant

    Immigrant

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Location:
    West of Stumptown, USA
    Older Mustangs sometimes go for more than new ones.

    Today's dollar (really 2010's) was worth $2.39 in 1981. So the actual cost of the bass hasn't risen that much.

    The new 2012 American Standards are supposed to be the buh.*


    *reference from Airplane!
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  6. gcbake

    gcbake Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Disclosures:
    Former Ampeg Regional Touring Artist

    I had two 1983's P-Basses in the early nineties and for some reason their necks were really flat and thin. I really enjoyed those basses (used them as partial trade for an Alembic essence, which turned into a 1993 Modulus Q-5, which I still have). I have owned a P-bass from every era. I have had a 1977, two 1983’s, a 1996, a 2003 and I currently own an early 50’s P with a early seventies J-Neck, a 1963 L-Series, a Road Worn, and a brand spanking new American Special Honey Burst hand-stained P-bass which I got during the last big weekend sale at GC for $662.00 (I know, I really do not need this many P-basses, but there are just something about them). So after this long winded response if you really feel the bass and it speaks to you, then it is the best bass in the world. However, I think the quality of Fender basses has never been better and the instruments being produced are not only a great value, but are keepers for sure.
  7. gcbake

    gcbake Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Disclosures:
    Former Ampeg Regional Touring Artist
    If people are buying 1980’s instruments as an investment they should think twice. I believe history will find the seventies and eighties Fender basses just not of sufficient quality for them to permanently hold their value in the vintage Fender market for the long haul.
  8. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    I agree where you're coming from.

    While the 70's/80's stuff will never be as nice as MOST of the 60's stuff, it will still hold value to a certain extent. Simply because it will never be created again. This doesn't have as much to do with performance as much as collect-ability
  9. Kopfjaeger

    Kopfjaeger Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Putting stock in any collectable as an investment is very risky. Of course number produced and popularity all factor into what will hold its value, but there are still other factors to "deep six" an investment strategy.

    Thanks for all the replies. In the end it comes down to what someone is willing to pay. Like I said, there are some early 80's Fender P's for sale for crazy money and they may not sell at that price. I think I priced my 81 Fender P fairly. I guess well see in a few days just how fair a price I put it at. I just really did nto know where a "vintage" instrument stood amongst all the MIA, MIM, and MIJ Fenders.

    Sepp
  10. Zoomie

    Zoomie Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    The worst bass that I have ever played was an early 80's Fender P. It was firewood at best. It was so bad that I refused to own a P or J until 2011. And I love the Fenders that I have today.

    Easy question and I will even take it a step further. I'll take a 2011-12 Fender FSR (MIM) let alone an American Standard, before even thinking about an 80's.

    Yes I know there were a few sweet ones but I believe those to be the exception versus the rule. Fender just flat peed the bed in the 80's from so many perspectives.
  11. chef wong

    chef wong Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Location:
    Ohio
    Every early 80's Precision I've played that wasn't an Elite did feel and look kinda cheap.

    I think the 2008-to current American Standard Precisions are made better. They'd be better with the vintage style tuners, though.
  12. Pet Sounds

    Pet Sounds

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    I had an '83 with a flat, sharp-edged neck that didn't work for me. Also had an '80 Precision Special that was extremely heavy. Neither one was especially great in the quality department, and neither one is still with me. Love the new Ps.
  13. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA, USA
    During the 80ties we were seeking out the original 1982 and 1983 Squier instruments instead.
  14. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    In my opinion the new Fenders are better quality in every way from fit and finish to electronics.
  15. Bassmunnky

    Bassmunnky

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    New York and Philadelphia
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball MusicMan Guitars
    Wish they'd bring back that Fullerton P Neck. Shallow AND Wide..perfect P bass necks for me.

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