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Which do I keep- p bass special fsr or American standard

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Hubriser, Sep 23, 2013.


  1. Hubriser

    Hubriser Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Location:
    Boston MA
    Been a long time reader of TB but here's my 1st post, hopes it's in the right place.
    So this is the best dilemma of my life but its still a dilemma. Recently I've come into 2 very sweet p basses unfortunately with a baby on the way I can only keep one so I'd love some TBers advice/opinions.
    I got one of those beautiful guitar center p bass "fsr" honey burst American specials that I know there's a big tb thread about. Some how I ended scoring a beautiful ash natural 98' American standard in what looks like brand new condition(even has plastic on the pick guard- owned by 1 guitar who never played it)!

    Now I've got 2 sweet basses but the wife won't let me keep them both, I can either return the honey burst special to gc or sell the 98' American standard. Both basses play very similar, both have beautiful satin necks. The 98 p is about a half pound heavier. They both actually sound extremely similar as well. I do really love the satin body on the honey burst but the natural wood grain on the 98 p is gorgeous!
    Whichever bass I keep I'll be replacing the nut to string it BEAD, and put a fresh set of labella flats on it.
    I'm more of a maple neck guy but in the case it's really a toss up for me, any opinions, American standard vs special 'fsr'....etc???Been a long time reader of TB but here's my 1st post, hopes it's in the right place.
    So this is the best dilemma of my life but its still a dilemma. Recently I've come into 2 very sweet p basses unfortunately with a baby on the way I can only keep one so I'd love some TBers advice/opinions.
    I got one of those beautiful guitar center p bass "fsr" honey burst American specials that I know there's a big tb thread about. Some how I ended scoring a beautiful ash natural 98' American standard in what looks like brand new condition(even has plastic on the pick guard- owned by 1 guitar who never played it)!

    Now I've got 2 sweet basses but the wife won't let me keep them both, I can either return the honey burst special to gc or sell the 98' American standard. Both basses play very similar, both have beautiful satin necks. The 98 p is about a half pound heavier. They both actually sound extremely similar as well. I do really love the satin body on the honey burst but the natural wood grain on the 98 p is gorgeous!
    Whichever bass I keep I'll be replacing the nut to string it BEAD, and put a fresh set of labella flats on it.
    I'm more of a maple neck guy but in the case it's really a toss up for me, any opinions, American standard vs special 'fsr'....etc???
    [​IMG]
     
  2. StevieMac

    StevieMac

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    It's easier to return a bass than sell one so if they play and sound basically the same and you can't decide I'd take back the one I could return.
     
  3. two fingers

    two fingers You tahkin 'uh me? Yeah, you. You tahkin 'uh me? Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern NC USA
    Congrats on the baby! Nothing in this world better than kids, man.

    Also, WELCOME to TALKBASS!

    If it were me I would keep the honey burst simply because I dig those finishes (and satin necks) better. Or, being that you are new here, I will make you a deal. Just send me that one to keep until the kid is..... say...... 5 years old. By then, your wife will have forgotten the whole thing. I'll send it back to you (perhaps with a tiny bit of player wear) and we'll call it a day. I'm here to help.
     
  4. PotsdamBass8

    PotsdamBass8

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Are there really no characteristics of one that you like better than the other? Does the weight matter to you? The looks?

    If you really don't like either one more than the other, then I would agree to return the Special. It's easier to return, as was already said, and you'll most likely get a greater return for your money on the used American should you sell it in the future.
     
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  6. Hubriser

    Hubriser Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Location:
    Boston MA
    Yeah I'm very torn I like the looks of the honey bass a little more but there's something in my mind saying to go with the American standard it'll be a better decision down the road.

    Maybe i should take 2 fingers up on his bass borrowing program! Haha

    [​IMG]
     
  7. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Call me Marc or Marky Potatoes. Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    Location:
    Fresh Meadows (Queens), NY, US
    I think you should stick with the newer American Special. The honeyburst looks sweet, and those newer Fender basses seem to just keep getting better and better in terms of quality and tone, IMO & IME.
     
  8. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    LA
    i've been more into new basses recently due to their lack of foreseeable issues in the immediate future
     
  9. miles'tone

    miles'tone

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Wales, U.K
    Hmm, nice problem you have there.
    Love those late 90's natural Standards, always fancied one at the time. Like new you say? Very tempting as they didn't make them for long really.
    On the other hand, the neck profile on the special is great and the oil finish is sweet too.
    If it was my problem I'd get a set of lightweight tuners (Gotoh Res-O-Lite would be my choice) on that Standard and lose that extra half pound of weight, returning the special for ease. Quite a find to get a natural '90s Standard in new condition you know. That won't happen again!

    My tuppence worth.
     
  10. Hubriser

    Hubriser Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Location:
    Boston MA
    yeah that's the tough part, I had always wanted natural p bass with a maple neck, but then I literally gave up looking I find the honeyburst and love it, then of course the natural p bass shows up! I know this one has a rosewood neck but it still feels great though with the satin finish. As soon as I think I'm leaning towards one, I'll take a look at that beautiful ash grain or I'll feel the satin body of the honeyburst and then I'm right back to square 1. I've actually started polling my friends and family today. So far the honeyburst is up 3 to 1, everyone has picked it though on looks and the 1 vote for the 98 p was my only coworker that actually plays an instrument and knows anything about fenders.
     
  11. miles'tone

    miles'tone

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Wales, U.K
    Good luck with your choice mate. Whichever you decide on, have no regrets and just get on with making new music and enjoy the hell out of it! Always looking forward.

    One thing. If you do go for the natural '98, make sure you go for Labella flats made especially for thru-body stringing as the Standard will be thru-body stringing only right? They're exclusive to www.bassstringsonline.com I believe. Let Jason know you're on talkbass as you'll get a tber's discount.
    Same goes whichever flats you end up needing.
     
  12. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Call me Marc or Marky Potatoes. Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    Location:
    Fresh Meadows (Queens), NY, US
    Nope. I've used standard (thru-bridge) La Bella flats on a through-body P-bass and they have worked just fine. Wrap goes past the nut.
     
  13. d_alexthegreat

    d_alexthegreat

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    The standard is my vote. The wood has been able to settle awhile (I.e. it doesn't think it is a tree anymore!). Also, as a few people have stated, a like new 98 is an EXTREMELY rare find. Whichever one you choose, enjoy it until it turns into sawdust!
     
  14. miles'tone

    miles'tone

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Wales, U.K
    I know some people have got away with it but, as you probably know, Labella specifically state not to (risk of breakage).
    As they are reasonably expensive strings, I see no problem clicking on the option that would send me strings made for a thru-body bridge.
    Don't want to be playing gigs hoping I'm the lucky one whose strings don't break. There's enough variables to playing live as it is.
     
  15. WoodyJ

    WoodyJ Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I'm biased since I bought one of the early honeyburst American Specials when GC had them on sale for $699. My recommendation: Keep it!

    I LOVE this thing. I've been playing bass 40+years and have bought and sold several P-basses over the years. Right now I have seven Precisions, three of which are vintage ones, one is a Custom Shop '59 and another is an early Fullerton '57 AVRI. The honeyburst (after proper strings are in place) holds it's own with any of them.

    I installed a set of my favorite TI Jazz flats on the honeyburst P and did a few minor cosmetic mods. The electronics ate totally stock.

    The Am Special P sounds killer and right now it's my go-to bass as it is very light, resonates well and has the perfect neck profile for me. This one's a definite keeper.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. miles'tone

    miles'tone

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Wales, U.K
    Wow! Nice touches Woody J. That's gorgeous!
     
  17. Hubriser

    Hubriser Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Location:
    Boston MA
    Yeah that's beautiful! Really appreciate all the input from everyone, I've been driving my friends and wife nuts with the debating. I'm really pumped about both but just wish it became a little more obvious a decision for me.
     
  18. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: y'know, rhythm AND blues! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    Location:
    Southern California, SoCal
    Tough call, as both basses are excellent in their own right.

    GAS will get you every time! Speaking of which, PM me if you decide to sell the '98 P. (I already have a Honeyburst!) :p Or you could get a supporting membership and put it on the Classifieds.
     
  19. Humbled

    Humbled Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    Location:
    East of the Sun
    Is the GC Honeyburst Special the same kind of "Special" as the "American Special with the greasebucket circuitry and "Slim C" neck?
     
  20. WoodyJ

    WoodyJ Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Yep, it's a regular American Special but with a "hand-stained honeyburst" finish. It has a very thin satin polyurethane clearcoat over the stain.

    The one's I've handled have been very lightweight and resonate better than the ones with painted bodies.
     
  21. frankenp

    frankenp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Halifax, NS
    Is this a dire situation of needing money? If so, i assume your wife is making some sacrifices as well and not just telling you to sell your gear.
     

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