1982 basses with P-style pickup?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mattpnolan, Aug 20, 2017.

  1. mattpnolan

    mattpnolan Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    New Jersey
    As many others here have done, I've been thinking about a birth-year bass that I could get an get good use out of.

    I think something with a P would be the most versatile bass for me, personally, so that I could get really good use out of it and pass it down to my kids as a useful bass for the foreseeable future. :)

    So, I welcome any recommendations/posts about 1982 basses with a P-style pickup.

    Obviously, there were Fender Precision basses (the Elite with the double-P looks so cool), but I like the idea of getting something more unique (and maybe not so expensive). :D

    Thank you!!
  2. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Walnut Precision Special, 1982-83. Unique but classic.
  3. mattpnolan

    mattpnolan Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    New Jersey
    From eBay/internet search:

    BC Rich Mockingbird
    Washburn Force
    Ibanez Roadster
    Yamaha BB
    Ovation Ultra Bass
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  4. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Congrats, you were born during the absolute nadir of American Fender quality! 1982 was right before Fender was purchased from CBS by the current ownership that turned it around into a company that cared about its products again.

    Ibanez was making several really nice varieties of P Bass copies in both P and p/j configurations. Do a search for Ibanez Roadstar basses - you can still find them for $300 to $400 in good shape.
    sbpark, Old Blastard, jubl and 3 others like this.
  5. Rabidhamster


    Jan 15, 2014
    You're thinking of 1979. 1982 was Dan Smith and good stuff
    83 very strange
    Then a very very short break followed by basically the American Standard we know today
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  6. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    What is the origin of all this 'year of birth' bass stuff? Do you all wear year-of-birth clothes or drive year-of-birth cars? I recall nothing about my year of birth, and don't aspire to owning anything from it, either. I also believe instruments are better made today than they ever were before.
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  7. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    CBS owned fender until 1985.

    1983 is generally regarded as the peak of CBS crapulence, which is when they did the notorious two knob strat with the pick guard mounted output jaxk.
    NoNoise likes this.
  8. Rabidhamster


    Jan 15, 2014
    1982 is generally regarded as excellent quality for any time period, when they were getting their act together working with Dan Smith. Many would say in an attempt to make the companies acquisition more appealing.
    1983 instruments outside the reissues were really weird and poorly received, even now, but they weren't poorly made, they're quite decent for what they are. Don't get me wrong I hate that '83 strat!
    The '79 anniversary is probably consistently the worst year for Fender, weight issues, tooling/neck pocket issues, finish issues, etc. but it had that classic look

    I'd love to agree, and people would believe us. I'd snatch up Fullerton reissues all day long lol. But alas it won't work.
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  9. That would be cool to have a "birth year" bass!! Prices are not too bad for your year. I just priced some p bass for my year 1970...yikes...$3500!!

    Anyway...do it!!!
    NoNoise likes this.
  10. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Just about anything coming out of Japan at that time was very well-made.

    Ibanez Roadster and Roadstar II basses are really, really good in particular, but others' suggestions of Hondo and Vantage and Yamaha are fine choices, too.

    We all liked to make fun of Hondo back then but they were actually pretty respectable instruments!
    NoNoise and Root 5 like this.
  11. mattpnolan

    mattpnolan Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    New Jersey
    For me, it was having kids and thinking of passing down an instrument with more meaning than, "This was just one of the many good basses I bought while you were a kid." It is silly, really, as they will get their own rad instruments, if they are musicians, as I hope they are... but whatevs!
    J_Bass likes this.
  12. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Not P but a 1982 Fender should be a Performer. Very unique model representative of the time.
    Otherwise you can get a BC Rich, Jackson/Charvel/Kramer, Hamer, a lot of Matsumoku models.
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  13. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    The Performers were really cool, and few basses say "I'm from the 80s!!!!!" without being a heavy metal monstrosity quite like that one.

    Were the Performers Japanese made?

    A Hamer Cruise Bass from that era would be a cool choice too.
    J_Bass and NoNoise like this.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    +1 for the Hamer Cruisebass. That was when Hamer was at the peak of its awesomeness.
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  15. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    BC Rich Eagle with double P pickups.
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  16. MIMike


    Jan 1, 2013
    West MI
    All through the early 80's I kind of jonesed for an Ibanez Musician. Ever since I saw Sting playing a fretless one I thought they were cool. They made them from the late 70's (78 or 79 I think) for about 8 or 10 years. Not mine, nor any endorsement of this particular one, but this Reverb listing is a nice example of what I'm talking about (and notice the modified P style pickup in the neck position): Ibanez Musician MC940 Fretless 1982 Dark Walnut - Neck Thru
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  17. RobTheRiot


    Aug 31, 2016
    las Vegas, nv
    My vote would have to go with anything Ibanez from that year. The Musician series or Roadsters are a bit higher end, but even the Blazer is a great P style bass, and still very underpriced in my opinion.
    During that era I believe Ibanez was making just about the best basses out there, better than Fender or Gibson at least. The public has started to become aware of what great deals these are, so prices have been rising, but on the low end you can probably get a great condition Blazer for <$500, and a great Roadster or Musician for < or right around $1000.
    For a birth year bass I think any of these would be a great player, plus a bit more unique than some of the other big brand models.
    Apologies if I sound like a fanboy... but I guess I kind of am. Love my old Ibby's!
    Good luck w/ your search!!
    ajkula66 likes this.
  18. I used to drive a "birth year" car for many, many years and still miss it dearly, although it wouldn't have a great life - not to mention that it would be quite expensive to maintain - in my current geographic location.

    My problem is that there's a couple of years from a different period of my life that I have no recollection of, and can only rely on what others tell me...and the number of those "others" is diminishing at an extremely depressing pace...

    To me it's neither a deal-maker nor a deal-breaker. I bought a "birth year" guitar (not a bass) earlier this year because I liked it. It was only when I brought it home and ran the actual serial that I realized that it was as old as I am, give or take a couple of months.

    In some respects, yes. I still prefer mostly older stuff, though, but to each their own.

    Back to the topic at hand: I owned a Walnut Special P-Bass that I bought brand new in '83. Lovely instrument and the best-built Fender I've ever owned. These are quite pricey nowadays, not that they were cheap back then.

    I'd join the "Ibanez recommendation club" in all honesty, especially if one is on a somewhat limited budget. Their stuff from this era is pretty hard to fault and I'd argue that it's likely built better than anything Ibanez-branded before or after it, at least on average.

    My $0.02 only...
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
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  19. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
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