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3 Ps for low $$$$$$$$$

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by marwady, Apr 8, 2006.

  1. marwady

    marwady Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Northern Michigan
    Hello all,

    I have been working on this "project" on and off for a while and it is almost done, thought I would share. Here is some background:

    Over the past 30 years, I have owned a lot of basses, including many Fender Ps. Among them was a '62 White/Rosewood, a mid '70s Natural Ash/Rosewood/Fretless, a mid '70s Natural Ash/Maple, and a '72 Sunburst/Rosewood, among others. The '72 is now in Chicago being used by my nephews (they'e playing the same music I did back in the '70s!!).

    Over the past couple of years, I have been in quite a few different music stores playing what they had in stock and came to the conclusion that the MIM Fenders were all over the scale in the way of QC. However, if you play enough of them, you can come across some very nice ones.

    What I have been able to do is to put together 3 great basses that give me everything I am looking for in a Fender P and then some. With a little wheeling and dealing, I also did it for about $950.00, around the price of a good American P. See link below:


    Here is what I ended up with:

    • A 2003 MIM Precision Special P/J (CA Red/Alder) on which I swapped necks to a MIM Fretless Jazz, swapped the stock J pup to a SD STK-J1 (dead quiet), and a blend pot.
    • A 2002 MIM Precision (Natural/Ash, a GC Special Edition, I believe) which I swapped the P Special Maple FB neck to for just that little extra bite. I also added a Gotoh bridge and a stock American P pup.
    • A 2003 MIM Precision (Arctic White/Alder) which I swapped the neck to the GC Special Ed.'s Rosewood FB. I replaced the stock pup with a Fender Original P Bass re-issue pup. This has flats and has a that Motown/Jamerson thump.

    A few notes:

    I love the sound of a fretless P, it has a monster tone but, it lacks that Jaco growl. I find that the SD Jazz bridge pup and blend pot give me the growl and a lot of other options (without noise!!).

    The GC Special Ed. had a beautiful, ringing tone unplugged, but the pup was awful. A used, stock American pup was all that was needed, great classic '70s P tone. The maple neck gives it that last bit of bark I love. Incidently, the CA red P/J had a killer P pup, so go figure.

    The white P was assembled from parts I had left over after I sold off what I did not need. I needed a body so I took a chance on a nice MIM Alder body on the 'bay and it turned out to be a good one. I added the RI pup and that was it. It is currently strung with GHS Brite Flats and they are almost but not quite right. I have a set of Labella and Fender flats on the way, should do the trick.

    No, these are not "collectable" basses but, I would put these up against any American versions for tone and playability. As I said before, I have had a lot of P Basses and these compare nicely.

    By the way, that '72 in Chicago has nothing on these MIMs, for those of you who thought I was nuts to let my nephews use it. Plus, I love to hear them tell their buddies about the cool bass they got from their uncle!
  2. aftershock


    Apr 26, 2005
    they're beautiful. i like mim fenders, seeing as i can't afford to by mia's. even if i had the money......well, i'm married and my wife just don't understand.:bag:
  3. 311fan

    311fan Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2004
    Salt Lake City
    Awesome, I have been gassin for one of those special edition precisions for awhile.
  4. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    That's a very nice collectin of Precisions. :) Always good to have all your bases covered!
  5. My personal favorite is the Natural Ash one. I've got a thing for natural basses, no matter how many people say they look like coffie tables. Personally (and this is just me) I'd swap out the stock white pickguard for a tourtise shell one, like George Porter Jr.'s. I'd do the same on the white one, only make that PG black.

    Now, you have one more experiment to do. Buy a P bass and swap out the neck for a Modulus P bass neck that they make to fit them. The Genisis necks that are made out of wood with a carbon fiber spine. That is something that surely hasnt been tried and posted on by anyone here at TB.
  6. marwady

    marwady Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Northern Michigan
    I actually have a black pickguard on the way. Not sure if it will go on the Natural or White.
  7. marwady

    marwady Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Northern Michigan
    Happy Easter All,

    Got the LaBella 760FS Deep Talkin' Bass on Saturday and that was the ticket for my Motown P. Nice thump and very balanced. They do have a bit more tension (guages are 045, 065, 085, 105) so a truss rod tweak was neccesary. This is not the Jamerson set, those would be to heavy for my taste.

    By the way, got them at http://www.bigcitystring.com.

    I had a little trouble finding them in stock but these guys had them and shipped quick.
  8. marwady

    marwady Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Northern Michigan
    Hello all,

    If you read this thread, you will see that I have been going for a true, vintage, Motown thump from my MIM P bass.

    After re-stringing with Labella flats, I thought I had it. But after playing awhile, I still was missing that real thud that I grew up listening to (you know, Bernadette, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, etc.) :)

    The finishing touch was the mute!! I found a bridge ashtray at a local music store and stuck some 1" wide weather stripping inside and shazaam!!, the ghost of Jamerson appeared (the sound, not quite the chops!). This thing thumps like a flat tire on a '62 Cadillac!

    Give it a shot on your P bass for that Motown set.

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