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80's pbasses any good?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fruit&herb man, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. fruit&herb man

    fruit&herb man

    Dec 15, 2006
    found an 80's pbass for the abaout the same price of a new highway one p. It's dated between 82 and 85. Tried to search, but didn't fint much. How is this period of fenders regarded around here?

    heres a few pics:
  2. jgsbass


    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    Better off with the Highway 1. Somewhere around that timeframe, Fender didn't even have an American factory producing basses. Early 80's Fenders are not the best work or most desireable goods Fender ever made.
  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I find the necks uncomfortable on maple board Fender instruments of the early 80's. The profile comes to a fairly sharp edge at the fretboard.

    Also, those years, depending upon the model, Fender used some fairly non-standard parts and replacements can be difficult. I had an 83 strat that had L & J shaped bridge saddles that were made of cheap pot-metal that rotted away and good luck in finding replacements...
  4. Craig_S

    Craig_S Inactive

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    Some of them are VERY good. I once had an '83 "Strat" I should have never sold. I haven't found one, since, that sounds as good. Think Stevie ray Vaughan.

    If I'm not mistaken, 1985 is when the Fender employees bought the company from CBS and made changes for the better. As I recall, some of the parts used during the transition were dated earlier than their actual manufacture.

    My point is you have to try it. It might be a real winner.
  5. fruit&herb man

    fruit&herb man

    Dec 15, 2006
    Thanks. Thats what I suspected...

    Thats the problem, the bass i located at the other side of the county, so trying it is out of the qustion :meh:
  6. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    It depends on who you ask. Those who actually own them and have experience with them, like them. Out of the 30 basses that I own, my 83 Jazz bass is my favorite.
  7. Craig_S

    Craig_S Inactive

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    It will be at least as good as a Highway One. I'm sure of it.
  8. Bone


    Oct 28, 2006
    I've owned 7 and currently own 4 IMHO the 82 to 84 basses were some of the best of the CBS years post 60s. The early 80s saw a lot of retooling and new management(kind of the same thing if you think about it). The tolerances were tightened up and my American standards from 83(3 ps and a jazz) are Keepers. Light weight and well constructed. Parts are no problem on the American Standard basses. You have to like the wide C neck if your looking at the P basses from 83. Jazz basses from 83 sport the A neck found on all Jazz basses.

    Burning Skies 83 Strat was a whole different animal with it's top loading free flyte bridge and 2 knob pickup system.I own one of these Strats and the neck does feel odd, it has almost no shoulder at all and is a sharp D shape with high frets it take a little getting used to. Sounds great though.

    I've owened 4 of the Elite basses, all were quite heavy and if the active goes down I think you might have a hard time with repair or replacement.
  9. Well it says Fender on it, so if the price is reasonable and you take the plunge, you chould be able to recover the losses if you decide to sell it. I am no Fender history expert, but the common theme of Fenders since they began was to some extent or another there were goodo nes and bad ones. Gratned that ration was not as good during certain eras than other ones, but there are some real gems of CBS basses and there are bound to be some turd pre cbs Fenders out there. They all have resale though.
  10. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006
    My experience with that era of Fender was actually pretty good IMO.

    Certainly better than a pile of 70's Fenders that I had played or owned.

    The late CBS era stuff is overall pretty decent. Fender was starting to get it's act together again IMO in those years.
  11. Funkinthetrunk

    Funkinthetrunk Registered User Supporting Member


    I have nothing but love for mine. It's a maple board dot neck, it has one of the best necks I've ever felt. Weighs a ton...but I like them that way. And it sounds great!
  12. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Overall, the early 80's instruments have been really nice. Bill Shultz took over as production manager. He shut down the line and retooled, retrained, and completely turned production around because of what slop went on in the late 70's.
    So up until 84, the orignal Fender factory was still making instruments. Fender sold in Jan 85 and no longer had a factory for about a year.
  13. Craig_S

    Craig_S Inactive

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    As I remember the story: The employees who bought Fender in '85, then assembled instruments from the warehoused parts until they had a place to run production.

    I have it in a book somewhere. Not sure which one.