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A decision

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by adamlunt, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. adamlunt


    Oct 18, 2012
    Birmingham, UK
    I can't decide whether to pay £1000 for a 2012 MIA Standard Precison or £1400 for a well played and worn sunburst '76 P.

    Both feel like great basses. The 76 being the better sounding bass (quite aggressive) while the MIA is a better feeling bass and is a touch cheaper.

    I'm into the older basses because they have unique character and sounds, but my main concern about the '76 is that its good-condition 77-78 money.
  2. ncapone


    Nov 17, 2010
    The 76 is an investment that will keep going up if you ever decide to sell it. And besides, how often do you come across those?
  3. adamlunt


    Oct 18, 2012
    Birmingham, UK
    Its hardly investor condition though. A lot of wear and tear (36 years old I guess)
  4. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    DISCLAIMER #1: I am the owner (and lover) of a new model (2008) MIA Std Precision. That being said, you say you prefer the feel of the new P and the sound of the old P. My opinion is that there are several things you can do to change the sound of a bass that's "almost there" sound-wise, but not much you can do to change the feel of a bass. New strings - flats, perhaps - and/or a different pickup may well put the new bass where you want it, sound-wise. But in the end it's your decision, not mine. There is a lot to be said in favor of vintage P bass mojo.

    I realize this is just the opinion of one guy who has owned two P basses over the years, but the '71 P bass I owned back in the day never felt as good as my 2008. All I did to my '08 was ditch the Fender roundwounds in favor of some TI Jazz Flats. No pickup change needed.

    DISCLAIMER #2: All the usual - IMHO, YMMV, etc.
  5. bostonasphalt2

    bostonasphalt2 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2007
    Field of man, MA
    It will still hold its value IMHO
  6. adamlunt


    Oct 18, 2012
    Birmingham, UK
    I'm still not convinced... any more opinions?
  7. 78fenderjazz


    Oct 25, 2010
    I would probably go vintage. I love a nicely broken in bass and there are some options to improve the feel (different strings, professional set-up, frets redressed etc...) and an older bass will hold its value better and start to increase in value sooner than the newer one (beat-up or not)

    That said if it is unforgivably uncomfortable it not worth it as a player.
  8. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    I'd go for the 76. I love old Fenders. Maybe it just needs a good setup from a tech?

    My 75 P is the coolest P bass around town. Plays like a DREAM.

    You can always sell the 76 later and you won't lose any money on it, and snatch yourself up a 2012 P at ANY time.

    But it would be harder to flip the 2012 P for what you paid when you find yourself gassing for the 76...

    If the 76 is a good deal, snatch it up!
  9. adamlunt


    Oct 18, 2012
    Birmingham, UK
    All great points, however its gonna be a working instrument. I'd hate to end up losing or damaging a vintage instrument on the road.
  10. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I agree. I have several 1970s Fenders, a 2008 Precision and a 2011 Jazz. The newer basses actually sound and play better. The 1970s were a tough time for Fender due to budget cuts by CBS. There were some pretty bad Fenders made at that time but there were also some very good ones. I recently read an article that stated that the 2008 and newer Fenders are some of the best basses Fender has ever built.
  11. Having cut my teeth on vintage 70's P's, in the 80's, I have to agree with the OP. I have tried the 2008 & newer models, when shopping, and have been quite impressed. Of course, I "graduated" to multiple-pickup instruments, in the 90's, and have a healthy love for J basses to this day....even if the ones that I currently have are G&L's.
  12. The new Fenders play and sound great but for me there is just something about an old Fender that I cant put my finger on.
    You mention the sound being better on the '76, and I will concur. The older Ps have a more aggressive sound and I like this - +1 there.
    As far as playability go there are heaps of things you can do to a bass to make it play better - new bridge, new lightweight tuners, fret work, pro set up etc etc. If you replace an old genuine part just make sure the replaement doesn't need extra drilling/routing etc. and keep the old part just in case you sell it down the track.
    As far as damaging a vintage instrument - think of it this way. It's obviously not pristione any way. Scratches and player wear are probably already there. A few more aren't going to be apparent staright away, whereas on a new bass they will. Plus if you really damage the bass (i.e. broken neck) then it's just as disappointing to damage a new bass or old bass.
    In my opinion the older basses have a chunkier neck, which for me is a positive.
    Another plus is the vintage instrument is cheaper!
    Lastly I have a '78 P Bass(absolutely stock) and a '06 Frank bello sig that I have modded with Dimarzio pickups and a warmoth neck. The Bello is a cracking bass and I love it, but there is just something about the look and sound of the '78 that just makes me smile and nod when I'm playing, even though it is a little less comfortable to play than the Bello.
    Now this is all only my 2c but I vote for the '76.
    Have fun with your decision - best part is which ever way you go you have made a great choice!


    Jun 20, 2011
    and then there's bragging rights about owning the 76...
  14. geoff_in_nc


    Dec 13, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    Not to get all philosophical on you or anything, but....


    I've got to say this works for me....

    (and for the record, I gathered the older one spoke to you more... go with what speaks to you.)
  15. pocketgroove


    Jun 28, 2010
    I'm not sure if someone's made the point already, but you can pick up a 2012 American Standard anytime. They're not going anywhere. However, the '76 will come and go, and you won't have another chance.
  16. wilfredes


    Oct 11, 2012
    You can always sell the 76 later and you won't lose any money on it, and snatch yourself up a 2012 P at ANY time.
  17. adamlunt


    Oct 18, 2012
    Birmingham, UK
    I think I'm gonna get the new one.I'm digging the new Jade finish. And tort would look classy on it.

    Thanks guys.
  18. Get the 2012....excellent upgrades, and (usually) well made.
  19. mmoore1


    Nov 15, 2012
    I have a 2012 Jade Pearl Metallic and I get compliments on it constantly.
  20. mp40smg


    Aug 11, 2010
    Worcester, Ma.
    I would opt for the one that YOU think plays and sounds better.

    That being said..

    If it were me, I would most likely go for the new Fender. Having grown up with 70s fenders, I just don't see magic there. And IMO the now fenders are substantially better in all aspects from the 70s (especially mid 70s) Fenders.