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Advice needed: Gassing for the Precision vibe but can't play them

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ru32day, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. Hi wise ones (and opinionated ones :)) of TB forums. Hoping you can give me some advice so I can start getting some sleep as the more I research and listen the more confused I'm getting. I'd even settle for "get your head out of your A.... - the problem is you and gear won't fix it!" if that's the right answer.

    I have been playing bass on and off for about five years now, having been introduced to the instrument via a UBass and then a short scale Squier VM Jag. More recently I "graduated" to a full scale Yamaha TRBX304.

    I love my Jag - light, easy to play and I think it sounds amazing (I've strung it with tapewounds). But lately I've been desperate for that Fender Precision vibe. I won't call it a sound (I've read the threads about what is a Precision these days anyway). The best way I can describe it is that hearing a Precision makes me feel like I'm lying on a thick sheepskin rug - supported by woolly softness, but not woolly sound. There's just something warm and wonderful about the vibe that this family of basses gives me and now I can't rest until I achieve "IT". I thought it was a matter of the right scale and a split pick-up in the middle, but the TRBX304, while it is beautifully balanced, great to play and also sounds lovely, also doesn't have "IT" (or maybe it does and I'm just not doing what's required to bring "IT" out of this instrument).

    Significant issue is that chunkier necks and I just don't play nicely together. A few weeks ago I bought my partner one of the redesigned Yamaha BB's and I think it has "IT", but I'm not wholly comfortable playing it (it's close though).

    I've tried various effects and multi-effects, but that hasn't worked out for me either.

    So I'm thinking maybe I need a different instrument. I'm not flush with funds - this is more an act of desperation than a considered decision. So I'm looking at the low end of the market. Often there aren't options for me to demo (eg I had to order the TRBX by mail) and I'm not in the US or Europe so some stuff just isn't readily available here. Here are the options that I'm considering (mostly based on slimmer neck profiles and assuming that a key issue with the TRBX is the active vs a passive pickup), and any specific concerns about them:

    - Squier affinity PJ (concerns - is it really a 1.5" neck? in some ads it says it's 1.625" ... with the affinity quality of electronics, will it "do" the sound I'm looking for, or will it be a bit thin?)
    - Squier Eva Gardner precision bass - the only Squier PBass I could find that definitely has a jazz size neck
    - Squier VM Jaguar in the full scale size (concern - will this sound any more like a P-Bass than the SS version?)
    - G&L Tribute SB-2 (concern - some TB threads indicate the pickup is a lot hotter than a PBass. Does this mean it will sound more like the TRBX than a P-Bass - ie not "IT"?)

    Or is there something I can do with my current instruments and EQ/effects or some other special sauce?

    Anyway, sorry for the length of this - as you can maybe tell, I'm not feeling wholly rational ATM so if anyone can knock some sense into me I'd be grateful.
  2. Skybone


    Jun 20, 2016
    Look for a second hand Fender Aerodyne, P/J pickups with a J style neck.

    Certainly one of the Squier's you mention will fit the bill. If you have a guitar shop locally, then try what they have there. Speak to the folk in the shop & see what they can get hold of, explain the situation and see what they come up with.

    If not, trawl eBay or similar private sales sites, look for second hand J or P/J basses like the Jag. Second hand will get you more for your money.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
  3. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    If you want the P vibe but like a thinner neck, get a G&L with a Jazz nut width and thinner profile. You can custom order neck specs. An L2k is an overall more versatile bass, and will cover the most common P, J, and other tones, but the Tribute is nice too. Never could bond with a baseball bat P neck either. Ibanez makes a few basses with P pickup combinations, very light, super thin necks.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    There are several Precision models that came from the factory with Jazz (smaller and thinner) necks. I don't recall their exact names but someone here will chime in soon with them.

    Also, you can put together a Frankenbass.....meaning you put together separate parts to form your "perfect" bass.

    The middle one is mine. P body and pickup with J neck. In fact, the neck is almost too thin for me. I am thinking of putting it up for trade because of it. But the bass plays and sounds fantastic so I hate to mess with it.

  5. Mammoth_Bass

    Mammoth_Bass Check out my band Mammothor!! Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Sandown, NH
    Try a Fender FSR (Fender Special Run) PJ. Jazz neck with a p body. Even though it has the added J pickup it still can do a great precision sound. GC used site has a few and even one in white which I love... drool

    Anyways here’s mine!

  6. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    A Fender Deluxe Precision has a Jazz neck and active electronics. This is one manufactured in Mexico.
  7. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    Look for a used Peavey Fury or Forum. They have solid P style tone, very slim necks, and are pretty cheap.
  8. Mediocrity Man

    Mediocrity Man Master of Mediocrity

    Apr 11, 2014
    Stillwater, New Jersey
    Order one from Gamma. Joe built a great P bass for me with a Jazz neck. 20258043_10211072572064161_3096282141476958233_n.
  9. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    The Sire P7s come with a J neck by default, FWIW.
  10. Thanks for the responses and the eye candy:)

    Unfortunately, the only Precision Bass with a Jazz neck that Fender sells here is the Deluxe Active Special. As well as the fact that the pickups are active and I'm thinking I need passive, it's $1800 AUD (about $1400 USD) - more than twice the price of the most expensive one on my list and quite out of my league right now.

    **Beginning of marginally related rant** Fender forces all web traffic to its local site here so I can't even look at specs unless Fender is selling them here (or I want to go to the trouble of using a web tunnelling service). I have actually written and complained to them about it, but it clearly fell on deaf ears. **End of rant**

    Had thought maybe a Frankenbass might end up the way to go, but that Eva Gardner Squier seems to have it already done (even though it's a bit of an ugly duckling - not like your pretty babies) so I'd probably go for that in preference to ***botching*** er bolting something together myself. Up until now I've only ever adjusted a trussrod once and that required whisky for courage. OTOH, that sort of job might require more whisky, which can't be a bad thing - right?

    On the subject of my local shop, they are amazing people and are happy to get stuff in for me to try if it's available, but they're a local firm - not like the conglomerates you have over in the US, so if they get something in and it doesn't sell they'll be stuck with it. I go by the motto that if you look after your local music store they'll stay in business to look after you :) so I like to be pretty sure of my ground before I ask them to get anything in. That's why advice from you guys is so helpful.
    DrummerwStrings, Skybone and Oddly like this.
  11. Haroldo

    Haroldo Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2005
    North Shore, MA
    Greetings from the USA! Ainslie was my home for a number of years - I miss it. (Is the musical instrument / amp shop still in the shops?)

    At any rate, I have traveled a not dissimilar road with respect to necks - when I was a sprout, it was give me the big Precision neck or give me nothing. As I've grown older, the narrower Jazz style necks are much more to my liking. I don't know anything about the Squier Eva Gardner, but it might serve as a jumping off point. If the sound isn't to your liking, putting in an after market pickup could liven things up.

    Likewise, I am personally ignorant of the G&L, but I liked my USA L-2500 (since given to my son) and the Tributes come with a very good reputation.

    Good luck, Haroldo
    ru32day likes this.
  12. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    Look for an old Peavey Fury bass. Total P tone and looks with a super slim Peavey neck.
  13. mesaplayer83


    Jun 27, 2017
    This, all day - in fact, about the only thing I don't like about my Fury is the Jazz width neck, but it's a solid P bass that I got dirt cheap:

  14. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Fender has offered P with J necks for decades. In the early 70s price lists it was called the "narrow neck" option. Now it is exclusive to specific models.

    For those into 5 strings, the American Std/American Pro P5 and J5 have the same neck.
    ru32day likes this.
  15. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    I realise it's not at all a budget instrument, but the Lakland Duck Dunn P model has a J-width neck. I don't know, you might find one used?

    ...or a Squier Parts-cision might be the way to go.
  16. Hmmm - they do look nice!

    That shop still exists, but it moved to Fyshwick (that odd part of town that houses brothels in the middle of an industrial area). Not sure what that says about it. haha! The Ainslie Arts Centre is still doing it's thing though - was fortunate to do some backup vocals on a friend's jazz album earlier this year and the album launch was held there. Going right off topic, there were two amazing bass players on the album. One of them (Eric Ajaye) comes from the US and has played with the likes of Barry White and the Pointer Sisters. I was totally starstruck, but he is a truly lovely guy as well as a great musician!

    Don't think they ever sold those over here. There's one on our eBay but it's selling from the US and the postage is the same price as the Bass!
  17. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    Those Squier Eva Gardners are great basses. I owned one. They are essentially Squier Classic Vibe / Matt Freeman basses with jazz necks . Same pickup as Matt Freeman, same bridge, tuners , body as Classic Vibe 60/70 Precisions.

    The looks might not be for everyone but all that matters is if you like it.

    They weren't made that long, grab it while you can. I let mine go only because at the time I had too many black basses and I found a great deal on a fiesta red Classic Vibe 60's Precision that has a slightly less aggressive pickup .

    Throw on a set of Daddario Chromes flatwounds or TI flats and you will have all the warm wool like tones you desire .

    Check this out . He put gaffers tape over the shop emblem. He has about 3 videos showcasing th Eva Gardner bass. This one is my favorite .

    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
    McThud, Inara and ru32day like this.
  18. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Don't know your budget.

    Can you swing this? Buy a used P that you like. Get an aftermarket J neck - not sure what options you have there.
  19. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    The Squier Eva Gardner bass is very nice...it's actually a Classic Vibe bass, their top of the line.
    You probably won't find a better Squier for the money. I'm pretty sure it's been discontinued, so if you find a nice used one or one that's been hanging on the wall for a while, go for it!
    As for the G&L SB-2, I'm a G&L guy, and they're the best bang for the buck in the bass world. I have a USA-made SB-2, and yes, the pickups are hot, but nothing you can't tame...try some flatwounds or some GHS black tapewounds, just put them on my L2000 and they're unbelievable.
    I was ready to buy the nice SB-2 Tribute on reverb, the red one with the maple fretboard or the red one with the black pickguard, but the custom L2000 came along, so...
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
    ru32day and lowdownthump like this.
  20. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    And another by a different player .

    ru32day likes this.

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