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American Fenders Questions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassist4dalord, Feb 22, 2008.

S-1 Switching: Love it or hate it?

This poll will close on May 10, 2023 at 12:10 AM.
  1. Love It

    7 vote(s)
  2. Hate It

    21 vote(s)
  3. It's Okay

    30 vote(s)
  4. No opinion

    25 vote(s)
  1. I have some questions about the late-model American Series Basses, not the 2008 American Standards.

    1. S-1 Switching? I know it does series/paralell, but how does that affect the SOUND?

    2. Why do so many players dislike the S-1 Feature?

    3. Does String-Thru-Body increase Low B tension?

    If you could answer these to the best of you ability, not just opinion, that'd be great. Aesthetically, I LOVE the 2008 American Standard, especially a Sunburst/Rosewood Jazz V :D
    Thanks! ;)
  2. Hate it. Poorly designed switches tend to stick with regular use. The additional sound option is OK, but not all that usable on the jazz. IHMO it's the dumbest thing ever thought of for a P bass, totally useless, castrates the sound of a P bass. I've completely avoided buying MIA S1 products since they first came out. The few players I know who had S1 equipped basses (Jazz only) all have converted to standard wiring or traded the S1 basses for Highway 1 models or non-Fender basses.
  3. bassbrock


    Feb 20, 2007
    Callahan, FL
    Maybe I can pick up a used one for cheap. Did they make a 5 string version?
  4. I have seen (and plan on doing myself) the S-1 being tuned into a mute switch.....
  5. YCBass

    YCBass Supporting Member

    Aug 29, 2007
    I voted Love It eventhough that's a little extreme - I really like it. I have an 04 J, I think the S-1 is useful - it's not the main selling point of the bass but it's nice to have yet another option to your ever versatile J. I could do without, in fact I rarely use it but like I said it's nice that it's there - and since it doesn't affect the regular tone then it's a true plus.

    I do agree that the P bass does not benefit from it, making a J sound fatter is great but making a P sound thinner I just don't get.... IMHO.

    Fit and finish, I really dig mine... There is quite a big Fender-bashing culture going on here at TB - it's been often said that the MIA's (or Fender in general) are incosistent, maybe I just got lucky cause mine is great!
  6. ShirazBop

    ShirazBop Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2006
    Greensboro, NC
    Never used one or intend to on any of my current or future P's...
  7. Hawaii Islander

    Hawaii Islander Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2007
    Rio Rico, AZ
    I had it on my Fender Strat. It may be much more useful on guitar than bass. It did increase the tonal pallet of the guitar. The switch itself worked just fine.
  8. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    Lots like the S-1 on a Jazz, and many like it on a P too, for slapping. I have it on one of my P basses, but personally never use it. It sounds just like a P bass when you don't use it, so I don't have a problem with it.

    On the J, it supposedly helps it sound more like a P, and vice versa. On the P, I find it just sounds thin, no balls.

    As for low B tension - these basses are all 4-string, aren't they?
  9. K-Funk


    Sep 24, 2007
    Auburn Hills, MI
    I agree, on my 06 P-bass, all the S1 switch does is kill your low end and output. and it sticks, a lot. I plan on emanipating my bass of it soon and just putting in some good standard electronics and maybe a Lindy Fralin pickup. Besides the electronics, I'm really satisfied with the now-done-with American Series; I think I'm one of about 9 people that actually dig the Butterscotch Blonde finish.......

    But if I could get another P-bass, it'd totally be an Olympic White American Standard :D
  10. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I have a 2003 Jazz and 2004 Precision, both with the S-1 switch. I think it's great on the Jazz, because it provides a thicker, heavier sound that's useful in some situations, both live and recording. It doesn't sound just like a Precision, but it's a move in that direction.

    I think it's largely useless on the Precision because, as others said, it thins out the tone. I think it would be good on a fretless Precision though, so I had my tech add a series/parallel switch to my project fretless P. And it could be useful in some recording situations.

    Both my S-1 basses now have Lindy Fralin pickups. I have the noiseless Split-Jazz, and for some reason these dilute the effect of the S-1 on the J. I get almost the same sound by rolling off the volume on the bridge pickup about a third. The Fralin P pickup has only two conductor wiring, so the S-1 works no longer. I don't miss it on either bass.

    Players seem to oppose the S-1 on two grounds: (1) they experience mechanical problems with the switch, like sticking; or (2) they just don't like the additional tonal options. I can understand the first objection, though I've never had problems with mine. I fail to comprehend the second. If you don't like the tone with the switch engaged, don't use it!

    I don't know whether stringing through the body increases B string tension. I know Mike Lull makes his fivers with string-through on the B string only, because he thinks it adds clarity. Maybe the sharper break angle over the saddle helps, but I don't think this would add tension. I don't know, but I think other factors like bridge solidity and neck rigidity probably have more to do with it, which I think explains why less expensive fivers tend to have such sloppy B strings.

    And I should find out this afternoon how it is on the 2008 American Standard Jazz V. According to FedEx tracking, my Candy Cola/maple bombshell is "out for delivery." :hyper:
  11. Piedro


    Jan 23, 2001
    Montréal, Qc, Canada
    Endorsing Aguilar Amp product.
    On a P-bass, hate-it...

    on a Jazz bass, loves it! but it doesn't make the jazz sound like a P at all...
  12. Mr Venus

    Mr Venus Guest

    Aug 23, 2005
    Good feature on a Jazz. Seems robust enough to me.

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