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American Special P vs MiM Classic 50s

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sideFX, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. Flabass


    Aug 11, 2008
    St. Petersburg
    I personally would buy the American Special.
  2. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    May 16, 2012
    Louisville KY
    Neither. i'd buy a used Am standard with HSC for same or less than the Special will cost you new. Or maybe a Lakland Skyline P. Or...man there are so many options in that price range if you go used.
  3. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Used Highway One and the pickups of your choice, FTW - '06 or later... Nitro'd body, poly'd neck with rods - can't beat 'em for the money, IMO...

    Here's one I did up recently - came in at $500 total, by the time I had exactly what I wanted:




    - georgestrings
  4. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    + 1 on a used highway or even better a ''used'' RW :)
  5. Rodslinger

    Rodslinger Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2013
    RVA & then some
    +1 & I also just played both those basses back to back to include a used USA jazz standard that I was debating putting on layaway at GC. The used USA Jazz standard was better than both the other basses. I picked up a used mint condition 1995 fender precision special cowpoke which just happend to be 1/2 the price of the Used jazz & played/sounded far better than the two basses you are looking at.
  6. sideFX


    Feb 14, 2013
    38.02 N , 23.69 E
    HW1 is not an option, can't find any in the EU.

    Between those 2 which one is considered to be a better build and has better tone?
  7. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
  8. sideFX


    Feb 14, 2013
    38.02 N , 23.69 E
    Just to clarify I'm after a more aggressive rather than smooth P bass tone, proper for stoner/grunge/alternative tunes.

    After checking a few YT vids it seems that the Am Special has a bit more bite to it.
  9. I love how people always come up with options that aren't on the list. -_-

    Build & tone are subjective. It really depends on what YOU want.

    Personally, having owned BOTH, I'd get the Classic 50's P-bass. It's a work horse & that vintage tint maple neck is to die for!
    Tone was great right out the gate, and has LOTS of bite with the DR DDTs I threw on it, setup is easy and it's light. :)
  10. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    The list was pretty limited - what's the harm in making helpful suggestions, if someone thinks they're much better??? Truth is, I never recommend buying any bass new, including Fenders...

    Regarding the Classic 50s P - nice bass, but it's nut width is 1.75", which is a deal breaker for some - myself included...

    - georgestrings
  11. Mark4


    Oct 21, 2007
    Classic '50s, because I prefer its specs.
  12. Are you sure about that? The 50s P I had was the same nut width as my MIM Standard, and it's 1 5/8". Aside from that, you all must have REALLY small hands. I find Jazz necks to be stupidly skinny...like for a toddler skinny.
  13. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    I have a Classic '50s. It definitely has a 1.75" nut width. (Currently wearing tort, but it IS a Classic '50s.) Excellent tone, if the 1.75" isn't a deal breaker...

  14. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    one easy way to make the neck feel small is to get used to playing a five string, lol. my 86 P feels like a toothpick after my jazz V....Personally I like the red one just from an aesthetic standpoint. Even saying that they are like children, I love them all the same...
  15. keithbroussard

    keithbroussard Supporting Member

  16. sideFX


    Feb 14, 2013
    38.02 N , 23.69 E
    Thanks for the feedback so far, one question though for those who own the 50s/roadworn P, is it possible to adjust the truss rod with a screw driver without taking off the neck?

    Has anyone tried lower tunings on it? Does it handle well or it needs constant adjustment? I'm considering C standard tuning for Kyuss/QotSA/Sabbath stuff and the screw at the heel of the neck is kind of putting me off...
  17. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    I took the specs right from Fender's site...

    Regarding hand size - I play 5ers no prob, but just don't care for 1.75" 4 string necks, which isn't uncommon, AFAIK... Sure, I can play one, but wouldn't buy one - I prefer my P basses to be 1 and 5/8"...

    - georgestrings
  18. The necks on the 50s/RW as super stable & will take lower tunings very easily.

    You can't get a screwdriver in without loosening the neck, though. Not really a big deal, as I only needed to adjust the neck once. They're THAT stable.

    One thing you can do is to just route a small channel in the body to gain access, and do the same with the PG. Then just put some touchup paint on.

    It's 1/8" difference. Is there really that big of an adjustment needed? It's not like we're talking about a G&L L-2000 here. lol Those things are virtually 2" wide.

    I play 5 strings primarily and can hop back & forth from my Jag 5, to my ReBop5, to my P-bass without any adjustment issues. Now, put a Jazz bass in my hands and we have a problem. They're unnaturally small and I really don't see how anyone with normal hands can find them comfortable, unless they're used to 6string guitars.
  19. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Whatever, dude - my 5 strings are 1.75", but I don't care for the same width on a 4 string, and I have read that many others are the same way... I've been playing long enough to know what I like and what I don't like...

    Is it that hard to comprehend that some people may not like the same thing that you do???

    - georgestrings

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