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Anyone Get One of the "New" '51RI Precisions?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bongolation, Jan 30, 2003.


  1. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Looked back a few pages and hadn't seen any reference to them.

    Seems Fender is once again selling an export (slightly downgraded) version of the FJ '51RI. After used ones were going for as much as $1000 on eBay, I suppose they decided to bring them back.

    Store prices have already been reported as low as $549.

    Anyone here get one yet? What do you say?

    Here's the Fender page...
     
  2. NOLABASS

    NOLABASS

    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    I've been looking really hard at the Sting '54 model. I got a quote of $500 on one. I got to have that old school funk bass thang in my collection. I was trying to find out more about the '51, but I am pretty sure I'll like the profiled body better. I saw a limited release of the '54 on the web sight. Paisley and some blue flowery thing. The paisley was kinda cool maybe. But black, sunburst, or blond would be better. Wish I could get a Sting without the "Sting". I'm hoping GC will dump their stash of 128 they have now for inventory purposes. I want one now for $500, and if it goes down even a little, I'm there.
     
  3. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    MF sold a bunch of Stings last year for $449.99, delivered, and I got one. That's the best price I've seen on new ones.

    The list on the Sting and the '51RI are the same and I expect we'll see some decent prices on the '51 eventually. They're already turning up for $549.

    I think the blue/pink jobs are the same as the Sting except for finish and hated inlay. I can't find them on the Fender site to make sure.

    The Sting is sold in Japan without the inlay and with a better pickup as a '54RI. Stings as we know them are also sold in Japan, but for a lot more than here for some inscrutable reason.

    The Sting and the '51RI are identical except for the contoured body and inlay. When I was looking for a '51RI a couple of years ago, Dude Barr told me to forget it and just get a Sting, that I'd be happier with it. I did get the Sting and I think he's probably right. I'll get a '51RI eventually, once I see a real deal.

    These are very frustrating instruments to set up for someone who is used to more modern gear. The '51 bridge is often difficult to intonate, and the strings have to be very long (37" from ball to step-down) to work with these bodies, with their shallower vintage ferrules.

    The pickups are very vulnerable to damage and you cannot rest your thumb on them without eventually having the top break off, destroying the pickup.

    I love the neck on them, though, and the sound is interesting.
     
  4. Funkster

    Funkster

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I own a beautiful Sting 54 RI but the new models on the Fender site are sweet.
    How about they brought back the Paisley and Flower finishes. I wouldn't mind one;)
     
  5. NOLABASS

    NOLABASS

    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    Hello, my name is NOLABASS and I'm a bass-a-holic. It's been ten minutes since my last bass purchase, dammit. I went back to GC to check the $500 quote out and play the "sting" thing. Just can't get over it, merciless punch and funk. This one is soooo light. I literally held it buy the nut and pointed directions with it. A collector friend was there and said he had handled about 10 of them at shows and this one was the lightest one he had seen. I can't get over the growl, if I dig in it just gets better. Probably new bass dementia but I had to do it. Might get my phone turned off in the mean time, but I had to lay it away for a month. Please tell me I done good! So much shame.....:oops:
     
  6. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I have a real love/hate thing going with my Sting, largely over the bridge, which I won't give up on. The Sting is a real nosebleed to set up properly, but it plays really nicely.

    The new Paisley & Floral '54s are basswood bodied and don't have the hated "Sting" inlay, but are otherwise nothing but the Sting in girly drag.

    Everything else is the same.

    Check links for nice pictures!
     
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I want one of those paisleys so bad!!!
     
  8. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I dunno, brother. The question is always, "Can I make this look work for me?"

    To be frank, I'm not so sure! :)

    Maybe it's right for someone else.
     
  9. NOLABASS

    NOLABASS

    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    Well to tell the truth, this will be a beater bass for me, I have 2 Laklands that I love, but I needed a workhorse bass that I can bring to jams and gigs in clubs where I might not have an ax if I leave it unattended for long. Theres a lot of insturment theft here. The bridge will be kept safely in storage, replaced with a workable one. Does anybody know where I might get a retrofit pickguard? The warped plastic one has to go too.
     
  10. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I don't know. That's a good question. Someone asked me about this before, but I couldn't find anything. I've seen them aftermarket for "Telecaster basses," but none specifically for these, and I don't know how close the match would be. My own move would be to stick the warped one back down with a few drops of hot candle wax, which works great for that sort of thing and comes off later if you want. I don't see dropping $50 for a custom pickguard for a $500 bass.
     
  11. NOLABASS

    NOLABASS

    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    Yea you right. Might just take it off and try to hide the screw holes. Warmoth has them with a big 'ol disclaimer along with it. Bottom line is its a good playing great sounding $500 workhorse.
     
  12. NOLABASS

    NOLABASS

    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    Thanks for all the info Bongolation, especially since I unconsciously stole your '51 RI thread and turned it into a self serving Sting thread. Sorry man. I read somewhere there is some routing under the pickguard. That correct?
     
  13. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    > I read somewhere there is some routing under
    > the pickguard. That correct?

    There's a non-traditional relief routed for adjusting the trussrod without having pull the neck (thank heavens!) and a small route midway between the control plate and the pickup.

    We're talking about the Sting, right?
     
  14. NOLABASS

    NOLABASS

    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    Yes, the Sting. The real question is how does it look with the pickguard removed? The grain on the one I have in lay away is great, and the pickguard is warped at the top. Thought about pulling it off and put a little color in the screw holes to hide them. Do-a-ble?
     
  15. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    You'll have a good-sized oblong hole exposed between the control plate and the pickup.

    While some of the other '51-'54RI types don't have this, I suppose they figured it simplified production to rout this slot and it was going to be covered by a pickguard anyway.

    The CIJ Fender "reissues" do not strictly follow vintage Fender production, but rather rationalize it somewhat. Normally this is a good thing, especially if you don't like pulling necks to adjust trussrods which you must do on nearly all vintage Fender instruments.
     
  16. NOLABASS

    NOLABASS

    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
  17. I put an American Deluxe bridge on my Sting to improve its intonation. It worked fine on mine. I've heard from some others that they had a problem with this mod.

    I've heard a lot of hoopla about these basses, Sting's '51RI's, etc. After I had owned my Sting for a while and gotten over the "new-bass-euphoria", I found that it really didn't improve my arsenal. My HotRod P-Bass can do anything that the Sting can do and a whole lot more. I've had mine now for almost 18 months. I haven't made my mind up yet, but I'll probably sell it sometime this year.

    Good luck.
     
  18. barroso

    barroso

    Aug 16, 2000
    Italia
    being a P bass freak and owning a good soundin MIA P bass i have a lot of doubts if buying or not the '51 RI.

    i know for sure that the tonal spectrum it's not the same but really similar.


    things that keep up my desire of having one:

    1)i want to a P with flats, my MIA P has roundwounds
    2)the '51 is for me a fetish thing. i love the way it looks, from the headstock to the pickguard.

    said that i am afraid that i'll buy one as soon as possible.
     
  19. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I've been gassing for a 50's reissue since Steve "the Dude" Barr had Dolan paint his Sting bass Black... but I won't sacrafice my low B

    my solution is currently being built ... ( linked here )


    I always wanted a pink pasley tele geetar thou ;)