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Best Fender Precision currently in production?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Alexander, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. Alexander

    Alexander Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I am hoping that I can buy a Precision bass either later this summer or perhaps this fall. I've been contemplating it for some time and after thinking about it, I really would like to stick with Fender - perhaps somewhat out of tradition.

    The thing is, I've played Sadowsky exclusively for a number of years now and all of the Fender American Standard Precisions I've tried have been really underwhelming - primarily because of quality of materials, fit\finish and playability. Sadowsky sets a really high bar in that regard, so the Fenders just feel down-market by comparison. Granted, I've played them all primarily at Guitar Center - so most have been horribly set up and in some cases beaten up a bit.

    I did try a Custom Shop 59 last week and it was the first Precision Bass I really ever liked. I guess it is technically out of production now, but there are a few of them still available new out there. It is a good option and I may have bought that one if I had the funds available today. I also want to try the AVRI series, but not really sure the differences between them all and what would really suit me the best. I don't think I want to go any higher in price than the CS 59, unless there is a really compelling reason to do so.

  2. Parkerblades


    Feb 23, 2014
    I absolutely love my Steve Harris signiture. It's made in japan. But it play circles around any American fender I have played.
  3. Parkerblades


    Feb 23, 2014
    Wow how did that happen
  4. Alexander

    Alexander Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    What do you like about the Steve Harris over the American produced P Basses?
  5. IronLung1986


    May 19, 2010
    Exeter, NH
    there isn't any one model that's the best. you have to go on an individual case by case basis because 2 of the exact same model could feel and sound different. that's how it is when you're dealing with mass produced stuff. with high end stuff like sadowsky, every instrument you play is going to be great. it's just a matter of preference what brand or model you buy. but with fender you could play a dozen duds from different price ranges before finding one that's pure magic. that's almost part of the fun, because when you find a good one you'll know you found something special.
  6. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Check out Mike Lull's P-basses.
    bnlwells likes this.
  7. Parkerblades


    Feb 23, 2014
    Today, 04:18 PM
    Registered User

    Join Date: Aug 2001
    Location: Seattle, WA
    What do you like about the Steve Harris over the American produced P Basses?

    The feel,sound, and fit/finish to me are superior to me.
  8. For me, it's the Fender Classic Series.

    I owned a MIM Classic 50s P-bass and wish I had never sold it.
    Light, resonant, punchy, loud, comfortable, amazing fret work, stable neck, solid build, no neck gap, 1 piece maple neck, reverse tuners.

    Just too much to love in 1 bass...and they retail UNDER $1000! By far better than any MIA I've ever played.
  9. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    +1 on the Lull Ps.
  10. You may want to try the Fender American Select Precision Bass. These are Fender's highest quality production basses, and the materials and workmanship really shine. Pricey new, but can be had used for $1500-1600 or so.
  11. From what I've read, it's only the wood grade that's any different. They use more exotic or boutique woods. The build specs, process & QA are all the same as the Am Std.
  12. radioface


    May 2, 2013
    I purchased an American Standard P5 last year and, it's not bad; sounds okay to me.
    huckleberry1 likes this.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm a big fan of the new American Vintage '63 reissue basses. They are pretty true to vintage spec, and every one I have played has been an excellent bass. The ultimate to me(for a new production instrument) would be the Custom Shop Pino Palladino signiture. Its not cheap however...
  14. Alexander

    Alexander Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I didn't consider the select series just because I didn't really want a figured top - but might be worth looking at. I was also perusing the Fender Custom Shop site today. Seems expensive, although I'm assuming I could get one for 70-75% of MSRP - would be great to get exactly what I wanted, but not sure if the quality would be good enough to warrant the additional investment.

    I like Lulls - but want a Fender P - thanks
  15. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003

    If money is not an issue. The CS "Pino Palladino Sig."
    The new 2013 AV Reissues are nice. (58 & 63 )

    If your on a budget, The "Roadworn" P-Bass is sweet.
    And so is the "Nate Mendel" P-Bass. A few dollars less.
  16. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    It seems strange, but I've been most impressed with the tone of the Squier VM precision of all the P's I've played, which include the American standard, special, and MIM. It barks with the tone up and warmly sings with the tone down. I suppose that's the nature of any pbass but they really hit a home run with the Squier.
    Right now I prefer jazz basses, but if I wanted a p, I'd get the VM.
  17. Have to agree that the Classic 50s is a fantastic p bass @ any price / country of manufacture .
  18. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    The deluxe. That thing is legit.
  19. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    Compared to sadowsky, factory fenders will feel like squier. Custom shop is probably the way to go.
  20. ghunter


    May 16, 2006
    Bellevue, WA
    If you're sticking with genuine Fender, it's tough to justify their US Standard and Deluxe once you've played their Custom Shop products (and can afford them, of course). From the feel of sliding your fingers up and down the neck, to the balance of the instrument when you're wearing it, to the tone coming from the jack, there is a big step up in nearly every way in CS instruments. The specs may look similar but in person it's a different story completely.

    When I bought my Custom Shop Stratocaster 10+ years ago there wasn't a huge price difference between the US Deluxe and the Custom Classic model, but it was a world away in quality. When I went to buy a Jazz Bass a few years ago I chose a Nash instead of a Fender CS as the quality was very similar but the price was back in the "only a few hundred more than the US Deluxe" range. I also own an AVRI Jazzmaster and there are many times that I regret not getting the Custom Shop version, for what that's worth.

    In the end I believe that this will come down to your budget and your perception of value. The Custom Shop basses have the quality you want but a hefty price tag. After that you'll have to make some form of sacrifice to keep a Fender logo on the headstock.