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Best P-bass copy for the $$$?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fretlessman71, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. I admit it, I'm a cheapskate... but I also plan on altering a new bass so I can string it BEAD or lower. So instead of doing all this stuff to a perfectly good Fender, I'm looking for a P-bass with heft, and girth for the neck. Got a favorite, heavy P-bass copy you love? Tell me about it, please!
  2. Get a Peavey Fury or a Patriot. More P-bass than you'll ever need.

    Had my Patriot BEAD for a long time,sounded fantastic.
  3. mojomike001


    Mar 28, 2013
    South Florida
    The most stable necks I've ever run across is on an American Fender P with graphite reinforcements. Pretty much all American Fenders made since the mid 90's have necks like that except for the vintage reissues. The Standard P, the Highway Ones, or the American Specials should all have the reinforced necks. They seem to be able to hold their tune longer than any other neck I've ever tried. They are not super cheap, but they should last almost forever.
  4. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
  5. I have this... 5-30-1.
    A friend brought over his new Dimension Bass and he mentioned that he can get a real good "Precision" tone out of it. Plugged in the Squier above and it blew the M.Player Dimension away. Way more punch/deep tone.
  6. I've played a few Squier Precisions and liked them all. That includes the bottom end Affinity. If you're looking for a cheap P bass copy I'd look at them. Used...they're about as cheap as you can get. They're also infinitely modifiable.
    MaxJJK likes this.
  7. "They're also infinitely modifiable."
    Very true..the sky and your pocketbook is the limit. (Picked up Squier for $230 new (USD))
  8. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    I had a couple SX basses and they had pretty substantial necks on them. You can't beat the price, and if you're going to string it BEAD you're going to need to set it up anyway, no matter what you get.


    Depending on the color you want, this may only be available in a pack with an amp, tuner, strap, and instructional DVD, but it's still only $149. At that price you can upgrade the electronics (if you think it's necessary) and still not spend a lot.
    MaxJJK and Aqualung60 like this.
  9. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    +1 on the Squier VM precision, haven't seen anything better quality at that price level. QC is spotty though, you need to play a few identical models to find one with no issues out of the box. Go to GC and play at least 3-5 basses, you'll find a good one.
  10. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    Any bass in the Squier Classic Vibe line is great. I also second the Peavy recommendation, you can sometimes get a USA made model for less than 300 bucks.

    I have a Squier P bass I did this with (BEAD) using a Rotosound BEAD string set. It has a Squier Standard Jazz neck and what I think is some mid-range Squier P body from 10 years ago. It's solid wood and not soft like basswood but it's about 1/16" thinner than normal. In addition it has an upgraded bridge, pickup and electronics. The bass plays totally great. It wouldn't be hard to find some part's bass that has a standard chunky neck on Ebay. I paid all of 180 bucks for the bass, but spent a bit more on tools to get it set up right.

    The only thing I'll say is that I want to swap the pickup and pots/cap. It has an older MIM pickup in it, but with the bass tuned BEAD it sounds muddy to my ear. I just bought a Quarter Pounder and a wiring kit that has 500k pots, and a 0.047 uF cap to be able to dial the brightness and clarity in a bit more. I was also looking for an aggressive sound so I'm giving it a shot.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  11. Curious... some wiring kits have 250K pots..yours has 500K pots..is there an audible difference?
  12. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    I don't have personal experience yet with it since it's coming in the mail, but my understanding is 500k tone pots will make the sound brighter, whereas 250k is a warmer sound. You can still roll the 500k pot off a little bit to get close to the 250k sounds but you wont have the same range of roll off. People describe the 500k sound as "more peaky" and "less compressed".

    In guitars 500k tone pots are often used on humbuckers to get more highs back, but on single coils they sound too bright. My guess is a 250k is used in P-basses because they are designed for a warmer low-end sound.

    The 500k volume is supposed to have a higher output, bleeds less of your signal to ground when full on. That may be a bad thing considering how hot that Quarter Pounder pickup is, but IDK I didn't tune the bass BEAD for a vintage sound or to play classic rock and roll and I can always roll off the volume.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
    Laurie Bass likes this.
  13. Dash Lashes

    Dash Lashes Banned

    Feb 20, 2015
    that's what squiers are for :). dont worry too much about weight. im not sure if they have any model w/ fat neck, but you should be able to tune a normal neck any way you want without messing anything up.

    edit/add: you know squier does come in 5 string, so you could do an F#
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  14. Thank you for that clarification.... I too am looking at a wiring kit.
  15. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
  16. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I picked one up for $55.00. It is now in parts on my bench. Body has first primer coat, neck waiting to finish.
    When I'm done, I should be in for about $200 with new everything.
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  17. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    I don't know what it is but I am falling in love with modding P basses. I don't even touch my Jazz basses or my G&L for that stuff. You can get really excellent P basses from Squier these days that are excellent modding platforms.
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  18. If you can find an old 80's MIJ Squire, grab one! I was so pleased with mine it became my #1 player over and above my Rickenbacker 4001 and Gibson EB2-b and Fender Tele bass. THAT good! This was not uncommon with the early Squires, and they should be expensive. I still have it and it still plays great (needs some love in the pots and shielding dept.from beer spillage, etc.) With many of these Squires its a matter of trying a bunch of them and maybe getting lucky, but the MIJ Squires were usually all pretty good.
  19. gnarlyWarlock


    Dec 23, 2014
    Yamaha BB. Hot-Rodded P mojo.
  20. Muddslide


    Feb 23, 2007
    Mobile, Alabama
    It's true those early 80s MIJ Squiers were excellent instruments. IMO, better (in general) than the Fenders being produced at the same time.

    I used to have an MIJ Squier Telecaster (guitar) and an MIJ Squier P bass, both from '82 or '83 and they were great.

    The market has caught up with them a bit and they have gone up in price, but you can still find them for ~$400 which to my mind is a steal.

    Again, IMO, the heirs to that level of Squier quality are the current Classic Vibe (CV) line. There's also a Squier "Vintage Modified" (VM) line, but in my experience the quality control and some of the appointments of the VMs are not as high or consistent as with the CVs.

    I've played some great VMs and some that I felt had some issues, but EVERY Squier CV I have played has been very, very good. The only reason I don't own a Squier CV 60s P bass is that for my personal tastes the necks were a little too thin. Nice necks, just not my preference.

    I was bass shopping earlier this year and came upon a Squier CV 50s (single coil) P bass that it was all I could do to walk away from. The only reason I didn't buy it was because I was dead set on scoring a split-coil P bass with a rosewood fingerboard, already having a P with a maple board.

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