Classic Series Lacquer vs. Road Worn

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ryan Donahue, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. Hi all,

    I was wondering Fender's Classic Series Lacquer was the non-relic'ed version of the Road Worn series. I have read a few threads that seem to contradict each other. I'm interested in the Classic Series '50's Precision Bass Lacquer. I haven't seen a lot of threads about this model but there seems to be a lot of praise for the Road Worn.
  2. If you believe that nitro and worn finishes affect the tone of the instrument (I don't), then get the road worn. People say the road worns feel better to play, which I can understand. But sonically the differences will be very little at the most.
  3. Enough to warrant the price difference? Sweetwater has the Road Worn for $1099 with a gig bag. That's pretty much MIA territory. The Lacquer series is $899 with a tweed hard shell case.
  4. Unless you REALLY dig the roadworn look, I would honestly look for a used MIA.
  5. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    I have owned two RW ( P and J) Great basses, the sound and feel was incredible, I sold them because financial reasons but I have been wanting to get another one. Currently I have an American Standard P that I got in a trade, great bass , I would not say that is better quality than the RW but just different, I would like the neck to feel like the RW though.

    I also intrigued by the lacquer series, I waiting for one to show up on the classified section.
    bluesdogblues likes this.
  6. Dredmahawkus


    Nov 4, 2012
    Its the same bass just not factory worn in. eat some chicken wings rub it all over your neck,burn it with a cigarette, leave it in your car during a rain storm, then sand it.... its officially road worn. you saved $300 and much cooler for wearing it in yourself.
  7. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Play guitar.
    Or wait for a used RW bass to show up in the classifieds. All the reviews I have read here, and on other sites have been pretty much more than positive about the RW fenders, at least the Jazz model, where most talk about the incredible feel of the Jazz, and especially the frets, which are claimed to be different than the medium jumbo frets that come on the other Fenders. Dunno, but I will soon be having my own RW Jazz, ( used :smug:) and I'll give my impressions, at least compared to my well broken in '98 MIA Jazz.
  8. BCB50


    Dec 25, 2013
    Higden, Arkansas

    I spend to much time trying to keep my stuff looking good as I can. I might not be able too replace it down the road. No problem with life leaving a mark, but it will be in my hands when it happens. Then that is my memory when I see it.
  9. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Play guitar.
    I don't think this is quite correct. There are a couple differences besides the road worn look, between the two, that might sway you to get one over the other, at least as far as the Jazz model goes. For example, the Classic Laquer Jazz neck is described by Fender as a " C Shape, Ultra Slim ", while the RW Jazz neck is described as a " C Shape ". Another example, the Classic Laquer Jazz neck ( back ) is described as " Gloss Nitrocellulose Laquer ", while the back neck of the RW Jazz is described as " Road Worn Urethane ." Two differences which, according to personal preferences as far as " feel " and playability goes, could be a deal breaker for one over the other. Of course, I have'nt played either one ( yet ), so I'm only going on how Fender describes the two, but, the way some players obsess over neck thickness and " feel" of certain finishes, those are not small differences between the two models.
  10. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    Apples vs. oranges.
    bluesdogblues likes this.
  11. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    .. like perhaps a Prodigy, or maybe an early short scale Bullet, or a Longhorn or maybe even a JP-90?

    Of course I am being extremely facetious, and not meaning to be a rude, but all of these are used MIA basses ... and their specs could not be further from a Road Worn in every way ...

    .. speaking in generalities can often be very misleading, speaking in terms of MIM, MIA, etc. are generally too broad of label that includes very different basses within each.

    There are several differences between a Road Worn Series bass and an AmSeries or AmStand bass, even more than some of the other MIA offerings in recent years ... selections are often made on components, weight, or other specs, not country of origin ...

    From the OP, it would seem that similarity of components and specs are the items of inquiry, not where it was made ;)

  12. I love my Classic ' 50s p bass . Black and maple with gold anodized guard . It 's poly but plays and sounds great and durable and less expensive to boot.
  13. headband


    Oct 18, 2013
    I picked up a Jazz RW for a very good price. It is a keeper. I have a CS 64 jazz and an original 69 jazz and it holds its own well with these. Perfect for road trips - already has the scars. The bass is light and has a vintage neck feel - and has the smaller frets that are found on the old fenders, too. My 64 CS has them, the 69 does not (Fender has switched to medium jumbo by then).
  14. tdizzle


    Aug 3, 2009
    Detroit, MI
    I used to think that the Classic 60s Jazz (non-lacquer) and the Road Worn were the same bass due to the exact same specs on the Fender site, but after owning them both I realized that was not the case. I can't speak for the difference in sound, but the feel of the two are quite different (beefier neck on the Classic).

    I have yet to play the Lacquer version.
  15. headband


    Oct 18, 2013
    I don't know about the classic series neck, but I was very surprised to find out that the jazz road worn has a rosewood slab neck like the early 60's, not the veneer neck that you find in the later 60's.

  16. That's interesting. I wonder if the precision has the slab board as well. I just checked my local GC and they didn't have any Classics or RWs.
  17. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    The RW and Classic P-basses are maple fingerboard only.

    BTW, the RW P and Jazz ARE NOT the same as the classic series. If you want to listen to the faux mojo haters (see above and elsewhere), go ahead, but I have played, owned, and researched these instruments. The RW basses are different. Ask Ed Friedland. Do a minimal amount of searching here on TB. :atoz:

    About the Classic nitro basses—there is little to be said about how they compare to the RW because they are very very scarce. :rollno:
  18. OP was about road worns which only come in p and J. When I referred to MIA I was referring to MIA ps and js. Unless there is some other RW basses you aren't telling me about? As far as country of origin goes, some people....get this...LIKE MIA fenders and think well of them. Maybe next time ill tell him to buy a starcaster?
  19. Tooned


    Sep 14, 2006
    Vancouver BC
    For the new price of the Classic lacquer at $900 and the RW at $1000 you could probably find a nice used AVRI '57 or a '62. I've not played seen a RW in person but if you're like me and prefer shiny as opposed to worn in that might be preferable.

    Also at that same $900 new price is the Nate Mendel model which is also finished in nitro and has slight relic work. The neck is rosewood and has different dimensions to the vintage ones however. Also a different pickup.

    It depends what specific specs you're looking for: nitro finish, neck dimensions or bridge type.
  20. gwangi


    Jul 4, 2009
    Forbidden Valley
    So which is the better instrument- the Fender Classic Series- Lacquer '50s Precision & "60s Jazz bass or the Road Worn Precision & Jazz bass.