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Dealer: Fender Ultra to replace Elite

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Pet Sounds, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. Conrad romeo

    Conrad romeo

    Jun 17, 2018
    The Ultras minus the Dual posi Flex graphite rods,the truss rod wheel,C to D neck profile, and string through body definitely not an upgrade on the elite
    Iofflight and BeefPie84 like this.
  2. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    wait, the new bass doesnt have some sort of stiffening rods in the neck but the old one did?
  3. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Stiffening rods would seem to be an asset for keeping the neck straight but who knows if it really makes a difference or is merely a gimmick. Warmoth seems to think it make a difference, as do many other makers. I rather doubt that my 2018 Fender MIJ FSR Midnight 60s Telecaster has them but I'm pretty sure my 2009 MIA Fender American Deluxe Precision Bass does have them. Neither of them has any neck issues (yet) and both play great, so from my sample size of exactly two I'd say I have no freakin' idea.
  4. Tvrtko


    Dec 27, 2002
    South of the USA
    It does have. The post is on he top of the guitars and at the heel for the bass.
  5. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    I'm not talking about a truss rod, I'm talking about stiffening rods in addition to a truss rod
  6. nozkcb

    nozkcb Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2009
    I A/B both the ultra and the elite Jazz bass for quite a while and from my time with the basses the differences I noticed are:

    Newer, noiseless pickups/ quieter and possibly brighter than the Elite

    A Baddass style bridge

    A different burst color palette

    For some reason, they went back from the newer, excellent truss rod wheel to an older (pull the freak'n pickguard or neck off to adjust the neck) Allen key style (WHY???)

    No through-body string option

    And while it may have just been the particular bass I was trying, the body would seem less figured than the elite

    The neck felt very similar, possibly a bit different, but so close I couldn't decide for sure.

    Weight-wise, they were very close, so I cannot say if different quality woods are being used, or if it was just the particular basses I was playing?

    It was also retailing for about $100 less than the Elite

    If I had to choose between the two, I would probably go with the Elite because of the truss rod adjustment ease and the body through option for stringing

    Both were very nice basses, so you can't go wrong either way

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
  7. I agree .. the subject is debatable .. I was before a great supporter of the graphite neck inserts but, in reality, I don't see now a lot of difference in the behaviour of necks of basses having them in or not .. what seems to be much more important is the right combination of neck and strings stiffness, in other words, the choice of a strings set which is well accepted by the instrument's neck ...
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
    nbsipics likes this.
  8. BeefPie84


    Mar 29, 2019
    I have a MIA P bass with the graphite rods in the neck and I swear it makes a difference. Zero dead spots on the neck and even fretted notes up the neck ring out forever. I'm a believer.

    Money. It must be more expensive to produce the wheel adjustment. I am becoming a Fender hater for all these dupes and marketing tricks. A ton of new lines to confuse, pretend you are getting more, raise prices, etc. Now with Ultra, they took away more from the consumer, but told them it is now better and charge more for it. I'm fed up with them. I don't think Ill ever buy a new Fender again. I don't see what was wrong with Squier, MIM, MIA and a high end option. Now we have:


    All to confuse and raise prices.
    selowitch likes this.
  9. Just my personal considerations ... comparing the Ultras and the Elites side by side the only notable difference between the two models (aside from the elimination of the truss-rod head wheel, which, for me, is not as sturdy as the hexagonal nut which replaced it and that I prefer) is in the colours ... Fender could do much more ... they fail to understand that between production-line and custom-shop instruments there's a large in-between, which, moreover, not necessarily may always prove to be more expensive than the serially manufactured items ... Fender is undergoing a period of serious lack in fantasy ... what a pity!
    In the end, the definition of the sound of a bass guitar always oscillates between that of a Jazz and that of P bass ...
    Iofflight and BeefPie84 like this.
  10. Iofflight

    Iofflight Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2018
    Yeah the lack of good colors by my own definition is definitely lacking on these models. I ended up with the turquoise elite jazz the color I really love is the Vintera natural that looks like a light transparent orange and the Daphne blue. I got rid of the N4s in the Elite. They are bright pickup imo. I put in Lollars and man that bass just has complete gravitas.
  11. Oooff .. Lollars are ... Lollars! :thumbsup:
  12. Iofflight

    Iofflight Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2018
    Yeah I love em. I just bought some Lollars for a p bass build that is an attempt to be a copy of the Fender custom sherwood green, but I bought a slim taper warmoth rosewood neck and have MJT body is on the way. I really have high hopes for sound with this build.
  13. jjk2007

    jjk2007 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Endorsing Artist: DNA
    I'm surprised at the weight.....all the ones I have seen that have weight displayed have been over 10lbs for a 5 string. Weight doesn't concern me all that much but I'm just thinking it's (just about) 2020 and they can't do all this in a lighter weight package.....???
    Iofflight likes this.
  14. Iofflight

    Iofflight Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2018
    My 4 string Jazz is over 9 lbs I just can't recall if it's 9.3 or 9.8 anyway it is the heaviest bass I own and I can really feel it when I stand and play, I love it but I almost always play it sitting down. The 5 strings are heavy. This is one of many reasons I just love my new String Special to pieces, it sounds great and it's light.
    selowitch likes this.
  15. Silvio Dante

    Silvio Dante

    Mar 28, 2016
  16. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Exactly the reason I covet a EBMM StingRay Special 5H—or perhaps a lightweight Fender Dimension V.
    Iofflight likes this.
  17. MAFbass1992


    Feb 4, 2012
    I work in a music store and I had the chance to do a shootout between an elite and a new Ultra P-Bass. First of all, i've never been a fan of Fender's active preamp. For me, what I loved the most about the Ultra was the D shaped neck. Best option would be to buy the neck alone! Super confortable and it reminded me of my Mike Lull. Very thin neck, except it's easier to play because it's not a 35 inch scale!

    The preamp in the Ultra is darker sounding than the Elite, which I liked better. I also liked the fact that the bridge pickup has enough output to get into the Jazz Bass territory. Lot's of personality and it would definitely cut through during a bass solo. The P pickup sounded lifeless so the only way i'd buy an Ultra is if I decide to change the pickups, but that will be too expensive!
    jwindham likes this.
  18. Got to play a Ultra P today (I own an Elite Jazz) not apples to apples but I got the idea..
    The new bridge is a down grade, without string through and the saddles have that chrome pitted cheap look but a bridge is a bridge really, battery compartment was actually better as far as accessibility.. the neck had the vintage tint satin finish and overall felt the same as my Elite in terms of quality and feel. I think the truss rod wheel on mine works great (just use the right size Allen wrench) so I don’t understand why they got rid of it except from an appearance stand point. But overall it’s the same bass as Elites with some minor differences, not enough to justify a new model name imho!
    lowdownthump likes this.
  19. Has anybody actually had a problem with the Elite truss rod wheel? (I haven't but I also haven't had to adjust it much.)
    lowdownthump likes this.
  20. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    This has been my experience as well .

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