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Differences between '57 and '62 RI P-Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BobaMosfett, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Hi all,

    Last week I was Precision-shopping, trying out different examples of '08's and the two reissues mentioned in the title. The '08 standards were pretty good, though not really the sound in my head. Both reissues were great.
    But contrary to what I expected, both the '57 P's (one blonde, one 2tsb) sounded bigger, bassier, with a softer top, and both '62 P's had more mids and seemed brighter. That was not what I expected because the '57 P's have a maple neck.
    Now I have two questions: do any of you find these differences are consistent between these models?
    And the second: wich would stand up better in a live setting? I ask this because I tend to like the sound of the '57 better, but I bought and sold basses before that sounded beautiful on their own, but got lost in the mix.

    Thanks for reading!

  2. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Dont know about the 62 RI but my 57 has been great in the mix live. I picked the 57 RI when shopping for P basses over a 02 MIA in like new shape and a new hwy 1 with the old standard bridge. I felt the 57 sounded better to my ears in the store and i was right.
  3. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I think that the differences are more likely to be individual chunks of wood, string conditino, etc. than the species of the neck wood in this case. THe difference between two brand new Precisions with the same body wood (alder), and the same electronics, and the same bridge, is going to be pretty minimal.

    Back in 1983 when Fender finally shipped the store I managed our first Vintage Series basses, we got a '62 Jazz (black), a '57 P ('burst), and '62 P (Lake Placid Blue). I'd ordered the '57 P with the idea of keeping it for myself because it looked like Duck Dunn's main bass. But when we got them and I played one unamplified note on the '62, she said "Hi, honey- I'm home!" and I had to buy that one. The '57 was a great bass and either would have worked great on stage for me, but there was just something about THAT particular '62 that I had to have.

    Go back and play them all again. Buy the one that speaks to YOU.

  4. Thanks.

    The difference here was not between two basses, but between two times two basses. What I found surprising was that the '62 P's sounded more like each other than like the '57 P's, and vice versa. Am I being clear? English is not my native language, so maybe I'm being confusing here.

    That similarity between models is what I'm wondering about; is this as consistent as it seems?

    I liked both very much, I just have to decide if I like the mellowness of the '57 more than the punchiness of the '62.

  5. maxbass


    May 22, 2002
    Milano Italy
    This is never a problem, when you have a good Precision.
    And both the 57 and the 62 reissue are wonderful instruments.
  6. michele


    Apr 2, 2004
    Last year I played on a conduction projet that included 16 instruments:

    1 drums
    1 percussions
    2 keyboards
    6 guitars(!)
    1 alto sax
    1 trumpet
    3 voices
    1 bass

    We were recorded and this autumn a CD will be released. I played a CIJ 62 P-bass and didn't get lost in THAT mix!
  7. Btone


    May 5, 2001
    I'm with Maxbass: Has a any Precision ever got lost in any mix?

    That's why we like precision basses, isn't it.
  8. T-Forty

    T-Forty Guest

    Mar 14, 2008

    Pretty sure the 62s have a maple neck as well. Unless something has changed...here are the specs for my 2005 62.

    Date: 11/11/2005
    Model Name: American Vintage '62 Precision Bass(r)
    Model Number: 019-0116-(Color #)
    Series: American Vintage Series
    Body: Alder
    Neck: Maple, "C" Shape,
    (Nitrocellulose Lacquer Finish)
    Fingerboard: Rosewood, 7.25" Radius (184 mm)
    No. of Frets: 20 Vintage Style Frets
    Scale Length: 34" (863.6 mm)
    Width @ Nut: 1.750" (44.5 mm)
    Hardware: Nickel/Chrome
    Machine Heads: Vintage Style Reverse Tuning Machines
    Bridge: American Vintage Precision(r)/Jazz(r) Bass
    Pickguard: 4-Ply Brown Shell
    Pickups: 1 Vintage Precision Bass Split Single-Coil Pickup (Middle)
    Pickup Switching: None
    Controls: Volume, Tone
    Colors: (800) 3-Color Sunburst,
    (805) Olympic White,
    (Nitrocellulose Lacquer Finish)
    Strings: Fender Super Bass 7250ML, NPS,
    Gauges: (.045, .065, .080, .100),
    P/N 073-7250-005
    Unique Features: Vintage Styling,
    Synthetic Bone Nut
    Source: U.S.
    Accessories: Deluxe Brown Hardshell Case, Strap, Cable, (Chrome Bridge
    and Pickup Covers are Unmounted and Included in the Kit)
    U.S. MSRP: $2,450.00
    NOTICE: Product Prices, Features, Specifications and Availability Are
    Subject To Change Without Notice
    INTRODUCED: 7/1999
    DISCONTINUED COLORS: (806) Black, 1/2007,
    (824) Inca Silver, 1/2002,
    (854) Dakota Red, 1/2002,
    (883) Ice Blue Metallic, 1/2002,
    (840)* Fiesta Red (* with Aged White Pickguard), 1/2001
    COMMENTS: Uses Case P/N 0996168422 (Gold Interior),
    Meguiar's Mist and Wipe Kit Discontinued in the Kit in 10/2007,
    3-Ply Mint Green Pickguard on:
    (824) Inca Silver,
    (854) Dakota Red,
    (883) Ice Blue Metallic
  9. Btone


    May 5, 2001
    '62 reissue precision: Maple neck, RW fingerboard.
  10. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Well, that list is kinda suspect, ain't it? They were introduced in 1981 or 1982 (earliest examples date from 1982, most stores didn't get any until 1983) but that list says they were introduced in 1999. Anyway, the '57 has a one-piece maple neck while the '62 has a maple neck with a "slab" rosewood fingerboard.

    To the OP- I think I understand- the two '62 VS basses sounded similar to each other, and were more punchy to you than the two '57 VS basses you played. That being the case, if I were you, I'd buy one of the '62 VS basses.

  11. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    The pickup on the 57 has raised poles under the A-string giving it a little hotter, more mid-present tone than the 62. That's probably the only real difference from a parts and manufacturing standpoint. Anything else is just the normal variations between like instruments.
  12. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Well, they did when they first came out in 1982. But I understand that they went away from the raised A pole pieces sometime after 1989. Don't know for sure, as no Fender dealer within 60 miles of here has ever had a new VS Precision since about 1990...

  13. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003

    I worked at a store In 1982 when these basses came out.

    The store got two of each. (Jazz, 1962-P, 1957-P)

    I played all six.

    I was going to get one with my store discount.

    I decided on a P-bass.

    The 57's were tight, brighter, I knew it would project live.
    Due to the maple fingerboard, and anodized pickguard.:D
    The 62.s were a tad darker, deeper bottom, rounder. (just a little)
    I ended up getting a black 1962-P-bass.

    It was my main bass for the next 9 years.

    And price in 1982 with discount was $729.00
    I should have bought all six?
  14. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    I remember a thread or two about this before -- no one seems to be able to give a definitive answer either way. I've got a '57 reissue that I bought new in December 2007 and it's got the raised A-poles. But then I noticed the one pictured at ThePerfectBass.com doesn't seem to have them. Someone else here has posted that he owns two and one does and the other does not have them.

    Almost makes me wonder if Fender uses them until they run out and then swap in the 62 pickups until the new batch of 57 pups arrives!
  15. Thanks for all you replies!
    The sunburst '57 I tried had the raised-A poles, the blonde one didn't. Both were new, but maybe one of them was longer in the store. And with 'maple neck', I meant maple fingerboard, of course.

    It surprised me that the '57's sounded so similar to each other, compared with the '62's, especially when I found out later that they don't even have the same body-wood. The blond ones are made from ash, and the sunburst (as well as all the '62's) from alder.

    Fender must be doing something right to achieve this (apparently) consistent difference between two models that seem so similar. I'll go and try them out once more before I make my decision. Wish I could buy them all...
  16. Surly


    Feb 2, 2007
    South Florida
    I like how the '57 has an accessable truss rod adjustment. The '62 needing to have the neck removed for a slight tweak would deter me a bit.
  17. maxbass


    May 22, 2002
    Milano Italy

    They have the same truss rod..... :confused:
    Jah Wobble Fan likes this.
  18. stajki


    Mar 26, 2012
    Did anyone tried to swap 57' pu with 62? any difference? I have av57' and i asked in shop if i would get anthing by swaping pu. They said it wouldn't change the sound a lot, that i also need rosewood fretboard to get the sound of a 62 p bass....
  19. PJ Muzikmansky

    PJ Muzikmansky

    Jan 4, 2013
    I own a '62 RI, but have always preferred the brighter sound of the maple finger-boarded '57. To my ear it's got more of that P bass 'moan' that I love.
  20. I decided years ago after playing lots of basses that to me the fretboard wood does not affect the tone to the degree people like to say it does. There are so many other factors that contribute to the overall tone. I tend to pick fretboards based on what I find visually appealing. I would think that changing the pickup would make a bigger difference then replacing the neck with an identical one with rosewood fretboard. Just my opinion.

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