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Duff McKagan "P" Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Russell L, Dec 10, 2011.


  1. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I know, this has probably been discussed before. But, just once again please, if'n yas don't mind:

    Well now, just saw this on the Fender website. So, they finally call this a "P" Bass. What it was originally was a Jazz Bass Special in the mid-'80s. I have a black one that cost $475 new at a local shop. Now, this one is at $1249.99 MSRP, and can be had for $999.99 at most retail sites. What a difference. But, it ain't really the same as the old ones. One question I have: is it still made in Japan? Can't tell by the photo. But, mine is, and it is one GREAT bass. Anything I've ever read about the old Japanese Fenders says the same about their quality. Oh, and it retains the TBX tone circuit in the new one, a nice touch, and the painted headstock (not one of my favorite touches, actually). But, they blew it on the neck shape and radius, IMO. Mine has a 7-1/4" radius and a slightly "D" shape with low frets. The new one is the modern "C" shape with a 9-1/2" radius and medium jumbo frets. I like the old specs better, for me, that is.

    I find it amusing that you can still buy an old Jazz Bass Special NEW for a grand---well, sort of. There are many other originals out there for much less, though, and in a variety of colors. Today, Fender offers this one only in "White Pearl." Tell the truth, I wish mine were not black (black body, headstock, tuners, bridge, knobs, pickup covers---all black, except for the back of the neck---sheez, I can never wear a black shirt with it, lol). But, I tell ya what, I usually choose it to play over my 2001 American Series Jazz Bass because it has that Precision sound with the front pickup. I just love that. I love my Jazz sound, too, but lately I've been playing the old Special a lot.

    Anyway, just had to talk about it. Anyone else?
     
  2. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    I bought my fretless jazz special for around $400 and sold it for the same about a year later. I agree there was something much different about the original necks, definitely didn't feel like a modern fender. I think mind felt flatter, front to back, and it certainly wasn't a 1.5 nut though the later 80s ones were (mine was an 85 I believe, had the all black neck instead of just the headstock). The new Duff series is MIM, not MIJ. I agree, the price seems ridiculous to me as well.
     
  3. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Well, the whole thing about the old Specials is that they had a Jazz neck, which should mean a 1.5" nut. Interesting that yours didn't, or you think it didn't

    MIM, huh? Well, that's not necessarily bad, but it's quite different than MIJ. I guess that if they can't be made in japan again, then they can never really reproduce the old Jazz Bass Special. (I always thought it shoud've been called a Precision Bass Special because it has a Precision body, so at first sight that's what you think it is.

    Interestingly, you can now also get a Deluxe Active P Bass Special for $699.99 retail. It's the same kind of thing, but without the painted headstock, and it has active electronics, and a pickguard. Ha!
     
  4. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    The earlier models were different. Having owned a jazz and a B-width precision at the same time that I owned the jazz special it was very clearly a B width, not an A. The later models with the unpainted necks were an A width.

    I don't have a pic of the three together, but here it is with my jazz:
    [​IMG]

    And here is the P that replaced it:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. AdamR

    AdamR

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    I love my Jazz Special. I paid about $500 (cash and trade)
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Duff used these in GNR almost exclusively , when GNR got signed they were each given a 10,000$ advance so he went and bought a jazz bass special in white and also a GK800RB , he original played a white one with that skull sticker but then he started using a black one as well and I am sure there were multiples of each, he still uses them today along with aerodynes. Duff used the early jazz special which had a all black neck , even the back of it. In the later 80s the jazz bass special evolved and lost the black back of the neck , i have one of these. The pickups changed slightly and there were different bridges used , a active model named the "power" came out.

    The new sig is mexican made , it has metal knobs which duff perfers over the black plastic ones and a duncan bridge pickup that duff had in his original , also the neck plate is a skull , he claims there better then his originals but i dont realy buy into that.


    Duff admitted in a interview he knew nothing about basses back then, he didnt know the difference between a P and J bass.
     
  7. BTW mine is a 1989, i just got it off ebay for 290$ shipped to my door


    $(KGrHqZHJC4E7BcviTwoBOzW7CSQkQ~~60_12.
     
  8. Is the back of the neck on yours natural??
     
  9. Its natural, 85 and 86 have black necks , from looking at many of these its seems 87 is when the back of the neck went natural.


    I was the only one who bid on it on ebay and I am glad I did its killer. I previously had a 85 jazz bass special just the neck and body super thrashed i paid 6$ for , i sold it on ebay and bought a 86 in copper that was pretty beat and eventually sold it and got this one , its heading to a gig tonight.
     
  10. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Mine is an '87. Incidentally, I'm not knocking the new ones. I'd actually like to try one out, but I wouldn't buy it for a grand, though.

    Anyone have a new one?
     
  11. There are a few tb'ers with them , many people have complained that the price is to high as its easy to find a original in good shape for half that.

    I think I big difference in the new ones is the wood is alder and the originals were basswood
     
  12. AdamR

    AdamR

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Mines and 85, Black neck. Its got a few chips with red showing through so I guess white isnt the original color unless they did a red base for the pearl ? Maybe I should pop the cover off the back and look.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. I have 2 of 'em. Both are Metallic Grey in color,with natural necks.

    TRADED FOR BASS #1:
    I traded a blown-up,junked CR250R motor with the magnesium case cracked all to hell and back! This was back in '87. The guy that traded me had bought the bass brand new 3 weeks prior to trading me for the motor. He wanted the motor because it belonged to a famous Team Honda Factory Pro rider. I definitely got the better end of the deal on that one!
    I modded it with some DiMarzio P & J pups from the 70's,along with an older Badass Bridge. Hipshot D-Tuner.

    BASS #2: This one is pretty much mint. Purchased from Ebay for $350.00 back in 2008. Hipshot D-Tuner,also.

    My only gripe about these basses? I just wish that Fender would've made these with an ash body.
     
  14. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Well, cool, AdamR, that's an old one for sure with the black neck back.

    And cool again, millsbass5 for getting those two for a good deal. How do you think the tone of the alder compares to the old basswood. Do you know?
     
  15. Buxtehude

    Buxtehude

    Jan 5, 2011
    Sydney
    I still have my 1986 jazz special fretless. Still love it.
     
  16. someparts

    someparts

    Nov 22, 2010
    Ohio
    I've got a new Duff Bass, one of the first made...and I've had many of the old MIJ models over the years. Good balance between the P and J pickups...and I'm not happy with most PJ setups in that respect. Built better than the originals as far as I'm concerned - better wood in the body, tight neck pocket, top notch electronics and hardware - most notably the Schaller Fender logo tuners as the old MIJ tuners were pretty loose. MIM, nut width is 1-5/8" or B width. Whenever I think about playing rock with a pick this bass comes to mind.
     
  17. Catbuster

    Catbuster Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    Louisville, KY.
    As far as I'm concerned, the original JBS was kick-arse. And, the Duff Sig bass is a great bass as well.

    Duff said his original JBS' neck was shaped the 'wrong' way, in that it was egg shaped compared to the D, which might just be a thicker C shape neck (same interview w/ Fender where he said the MIMs were better than the originals). Which it appears to be in every pic/vid I've seen of the guy's bass. So, if it's made to his spec, it's right.

    I also agree that the early JBS nut was wider than the Duff Sig's. I measured mine at 1.60". Which is just slightly smaller than a B width neck.
     
  18. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I'll have to measure my '87 JBS's nut width tonight (I'm at work today). It feels like a Jazz neck, and certainly is not as wide as a Precision at 1.625". I'm thinking it's actually 1.5", but it might be 1.6", dunno yet. I'll let yas know.

    Glad to hear that the new Duff basses are made well.
     
  19. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Ok, just for the record, my '87 Jazz Bass Special measures 1.55" at the nut. And my '01 American Jazz measures 1.52".
     
  20. Filip Burdon

    Filip Burdon

    Jan 16, 2012
    Warsaw Poland
    Bass player in https://www.facebook.com/TamamShodProg/
    I have a question about the Duff Mackagan P bass model.
    The Fender site says it has a P bass body and a Jazz bass neck, but the nut width and other neck specifications are excatly the same as in a standart P bass?
    Does anyone have this bass or have tried it?
     

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