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Early 1980's P-bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tmu, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. tmu


    Mar 14, 2004
    Hi! Am am looking at an early 1980's p-bass, american made standard, with rosewood fretboard, topload bridge (sunburst). Anyways, it is a good deal... but I was wondering if anyone knew about the P-basses in this era (the serial number corresponds to basses built between 1982 and 1985 (E321879) Are they good? The bass sounds great to me but... you know...
  2. from what i remember the early 80's fenders in the usa were substandard in quality... its said that japanese tokai basses (knock offs of the fenders) of this era were as good or better... this is only hearsay and it varies from bass to bass... ive heard takes of fantastic mex fenders, its possible that this particular bass was one of the best of that era... only one way to tell... play it and see if you like it
  3. tmu


    Mar 14, 2004
    Yeah, I dunno... it sounds better than most new Ps I have heard...
  4. I have an early 80s P and it is definately the best sounding P I've played. If you dig it, buy it - besides - people used to say 70s Fenders sucked - now they sell for insane amounts of money. It'll only be another 5-10 years until the 80s Fender are thought of the same way.
  5. tmu


    Mar 14, 2004
    Oh yeah... I'm buying it for a steal (400 CAN)
  6. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    That IS a steal..howd you manage that?
  7. tmu


    Mar 14, 2004
    Friend of a friend... I see you have a Godin, Figjam. I have one of their guitars (LGX), and it is amazing... and made in Canada!!!
  8. The early 80's were generally considered Fender's "low point." All that really means, though, is that you have a greater chance of getting a lemon. Now those basses are 20 years old and any construction problems are readily apparent. If you find one that plays good and sounds good, jump on it (especially for $400 CDN)!
  9. I have a 1983 Fender American Standard Pbass and Funkster has at least one 83 that I know of. Both are great basses and very well made. I always hear people say that the early 80's were bad years for Fender's. Most of these people probably never owned or really played an early 80's Fender. I do agree that from 1979 to 1982 CBS made some real duds (not all but some). Now if I recall correctly in 1983 FMIC made a commitment to improve their QA and build quality. My 83 plays like buttah! Buy that Pbass!

  10. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Zoomboy is exactly right I have a 1980 and 1983 P bass and they are both killer, The 83 is The "one" It's the only bass I record with, it sounds and play's just that good..

    The one on the right is gone, (Traded for my Aggie GS210's) It's a 79, it was a nice bass but both 80 and 83 white pup basses killed it in the tone dept.
  11. which one is the 83? I have an 83 that is IDENTICLE to the one on the left!
  12. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Actually 82-85 (the last of the US basses for quite a few years) were pretty nice. This was the period where Fender finally started addressing the CBS-era reputation by coming out with the Vintage Reissues, the Paul Rivera amp designs and the Elite guitars and basses.

    They slimmed down the necks and lightened the bodies compared to the 70s models. The first "Standard" basses were from this period; they were cost reduced with single ply pickguards but played and sounded fine.

    I own two basses from this period, one Standard and one Elite. The necks have the same profile as the 62 VRI Precision, the workmanship is excellent, nice slab fretboards. The only thing I can complain about is the Elite's ash body is heavy but it's not a 70s "boat anchor".

    I bought my Elite brand new and have never had any issues with it. In fact, it was my first Fender despite playing for almost 10 years. That's because throughout the 70s I never found a new Fender bass that I liked at all.

    My $0.02.
  13. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    The one on the left is my beloved 83 in Sienna sunburst,,,
  14. tmu


    Mar 14, 2004
    The one I am looking at was built in the 82-85 period... like i mentioned earlier, it sounds much better than most Ps I have heard, really warm bottom. I have found that some of the newer P basses aren't as warm and big sounding, but have a bit more high end zing. Maybe just the ones I have tried...
  15. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I say if ya like it and it sounds good then go for it!!! Show pics when you get it
  16. Sweet! I love the Sienna burst + white pickup/pickguard + maple combination on mine!

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