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Fender American Deluxe Precision Five

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassdr, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. After years of the "red-headed step child" status in my mind, Fender has finally come through. I did a search on this bass and the last thread was in November so we need to revisit this particular bass.

    I bought a used/demo version of this bass yesterday at my local Guitar Center for $899. I called before I went and they were very helpful over the phone, actually went through their entire inventory of five strings over the phone. I was very interested in this bass and went up for a comparo. The sales guy was helpful but clueless. He had no idea what the difference between 34" and 35" scale was??? Guitar Center aside, let's get down to the bass.

    This version is the ash body in aged cherry sunburst, maple fretboard and mint green pickguard. First impression was that the bass was visually stunning. It jumped out from the rest of the basses. We got down 3 basses for comparison and hooked them up to an Ampeg 4X10 rig. The others were a Yamaha TRB1005, SR5. The action on the Fender was a little high but still on first play was smooth and played fast. The neck shape is defintely "C neck" but not huge. I typically prefer a very slim jazz neck in a 4 string but despite the chunkiness of this neck found it very comfortable. This bass has "rolled fretboard edges" giving a very comfortable shape. No sharp fret edges here. And, NO dead spots! The abalone position markers are a nice touch as well as the silver logo on the headstock. Now for the important stuff. At first plug-in and play with the bass and amp flat and both pickups equal it sounds like a vintage jazz. I find this sound very nice and usable. When the P is soloed it is what you expect, big and punchy and when the bridge is soloed, like a soloed jazz pickup. I was hoping for a musicman sound here. I then set about tweaking the EQ and setting the bass to sound best to my ear. The bass/treble are stacked and the mid boost is the last knob. I ran the treble flat and bass and mid boosted for my best tone. It sounded so good to my ear that I could not put it down. The B-string on this bass was tight and punchy. As good as any I have played with few exceptions. For fingerstyle and slap I could dial in any tone I wanted. I then repeated the exercise with the other basses.

    The Yamaha was nice and came in second. Overall sound very modern and usable, fit and finish were good but not as good as the Fender. The Yamaha needed a fret dressing badly. The Stingray was great in sound and fit and finish but is, well, a Stingray with little tonal variation that I could get out of it.

    So, IMHO Fender has hit a home run with this particular bass (4+1 headstock, double hipshot string trees). It is a vast improvement over other Fender 5's I have played and deserves consideration if you are in the 5 string market. Overall, fantastic fit and finish, no dead spots, great B string. huge variaition of usable tones, can dial in THE vintage sound. I think I have another keeper. Sorry the review was not more detailed, maybe others can chime in here and fill in what I left out.

    Attached Files:

  2. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I've always liked those though I'm not a big fan of active EQ. The neck, chunky but comfortable, sounds a lot like the neck on my '97 Jazz V which I really like. Of all the basses I have, that's my number one "go-to" bass if I need to do something unusual. Congrats, your bass is beautiful!
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I second Philbiker, that bass is a beauty! I had a Fender Precision Deluxe V for a minute and I think it is a great design,
    and I would be happy to own one again. Once again, I have to say that newer high end Fender five string basses are very competitive with other basses in the $1,000-$2,000 range. I don't doubt that Sadowsky, Lull, Atelier Z, etc. are better, but those basses tend to run in the $2,500-$3,500 category. For those prices they had better be better than a $1,200 mass produced bass. I think that for 90-95% of players, a Fender five is more than good enough.
  4. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    Wow, that's a great looking bass! Congrats!

    Not to rain on your parade, but I have a question: If the bridge pup, when soloed, sounds just like a Jazz pup in the bridge position, what's the point of the JJ config? Why not just have a P/J?

    Ever since I saw one of those I've wanted to fit in a MM pickup in place of the JJ pickup. A P/MM bass is pretty much the only pickup configuration that isn't mass-produced.
  5. KayCee


    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    Great bass...a very underrated Fender model, IMO.
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I agree. I've auditioned a couple. I got some sweet tones, and I loved the feel.
  7. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I have a 2004 MIA Jazz Bass Deluxe V.

    Great bass for the money. Great tone, feel, playability and yes...the rolled fingerboard feels really good.

    IMO Fender Vs (Deluxe models) have come a long way in the past 3 or so years.

    I'm undecided on whether my next bass will be the MIA P-Bass Deluxe V or a Stingray 5.

  8. Why is that raining on my parade??? I think Fender was probably trying to create something that sounds different, like what you are talking about a P/MM configuration. That would have been great, but to my ear it just sounds like a soloed jazz P/U. If you EQ it just right and tilt your head, maybe you could convince yourself that it's a stingray ;)
  9. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    I assumed that the whole point of the Fender AD P was to have both the P and MM tone in one package. My question is that if the soloed bridge JJ pup sound like a soloed bridge J pup, then what's the point of a JJ pup?
  10. kirin


    Jan 11, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    I'm having a hard time commiting to a $1K ish price range 5 string until I get to play one of these. SR5P and various active and passive Jazz clones keep getting me close to pulling the trigger, but the 4 string version of these always impresses me.

    How is the balance on the B string - how thick is the neck?
  11. KayCee


    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    My assumption is that they wanted to create a PJ bass with a humcanceling J setup. The JJ at the back seems to be borrowed from the Roscoe Beck model...and IMO it does create a Jazz bass bridge vibe, albeit a little fatter sound.

  12. Limo


    Sep 22, 2002
    Reykjavik Iceland
    I have a Fender P5 deluxe and it's simply the best sounding bass I've ever had (you can see in my profile a list of all the basses I've owned) I think the bridge pup is more like a soloed Roscoe Beck bridge pup than a J, not much difference but slightly thicker sound due to the humbucking effect. I doubt that I will ever get rid of my bass. I will probably just get more of them;)
  13. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I recently did an a/b with a few Sadowsky Metro's. My
    05 American Deluxe Jazz V, Was every bit as good as the
    Sadowsky's. The fretts were better on the Fender, and
    it was lighter. Without any eq boost the Fender had a
    slightly less harsh high end. Of course this is all without
    hearing it in a track or live with other instruments. And
    as much as I like and admire Mike Lull, my am dlx is as good
    as most of the Lull's I've played. I'm only speaking about
    the newest incarnation of the Am dlx jazz V. jmho
  14. KayCee


    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    Recording-wise, my Fender American Deluxe Precision V is the best bass I've ever had. I'm always able to get a great sound that sits well in the mix, virtually noise free. Truth is, I recently sold my Roscoe five because I prefer the Fender.

    However, even at this level of Fender, you have to get a "good one". I ordered an identical one to mine last summer for a backup, and ended up returning it. The trussrod didn't work properly (big surprise), and the midrange knob was actually wired wrong...when you turned the knob up, it cut the midrange and vice-versa. That kind of quality control is just unacceptable. Even the most perfunctory inspection would have caught such a flaw.

    It did inspire me to have Nino Valenti build a PJ fiver for me with many of the same features. It is the Silver one now in the works.

    My advice is to actually play the Fender you're buying, or at least have a very friendly return policy.

  15. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    If the only use of the JJ pickup is simply to be humcancelling, then why didn't they use a stacked humbucker? I'm not trying to be annoying, I'm just thinking out loud, basically. :D

    If they did indeed use the same JJ pickup used in the Roscoe Beck model, then I think a cool mod would be to wire it in Ser/Par/SC. I can never leave a bass completely stock.:rolleyes:
  16. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    That's yours? I LOVE THAT ONE! If I ever get a Valenti it would be a copy of yours but with a transparent finish and maple FB. I hope you love that one when you get it...give us a review as soon as you can.
  17. KayCee


    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    Great idea!

  18. T-Funk


    Jul 2, 2005
    I love my Fender American Deluxe V, too! :D


  19. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Quick question...........are the necks on the Fiver's (P5 & J5) the same? I know the 4's are different but I was under the assumption the P5 & J5 have the same (slimmer J neck)??
  20. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    Very nice - there was a transparent teal 5-inline headstock version (On the P5's I prefer that to the 4/1 design) in a local store a few years back that I regret not jumping on.