Fender American Special vs. Standard???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JeffplaysBass, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. JeffplaysBass

    JeffplaysBass Banned

    Jan 22, 2011
  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Lets see, the American Special differs in that it has:

    Different bridge
    Different tuners
    No string-through body option
    Grease bucket tone control
    Comes with a gig bag instead of a hard case
    A satin finished neck (although my American Standard is more satin than gloss)
    I think the neck profile is a little thinner front to back
  3. Baird6869

    Baird6869 LET'S GO BLUE JAYS...(in 2016)...LET'S GO!!

    Do a compare at Fender.com but the above is pretty accurate.

    A used new-ish Standard for $800-900 is the way to go IMO.

    I would never buy a new Special. The case alone almost makes up the difference in price between a new Standard and a new Special IMO.
  4. tmoney61092


    Sep 15, 2009
    I use to drool over a candy apple red special p bass, played and sounded amazing
    Mikaelbass likes this.
  5. It is and that is one of the reasons I like it. Not having string through the neck is not a huge deal on this bass because it is very resonant with decent sustain. With a BabicZ bridge this bass is killer with a lot of sustain when you need it but that aspect is very controllable.
  6. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: Rhythm AND Blues! Supporting Member

    The neck on the Special is...special. :)
    LoveThatBass likes this.
  7. dStar


    Mar 1, 2012
    The standard has graphite rods in the neck, the special doesn't and has a narrower neck. The standard has CS 60 pickups, the special has Vintage Alnico. The tuning machines and bridges are also different.
  8. StrangerDanger

    StrangerDanger Neo Maxie Zoom Dweebie Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    North DFW, TX
    The Special absolutely DOES have graphite rods in the neck.
    LoveThatBass likes this.
  9. mazdah


    Jan 29, 2010
    Kalisz, Poland
    Am Special is for everyone who wants a classic Fender bass, but had problems with ergonomics (many people complain about chunky necks on Am Standards) and tone control. Greasebucket, thinner neck profile and (for me) standard bridge are the main reasons to buy Am. Special.

    I loved the neck on Am Special - almost like Am Vintage neck, but not that wide.

    Also I much prefer standard bridge - it was quite tricky to get even string spacing on my 60th Anniversary P. I always hated it.

    Also greasebucket is a lovely thing, that leaves the lows and mids untouched. I'm unable to use tone pot on my Am Vintage 62 P-bass, because of tons of mud and lacking volume in the band mix when I turn the tone down.

    With greasebucket I had great, soft, dark sound without any mud of volume drop. Not for everyone, many people like the classic tone control better. I don't.
  10. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    LoveThatBass likes this.
  11. I have an Am Sp J. If buying used you can get these gor around $600 Compared to $900 for a comprable Std. If used the Sp is a great deal, as stated above when new if you plan on getting a case it comes down to individual feel and tone you prefer. I do prefer string through but cost difference made me go with the Sp.
  12. Yes it does! You know it is funny how much hype goes around
  13. Paladin54

    Paladin54 Rockin' the root...

    Feb 3, 2012
    People probably think this because the Fender site says under the specs for the Standard for truss rod - Posiflex Graphite Neck Support Rods but the Special does not say anything about the truss rod.

    So how would you know based on Fender's website?
  14. StrangerDanger

    StrangerDanger Neo Maxie Zoom Dweebie Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    North DFW, TX
    Scroll to the bottom of the page. It's right there.
  15. Strings:

    Fender® USA, NPS, (Gauges .045-.105)

    Unique Features:

    US-Made, High Gloss Finish, NEW Slim Profile, Fast-Action Neck, Greasebucket™ Tone Circuit and Posiflex™ Graphite Neck Support Rods
  16. Paladin54

    Paladin54 Rockin' the root...

    Feb 3, 2012
    Huh. Totally missed that. Why would they hide that info down there I wonder? Not that it's really hidden but why not put that info in the same place on the spec sheet as it is for the Standard?

  17. Because that would make too much sense ;)
  18. I'm sure it's to generally give the impression that the Std is more "special" than the Special, and therefore worth the extra money you'll need to fork out to buy one. So they make more fuss about the graphite rods in the STd, compared to the Special.
  19. There are only 2 pieces of hardware better on the American Standard
    A. Bridge
    B. Tuners

    The nice case is better than the gig bag but those are accessories and not part of the instrument itself so I did not include it but made mention of it here.

    The tuners I put on my American Special Jazz is the 27:1 ratio which I think lend more precise operation in fine tuning of the bass. No that you can't get the tuning where it needs to be with the Fender America tuners (whick look nicer) but these make it easier and the bass stays in tune incredibly well as compared to my other basses I have owned.

    The 2nd item I put on my American Special Jazz is a BabicZ bridge. The adjustments of string height and intonation are very nice and unique in their design. I get lots of controlled sustain when I need it. This bass is very special to me.
  20. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    I put HipShot tuners on my Jazz,including an Xtender, and I am very pleased with the results. I like the better ratio and notice that it maintains its tuning very well. I'm ok with the bridge but would love to get the one from an American standard on there. I plan to do the same mod on my Am Special Precision. The necks were what sold me on these basses.