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Fender American specials

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Johntheson, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. for quite some time now, I've been seeing ebay listings, and new sales listings for Am Special basses. Fender has so many different models now it's difficult to keep up. When I started playing in 62, and for the longest time afterwards we had just the P and the J. Anyway what place does the Am special fill? Is it as good as the Am. series, or Am, standard? Thanks in advance for any info.
    John Sr.
  2. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Well, I've had a bunch of American Standards/American Series basses over the years, both P and Jazz. Recently picked up my first American Special (a used hand-stained nitro Honeyburst P). I'm pretty sure the pickups are the ones that were used on the Am. Stds. from 2008-'11. And instead of the newer "High Mass Vintage" bridge, it comes with the old-style, top-load only bent steel bridge. I prefer top-loading anyway, so no big deal to me.

    Sounds and plays really nice, and I love the neck. If you buy one new, it comes with a gig bag versus a hard case with the Am. Stds. I don't see any drop in quality between the Specials and the Am. Stds. You're just not getting a case with it. I'm really liking mine a lot.
  3. perkjos


    Mar 10, 2013
    I had an oly white American special jazz bass for a few years. The tone and feel we're incredible. However, the bridge saddle on the e string collapsed during a live performance and the bridge pickup shorted out. After spending about three hundred dollars to upgrade the pickups and bridge I regretted not buying an American standard. However, fast forward to now, after a year of not owning a jazz bass I purchased a lakland skyline 55-60. I've owned a few American standards over the years and think the lakland is definitely an upgrade over the am standard in every way.
  4. Tbone76


    Aug 24, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    The American Specials have a slim C profile neck with graphite support rods. I prefer the profile on the Special over the American Standard. It just fits my hand better. Other players have the opposite opinion. The Specials also use Mexican series tuners, and the bridge is not string-thru body. The American Special series also uses the "Greasebucket" tone circuit, which rolls off highs without adding bass frequencies. The satin honeyburst GC edition does not have this circuit, AFAIK, (at least mine doesn't). People either love it or hate it, but again, that's for you to decide.

  5. Thank you all. This helps me to better entertain any opportunities to buy one that might arise.
    Tbone76 likes this.

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