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Fender California Series Precision?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by theroan, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. Can anyone provide some insight on the California Series? I just got one in a trade, red body, gold pickguard, maple neck and PJ pickups.

    Just looking for some general info.

  2. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    when that came out, it was just a P with a J p'up and... I think... A BadAss II bridge.

    Nothing else special about it. Pretty much set up like MY old P-bass from the '70s!
  3. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    P/J pickups with a jazz profile neck.
  4. Anyone else?
  5. Growler


    Sep 26, 2004
    So this is just an earlier version of the current P-bass Special? Which has P/J pickups and a Jazz neck.
  6. GreaserMatt


    Sep 4, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I think the guy from Rancid used to play those...
  7. sps500

    sps500 In Memoriam

    May 19, 2008
  8. photo5.
  9. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    I think they were non-US parts assembled in California to create a more accessable MIA labeled bass.
  10. I read on HC that all the parts are US, but then they did painting/some assembly in Mexico and final assembly in the US. Sounds close a HWY1.
  11. Simon Langley

    Simon Langley

    Jun 19, 2007
    Chico, CA
  12. Sparkdog

    Sparkdog Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA
    What are the controls on that bass? Is it Volume/Blend/Tone?

    I am very interested in P/J Fenders at the moment, I just got a fretted Tony Franklin Precision and it is wicked cool!
  13. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    If it's the same control scheme as my Hot Rod P (which was the MIA equivalent of these) then yeah, it would be vol/blend/tone.
  14. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    All US parts, all assembly in US, paint job done in Mexico, per the hangtag that came with the bass when I bought it new. Stock controls are V/V/T, vintage spiral bridge. I've had mine since 99, replaced the stock bridge pup with a noiseless from a Reggie Hamilton, and it's my play-til-I-die bass.

    BTW, yours is beautiful, congratulations! The maple necked versions seem less likely to pop up for sale and add a lot, imho, to the "cut", especially with the Jazz pup dialed in.
  15. mcbosler


    May 12, 2000
    Plano, TX
    I've got one of those, just with a black body; bought it when they came out. Happens to be my favorite - plays easier than butter after a good setup. When it came out Fender touted it as their most popular custom shop request - "best of both worlds" and such. P body, J neck, and a passive PJ pup config. Only difference I can see between it and the current model are the active pups on the new version. The knobs (on mine at least) are 2 volumes (one for P, one for J), and a blend.
  16. Sounds like a good bass,
    i love P/J's

    Congratz on getting a Franklin, they rule!
  17. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Yep, the bodies and hardware were US, painted in Mexico and assembled in Corona, CA. Mine with the P PUP soloed sounded very very close to my '83 VS '62 P. V/V/T like a Jazz bass, the neck was a bit more narrow than a P, but not stupid skinny like a Geddy Lee. Great electronics, fit and finsih, fret dressing, etc. Only weak spot for me was the tuning machines which I thought were sloppy and coarse. I put a set of Hipshots on mine and it was a great stage bass for me. I had rounds on the CA, flats on the Vintage Series and could maintian a similar tone shape with the two. I shoulda kept her, but the Lakland I stumbled on a few weeks later stole my heart. So, when a buddy offered to trade his Geddy Lee for my California, and I didn't have a Jazz bass at all, I opted for the trade. I shoulda kept the California, I'm such a P bass guy...

    The first MIM versions were very similar except the fret work was a lot more sloppy and the rosewood boards had a much more open grain to the wood. Then they added active electronics and discontinued the passive versions.

  18. Double Agent

    Double Agent Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    All correct IME. I did my first real-studio recording with a CA Series P around 2001-2002. Then, I sold that bass because I got a gig playing lead guitar and needed a solid amp. I had to do it at the time, but I wish I could get that bass back. I now have a MIM version of that bass and it, so far, isn't anywhere near as nice as the CA series was. Which leads me to....

    This echoes my experience almost exactly. The fretwork on my MIM P-bass Special, which replaced the CA series P, is pretty bad. Not bad enough where I can't play it, but my action has to be set fairly high, even for me. MIMs have gotten a lot better since then (this one is a 2001 model), but I don't like the active pickups on the brand new models. I wish I could've kept my old CA series P as it was a much nicer bass than the MIM, which I modding in attempt to re-capture the tone and feel that my CA series had.

    OP, very nice bass!!! Play it with pride. And know, from this thread, that if you ever decide to part with it, you will have lots of interest in it :)
  19. loend68

    loend68 Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses, T.C. Electronics
    I played a used, kinda beat up one a couple weeks ago. Should have bought it. The neck was super comfortable (J neck).
  20. I'm getting pretty stoked for this bass to arrive now. I appreciate the input guys.

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