Fender "California" Series?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Max, Oct 24, 2001.

  1. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    Anybody have one of these and can comment? I am looking at a used one with a P/J pickup configuration. Are these the predecessor of the "hot rod" line? Thaink ye for any information.
  2. I played a Fender California P-Bass Special at a music store a few years ago, and couldn't put it down. Almost bought it. The neck felt great and it sounded awesome.. big tone. Not sure of its lineage vis a vis the Hot Rod series, but I say go for it!
  3. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    It's a Mexican bass that they can call "Made in USA" because the parts were assembled in Corona. I sold one a few years ago. Sort of a lightweight P bass, IMO, both in feel and tone. They all have P/J configuration p/u's with the anodyzed pickguard. I've only seen maple necks but I'm sure they did rosewood's, too. They are NOT the predecessor to the Hot Rod's, as far as I know since they are technically MIM/MIA instruments. I believe the serial number series is something like AMX...
  4. They are good basses--built in the USA but finished in Mexico. Some people prefer the CA Series, because unlike the Hot Rod P, the CA Series has a Jazz width (1.5") nut. The HRP has the B width (1.65") neck, but it does have the graphite reinforcement, while the CA Series does not. The other major difference is the pickups. The HRP's P/J configuration is the best one I've heard, with a fairly equal balance in output between the P and J pickups. On the CA Series, the bridge pickup is much lower in output than the neck.

    Still a good bass for the money--I usually see them selling in the low $500's.
  5. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    Thanks for the quick replies. If the parts come from USA, does that mean an Alder body with strings running through the body like a MIA?
  6. No strings through the body. Vintage bridge. The bodies are american alder, neck is maple with the skunk stripe and all-american jazz width. And yes it does say "made in U.S.A. The only mexican influence in these according to Fender is that the bodies were sent there to paint (less environmental laws) and then sent back to Cali to be assembled with vintage series pickups and hardware. Pick guard is anodized aluminum.

    I love mine. For me it is the best playing neck I have ever owned. Sound of the P/J combo is well rounded and great and if you want a pure P-bass sound just roll off the jazz pickup a bit.

    Check out the fender forum and do a california series search. Some very good info there.

  7. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    The California Series is now call the P-bass Deluxe (not to be confused w/the USA Active Deluxe. Fender has too many models.) <a href="http://www.fender.com/electricbasses/pbass/deluxe/dlxpbass.html"><b>CLICK HERE</b></a> for more info from the Fender site. Fender can no longer make these basses in the USA & Mexico due to legal problems. The specs on the MIA/MIM Cali & the MIM Dlx are exactly the same. The bass is 100% identical except ti sais MIM on it instead of MIA.

    Max, depending on the price, I'd look into getting a new MIM P Dlx. You'll have the lifetime Fender warranty & it'll probably be cheaper.