1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

fender classic series 51 p-bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fenderbluesdude, Sep 3, 2004.

  1. It's an interesting bass, but I've never seen it in person.
  2. If I wasn't looking in getting a 5 string, I'd be very interested in one of these myself.

    I'm generally not a huge fan of Fenders, but I really do love the look of these. They play pretty well too.
  3. I really like the tone of the 'ol single coil of the pre split humbucker. And no, it doesn't sound the same as a Jazz in the same position. There's a sweetness about that old p/u that I can't describe.
  4. lenorules1950


    Aug 20, 2004
    Meriden, CT
    I love the '51 Reissue- I played one the last time I was at Sam Ash, the only thing that kept me from buying it was the price tag- I don't remember exactly how much it was but the Dirnt Signature P is actually cheaper, has a Custom Shop '59 Precision pickup instead of the '51's single coil, and a Badass Bass II bridge instead of the string-thru variety used in the '51 reissue. I also prefer the rosewood fingerboard of the Dirnt P.
  5. no-way!!

    the 51 p-bass is like 564 bucks
  6. lenorules1950


    Aug 20, 2004
    Meriden, CT
    Oh snap, you're right... why was I thinking it was closer to $700 or $800 then?
  7. beats me
  8. main_sale


    Apr 26, 2004
    Cape Cod
    I have one. They are made in Japan and are of very good quality. They have a wonderful sweet, rich tone which is great for Blues, which is why I got it. It look the part, as well.
  9. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I've always been a fan of that pickup - it's not quite as fat as a split P but a lot punchier. Most modern amps can compensate for the slightly thinner sound easily... ;)
  10. the 51ps a cool instrument, i played one when i was looking for a jazz and was very impressed im nt a huge fan or p-bass's but there was sumit about this one that made it stand out the tone was just so raw and to use a term thats way over used nowerdays "vintage". i live in britian and its £560 here and fenders are usally the same number in dollars as they are in pounds sterlin so i guess that it'd be around the $560 mark. i such a sweet instrument almost on par with MIA instruments.

    Oh and guys i was wondering if u knew how much a tortoise shell scratch plate wud be direct from fender for the MIA Jazz with 10 holes.
  11. rick123


    Oct 20, 2001
    Evanston, Wyoming
    I bouight one from M.F. that was a "scratch & dent" and saved about a hundred bucks. The damage was insignificant (I want it to look old anyway). I was very surprised at what a quality guitar it is; I expected less. I play in a "newgrass" outfit so it has the vibe I wanted. It has become my main instrument. I think Leo had it right the first time.
    Good Luck
  12. how do you guys think it feels?
  13. TVD


    Jul 14, 2004
    I just bought one of these off Musicians Friend like 2 weeks ago. It truly screams "cool" i think, but then again i'm into old hillbilly country and rockabilly so you need to take my version of "cool" with a grain of salt i guess. My main gigging bass is a G&L L-2500,so i like having something like the '51 P reissue as a nice contrast. I've gotten alot of compliments on how it looks and sounds already. I need to boost the gain on my amp about 2 or 3 notches up from the G&L quick when switching basses. The bass has punch, but the single coil passive pu isn't near as hot as the double humbuckler pu the G&L has. I put a set of LaBella flat wound strings on it.
    As for the feel...It's not the easiest bass i've ever played. Takes a bit of getting used to, and mine needs a bit of set up yet. The bridge is nothing like you see today, and i will probably need some help adjusting it. It looks like it's touchy, and i read that it is. The G string is hotter than the A and D strings, not a huge diff, but noticable. I think lowering the action a bit on the A & D's is the answer, but it's probably not as easy to adjust as some basses. The shape of the bass too is like a slab, takes some getting used to on the forearm. But the biggest thing that makes it a challenge to me is no place to "plant" my thumb when playing. I can kinda plant on the top of the pu when playing on the G and D string, but when on the A and esp the E, i can't, so then my thumb is just kinda floating out there. That def takes getting used to, and has screwed me up a few times. I'm considering maybe mounting something just to the bridge side of the pu to plant my thumb on. All that aside, the bass still kinda somewhat feels like a "friend" already to me, not a close friend yet, but i get the feeling i'll be gigging with it more and more as time goes on and i get used to it. It screams "play me", though my G&L is easier to play. It's one of those basses that even though it's got it's challenges to play at first, it's not like you want to give up on it and let it sit, you want to make it right and get used to it, cuz you know it could be great if you can conquor, or at least come to a compromise, with this beauty. I love the neck of the '51. Feels really good, and fast. Slick and smooth. It's a very well made and solid quality instrument. For blues, old 50's-60's rock and roll, R&B, rockabilly, hillbilly, traditional country, western swing, bluegrass, Americana it's a really great choice i think, as a main gigging instrument. I kept it on for a few modern non country songs Friday night i would normally play the G&L on, and tried to slap it on a song, with surprisingly good results. I'm not into slap at all really, and Fender P's aren't really known as slapping instruments, but it can be slapped too. Trent
  14. rick123


    Oct 20, 2001
    Evanston, Wyoming
    I had to lengthen my strap just a little so I had a little straighter shot with my "picking" hand. I began having a little pain with the angle of my wrist over the slab body. I must admit I added a small black thumb rest...that bluegrass isn't too complicated but it's FAST. Now I love the way it feels. Also, mine came set up very well. I was very surprised at the precise intonation with a rather primitive bridge.
  15. Glenn D.

    Glenn D.

    Aug 20, 2002
    Fort Collins, CO
    I just got back from Banjo Mart's big Labor Day sale. They had a Sting signature ('54, not '51) on sale for $449. I talked'em down another $25 and got a Fender gig bag for cost. Mine needs a setup, as the intonation is off, but other than that, I'm pretty stoked.

  16. spyingcracker


    May 27, 2004
    I just got back from trying one out. I can't think of anything with a comparable tone. It's a sweet, bluesy kind of tone. The neck is nice and glossy, and the fretwork on this particular one was great. If I get one, I'll have to replace that dorky bridge, though. :rollno:
  17. TVD


    Jul 14, 2004

    Where exactly did you mount the thumb rest? I've got a gold Fender thumb rest somewhere laying around. Trent
  18. rick123


    Oct 20, 2001
    Evanston, Wyoming
    Hi TVD,
    Actually, I put some sticky putty on the rest and moved it around till it felt right, then installed it. It ended up being about an inch and a quarter towards the neck from the pickup and lines up with outside edge of the pickup approx. It is on the pickguard but not very far. I suggest you try it before gluing or drilling.
  19. lawndart


    Oct 4, 2003
    Northern NJ
    i went to my local GC today and the Mike Dirnt that was on the wall had very shoddy fret work on the E string side....just about every one had a gap underneath. I wonder if the 51 has the same troubles. I do love the PU in the Dirnt thoght just very disapointed in the fretwork.

    also doesnt Seymor Duncan make a basslines PU for it? I may pick one of these up for a rockabilly band my friends asked me to join.
    and what sort of bridge do people replace it with to get away from intonation problems