Fender Elite Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Funky-Wunky, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. Funky-Wunky


    Jun 15, 2004
    Just wondering about the Fender Elite basses made in the early 80's. They have a single or double p pickup configuration and I think they were the first active electronic basses Fender made. Anyone have one or comment on the sound of the electronics or playability, or any comment on these basses?
  2. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    I have a 1884-Elite II bass.
    The one with the double P-pickup.
    If you can find one they a great basses.
    Big, fat, really stand out in band mix live.
  3. I have an Elite II also - solid walnut with an Ebony board. It weighs a ton, but I love it dearly. It sounds massive, but still traditional....


    In fact, I love it so much that I'm on the look-out for a fretless... :help:
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I own an Elite I, probably the only person here who is actually the original owner of an Elite?

    It was the first Fender I owned because when I started playing in the 70s Fenders were expensive boat anchors with baseball bat necks; the Elite had a more slender neck and sounded great.

    I really like the fine tuners on the bridge, too bad Fender dropped that idea.

    The Elites were not the first active Fenders, the Precision Special (1980) was.
  5. Ooooh... a walnut Elite! I had one stolen many years ago, and that must be mine so... send it back right now! Just kidding. I love those walnut Elites! Good luck on the hunt for a fretless!
  6. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I own two, an Elite I and an Elite II:

    Attached Files:

  7. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    I had 3 Elite-II's. Sold 2 of them and kept the best one, nearly mint. Sunburst with RW FB. And mine has all the fine tuners still attached! I don't gig it but I have recorded with it.
  8. Funky-Wunky


    Jun 15, 2004
    Hey thanks for the responses and good information. How often do you have to change the batteries? How does the bridge pickup sound by itself compared to the j pickup on a jazz bass?
  9. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    batteries...not much.

    solo bridge pup is fatter sounding than jazz, but also with an active tone to it. It has its own sound...hard to describe. Read Bill Bolton's reviews on BGRA. He nailed it.
  10. rdhbass


    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    Actually the first active bass was the 1980 Fender precision special. It had no "J" pickup and the "special" name came from it being active. The elites came like in 1981-83.
  11. chekerbored


    Nov 18, 2004
    So these are some cool basses and the double split coil has me blown away. What do they sound like and what kind of playing is that bridge pickup for. I read in a pickup experiment thread a guy was gonna try a bridge split coil but i never found the results. Slap tone? Smooth? Growl? I gotta know how these things sound. After i buy my amp im gonna start messing around with pickup setups cuz i have a jazz body im gonna work on and i always wondered how this setup sounded.
  12. Last nite i was watching VH1 and I saw this eigthies hair metal band i cant remember its name i think loudness or something like that anyway the bassplayer had what appeard to be a p bass but it had two P-pickups in the normal position , they were slanted . I was wondering what was the name of that bass.


    Sep 13, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    I am the original owner of a 1983 Gold Elite Precision in Transparent Emerald Green.
    The neck is wide (1.75 at the nut) and it weighs a ton but it sounds great.
    My husband bought it for me when we were first dating, so I could never part with it.

    Attached Files:

  14. Johnny BoomBoom

    Johnny BoomBoom Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2001
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I've always had a hankering after an Elite II - just never managed to track one down.

    I do however have a Precision Special - a 1983 one I believe! It's really nice - does anyone know if it's the same pre-amp thats in the Elite series and the Precision Special series?
  15. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    I have 2 '83 Elite II's. After getting the black one (9+ condition)last year I kept my eye out for another with a maple board and came across the gold/natural in near mint condition a couple of months ago. I really enjoy playing these basses. They don't sound like anything else Fender did AFAIK. Very focused sound with good cut. You can get extreme treble out of these, but toned back they have a great forward mid and sit in the mix very well. They also feature first rate construction and assembly (after some of the less-than-perfect runs in the 70's).


    These can still be had for a reasonble buck if you keep your eye out, but they are already climbing as the Fender vintage market goes beserk. Right now the 70's stuff is taking off and it won't be long until the 80's become the "new vintage" market. If you find a nice Elite, grab it - excellent basses.
  16. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    if you can find extra fine tuners for the bridge, you can sell em to Elite owners for about a hundered dollars each !!
  17. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    I took them off. Suspected them of having something to do with those strings breaking at the bridge. Didn't tune with them either. I still have them somewhere.

    I'll hang on to them for now... see how the used price develops... :D

    I'm the original owner of this one :hyper: :

  18. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    "I still have them somewhere"

    somewhere? Are you SURE you have them???

    Hey I never saw an Elite with black pup covers...it came that way?
  19. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    :cool: Well since you ask that way, yes I have them:
    No, I've painted the PUs black, they were cream coloured. I have also removed the bass' original honeyburst (?) finish.
    Well, I am a barbarian... :bag:


    Sep 13, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    I thought I would try to keep the thread alive with more pictures. Here are the coveted bridge tuners, strap locks and thumb rest. Also the original owner's manual that tells of the joys and wonders of owing a Precision Elite Bass.

    Attached Files: