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Fender Highway 1 basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Henko, May 15, 2003.

  1. Henko


    Oct 15, 2002
    Have anyone out there tried the new American made Highway 1 jazz and P-basses?

    How do they feel and sound?

    What are the differences between the Highway 1 and the American Series?


    May 7, 2003
    i recentely asked a similar question and managed to get some good info,not many people ever played one never mind own one,i myself visit my local music stores and came up empty, even my buddies store does'nt carry them so i guess they're not that popular yet. i am thinking of getting one but am leaning towards a japanese made because its the same price but a little better from what i gathered.:bassist:
  3. My local store ordered Hwy 1 basses a while back, but they're still not in yet. Their Aerodyne Jazz (nice instrument, but not my cup of tea...MIJ, by the way) came in but not the Hwy 1's. Before deciding whether I buy one or not, I'd like to see one in person. Catalog specs and reports about prototypes and pre-production models don't do it for me.
  4. bassackwards

    bassackwards Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Same here. My local store got the Aerodyne but not the Hwy1. The Aerodyne would be awesome if it were alder (it's basswood) and had better hardware. The hardware was the same as an MIM and the neck had the same kind of finish and looked like an MIM, even though it was an MIJ. Kind of a let down. I did see a Hwy1 Telecaster and I like the paint-jobs on them, but again the neck seemed like an MIM. I assume the basses will be the same.
  5. fcoda


    Jan 23, 2002
    I played a Highway 1 during lunch today - Nice bass - better sound , neck and hardware on a Geddy Lee for about the same price
  6. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I played a Highway 1. Fit and finish? is not very good. Hardware looks the same as the MIM Standard basses. The Geddy Lee is a much nicer bass IMO.

  7. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    DFW, TX
    Well I know with the Hwy 1 Strats, they use the same hardware and pickups as the MIM '70s Strats. So I woulden't doubt that they are using MIM hardware for the Hwy 1 Basses too.
  8. bino


    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    A shop up my way has both the j and p highway 1 that I spent some time playing last week. First thing I must say is that the setup on both were horrendous! especially on the p-bass. so you can imagine there wasn't much to be surprised or excited about. The shop also had a mim classic 60's reissue jazz that I like much more than the highway 1, from the pickups down to the neck. It just felt more like the MIA j's. The highway 1 p just plain sucked. again, it may have been the setup, but it couldn't even hold a candle to the MIA p that the shop also had. You probably just have to hunt for a good one much like the standards.
  9. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I played a Highway 1 jazz a few weeks ago. I played a used 62 US ri straight after. Whilst the US ri had that certain something extra the Highway 1 is something I could gig with and I am looking for a fretted 4.
  10. hi there everybody !
    just picked up a new american highway 1 precision.
    all i can say is awesome ! i currently own several basses, all fenders of course ! a sting reissue p-bass (MIJ) a 62 reissue p-bass, a fretless jazz (MIJ reissue), and my baby a 1962 precision with rosewood neck... the highway is nice and light like my 62 and sounds very similiar, it has vintage american pickups, a c shape neck, vintage bridge, and standard turners.. i must say, this is the only fender which i did not have to adjust the neck and action after getting it home....
    it plays awesome and sounds awesome...an execellent buy also...got it on sale for 545.00 at buckdancer's choice music in portland me. there awesome !!! check them out...they are on the web...i'am gonna put it thru its paces tonite at practice and will post a followup with some pics !

    (HD's edit - deleted racial slurs)
  11. PeteRitz


    Dec 17, 1999
    I finally took the plunge on the Highway 1 P this weekend. This was after looking at it for over two months. I did a long side-by-side comparison with my late 80's G&L SB-1. I traded the G&L for the Fender for 4 reasons:

    1. Better sustain (due to the finish?)
    2. Lighter weight
    3. Slightly warmer sound
    4. More comfortable neck for my small hands

    After playing the bass for much of the weekend I can tell you that I made the right choice.
  12. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk

    Oct 10, 2001
    I played a crimson red Highway jazz at GC. It was fantastic. Played great, sounded awsome and had a cool vintage look to it. I'm gonna get one.
    (if I can't come up with the money for an FMT jazz)!!!!!!:D
  13. jammoore


    Mar 28, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I just purchased a Highway 1 Jazz (3-Tone SB). Love the finish, gives it a very vintage feel. It's got great tone, tons of sustain. I can't really see any adjustment to make other than considering a preamp. I love the current pups but want to send a little more juice to the amp, to stay consistent with my other active basses. Don't want to have to make adjustments while playing. 1-10 rating, I would definitely give it a solid 9 (especially considering the $). Anyone want to recommend their favorite 2 band preamp for passive pickups?
  14. Pöl


    May 31, 2003
    Played one the other day trough an Ashdown EVO 300. Sounded nice and warm, just like a jazzbass should. I've I hadn't had the '00 MIM Jazz, I'd probably get the highway one for sure.
    Since I'm a student, I need to slap my wrist once in a while ...
  15. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    personally, I didn't think much of them. I would much rather have an MIM Standard over the Highway 1.

    1-The neck on the HiWay series looks ALOT like an MIM neck. I wouldn't bwe suprised if they were using MIM parts & throwing a "Made in USA" label on it. They did this with the "California Series" instruments & now the "California Series" (USA made) P Bass is the Mexican made P bass Deluxe.

    I asked the Fender rep why they chaged the "California Series" to made in Mexico & he said they ran into legal problems because of the 1/2 Mexico & 1/2 USA.

    I bet they found a loophole, hence the HiWay series.
  16. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Having a MIM Jazz and a Highway 1 P- they seem similar, yes, but I like the H1 better. The neck actually seems to be somewhere between a J and a P- it's not as thin as a Jazz, but it's definitely the slimmest P neck I've ever played.

    Understand, that they very well could be MIM necks, and due to Fender's (lack of) quality control, the P just has a better neck than the J. Ultimately, however, a bass is worth whatever you are willing to pay for it, regardless of where the parts came from.

    I bought my Highway 1 and don't regret it a bit. After playing the Mexican equivalents as well as the American, I feel I got what I payed for and am happy with the investment. I really don't care if Fender called it a Highway 1, or a Californian, or a Dutch Special- I still would have paid what I did for that bass.
  17. I picked up a Highway 1 J for a backup bass. I added a BA II, a tort guard, cover, DR's and did a little normal set up tweaking. I think it's real cool. I'm going to put a j retro in when I can afford it.

  18. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    jwinston- That's pretty rockin'. Is that the Honey Blonde finish? (It looks more like vintage white in the picture.) If it is HB, it looks a lot better with a tortoise shell pickguard than I would have guessed. Hmm...
  19. Yep that's HB. The color in that photo is pretty accurate, at least on my monitor. I really would have preferred the sunburst color but this particular bass just turned me on when I played it. I think that guard makes it look totally different.

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