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Fender HM series question..

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by neptune, Nov 3, 2001.


  1. neptune

    neptune

    Feb 2, 2001
    Maryland
    Hey Folks. I've got a Fender HM series 5-string and I'm trying to find out some info on it. It was made in the early 90's, and has three "j" style pickups. Depending on the source, some say they only used Lace Sensors on these, some say they also used standard pickups. Is there an easy way to tell the difference? Appreciate any help.
     
  2. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    wow, dude, sounds pretty cool. got any pics?
     
  3. neptune

    neptune

    Feb 2, 2001
    Maryland
    It's an interesting bass. I liken it somewhat to a Strat. 5-way switching between pickups, both in-phase and out of phase sounds. Don't see many of them around. Definitely has a 80's "Hair Band" look to it, but the best neck of any 5 I've ever played. Not sure how to post pics on this site, but I have some on my computer, if there's an easy way to attach 'em.
     
  4. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    you could either attach them with the "attach file" option below the "your reply" box when you post a reply.
     
  5. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    The HM's were a nice bass, I had my eye on them but never got around to buying one, anyone out there know why they discontinued them??
     
  6. What is an "HM" series??


    Hate to show my ignorance but....
    :confused:

    Is it the initials of a famous bassist??
     
  7. neptune

    neptune

    Feb 2, 2001
    Maryland
    "HM" stood for Heavy Metal. Not sure why they discontinued them either. I think maybe they were an 80's influenced product, and didn't fit with the changing music/times of the mid 90's. You either love or hate the look of these critters. This one was a color called "Chrome Red." If they put out a model with the same electronics and a more classic Fender look, I think they'd have a winner. It excels at tight, close to the bridge, fingerstyle tones. Even on fast runs, there's lot's of definition between notes (more so than my Stingray 5, in my opinion).
    Not the best pic, but hopefully it makes it through.
     
  8. Thanks Neptune! :)

    Now I understand.Not a bad looking bass actually.




    Like that cheesy t.v. show guy in Robocop would say:"I`d buy THAT for a dollar!!"
     
  9. barroso

    barroso

    Aug 16, 2000
    Italia
    i don't like the look, but i have tried one and that's an awesome bass. i really like to have one!
     
  10. my Precision Plus came with Lace Sensor PJ p/ups.
    I think you can tell the difference by the undersides- the J p/up has a gold coloured plate set in epoxy, and the coil/magnet assembly only takes up about half the depth of the p/up shell.

    I didn't like the low output and put EMG Selects in instead.
     
  11. neptune

    neptune

    Feb 2, 2001
    Maryland
    I'll have to take a look. I Appreciate the info.
     
  12. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    i just got done wrighting a letter to Fender asking them why they discontinued the HM and what exactly they put under the hood. Hopefully they'll get back in touch with me fairly soon on it.

    The one I played was white which imo was the prettiest of the bunch.
     
  13. neptune

    neptune

    Feb 2, 2001
    Maryland
    You're the MAN! Thanks. Here's a shot of a blue one that was on ebay awhile back.
     
  14. *drools* ooooooh man. now its back! my GAS is back! some on gimmie a rickenbacker! NOW!
     
  15. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Given the two examples of the HM 5 we've shown on this thread, it appears that these models didn't use Lace Sensor pickups. If you look closely you see that the pickup covers say "Fender" on them.

    I've owned a Strat Plus and Tele Plus with Lace Sensors and sure enough, it say Lace Sensor on the covers.

    From what I figure, the Plus series (Strat, Tele, P and J and J5) came out after the HM series--or at least out lasted the HM series. The HM series was clearly marketed for the hair-band set. I've seen a HM Tele that was only a Tele in the shape of the body and nothing else (high output humbucking pickups, no pickgaurd, Floyd Rose, etc.)! Clearly Fender was trying to get a piece of the Jackson/Charvel action.

    The Plus series came next and had the Lace Sensors. Apparently when people think Fender, they want vintage vibe because the Tele and Strat basically look like regular Fenders, but with pickup and hardware upgrades. The basses, on the other hand, looked totally modern and got discontinued well before the guitars did. These are pretty good basses, but with dinkier bodies and no pickguard. I think the Precision Plus had a Lace Sensor PJ set-up with a pick guard at one time. However, I know that Elderly music has one for sale that has no pickguard with controls similar to that of the Jazz Bass Plus (concentric knobs with other whistles and bells).

    The Plus series seem to have had a longer shelf life than the HM series. They stuck around for a while, but in the end, Fender went back to a more traditional looking ax even for their Deluxe models.

    Personally, I don't care for the looks for the HM bases though they may be very good. They certainly didn't come cheap back in their day. Right now, I think the old Plus basses with the Lace Sensors are sweet deals if you don't mind the non-Fender-like looks. And figure, any of these basses are probably pretty good bang for the buck. Kept this in mind as well, all it takes a future Kurt Cobain to appear in a video with one of these things and what was yesterday's joke will suddenly be a collectorÂ’s item.

    Later,

    Ron
     
  16. neptune

    neptune

    Feb 2, 2001
    Maryland
    I'm with you on the looks dgce. I'm glad to hear mine doesn't have Lace Sensors in it. Back in the early 90's I tried a Jazz (don't remember the model) that had Laces in it. I remember thinking it sounded pretty gutless. It's not obvious tonewise what these HM's have in them though, IMO, primarily due to the phase switching and the fact that they didn't use the best tone woods (basswood or poplar, I think) in most cases. An exception was the first one I saw..... I struck up a conversation with a bassist who was using one at a local club. His amp had died that night, and he was running direct into the PA. His was a dark stain color and , check it out: Some type of burled wood or birdseye maple. So evidently, they must have made a few hot rods. I liked the sound he got so much that I made some calls and ended up finding mine out of state (Philadelphia). It had been on the shelf for 2 years. I call my Chrome Red one "The Ugliest Bass on the Planet." Appreciate the info. Sure wish there was more documentation on these things.
     
  17. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    It looks like a great bass.

    I have two complaints, though.

    1) The body looks freakishly large. (I like medium to smaller sized bodies)

    2) I perfer elephant ear tuners.


    I bet she sings though, eh? :)
     
  18. neptune

    neptune

    Feb 2, 2001
    Maryland
    1) The body is not large at all. It's roughly the same size as a standard P bass, just more squared off, or "stylized."
    2) The black Gotoh tuners are like butter, but I would have liked either silver Gotohs or the old style "elephant ears."
    I think her sound could be improved with some with some real good J pickups installed.