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Fender Hot Rod Bass collectors?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Acustiman, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Acustiman


    Aug 22, 2008
    Saw this else where, and checked ebay.

    Any thought to these being collector items due to their limited run? Looks like they're bringing the money on the bay.

    Think I'll keep mine a while. :D
  2. I noticed there price goes for more then a standard of that era, but not extremely much more, i would like fender to do a reissue of them with some updates.
    Owen Bacon likes this.
  3. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I don't know exactly what you're talking about, but if you mean HRPBs, they typically go for substantially LESS than the corresponding post-2000 American series or pre-2000 American Standard Precisions. There were a number of problems with them which have been discussed here many times. They weren't a "limited run," they were a normal catalog item that failed to sell and was discontinued.

    I've watched prices on these since the '90s. Most recent one I saw was an absolutely pristine sunburst one with not a trace of fretwear -- mint -- at Guitar Center. $499 w/OHSC. It took quite a while to sell.

    Collectors? Funny! :rolleyes:
  4. Acustiman


    Aug 22, 2008
    Ok, haven't looked at the standard in comparison, i heard Musicians Friend blew them out a while back...Agree a reissue would be cool with the lighter modern tuners. ;)
  5. Here we go again. I own a HRPB and several others here do to, some love it and some do not. Mine is a keeper. The same ole TBers continue to pop up to bash these basses. Respect their opinions, but these basses are not as bad as they want you to believe. Best try one yourself and decide. The stock pickups are great, I see too many owners modifying, or personalize the bass that drastically changes the sound. My stock pickups and VVT work well, that is I use mine either 100% P, 50% J or 100% J and 25% P with no drop in the volume.

    I don't see these as being a collectors item but a heck of a player. Who really knows? Perhaps a relative of Nostradamus.
  6. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Well, your sig totally disqualifies you from objective discussion, doesn't it?

    It appears that you are referring to me, above.

    I don't bash instruments, I inform. I own one and like it OK, but it has objective problems, as does every other one I have played, with extreme passive V/V/T syndrome, and it does have unique pickups used on no other Fenders, which a lot of people don't especially care for.

    These were problems much discussed on Fender's then-semi-official FDP when this model was discontinued and blown out about seven years ago. Some people said that the V/V/T problem was limited to certain production runs and was remediable, but FMIC declined to comment, explain a fix or warrant the problem.

    It had a few other issues common to other models at that time, but it was the pickups and electronics that turned off buyers from the HRPB, then and since. With the pickup output balanced by height and everything wide open, this bass has a unique and very nice tone that I enjoy very much, but I pretty much agree with the many who feel that it fails to give the true P or true J sound they expect.

    Fender does screw up sometimes, and sometimes much worse than this.

    I've just spent the past couple of hours remedying one of their more amazing design gaffes on a brand new H1 Telecaster, which, as made, requires that the neck be pulled to adjust neck pickup height. Jaw-droppingly incredible, but 100% true. One of the stupidest things I've seen in nearly forty-five years of working on Fender (and other) instruments.

    You have to wonder who signs off on this stuff. :rollno:
  7. No, statement was unbiased, "Best to try one and decide". I think you would agree not all mass production basses are created equal. There are forum posts were opinions are stated as facts. Where does all the supposedly factual info originate when only a couple Fender promotional ads were released in 2000 while still today Fender declines to discuss the Hot-Rodded P.bass? My HRPB does not have the passive VVT problem you describe. Mine is an early model. I do understand the problem with the P pickup overpowering the J, I too have experienced the problem with modified 70s P.basses with added J pickup. Again, my HRPB doesn't have this problem, if it did I wouldn't play it, possibly it is unique. I am a member of FDP and not everyone agreed that there was a problem. It appears that very little was done to promote the HRPB and limited quantities were produced ( Fender Failure ). I suspect the discontinuation of the Hot-Rod P.bass was related to a lack of demand than a unbalanced pickup VVT problem therefore the model was discontinued late 2001. If there is any factual info now is the time to present it that will end any argument.

    By the way, my sig is intended to be a humorous, it is partly from the U.S. Armed Forces Oath of Enlistment after my TB supporting membership expired the smilies were not permitted. Also I own other basses beside Fenders.
  8. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Not in mine unless I say so up front.

    Fender parts lists, for one, one of the surest ways to debunk a lot of untruthful advertising claims and fanboy delusions.

    I believe I was the first person to publicly point out, when the first H1 instruments were introduced, that the nationwide advertising claim that they were "stripped-down American series" instrument was a total and absolute lie.

    It was obvious just to look at them, but the conclusive proof were Fender's parts lists which I went through very laboriously and discovered that there was not one significant common part between the H1 and the Americans series, and that in fact the were nothing but MIM "Classic" series instruments with a slightly different neck and a downgraded finish applied in the US.

    People like you gave me a TON of abuse about this, calling me every name in the book.

    I held my ground and eventually everyone -- including FMIC -- had to concede I was right. The fraudulent advertising copy stopped, and it was accepted as "common knowledge" that the original H1 guitars were essentially MIM Classics, not the more expensive American series, "stripped-down" or otherwise.

    It doesn't have that standard passive P/J problem because -- as I've pointed out -- it had a special set of pickups that were never used on another Fender (check the parts lists). The P was low-output and the J was high-output.

    They were not matched, but they were closer and could be output-balanced by height. Unfortunately, because they were substantially different from the normal pickups used on the MIAs, they didn't sound like what a lot of pickup-obsessed people expected from regular Fender P or J pickups. This isn't a huge issue to me, but it was to a lot of people. The difference may have been exaggerated in the market perception, too.

    It was pretty unanimous among those who got the close-out models. Some people I know who have seen different ones ("Hot Rod" vs. post-8/00 "Hot Rodded"? I don't know...) say that some actually work more or less right. I have not personally played one that didn't have fatal problems with mixing volume levels.

    The passive V/V/T syndrome is endemic to that circuit arrangement and more or less appears wherever used. I've never seen an example on any bass that really worked according to the ideal. An EE on the Seymour Duncan forums gave a long explanation of why it happens, but I didn't quite follow it and (worse) lost the post for later study. My recollection was that it was caused by a differential in inductance between the pickups which creates various strange and complex misbehaviors depending on component values.

    The HRPB problem was alleged by some to be caused by the wrong value or wrong taper being used in the volume pots. I have not had "working" ones here to bench and compare with the ones that don't, so I don't know if this is true or not.

    I suspect, based on nothing but long experience with FMIC product, that there was some undocumented production change in the pickup specs or the sourcing of components that produced the severe V/V/T problem -- and, trust me, it is severe, the worst example I've ever seen -- relative to previous runs that people like you claim supposedly worked more or less right.

    Fender never, ever admits to or discusses design or production errors, and it's not like they've had any shortage of them, as they incessantly fiddle with everything and have a lot of "Oops!" moments and "Oops!" products that come and go so fast most of us never see one until after they're discontinued and blown out or sold on eBay.

    The lack of demand was probably due to the inherent hassles with making a passive P/J work right. The HRPB was an attempt to deal with those problems using special pickups, but Fender seems to have for whatever reason failed to make it work and decided to blow it off.

    My guess is that they continually tweaked the actual specs of the unique pickup set during the HRPB run to make them better balanced and more conventionally sounding but in so doing made the V/V/T syndrome worse, and just gave up on messing with it as they were just digging a bigger hole.

    Again, that's just a guess, as I don't have a bunch of different ones here to disassemble and compare, but it's consistent with the known problems.
  9. Why should I care that you claim to be the first person to publicly debunk a nationwide advertising claim when the first H1 instruments were introduced? Should I be impressed and intimidated? FMIC conceded? Which department did you contact or by means of FDP? If there is truth to your statements and you had direct contact then that was a risk to lose, if you have to lose, the gold level repair authorization. FMIC has a reputation of a zero tolerance policy regarding assertions of critics :(. If people give you a TON of grief then you should consider possibly your approach is offensive and arrogant, which is what I am sensing here.
    I would like to clear my workload to get my HRPB on the bench, inspect the wiring, cap, pots and measurements of the pickups. I have Fender's diagram and parts list for the American Series Hot-Rodded P.bass. I will post the results and pics in a new thread.
    This is not the thread to discuss this topic; we are derailing the OP's thread. You stated your opinion and I understand the rather long explaination. You are welcome to PM.
  10. Acustiman


    Aug 22, 2008
    Sorry gotta agree with RMay...surprised?

    NO "fanboy" here just someone...and mind you along with others who have listened while I've giged the Hot Rod P who like the unique P/J combination.

    Do I care that it's not a "Standard P-Bass" P/U? Don't think so if the tone is there...and it is.

    Never had a problem with mine that was anything annoying or detracted from the sound imo. I do hear where the "J" V taper is quicker to it's full output when about half way rolled up. But I'm usually playing both P/U full on, to add some edge to the "P" pickup's or half way for a suttle J-bass effect. Oh and it is a later model 2000 to be exact.

    Facinating read non the less...i think. :confused:
  11. Road Bull

    Road Bull

    Jul 24, 2011
    Seattle, WA.

    So I have been interested in the Fender P/J concept for a long time without being able to get my hands on one. I have read a lot of threads here on the topic, and this one seems like a solid one, (besides a lot of the passionate differences of opinion).

    Anyway, I was poking around on the GC used site and came across a Fender MIM Precision Special, (P/J), not to be confused with the American Specials. From the grainy pic, I could tell that it was a Fender MIM, P/J, black, with a BAII bridge and gold anodized pick guard, for $199, and not much else. I called and found out that it also has a hipshot drop tuner, and no case.


    So I figured, what the hell, for that price I will give it a try and if it doesn't work, hand it back to GC. I couldn't say what condition this bass is in, and the GC employee and I may not agree on what we consider "good" condition. So, for that, we will wait and see. But it sounds interesting. And that's the crux of the issue. I will be interested in how it sounds and feels.

    Considering the non-stock bridge and drop tuner, the pick-ups might have been upgraded as well. It's kind of like a mystery grab bag ordering from GC online. All basses get one fuzzy mug shot and then its off to the wall of doom till it moves. :p

    Wish me luck, lol.
  12. Jwood

    Jwood Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    Richmond, Va
    I love my hot rod pbass.
  13. Mike Sorr

    Mike Sorr Um, I was told there'd be no math... Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2012
    Brick, NJ
    I'm extremely late to the party on this one, but if anyone is still checking (or cares) I sold my HRPB a few years ago under the misguided notion that I needed another 5 string. I have owned over 50 basses in my life, many of them Fenders, and the HRPB is one of the few I wish I had back. I saw that someone said they can be had for about $500. Where? When they pop up on ebay every now and then they're closer to $1000.
  14. Jwood

    Jwood Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    Richmond, Va
    Yeah, I've never seen them go for $500, nor would I consider letting mine go for anywhere near that.
  15. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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