Fender Hot Rod or Fender deluxe P-bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mebusdriver, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. O.k. I've seen three different bass that all seem the same. Fender Hot Rodded P-bass (amazing) Fender deluxe p-bass (haven't played one) Fender American deluxe P-bass (haven't played one). Now I know that the Deluxe P-bass and American Deluxe P-bass are different, but, what is a hot rodded p-bass? Is it just another name for American Deluxe P-bass or the Deluxe? And how much better is the Am. Del. from the Del.? Sorry for the confusing writing.
  2. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Mainly what the HRPB is is out of production.

    I have one of these things. All it really amounts to is a straight passive Precision with an added bridge Jazz Bass pickup.

    This concept has inherent problems, mainly the differential in output between the Precision and Jazz pickups. Fender addressed this by producing a special set of HRPB pickups with more closely matched outputs. Some people like the sound, some don't. While the object of the exercise was to have a single bass that had both Precision and Jazz Bass sounds, most owners seem to feel it sounds neither like a Precision nor like a Jazz. Some like the sound of all the pickups together. I have no strong opinion about that.

    Additionally, there is a problem in most (perhaps not all) HRPBs with a peculiar interaction between the two volume/mix pots. I've never figured out exactly what causes this, though I have heard several explanations that I did not find entirely satisfying, nor am I fully convinced that anyone's come up with a fix that did not involve a redesign of the circuit.

    For whatever reason, Fender gave up on them and they were dumped at extremely low prices through the usual big retailers. I got a beautiful ash-bodied one for $499.99, new, at Guitar Center. It's not my #1 bass, but it's OK, aside from the problems enumerated above.
  3. The American Deluxe P-Bass has an active preamp installed. It also has a slightly smaller body than the regular P-Bass. The bridge pickup is a special design humbucker to work with the P-pup and the active preamp. It has the Fender deluxe bridge and lightweight deluxe tuners.

    The HRPB, as explained by Bongolation, is an Amstd (or Am Series depending upon the year) P-Bass with a special matched set of pups. It also has the Fender deluxe bridge. There were/are problems in a number of them with the controls not acting as designed. However, a number of people have been able to correct that problem with a simple swap-out of the two volume pots. It would appear that Fender got a bad run of these pots and a lot of them found their way into the HRPBs. An easy fix.

    The Deluxe P-Bass Special is an MIM P-bass with a J-Bass neck and P/J pups. It's also a nice bass, not quite in the same department as the other two, but nice none the less. The pups aren't as well matched as the HRPB, but it does offer a nice pallet of tones.
  4. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    The Am HR P and Am P Deluxe have P bass width nuts...not sure about the other one.

    I have played a Am P Deluxe and found that I couldn't really get a sound that I liked...maybe it was the preamp, maybe the dual J at the bridge.

    I own a Am HR P and have replaced the P pup with a Dimarzio Will Power Middle. I really like this bass...it sounds like a P but one can add some J with the bridge pup. I love the through body stringing and graphite enhanced neck.

    I'm not sure why the AM HR P is gone...my guess is that first, it's not a Jazz and second, it's not traditional enough for the P crowd...especially in transparent orange (like mine)...plus they were darn expensive.
  5. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I have a lefty HRPB. I think it was made in 2000. It is a nice 3 tone sunburst with a rosewood fretboard. I had no problems with knobs or pots. It is built like a tank, and I get great P tone with the P pup on full and the J Pup on 1/4. All for $549 on MF!!! It is my main bass. :D
  6. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Did you personally have this problem and perform this repair to your satisfaction?

    I ask because I've also read that replacing the pots doesn't cure it. I haven't gotten any feedback on this from anyone whose objectivity I really trust, just vague, third-party stuff from people who aren't terribly lucid in the first place. It seems strange to me that only the HRPB would be saddled with these bad pots, which I don't recall having been a problem on any other Fender.

    I don't know for sure about this, and I'd really like to know if it's true before I go to the trouble and expense to do a fix Fender should be doing anyway under warranty - but won't.

    Most people come up with some more complicated departure from the original circuit as a cure.

    Thanks for any input.
  7. My own personal HRPB doesn't have this problem. I've read a number of posts over on the FDP where the pot swap was made and it cured the problem. The people who made the posts are regular posters and do appear to know what they're talking about.

    I agree that Fender should be fixing them, but isn't. They don't even admit that there is a problem.

    As far as it not affecting other instruments: I been told that the only other instrument that could be affected would be the Jazz Bass. I've also been told that Fender doesn't make all instruments at the same time. They go in model runs. Since not all of the HRPBs were affected, it's possible that HRPBs were the only place they landed, where they could have had an effect. I personally don't know.
  8. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I read of one person there who claimed to have done it, but that was all. I probably missed something.

    Yeah, I know.

    I think - after buying a house full of Fender gear - I'm never buying another new Fender product. Fender's so ethically-challenged these days, I no longer want to give them any more of my money. Among other offenses, I am amazed at their warranty policies on new instruments, and find it hard to believe that they can simply refuse to make good on blatant defects (and there are plenty of them!) as arbitrarily being "not covered." Fender's instrument warranty is so exclusionary that I think it's in violation of most states' consumer protection laws.

    Fender's instrument warranty reminds me of the old comedy routine about the insurance policy that's great, but doesn't cover anything that can actually happen.:mad:

    Unfortunately, FMIC isn't alone in this stinky behavior, either.
    That does make sense and could explain it. I'm still having problems figuring out how a pot can be bad like this. Perhaps an accidental taper substitution?
  9. From what I understand that's what the problem was. The taper was all off. A bad batch.
  10. I own a one of these basses as well, and was bothered by the ground noise when the adjusting the pots. One day I had the bass opened and saw the the diagram that Fender had posted had a ground that my bass didn't have. After I added the ground the noise was substantially reduced but it was still present. I am going to change the pots to see if there are any changes. I have also ordered an Aguilar P/J set. I will post my results.
  11. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    The MIA Deluxe P is a fine instrument. Best Fender makes, if you ask me.