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Fender P Basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TheJacoBaco, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. I've been wanting a better bass(although mine is good it's not amazing) so I've been doing lots and lots of research and I was thinking about going with a Sterling SB14 or Ray 34, but my bass instructor suggested a Fender P Bass. So I searched for them and there are SOO many. So I was wondering what the average Fender P bass is that most people would buy, if there is one, and if there isn't then if someone could suggest a Fender P bass for me to get. I'd prefer it to not go over $1000, and I'd love to have a diversity of tones, but if I'm right Fender P basses are mainly rock basses??? Which is fine cause I mostly play classic rock songs in my group. Someone please help! haha
  2. PotsdamBass8

    PotsdamBass8 Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    There is a ton of info to read through, but here's the summary: they mainly have one sound that works really well for most styles, so it's a different kind of versatility than say a bass that has several sounds.

    Definitely try to play a few, and go with the one that plays and sounds best to you.
  3. the one on the left is an AVRI '62 Fender P (reissue) that I got for less than $1,000, and it's a very nice bass, suitable for many kinds of music. The single tone control seems simple but it gives you a wide range of tone.

    The P on the right, btw, is a fretless from 1978 and a very nice bass in its own right. Was > $1k tho.

  4. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    Just try and find an American Standard P-bass.
  5. Thanks! And thanks for posting a pic! lol, actual pictures are nice. So it seems like I'll just have to visit a store and see what ones I like I suppose. Is the rest on the '62 for your finger tips when you play with your thumb?
  6. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    If you want a music man you get a music man.

    Besides the basic it's your money it's your bass the music man instruments are a lot more consistent, whereas digging yourself through both the models of P basses and the individual variances can be a daunting task. Especially if you have no active interest in model history.

    My only advise is be careful with buying brand new music man basses at full price. Resell value can be spotty.
  7. I got a used 2001 MIM P at GC a few years ago for $300, put flats on it, and it is one of my favorites. It is also the one I tend to gig with when we are playing bars and the like.
  8. Old Fart

    Old Fart

    Mar 11, 2011
    In my humble opinion, every bassist should own a P. It was the first electric bass guitar and, today, it is hard to make a better bass. Tons of monster bassists have used them over the years and recording engineers like them. Nevertheless, lots of bassists reject them. And yet.....those same bassists sometimes go see other bands where the bassist plays a P and when they do, they are impressed with the tone. This bass has a feature that is quite useful. It tends to sit perfectly in the mix with other instruments. There are lots of basses that, when played alone, have a more interesting tone than a P. But there is a HUGE difference between how a bass sounds alone and how it sounds in a mix. P's are boring all by themselves. But in a mix, they are a delight to play.
  9. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    Play every bass you can. Take notes, and ignore the name on the headstock (says the Fender guy). Listen with your ears, not your eyes. Determine what you like and don't like. Try to find a used one and save some cash, unless the one in your hands is your soulmate. I've found them to be like babies - you love them immediately for WHAT they are, but it takes a little time to love them for WHO they are, their nuances. Be patient, and don't settle for "good enough".
  10. Uncle K

    Uncle K The bass player doesn't get a sandwich Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    If you decide to get a P-Bass, look for a used MIA or MIJ, quality is top-notch. MIM or MIK quality is kind of hit or miss.
  11. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    I've spend thousands of $ on basses, just to eventually realise that the American Standard Fender Precision is the king. Much more versatile than one would imagine, and built like a tank too.

    I now have my MIA as my main bass, with rounds on, and a Squier CV with flats, and I'm set.

    Here they are

  12. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    My advice? The internet is a TERRIBLE tool for choosing a bass. What you need to do is decide on your price range. You're halfway there: you know you don't want to spend more than $1000. You may also have a minimum in mind. Like, you wouldn't have faith in a bass worth less than $x.

    Then you need to get in your car and drive to every brick and mortar guitar store within a reasonable radius of your home. Say 50 miles? 25 miles? Then try out every bass in your price range. And don't leave with one until you fall absolutely head over heels in love.

    The only thing you're gonna get from the internet is a list of other people's favorites.
  13. 90dphillips


    Jan 11, 2012
    I like the slim neck on my American Special P, and the Specials are almost all under a grand.
  14. Cottee


    Oct 17, 2012
    KSM Foundation Bridge, KSM Music Logan, Utah
    I really love my new Logan custom P bass... I would go for a used Fender if you can find a deal or I would get a builder or parts builder to build me one. Fenders new prices have gone up so much that their new price basses aren't a great deal in my opinion. Logan, or other builders can put together a great bass for you in your own custom color for under 1k. Here is mine in whats called Irish Green with laquer over an ash body.

    Attached Files:

  15. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    I would say go play a Ray34 and SB14 as well as a P-bass and see why you like more. I've played a ton of P's and a Ray34, and I own 2 P's and a Ray35. I can say the P's sound, well like a P. I believe the Ray is much more versatile and a better player. The mids from
    The Ray REALLY sounds great in a live mix. I always get compliments on my Ray's sound.
  16. PJ Muzikmansky

    PJ Muzikmansky

    Jan 4, 2013
    I am a long-time gigging bassist and own several instruments... Two stingrays, A jazz bass, A Sadowsky Metro 5, And two P basses: one being a '62 reissue (flats) and the other, a '57 reissue.

    If I was compelled to sell all my basses and keep just one, the '62 reissue P would be it.

    Don't ever let enyone convince you that P basses are not versatile.They may only have one basic sound, but their versatility is in THAT sound. It fits in 99% of all musical situations and in my view, reigns supreme in Soul, Blues and R&B, county/country-rock, punk, straight rock, fingerstyle funk...you name it.

    You simply CANNOT go wrong with a good P bass, sound-wise

    The only issue you might have is this: if you have smallish hands, the fingerboard width might take some getting use to, but there are ways to get around that by using proper technique etc.
  17. Dr Goggles

    Dr Goggles

    Jun 4, 2012
    The MIM and the MIA (I think) have what Fender calls a modern C neck. I find the neck on my MIM very comfortable. I have a 57 Reissue which has a thicker neck which is not as comfortable. I also have a Jazz bass with it's tiny toy-like neck, which I don't play any more. Someone recommended the Am Special which I would love to try as it has a slimmer neck than the Std, so that would be worth a try.

    So get out and try a few. The thing is though, only buy a P if *you* think you want one. I had to come full circle through a few fancy instruments before I discovered the P for myself.
  18. verycoolname


    Jan 28, 2013
    +1 on the American Special. I played one the other day and the neck was great, and it really had a good sound (played it through a Markbass combo).

    Go with what you want though. I've heard the SBMM models are great, albeit different than a P. Try out both and see what suits you best; finding an instrument you love and want to play will be better than going with other people's recommendations.
  19. yes, that was the idea at the time and they replicated it even though most people don't play that way any more. I do use my thumb, but along with my index and third fingers and, as such, I do not use that finger rest.
  20. blues_bassist


    Mar 14, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    Like everybody else has said, try out several different types of basses and pick which one feels and sounds the best to you. Don't buy a bass just because everybody else says to.

    I am a very loyal P Bass user. I only have one non-P Bass and that is an Epi Ripper RI. I find that the P has a great tone for the kind of music that I play and I love the way it feels when I play it.

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