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Fender Precision Bass, asking for purchasing advice :)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KozmicBass, Feb 1, 2021.

  1. KozmicBass


    Jan 18, 2021
    Hi all,

    I'd like to purchase a 4 string Fender precision bass at some point. Since a vintage/relic model is definitely out of my price range, I was wondering what would give me that solid James Jamerson, Rocco Prestia (in the '60-'70 era), Pino Palladino, etc. tone?

    I'm inclined towards a re-issue model I guess. So the questions are:
    - Are the re-issue models a solid option?
    - Crafted in Japan vs MIM vs USA re-issues?
    - If it's a re-issue, what year should I be going after?
    - Any other suggestions/recommendations?

    Thank you all in advance!
    Smooth_bass88 likes this.
  2. TerenceE


    Dec 6, 2015
    Put flats on it
  3. KozmicBass


    Jan 18, 2021
    That is the only way indeed! :)
    bobyoung53, tmw and dalkowski like this.
  4. musicman556

    musicman556 Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2019
    Smyrna, TN
    Yup. Flats.

    I'm very happy with a 2019 Player series (MIM) I got brand new for $600. I went a different direction with mine and swapped the pickup to a Dimarzio Relentless Billy Sheehan model and installed a high mass bridge. I wanted a much more aggressive P tone, and I got it!

    HOWEVER, I really enjoyed the bass exactly as it came from the factory, too! It sounded just like a P with rounds should have sounded. Roll the tone off a bit and it was heavenly! I have TI flats on two other basses, and if I threw a set on this P it would have been exactly what you are looking for, tone-wise. A pickup swap is relatively inexpensive if you wanted something with a little more character. Fit, finish, and hardware was all really nice as well. I absolutely love that bass!

    Good luck!
  5. Sean150


    Jul 18, 2018
    Players are good in my opinion.
    JRA, stuffedbread, tbz and 4 others like this.
  6. KozmicBass


    Jan 18, 2021
    You mean like the Fender Player Series MIM?
    Have one of those right now. The neck bows like crazy, adjustments don't seem to help much and I'm not even taking it out anywhere.
  7. ad9000

    ad9000 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2004
    Leucadia, CA
    I picked up a used 2008 Road Worn P-bass a little over a year ago for $700. I bought it mainly for a backup or to take to gigs where I might be reluctant to take my '62 P, but it turned out to be so good, both in terms of sound and playability, that it has become my go-to P. I replaced the pickup with a Lindy Fralin, not because the original pickup was horrible, but that was a worthwhile improvement to my ears.

    Anyway, the Road Worn P's show up on the used market now and then, and if you can find one I think it would be a good candidate to give you what you're after for a decent price.
  8. Sean150


    Jul 18, 2018
    Yeah, my Jaguar is rock solid, barely have to tune it. Do you keep the environmental conditions relatively consistent (humidity, temp, etc). If not that will cause most basses to shift.

    I have to say I have had more issues with American Fenders than any Player I’ve played.

    If you want to avoid issues I would avoid Fender in general. For pretty close to the same price as a Mexican Fender you could get a Yamaha BB 734 which is a much better bass (if you spend more on the BB Pro it is as good as any other top end guitar for half the price).
    KozmicBass, tbz and Michael Jewels like this.
  9. fretlessbass

    fretlessbass Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2010
    Tucson, AZ
    Wanted a P, but absolutely require 21 frets, so I got a G&L LB 100 Tribute, a couple months ago; I absolutely LOVE it—great sound...and the tone control actually does something—all the sound variation I really need....it’s already become my go-to bass, for every type of gig that doesn’t require a 5er....btw: can’t beat the price—$549!
    friend33, Tbone76, lbbc and 3 others like this.
  10. Bassclef46


    Feb 1, 2021
    Tribute LB 100 is awesome. in that price range no comparison. They compare with any American made fender
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  11. Holdsg

    Holdsg Talkbass > Work Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Alta Loma, CA
    my favorite vintage P sounding pickup is the Lollar.
    find a P-bass with good bones, with neck you like, and swap the pickup for a Lollar and call it a day.
    As to "good bones" I'd start with the TB classifieds, look at used Amer Standards, G&L L-100s (US and Tributes as discussed earlier), Lakland Skyline 44-64s, made in Japan Fenders, AVRI Fenders, etc.
  12. butterfingers1


    Apr 22, 2019
    Squier. I don’t see what more expensive gives.
    flojob, danster, sonojono and 2 others like this.
  13. I’m inclined to suggest a Fender Aerodyne... am I crazy? I remember them having nice P-bass tone, but they never really “took off,” so you might be able to get a great axe on the cheap!
    KozmicBass and Plain Old Barry like this.
  14. krfoss

    krfoss Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    Orange County, CA
    If you want the real vintage experience, get a P bass with the 1.75" neck. If you like yourself, and dont want to struggle with the neck, get whatever P bass you want throw flats on them, and play it.

    Also, if I werent hung up on "american" and " fender", I'd get a squier, flats, and lollar pickups.

    All this said, I have a '62 precision reissue (1983) with flats... becuase I'm hung up on "american" and "fender"
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
  15. leonard


    Jul 31, 2001
    Try before you buy. There are good and bad examples at all price points. The neck profiles vary between models. Some are heavy, some are light.
  16. If you insist on staying with Fender, allow me to suggest a Fender Vintera P-bass.
    Vintage tone, great feel, and, as krfoss said a 1.75" neck, which is very nice. It just takes a little getting used to.
    $900 with a gig bag.
    I played one on a few different occassions.
    A very nice instrument.
    If I can suggest a non-Fender, I just bought one of these recently.
    A Schecter Guitar Reserch CV-5.
    Very vintage Fender sound and feel.
    $700 for the 5 string, $650 for the 4 string.
    retslock, Paco Leon, sonojono and 4 others like this.
  17. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    As mentioned above, the single most important factor is flatwound strings, in my opinion.
    And you can really get involved with trying different models, and even different brands, of "P-Bass", and that's totally fine... but, really, you can start with a Squier and put flatwounds on it.
    I like GHS Precision Flats and D'Addario Chromes, personally. One set of either can last for years, especially if you like the kind of sound that you are going for.
    KozmicBass and C Stone like this.
  18. ElectricBass72


    Aug 6, 2019
    Seems like I'm the only bassist on the planet that likes stainless steel super bright roundwounds on a Fender P.
    satjhmo, J_Bass, sonojono and 9 others like this.
  19. And, yes to the flatwounds.
    I can recommend two sets:
    Both Ernie Ball.
    Ernie Ball regular flats, marketed by their guage. Group 1, 2, 3.
    I use the 3. Very nice, traditional flatwound sound. I have a set on my Jazz bass for about a year, and they sound better as time passes.

    Or Ernie Ball Cobalt flats.
    A little less thump than most flats, but with almost roundwound sustain.
    Good luck.

    KozmicBass and Holdsg like this.
  20. wboyd68


    Oct 29, 2018
    Gilbert, Arizona
    I picked up my American Professional Series a couple of years ago and have been exceedingly happy with it. As with all my basses I immediately put flats on it.
  21. 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.

    May 15, 2021

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