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Fender Precision confusion!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by terribilino, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. terribilino


    Nov 22, 2008
    I'm ogling various passive basses, from Yamaha to Squier to Fender. The Fender site just floors me. There is (and this is just the non-MIA line-up):

    1. The Standard: http://www.fender.com/products//search.php?partno=0146100332

    2. The Road Worn: http://www.fender.com/products//search.php?partno=0131712340

    3. The Highway One: http://www.fender.com/products//search.php?partno=0111360367

    4. The Deluxe: http://www.fender.com/products//search.php?partno=0135760306

    5. ... and Artist series basses, like the Tony Franklin fretted: http://www.fender.com/products//search.php?partno=0190086850

    6. The Classic series (1950s): http://www.fender.com/products//search.php?partno=0131702367

    What on earth is the difference between these basses? Where are they made - Japan? Mexico?

    And which would you recommend for someone looking for that classic P-bass sound? Should I stick to my first choice, a Yamaha BB414 with flats, or should I go with one of these, or a Squier??? Very confusing...

  2. 1-MIM
    6-MIA...I think

    just use google all of the answers, are just a second away
  3. Essen

    Essen Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    I'm pretty sure the classic is mexican made.
  4. terribilino


    Nov 22, 2008
    Hmm. I doubt 4. is MIM, otherwise why would there be an American Deluxe?
  5. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    There is a "Deluxe" series AND an "American Deluxe" series. Obviously, the Am. Deluxe is MIA.

    The Classic 50's P-Basses are MIM. I have an '06, and Fender Customer Service told me that although they're MIM, they have American pickups. I'm not sure if they still do, but I know they sure do sound great.
  6. ishouldbeking


    Feb 5, 2007
    Hollywood, CA
    Endorsing: SIT, Eastwood, Hanson
    there are going to be various difference depending on which model you choose, though a lot of it comes down to the quality of specific components (such as pickups), and country of origin. all of those should be able to give a good classic p bass sound, though the deluxe models typically have active preamps, which is NOT the traditional passive precision bass tone... they are probably intended to cover the traditional tone as well as much more sonic territory, but if what you're after is the classic tone I wouldn't get an active model.

    Honestly the key is to figure out what matters to you, such as cosmetics, feel, and specific components, etc. A lot of the artist models are based off of P basses but with a specific upgrade or alteration, or in some cases, color scheme. The Roadworns play really well, but they're essentially just relic'd MIM precisions. The key is to find one that you like the feel and tone of, and you'll most likely be happiest. If you can head to a store and try a bunch out, figure out which you like the best and go with that.
  7. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    50's classics are all made in America using USA parts. They are painted and assembled in Mexico which cuts the cost.
  8. Foreman_


    Oct 20, 2008
    Vancouver B.C.
    Should I stick to my first choice, a Yamaha BB414 with flats

    I've got the BB414, I love it! the diversity is awesome, the bass sounds great acoustically, the stock p/ups have good growly tone.

    However I would love a Fender P-bass, so I'm just going to add to your confusion
  9. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri

    I'm fortunate enough to have an actual 59 P Bass and frankly there is nothing like it for playability and tone. I've recently played on one of the Road Worn (MIM) and it's pretty close to the real deal. Now personally, I can't for the life of me figure out why someone would want to buy a bass that had been "distressed" to look like a used instrument, but whatever floats your boat. The main difference I noticed was that the Road Worn bass was substantially lighter than mine. There were differences in the tone, but they were pretty subtile.

  10. terribilino


    Nov 22, 2008
    You're right, the Deluxe isn't passive. Should have caught that. The Yamaha BB414 might even be a good substitute for the Precision Deluxe sound...

    I wish I could do what you suggest, but the shops near me (in southern Switzerland) just don't stock that many basses. Trying them all out is not, unfortunately, an option.
  11. terribilino


    Nov 22, 2008
    I agree totally. It's like a stone-washed bass. Very weird. I actually find it quite ugly. But I've read such good things about the playability and the tone...
  12. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006

    I pretty much agree with the above statment, exept about the weight. My 64 is a feather, but the MIM Road Worns are generaly pretty light.

    I am fortunate enough to own a genuine 64 Precision, and the Road Worn really is a good replica of a vintage bass IMO. These are a VERY different animal than a distressed MIM Standard. VERY different.
  13. ishouldbeking


    Feb 5, 2007
    Hollywood, CA
    Endorsing: SIT, Eastwood, Hanson
    In that case, I guess the trick is to narrow it down to exactly what you want (and don't want!) and figure out what best suits you. Honestly, I've played some stock MIM precisions that are pretty darn good. They'll probably need a setup out of the box, but most everything these days does anyway. If you're only option is to order something off the web, make sure you buy from a seller with a good reputation and a good return policy... even with all the advances in quality control, there are still plenty of lemons in every line of mass-produced instruments, no matter the country of origin or the pricetag. But here's hoping you get lucky and wind up with your dream bass!
  14. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    At one time I owned a brand spanking new 69 Precision, and it was a great deal lighter than my 1959.

    This makes sense to me since the Road Worns cost 900.00 bucks.

  15. nellie48


    Mar 12, 2007
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I would get the HWY 1.

    All the other basses you listed are made in mexico except for the artist series which are sometimes made in Japan. The hwy one have a Made In USA stamp because only the hardware and paint job are mexican. The essentials like the body and neck are made in USA. Also, many people dont know this but the HWY one p bass has the exact same part number as the American Standard pickups. A HWY one is in a lower price range but it gives you the flexibility to upgrade it. If you eventually replace the hardware and get rid of the greasebucket you will basically have yourself an American Vintage Series which are around $1500. They also have the nitro paint just like the early Fenders. However, some people dont like the satin finish, but that can be buffed to a gloss if you wish. They will chip and wear down to the wood, but that gives them character. Something the Road Worns have fabricated.
  16. lowdown3


    Mar 22, 2008
    I own a Road Worn Jazz bass and I tell you what between the road worn and the 2 American jazz bass that I also have the Road Worn blows them out of the water.....Now I also have a American P bass that plays very well and my freind has a Road Worn P bass....And again I love the Road Worn P bass......................As a matter of fact I just called the local store and had one order one..........Now the thing is they all play a little different so one might sound and feel great when the other hanging next to it might not......
  17. therex


    Jun 24, 2007
    1. The Standard: http://www.fender.com/products//search.php?partno=0146100332

    am sure they are MIM, they can be awesome or just good

    2. The Road Worn: http://www.fender.com/products//search.php?partno=0131712340

    clasic series basse with a different finish and and reliced, way too overpriced IMO

    3. The Highway One: http://www.fender.com/products//search.php?partno=0111360367

    claimed as cheap MIA but IMO they are better than pre 08 am standard, the finish on the necks is just amazing to me

    4. The Deluxe: http://www.fender.com/products//search.php?partno=0135760306

    active MIMS and some are CIJ and MIK i think

    5. ... and Artist series basses, like the Tony Franklin fretted: http://www.fender.com/products//search.php?partno=0190086850

    not the best deals IMO

    6. The Classic series (1950s): http://www.fender.com/products//search.php?partno=0131702367

    MIM with some extra features, not worth it IMO, but nice anyways
  18. Laredo


    Nov 27, 2005
    Upstate, NY
    ..............At first I thought a MIM Relic'ed bass was a joke with a list price of $1,199.00. I thought that it was redculous to pay that much for someone to "beat up" a MIM Bass...........Until I played the P-Bass at my local Music Store! Now, I want one.................Great Basses! :D
  19. terribilino


    Nov 22, 2008
    Thanks for the lowdown!
  20. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    I also live in southern Switzerland, and I agree it is tough to find a lot of different Fenders to try out. Prices are plain stupid here and I wouldn't dream of buying a new instrument off the shelf. Even internet prices are high- one solution is to buy from Thomann in Germany, but it's still pricey.

    If you want to try a few American Standards, HWY1s, and Roadworns, Hug Music in Lausanne has a few in stock right now. There are also a few Fenders at Boullard in Morges.

    If you do as I do and buy used from Swiss and (especially) American classifieds or ebay, you will save a fortune, and be able to sell on if you don't like what you bought, even sometimes at a profit. Dollar is low now, well worth looking for a deal!

    You could also consider a nice used early '80s Tokai Hard Puncher. They are plentiful on ebay from sellers in the US and Japan, and they are the best Precisions Fender never made, and can be had for around $500 all day long. I gig all three of mine regularly.

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