Fender Precision

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Slayer bass, Aug 7, 2002.

  1. Hi,

    I own a 1999 Fender Precicion Bass, this is my favorite bass, the American Standard Bass.
    In my city there is a store selling 2 Fender Precisions 1978 and 1979, and they are more expensive than a new Precision Bass!!!
    So, I would like to have some opinions here, the old Precisions are better than the new ones?
    Somebody has some preference? 70’s? 80’s? other years?

  2. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    there are a lot of people who think that old basses are always better than new ones. i can only say that when i bought my P i tried a lot of them and obviously i bought the one i thought sounded the best. My P is a 2000 MIA American serie.

    there's a cup of tea for everyone!
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I like what barroso says - there's this myth that "older is better." Not so, IME, (and I grew up with 40 years of Fender basses).

    The only exceptions I would make are the pre-CBS Precisions. Those were made by the most talented and dedicated people who ever worked for Fender. Leo was there - no junk ever got out the door.

    Some CBS-era Fenders are great. Let your hands and ears be the judge, not the date.
  4. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I agree with rickbass. I love my '83, but some people I know don't like the ones from that time frame. If it does "it" for you, snatch the puppy!
  5. in Denmark Street, London, there's a vintage guitar shop (just opened, I think), and they've got several 70's Precisions - all at over £1000:eek:

    there's also a few 70's Tele basses (a nice blue one with the neck humbucker in the window).

    overpriced, and the build quality, playability and tone of the 70's models is inconsistent, but they look great:)
  6. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I do feel that a lot of people try to milk the whole "vintage" thing to charge insane prices. Hell, the other day I saw an ad for a "vintage 89 Jazz bass". :rolleyes:
  7. You know, I'm a photographer too, and have used Leica cameras for years. The same thing applies to them too - all the old stuff (even beat up gear) is expensive. People collect the stuff, which drives the prices up. Most of it is just the mystique - it doesnt perform any better than todays lenses/cameras (in fact, the newer Leica gear is superior).

    Anyhow, a lot of people around here think its cool to say "I play a 197x Fender!" and sometimes they dont know anything more about it besides the fact that it wasnt made in the last 5 years. Seems like every interview in Bass Player mag too - whoever it is, they have at least ONE 196/7x Fender in their collection, whether they actually play it or not.

    BTW, I'm selling my Leica gear cause its too expensive for me now to get other lenses etc. :) Maybe I'll sell my Fender too!

  8. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    Always remember these words of wisdom: Every old bass was new at one time.
  9. The Lowest

    The Lowest

    May 17, 2002
    New Jersey
    I can understand the mystique concerning the pre CBS Fenders, but can you tell me why it now extends to basses made after the 1965 (let's say 1966 to allow for an overlap in which little changed) changeover date?
  10. Slayer bass, just go by what sounds good, nothing else. I bought a brand new Fender Precision bass in 1976 and it was the biggest piece of garbage I have ever played. Honestly, it was just a badly made bass. I put DiMarzio pickups in it, which helped a little, but, it just never sounded good. It was all brash sounding midrange, no bottom, no warmth and tinny sounding highs. I just got a lemon. :(

    I didn't give up on Fender, though. I now own a 1999 MIM Fender fretless Jazz bass, and love everything about it except the single coil hum, which is quite loud on my bass. I have played a few other brand new P-basses within the last year, and they all sounded great. A friend of mine has the best sounding Fender I have ever heard; it's a 1965 Pre-CBS P-bass. Other than the Pre-CBS models, they're all the same to me. If it sounds good, it sounds good. That's all I worry about.

    Mike J.
  11. The Lowest, I don't know where they cut off the Pre-CBS time frame, but, from what I've heard mostly here at TB, any instruments not yet completed when CBS took over are still considered Pre-CBS quality. Then it gets spotty because for a few years after that, Fender still put out some very high quality basses, but, much less consistantly.

    Historians, where are the Fender historians? :D

    Mike J.
  12. Any time you're talking about quality, and people are talking about old Fenders or even expensive new basses, there is no way to guarantee that an instrument is going to be great. You will find great Squier basses and lousy '65 Fenders. By spending a lot of money and/or buying a vintage bass, what you are actually doing is increasing the probablity that you are buying a great instrument. I have a theory that says if you buy a used or vintage instrument that is "mint," it is probably sub-par because if it was good somebody would have played the hell out of it and it would be beat up and worn. I have used this theory and, as a matter of fact, I have bought more than one instrument after playing it unplugged, without even bothering to play it through an amp because I knew it would be good because of the resonance it possessed. I know I am not the only guy who thinks this way.
  13. I prefer the New -Old precisions
    American Vintage Series 62 Reissue was what I bought after playing several P's everything from a 68,72,77,to all the new models. as has been stated build and tone quality vary , You'll know when you get the right one in your hands.
  14. I agree!!!

    I'm not thinking about buying another Precision, I was just curious about the price of the old basses on the stores.
    My 1999 MIA Standard Precision bass sounds great! I agree with all of you, it does not matter if it's an new / old, or MIA / MIM bass, If the bass sounds good it's OK.
    But you know, the guy who is selling an old Fender always says:
    "Hey, it's a 1978 Fender, better wood, better sounding, manufactured carefully, you can't compare it with the new Fenders and bla, bla, bla..."
    I just did't have the chance tho play an old precision yet.

    So, thanks for all off you!!! you helped a lot.
  15. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I prefer the new American Series with string thru feature.
  16. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    The nicest sounding P's I've played were a 1972 and 1966. For some reason, probably the wood ageing, they just sound more, well, alive. Newer P's just don't sound quite as nice to me. I don't find ageing impacts Jazzes quite as much... but for P's it just seems to sweeten them up. The process is not universal though, there are some really junky sounding 197x P's. Furthermore, the price you pay for anything before 1980 is getting ridiculous. And since some of those basses are frankly junk, you have to play each one to determine whether it's worth anything at all.
  17. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    So.. Anyone interested in my VINTAGE Telecaster geetar, made 1989 in Japan? :D

    Perhaps I should go to Tabcrawler or something to sell it, to somewhere where REAL instrument players hang out. I'm asking $1200, willing to trade for MM Stingray 5 also :p

    BTW, I'm using this Ed Roman stuff to back me up. "See this? It says that Japanese stuff is better! And, if American tele from 1980s is going at $900, it's only $300 more for superior instrument!" :cool:
  18. BigBohn


    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
    The tone from a vintage Ibanez gets me all the time.

  19. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    My MIA's are a 78, 95, 97, 98, and a 01 anniversary P. Imo the nicest sounding/best feeling of the bunch is the 98.