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Fender Urge?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fivestringphil, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. fivestringphil


    Jul 3, 2012
    I've recently played a Fender Urge (Stu Hamm sig. Model) in a local music shop. This the first one I've actually seen and played in person. I love the styling of the bass and it plays phenomenally. It has that fender-esque tonal quality but with a bit more low end flexibility than I'm used to with fenders. I am considering one, but i would like to know if anyone has any particular opinions, or experiences with these basses.
  2. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    I had an Urge I for a long time. It was a great bass in every way. Fender-ish look with a twist, punchy tone, played great. Wish I still had it, but I damaged the truss rod. Looking back, I will bet it was fixable.
  3. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    I could easily be remembering wrong, but I think electronics issues were common with these. I like the not-so-ordinary Fenders. The Urge II is on my "one day" list. The tonal capabilities seem endless.
  4. I used to have two Urge II basses for a while. My only gripe was that I liked modern preamps with more mid control over the Fended/Kubicki preamp.
  5. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales
    Nicely done Fender medium scale bass. Two basses in one, it really did do the P and the J quite well.

    Most of the issues I came across were quality issues in soldering, and those were few and far between.

    I owned one for about six years but it never got the playing time it deserved.
  6. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    I don't know if issues were common, but my first Urge I had a P pickup that only half of worked.
  7. fivestringphil


    Jul 3, 2012
    Ive built several of my own pedals guitars and basses. So if the only concern is a bad wiring job then ill probably be addjng it to my collection. :)
  8. I still own my 1992 MIA Urge. Great playing and sounding bass. The only problem is the preamp sucks batteries like mad. If I leave it plugged in overnight, the battery will be dead in the morning.

    grenadilla likes this.
  9. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    This picture made me smile. My first one was this color. The one that I put several miles on was burgundy mist.
  10. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    One of my students had an Urge I for a long time. Basses with versatile electronics are right up my alley and that's what attracted me the most from that bass (putting aside the fact that Stu Hamm is my biggest influence as a bassist). It has lots of tonal possibilities indeed, but unfortunately I could never find one that I really liked. I've never played an Urge II and I've been curious about it, just to see if I feel the same about it or not.
  11. I own a Urge I and I love it. It is the best playing and sounding short scale bass I have owned. For me its not a giging bass. Though it certainly could be.
  12. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    Resurrecting this thread, as I've just scored this:


    It's only got the 'J' pickups, and no toggle- I suppose for obvious reason... I don't know which one this is, but it's made in Mexico.

    The jury's still out for me, just had it a few days. But here's what I wrote about it on another site. I make a couple allusions to another med-scale bass I had for a while, a Burns Marquee:

    "Feels pretty good to play, the scale-length of the Fender Urge is noticeably shorter than your garden-variety long-scale bass; and like ******'s Burns Marquee I had a few years ago I reach too far for some notes and get a little 'brrrt' sound as I fault over the fret... but I'm better at it now, and am paying closer attention. This means it'll be a learning curve until I can achieve the abandon I can play with on the long-scale bass though. I'm sort of mincing through bass lines a little bit, so far.

    Sound-wise, I'd make the coarse analogy of a crayon compared to a paint-brush. It's a smaller, 'cuter' sound than the Hamer or any other long-scale bass I've been playing. The Burns also seemed to have a good deal more 'heft' to it than the Fender Urge. Those Burns' pickups were pretty great, and it was a passive bass. I'm not sure I love the eq range the active controls on the Urge work with, but I'm finding an acceptable place to be with it (I just figured out the knob-scheme last night). I haven't played it with an ensemble yet, and that might change my opinion. Maybe it'll nail the good range of tone after all- and maybe I'll replace the p'ups... For now I'll work with it, but the bass looks kinda cool with the different pick guard, and it's a nice Fire-Engine kind of red. It's a nice-looking bass, good for the semi-formal gigs Novera does.

    The truss rod seems to be at the end of its ability to go any tighter, after getting the neck to a pretty good relief. I hope that's not going to be an issue. But for $150, I thought it a reasonable move. I know where to bring it if I need to get that set aright.

    I have never wanted one of these, but it qualified as a subject of my search so here it is (in good condition, cheep...). Who knows, maybe I'm in love and don't know it yet. I don't ever seem to know where my hands are until they're functioning! Too bad about the name though, "Urge"... gives a little 80s-style "Perma-Metal-Pop Drama" to it. grin. Funny funny people over at advertising and PR... tongue. "

    Anyone know which model this is? It doesn't say on the headstock. This is to be a gigging bass- all mine are. We'll see if she makes the cut!
  13. FC Bass

    FC Bass Alembic and Mesa/Boogie junkie

    Jun 9, 2006
    That's the Urge Standard ;)

    I think the preamp is the same as the one they used in the Prodigy active bass.
    Try removing the preamp and wire the pickups directly (or through a three way switch) to the output, I did that with my Prodigy and the sound was pretty impressive (very powerfull pickups, sounded much better without the preamp)

    Edit: Prodigy preamp:

  14. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    Thanks FC, and pretty good idea about removing the pre. I'm leaning hard to going all-passive anyway. Then I can get the most out of that hand-built Dog-Tone bass fuzz I got a few years ago... :bassist:

    Great, much appreciated.

  15. That is an Urge Standard bass. Made in Mexico, with a poplar body IIRC. I used to have one, picked it up cheap when I was missing one of my Kubicki Ex Factors. Big mistake, I thought it was a pretty naff bass (although I really like the proper Urge bass). It sounded pretty dump unless you whacked the pots up to full. And who wants to own a bass that only sounds good with the preamp maxed out...?

    I didn't keep it very long.
  16. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    Sorry about the big mistake. :p

    I'm a very functional player at this point. I'm enjoying the medium scale length and willing to work with the rest. As we've said, it was cheep... I'm looking at losing the preamp now actually, as I don't really dig the emphasis in the band-width it's got going on.

    My next actual purchase that counts (pardon the pun) is to be a Rickenbacker. That's down the road... until then, I gotta gig, and I gotta stay healthy- which is why the shorter scale-length. It's to provide some variation in what I do mechanically. I have some nerve issues, probably reparable, but just think it's wise.

    Plus, this one's red. ;)
  17. FC Bass

    FC Bass Alembic and Mesa/Boogie junkie

    Jun 9, 2006
    Can you compare the preamp with the one I posted?
    I've always wondered if they used the same in these basses (Urge Standard and Prodigy)

    The Prodigy also has a Poplar body and some say it was actually (partially) made in Mexico (though the headstock says Made in USA)
  18. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    Sure, gimme a few hours. I'll try and get that posted tonight.

    I love the 'legend' and 'oral history' on this bass! Lol! Fun... we'll see if we can affirm something here.
  19. spufman


    Feb 7, 2005
    Central CT
    My biggest complaint about my Heartfield DR4 has always been the extremely rapid suckage of batteries. Doesn't look like that Prodigy unit, but may have shared design bits.
  20. I never seemed to have issues with batteries on my Urge I basses. I tended to leave them in the passive mode.