Got the MIJ 89 Fender P bass!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wyleeboxer, Oct 22, 2005.

  1. Ok I got it for $250 out the door with a new gig bag, didnt even plug it in! But I did look in the control cavity before I bought it. No major routing for the battery except what looks like a toggal switch hole that goes thru the body, kind of a hack job as far as the electronic work that had been done. So I need to swap out the electronics and put in my 78 P Pups. When I got home and pluged it in it sounded a bit dull (old strings?) but it has a certain thick solid tone, so Im pretty stoked!
    They really didnt know what year, they thought it was an 89, Serial #E777340? As for the ugly thick matalic white paint does anyone know whats the best type of stripper I should use to take it off? Im going to stain it (any suggestions?) on what I think is an alder body. The neck is in great shape. It will at least be a fun project and then I can compare it to my 78 P bass which is my main bass these days. Im hoping this MIJ bass will be a good back up or main bass so I can leave my 78 at home! Thanks for any info!
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    OK, I will tell you the way to strip it the best, but let me warn you that you will do a number to the future collectability of this bass. Pickups are a fairly easy fix to replace, but you can't replace the original finish. That's why I live with the ugly sage green metallic on my 98 Jazz bass instead of painting it sunburst like I always wanted. Besides, refinishing will change the sound, and if you like its sound, you may not want to mess with it. And the more down time you have with your bass, the less time you have to play it.

    But if you insist on doing it, use Savogran Kutzit. That stuff will remove any finish from anything. Use lots of it and let it soak in and do the work, and you just scrape it down with a putty knife, and rub it down with 0000 steel wool and lacquer thinner to get stubborn spots and paint remover goo off it.

    WTG with the price! That's a super sweet deal!
  3. Damn now you got me thinking! Not so much about the bass as a collectable, but more so about the tone! I havent tried this thing at practice yet or with new electronics, so Im guessing about the tone of this bass being any good? Sounds great acoustically. But I dont want to hurt it for the sake of looking good. Maybe Ill try the electronices/PUP's first and then hit the sticker store! :)

    Thanks for the warning!!
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Actually it's all about the acoustic tone. Pickups can always be changed, but in order for them to sound good, the bass itself has to sound good. So if it sounds good acoustically, the electronics are a slam dunk.
  5. Please dont strip it. Is the finish original on it right now? Then, dont refinish it. Its really hard to get a good finish doing it yourself. And you wont be happy with it in my expirience.

    If it was already refinished badly, then go ahead.
  6. Dont worry Ive reconsidered the whole stripping thing! :) I was thinkning however of a black pick guard but so far all the music shops are saying that pick guards come in different sizes and may not fit exactly, is the PU to the neck distence the problem? thecontrols? I did PU some new pots for it and perhaps tonight Ill try to put them and the PUPS in. Ive got a good feeling about this bass!

    Thanks again guys for talking me out of stripping it! :)
  7. Nice score! Once you get that thing cleaned up, you're going to love it. I picked up a 1988 MIJ Precision a few months ago and it's so good, it killed my G.A.S. No small achievement, that.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Man, that really is a good score. $250. Jeez, why can't I find deals like that? Oh well, good thing my GAS is over with or I'd get one too at those prices.
  9. Mattski


    Jan 6, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Some MIJ Fenders are alder and some are basswood. Alder will look good natural and basswood may not. I have four MIJ reissue fenders. Two are alder and two are basswood.

    Just something to think about...

    Oh yeah...About the pick guard...P-basses have not been a problem. They are pretty universal in shape layout, etc. You have to know whether or not it's a '57 reissue vs. anything else. The '57s have 13 mounting screws and the rest have 11.

    Jazz basses, on the other hand, are all over the map as far as fit, layout and consistancy goes.

    Good Luck.

  10. Thanks again everyone! This bass cleaned up really well, but I think Im taking it to my guitar tech for the electronics to get replaced, someone did a real hack job on the wiring and active emg they put in it :( no routing out, thank god, except for a hole underneth the tone knob. This bass really cleaned up nice, Im getting used to the old white finish, but I hope no one kills me for putting a black pick guard on it, this modal never came with one.
  11. Groover


    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    Lets see some pics!

    Be sure that the pickguard holes for the volume knobs line-up with the knobs on your bass.

    If that bass came without pickgaurd originally, they may not.

    My MIJ Specials are like that. They have controls that visually look like they'd be in the same place as a regular P, but they are off about an inch.
  12. AGCurry


    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    Ummm, alder is not a particularly attractive wood...
  13. Yeah to me it looks like the knobs would be off when comparing to my 78 P Pick guard and the jack is at the bottom of the body. I hope I can make a clean mod to the pick guard. Ill try to get some pics up and an update about the tone after the work is done and I try it out after band practice, exciting times!

    thanks again.
  14. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    It still will look better than basswood, though. Alder looks kind of Ash light with a very subtle grain whereas basswood can have green streaks.
  15. JoshB

    JoshB A great man is always willing to be little. -RWE Supporting Member

    According to the serial...that would make that bass an '87. (E for eighty and the first number in sequence, 7. is what tells you if my memory serves me correctly.)

    Good score!! I have an '89 MIJ Fender P and I love that thing!! I agree with alot of the folks here though mano...don't strip it. Mine has aged quite nicely into a cool cream color. Post some pics of it with a black guard, I was thinking about doing that with mine...
  16. Im pretty sure its alder from what I can see inside the control cavity. The white is turning this yellowish cream color, its really starting to grow on me. Thanks for the serial # info. 87 sounds good to me!
  17. 311fan


    Jul 20, 2004
    Salt Lake City
    Is there anyway you would want to sell it? I have been lookin for a p or j bass from 87(the year of my birth) for quite a while. I would pay around $350-400 for it. If you have any pics could you post them?
  18. Sorry, but one of my first basses was around an 82 Fender jazz special also know as a PJ bass. One of the reasons I got this bass is because it reminds me of my old bass that I wish I never sold. I didnt know much about basses back then but I knew it sounded good. Im hoping this one can come close in tone to my old one, even without the j bridge PUP.
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Depends on your idea of "attractive." I find alder much more attractive than these horrid spalted and burled woods. I like a much more subtle grain. Even ash and curly maple can be too much for me. Yeah, the grain isn't very strong, but I think that looks good.