Help with a buying decision Fender Precision Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dugout, Apr 25, 2022.

  1. dugout


    Oct 17, 2021
    So, I'm looking at three basses and money is not really an issue, although I don't want to go crazy since I'm a beginner/intermediate, but trying to get better faster.

    If I had to choose between a
    Squier Vintage 70s
    Squier Jaguar full sized modified
    Fender MIM 2008
    Fender MIM 2018
    Fender PJ Special Edition
    Fender Precision Players Bass

    What factors should I look at? How much better will one be than the other stock? I know that's a lot of choices, but maybe some I shouldn't even consider?
  2. lowendblues

    lowendblues Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    If you dont mind the Squier name on the headstock, I'd go for a Classic Vibe '70's precision in a heartbeat.
    Kipp Harrington, tvbop, Max and 8 others like this.
  3. creaturegods


    Sep 23, 2017
    Of the models you listed, it's going to be hard for anyone to say "[x] is objectively a better bass than [y] because of [z]."
    A large portion of the factors that make a bass "better" are completely subjective and differ from player to player.

    This is probably not the answer you want to hear but I recommend getting your hands on as many of these options as you can and actually feeling them for yourself. The way they balance, the way the neck feels in your hand, the way the bass hangs on a strap. Some of them will fit and some of them won't. You'll be able to tell pretty quickly and you'll gain more satisfaction in the purchase, knowing that you went with your gut and picked the one that felt right, rather than picking the one that a bunch of forum dudes told you to pick.

    Best of luck and be sure to post pics of your new bass once you get it! :thumbsup:
    Holdsg, DTRN, Peter Torning and 7 others like this.
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member


    what counts:
    - neck feel
    - instrument balance
    - competent/usable electronics
    - sounds/tones
    - 'durability'

    what doesn't count:
    - brands/logos

    like you, money/price wouldn't be the main factor in my decision-making. i can afford to play more expensive axes than i'm currently playing, but at some point we're just paying for 'looks' and/or branding.

    if i played all of the axes on your list = i'd pick the one that felt the best in my hands, on my strap, while i was playing!
    good luck with your P-bass search! :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2022
  5. Moving Pictures

    Moving Pictures Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Just play them and let your hands and ears answer the question. Physically it has to sound good, feel right and play well. There will be gems in all those models.
  6. Kallen


    Jul 22, 2019
    Can't go wrong with a Squier, especially a 60s or 70s CV.
  7. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    An MiM of any stripe would be a great place to start. They're just fine.
    I like the modern C neck profile, and have owned one myself. Solid, dependable, and great sounding.
    CV 60s Squiers are also very good basses, but you may not like the gloss neck.
    Also consider the Sire P5. Affordable.
    Artman and Kallen like this.
  8. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Another vote for buying in person, with the goal of keeping it (I've had my basses 21 and 36 years).

    My general rules of thumb, buy the best bass you can buy, quality over quantity, and the chance of finding a dog goes down as the price goes up (collectability notwithstanding - a '63 Fender costs a lot because it is a pre-CBS Fender, even if it barks).
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2022
    dugout likes this.
  9. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    1) Neck feel (to you, what is most comfortable in your fretting hand).
    2) Tort pick guard.

    That's the thought process.
  10. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    The Fender Player Series are very good basses. Have several Pbasses, including a couple of 1975 vintage precisions.

    The Player Pbass sounds and plays better than all of them. There is no compromise with a good Mexican Precision. Note that the current pickups are significantly brighter than the vintage pickups, and I roll back the tone a bit. The sound gets round and warm with that adjustment.
  11. secondbestcody

    secondbestcody Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2017
    Madison, Wisconsin
    The PJ Special Edition model (if it’s the sea foam green or Olympic white versions) are MIM and have jazz necks. The others, I believe, have P width necks.
    johnnynitro, Lowendchamp and CallMeAl like this.
  12. As someone else mentioned, the Squier CV series is not a bad buy, but the gulf between the CV and the MIM is much wider than the one between the MIM and the MIA.

    I believe the MIM is the sweet spot.
  13. AceOfBassFace


    Jun 23, 2019
    Play as many as you can and then buy the one that you like – you'll know when you hear it! P/J is a great option to have if you want a bit more variety in the tone. I use my J pickup quite a bit. Some people find it a waste though and never use it.

    The best sounding and playing P bass I have is a 2014 Squier Vintage Modifed P/J – I replaced the pickups with a Pickup Wizard set though. I've also owned a 1972 Fender MIA P, and a 2018 Mexican Player P but the Squier beats them both for tone and playability. It's also the lightest. To be fair, it's those particular basses that I didn't like - there are likely great examples of the same year and model bass - just not the ones I owned. There's a certain 'something' that great-sounding instruments have where the wood, metal and electronics all come together in a magical way.

    So it's not always price - there can be good or bad sounding basses in any model or price range IME. 've been visiting music stores for almost a year now looking for something I like more than my VM, but nothing's grabbed me yet.
  14. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    As you can see, different people think differently. Best to decide yourself.

    dugout and Artman like this.
  15. What you're paying extra for is the quality of hardware and quality control. That said, a Squier at times can match an MIA in playability and tone. Mostly not, though.

    Since you say money is not an object, I would consider an MIA and from a store where you can have it in your hand and plug in. You might surprise yourself what you like or don't like.

    Or you can go down the endless rabbit holes of "should I get this, or this?" threads.
    dugout and Artman like this.
  16. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    Audience won't be able to tell the difference between any of them.
    dugout, Holdsg, johnnynitro and 2 others like this.
  17. If you can get that specific bass you're considering in your hands before buying, you'll be at an advantage.

    They are all P-Basses, but not all equal.

    Find out which is the best in your hands/ears.
    dugout and GroovyBaby like this.
  18. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    What do you have now?
    The consideration I would have in mind is whether or not I wanted to change how the FB feels. Like, for example, a lot of the Fender Mex P-basses come with a 34" (full size) slim-c neck that has a 9.5" radius (how round the fingerboard is). Width at the nut is 1.625", which is a little wider than a 4-string jazz that has a 1.5" nut.
    More on that radius thing, a bigger number = less-round. If you look on the Schecter website, you will find that lots of their basses have a 16" radius fingerboard, which is considered to be pretty flat.
    You don't have to become a bass dimensions stat-nerd to know what you are looking at, but wanted you to know some of this in case you didn't. If you know some of the key dimensional info on the bass you have and then compare it to what you may be looking at online, it can help you manage expectations. - Truly the only what to really really tell if a bass makes you happy is to physically go somewhere and play basses. I always try to play the bass wide-open first (full vol-full tone) and have whatever amp the store has all flat (no eq). After I play a bit, I'll adjust accordingly, but like to have that first impression be what the bass sounds like as un-sculpted as possible. I don't know if that's really a thing or not, but it's what I do. I'm also pretty conscious of what amp I plug into. Ultimately I like a bass that weighs 8 to 9 lbs, and feels comfortable to play with my thumb in the middle of the back of the bass and the neck at a 45 (or so) deg angle across my lap while seated.
    CallMeAl likes this.
  19. steimlem


    Apr 30, 2020
    I'd either go the route of getting a classic vibe no frills p bass which is perfectly serviceable and can always be used as a backup or alternative string option in the future should you get something else later.. or go all out and get an american fender PJ for extra quality + tone options right off the bat. i personally don't think MIM are worth the price over squier. at least in recent years the ones i try in stores are no better and often worse. crap fretwork is especially prevalent in my experience.
    Dust2Dust likes this.
  20. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    I also second playing the basses in question. There are Sqiuers that look great and play and sound better than some of the not so great MiA Fenders. There are Squiers that are dogs.
    dugout likes this.

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