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I feel the Need for Speed (and my first P)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rumble Thunder, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. Rumble Thunder

    Rumble Thunder

    Aug 5, 2016
    I am really feeling the need to get a P bass but I don't know too much about them. After some research, I believe I have it narrowed down to about three options since my budget is around $1500-$1800. This is where I'm at:

    A) a 51-57 p with the single coil... I have never played one but they look killer. I could also try the Mike Dirnt model because it still has basically a vintage look except for the pick-up.

    B) a 1963 style three tone sunburst with the classic pup. They sound good but again have never actually played one. I call this the Classic option.

    C) finally I could get a new professional P that just came out.

    So I can reduce this decision down into three fundamental options: Vintage, Classic or Brand New. Which one would you go with? I need help from experienced P players to help guide me. With my limited budget, it puts constraints on my choice... Maybe I should save $ 300-500 more dollars? I really want a killer P though. What should I do?
  2. Rumble Thunder

    Rumble Thunder

    Aug 5, 2016
    image. image. image. A) Vintage or Mike Dirnt
    B) Classic
    C) New Pro P
  3. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    I'm afraid you'll have to play them all and compare... But that's the fun part of buying a bass, isn't it? Good luck!
  4. 100% agree. Have you played a P, any P ever before? May not be your thing. Better to know beforehand.
  5. Rumble Thunder

    Rumble Thunder

    Aug 5, 2016
    I played an American Standard once at a music store. It was probably a 2014 model? Didn't hook it up to an amp but it felt pretty good. You are right, I need to play some P's but I live in a small town so It's unlikely that I'll get my hands on anything vintage or classic. Guess I'll have to go Lexington or Louisville, Kentucky.
  6. lfmn16

    lfmn16 SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Buy with your hands and your ears, not your eyes.
  7. You don't need to play anything vintage or classic to get the gist. Just give whatever you can get your hands on a good run.
    Rumble Thunder likes this.
  8. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    If by "speed" you mean a easy action player, there are "faster playing" basses with slimmer necks, tighter spacing, and lower action, in general, than the average P. Obviously, there are all sorts of variants, and this is a general observation. One option would be for a bass with a J style neck and P body and pickup.

    There are plenty of good options out there. My personal favorite is the Nash PB63. If the relic thing isn't of interest, then these probably aren't your best option, considering new ones are at the top of the price range, though they do major light relic finishes. Lots of folks like the Lollar pickup version, though mine came with a DiMarzio.

    I'm sure there will be plenty of good suggestions incoming.
    Rumble Thunder likes this.
  9. MMiller28


    Apr 27, 2003
    If the American Pro's are anything like my American Standard, I can't imagine you wouldn't love it. I mean, it's an American Precision. Not much else needs to be said.
  10. Buy a P Squier Classic Vibe and a killer amp is better.
    lowdownthump, nonohmic and PDGood like this.
  11. Gideon352


    Oct 17, 2003
    Ocala, FL
    I can attest that the 63 reissue is killer! I wouldn't hesitate. :bassist::thumbsup:
  12. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Can't go wrong with a used Lakland USA or Skyline Glaub. Serious bang for buck, great feeling necks, build, etc.
  13. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    No surprise I lean toward option 1.:D
    Rumble Thunder likes this.
  14. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    Used LB100 by G&L?
  15. That Dirnt is almost ten pounds, no thanks.

    Might want to add Fender Road Worn Precision and Classic Series '50s Precision Bass Lacquer to your options.

    Agree with others, I'd get out and try to play them. Some different style necks on the options you're looking at.
    sgtpepper and Rumble Thunder like this.
  16. twinjet

    twinjet AJ, you're the MAN! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    The Precision Bass is a monstrous instrument, but you truly need to get a feel for it through a proper cab.

    Fender's American Standard line might be tough to find, but it's an incredible buy. They should be reduced in price if you can find them in stores.
    Rumble Thunder likes this.
  17. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011

    My favorite playing and sounding p bass was one I bought off eBay for parts to build another bass. Not anywhere close to the top of the line, vintage, or anything else. Then neck is amazing, and the light body just resonates like no other.

    It's an older mid 90's model, and it stomped all over any GAS I will ever have regarding a P bass.

    Well, until I stumble along the next gem... ;)
    Rumble Thunder likes this.
  18. BigDrew


    Jun 1, 2016
    I have learned through trial and error that the Fender American line is the place to start. I used to go for all of the special, one off basses (single coil, vintage, etc) but the sound you hear is typically the American Fender sound. Once you have that covered, then you'll know if you want to go vintage, etc. just my $.02. Good luck.

    By the way, the American Professional P neck is really killer.
  19. RichardW


    Feb 25, 2016
    near Philly
    I just picked up an '11 American Special P bass and have played it for less than a week (one rehearsal and several practices) and I absolutely love it. It's making me seriously think about selling my Jazz, which I never thought I'd say.
    Rumble Thunder and JohnPaulSmith like this.
  20. BobDeRosa

    BobDeRosa Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 16, 2012
    Penfield, NY
    Owner, Tritone Jazz Fantasy Camps
    For most of us, $1500-1800 is a LOT of money for a bass. Before spending anywhere near that, I'd take the advice of many of our bass brothers and sisters here and spend some time playing Ps. As a P lover, I can tell you that they are definitely easy to fall in love with, but please give yourself a chance to make sure you're falling in love with the instrument itself rather than just the IDEA of a P (it's easy to fall in love with ideas, and sometimes the reality is a lot different). Remember that every instrument is made from a different slab of wood, so no two will be identical. Go wherever you can play a bunch for a fairly extended time, through a good amp, and make sure you like both feel and sound, especially the neck feel--it's different. I don't mean to be preachy, but if you're going to spend that much money, you want to make sure it's the real thing for you. And as far as cost goes, I have a Fender MIM P and two Yamaha BB-series P/Js that I absolutely love and will probably be my basses for life, all bought used, at the COMBINED cost of less than the lower end of your range. Good luck with the hunt.
    Rumble Thunder and indieandrew11 like this.

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