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Info needed about Fender P Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pjh2112, May 20, 2009.

  1. pjh2112


    Jan 28, 2009
    I recently found an 80's fender p bass for sale for let's just say under $200 but more than $150. It is at a small guitar shop, and the owner says that during the 80's is when fender started several different series of basses, including Fender Squire, Fender Standard, etc...he said that it isn't a Squire, it is a Fender, just the squire series. It is made in Korea and like I said the 80's. Does anyone no anything about the build quality, etc...about these guitars. Is there really any difference between a Fender "squire series" and a Squire By Fender. I wasn't around in the 80's to try these things out, so any one's experience or knowledge of these basses would be very helpful.
  2. illmusician

    illmusician Banned

    Jan 28, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    The price is right, that's for sure. The eighties fender basses were all together weird to me. Quality wise it was Fenders worst decade (arguably), better than Indonesia Squire but not as good as Fender Japan, possibly an outsourced make from the Japan side. They still make cheap Fenders that say Fender in Asia (legally or not). The horns on the bottom were really scooped out and the knobs were as cheap as they could get even on the Americans. Quality is as good as your eyes/ears can tell. Would I buy one probably not, will it work well enough for $200? Hopefully.
    my 2 cents
  3. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    The price is good. Have you played it, or are you buying it online? If it plays good, go for it. Even if you're buying it online, it's only a few bucks more than a low-buck SX. If you like it, keep it. Mod it, even. A new pickup, pots, wiring and jack will only cost you another $150 or so and then you will have a really nice $300 bass. Unless, of course, there is something wrong with the neck. Unlikely, but it would be best if you can check it out in person before you buy.
  4. mndean


    Mar 20, 2009
    I don't get it. Does it say Fender Squier Series on the headstock or what? Does it say Made In Korea? As far as quality, my '87 Korean Squier Bullet (a Precision copy) sounds just fine and has good fit and finish, although the parts are cheaper than a real Precision. I even prefer the sound of it to an '04 Precision I played a couple of days ago. I also had an '86 Fender Telecaster that was much nicer than my older '69 Tele, so I don't go by "reputation" (would anyone buy a '70s CBS Fender bass if they just went by reputation?), I go by neck, electronics, hardware, body (in about that order), and if it's something I like and am willing to pay for, that's what I get. If you're interested in it, look it over and play it. The price certainly isn't painful if it plays well. People have lost far more money on expensive Fenders that turned out to be duds.
  5. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006
    If it's Korean made from the 80's there's a fairly good chance it's made of plywood.

    Some of the Squiers from the 80's (later 80's if I"m remembering correctly) were labled Fender Squier Series, but they were still Squiers. IMO, the ones I have seen out of Korea in the 80's were NOT up to the standards of the MIJ Squiers of the 80's.

    If indeed this is a plywood 80's Korean Fender Squier series, Squier by Fender, or Squier II(all names used during that era) the asking price is too high IMO.

    The current Squier line is most likely a much better instrument, at a similar price.
  6. thumpbass1


    Jul 4, 2004
    For starters, the series is named after one V.C. Squier, who started a company that made violins, and later specialized in strings. Fender bought this company long ago and it still owns the brand, which is named after a man, and not the position of being a squire in service of a knight. What you are looking at is a 'Squier by Fender' P-Bass made most likely in the late 80's, when Squier production had shifted to Korea. The Squier name, and how Fender has issued it as a headstock brand over the years has varied, but always the Squier series has been it's budget line of instruments. The quality of the Korean made Squiers generally aren't as good as the early one's made in Japan, but for the low money they weren't too bad. I wouldn't go any higher than 150 bucks on this bass, if it were me, and in clean condition.

    The early made in Japan Squiers, have some modest collectors' interest because the quality was very good. The Korean one's from the late 80's are okay, but again they were truely made to budget instruments. For close to 200 bucks you might be able to snag something a little bit better in terms of quality if you shop hard and long enough. The new Squier line is of better overall quality imho. I happen to own a made in Korea Squier II Strat made in 88. It's okay, but it's a cheap version of the Strat, and always will be.
  7. Fresh Eddie

    Fresh Eddie

    Nov 13, 2008
    My first bass was a MIK Squier Bullet (the big pickup version) and it was a great bass... I wish I still had it!
  8. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    The first Squier instruments Fender sold were made in Japan, and were very very good instruments. They said something like "Squier by Fender" on them and will have a "made in Japan" marking somewhere. Excellent stuff!

    But later in the decade, after CBS sold Fender to FMIC (in 1985), the became a lower end import line. The Korean ones are from the later '80s and are not that good. The price is about right for what it is. Not a killer deal, but no one's getting burned either.

  9. Jjango


    Nov 16, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    For reference, here's an old Fender/Squier headstock:

  10. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    I have a Jazz Bass that has a Fender labeled headstock with no mention of Squier anywhere on it. The serial number indicates that it was made in Korea, though, and the body is plywood. It had aftermarket pickups when I got it, so I can't say much about the original pickups. I will say, though, that with the Carvin J99 pickups I put in the bass, it is really a sweet sounding instrument. Plywood or not, it resonates nicely.

    The neck has a bit of a ski jump on the end of it, and the fret wires are somewhat soft and not high quality. When my tech did a fret level, he noted that the frets were likely to wear pretty quickly. I also can't get the action quite as low as I would like due to the hump in the neck. I suppose I might have it planed and refretted, though, because it's a comfortable profile neck.

    Anyway, for $150-200 you'll get about what you are paying for if it is similar to my bass.
  11. tomsewell


    Feb 21, 2009
    Tupelo, MS
    Some late 80s Squiers, all MIJ, and I wish I still had all of them!

    Attached Files:

  12. LCW

    LCW Banned

    Mar 2, 2009

    i would say the later 70's were fenders crap years 3 bolt neck plates? come on fender, good thing TB did not existed back then i would have ragged on fender
  13. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    I've got a "big Fender, little Squier" Korean P-bass made in 1992. Solid, not ply, basswood body. The tuners are a little flimsy. I upgraded to CTS pots/jack and a Reverend pickup and this bass has seriously good tone.
  14. IbanezATK


    Feb 24, 2009
    Monroe, LA, USA
    I had one of the MIJ Squier Strats that were light years ahead of the MIA Strats at that time. I sold it :(
  15. thumpbass1


    Jul 4, 2004
    It would've been real hard for you to have ragged on Fender back then, given that your public profile says you are 19 years old, and the internet was a 'military only' linkage of computers, let alone consumer grade personal p.c.'s were only a dream being developed in the garages of the nerd squads who'd later come to rule the world. If only we'd had the internet of today and a talkboard like TB back then. Who knows, maybe the vintage reissue series would've started by 76! ;)

    Complaints, born of word of mouth, and resistance to buying new were all we had back then. Even so, it took until the 80's for CBS led Fender to get half a clue of what we wanted, but they soon lost interest in trying to save Fender themselves from the mistakes they made. None the less my 78 P-Bass blows the 63 I once owned into the weeds tonewise; plus P- Basses never got the 3 bolt neck plate like the Telecaster Bass got first and later the Jazz. With that said, while Fender q. c. wasn't at it's best back then, not every instrument they made in the 70's was bad. I've run across some awful nice playing and sounding J-Basses from the 70's, including a fair amount of 3-bolters.
  16. brachal


    Jan 7, 2006
    New Orleans, La
    I still have the P-bass (Fender, made in the USA) I bought with summer job money in 1985 for $400. Got her new out of a catalog. Never liked the pickup and replaced it almost immediately with an active EMG. Other than that it's still a damn fine bass. A rock-solid, supremely playable workhorse.