Light P Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lazlo Panaflex, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. Lazlo Panaflex

    Lazlo Panaflex

    Sep 30, 2003
    I currently own a 1978 Fender P and it is AWESOME. The thing is its really heavy for live shows (i move around a lot). Any suggestions on P-Bass lookalikes that are lighter? I have heard that Fernandez makes them, but are hard to find...
  2. Bass_Machine


    Oct 29, 2004
    How about a fender P-bass lite?

    It's like a smaller P, with a thinner neck and a shorter scale length. A good friend of mine bought one that I was gonna get and I still envy for picking up on my mistake.....
  3. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    The P-Lite was the standard 34" scale, and by most accounts were prone to neck warpage due to the extreme thinness of the neck. You might want to consider yourself lucky that you took a pass should s/he have issues with it. :help:

    The above link of $600 puts you right in line for a brand new Fender Deluxe Zone Bass ($629.99, and here's a used model for $503.99) - I've played both and IMHO the Zone takes all of the best features of the P-Lite (downsized body, light weight, Jazz-width neck, etc.) and updates it with modern and improved electronics, a sturdier neck, and alder body. The standard P-Lite had a basswood body and was also criticized for a somewhat "wimpy" sound both acoustically and amplified (the "deluxe" mahogany-bodied version made up for that somewhat.)

    There's also the American Deluxe Zone Bass, but the combination of exotic woods and humbucking pups lead you away from the more-traditional P-bass sound you seem to be looking for. Still, they're extremely nice in both tone and "feel".

    Lastly, there's the option of having our own Nino-Brown build you a Valenti based around a Warmoth body with lighter wood and/or the Dinky body size. This might be the best in terms of a high-quality "replacement" as well as customization that Nino offers for a price that IMO can't be beat (for example, out of the above only he could give you a "true" 1 3/4" P-neck.) Ask around if you need opinions on his work. :)
  4. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Doesn't Warmoth also do chambered bodies? Just another option if you go the Valenti route.
  5. ..or you could look around for a lighter P.

    Late 70's Fenders are renowned boat anchors. Look for something earlier or later.
  6. superfly


    Aug 4, 2004
    How heavy is your P ?
    My 98 weighs about 8 lbs. It feels like a feather compared to the Sterling I had.
  7. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Check out new ones, or a chambered body from Warmoth.

    My '78 is a boat anchor, but I love it!
  8. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I agree that you should check out the new American Series P-basses, which are probably lighter. Mine isn't bad at all.

    But the lightest bass I've ever had was a 1999 natural finish ash Am. Deluxe Precision. It was only 7.5 pounds, and had excellent playability (but a nasty dead spot on the G string at the 10th fret). I could wear it for three hour rehearsals, and barely notice. I wish I hadn't sold it, but the active tone wasn't doing it for me. I should have either added an active/passive switch, or upgraded the pre. You can find these used pretty easily.
  9. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    My Highway 1 P-Bass is the lightest bass I've ever owned. Don't know why, but all the ones I have played have been exceptionally light. Give it a shot!
  10. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Mid-70's to early-80's fenders are heavy because of the northern ash that they used.
    Like mentioned uptop, look for a different era P Bass. My 72 P is alder bodied, and it weighs in at a mere 8 lbs, while my 82 P is ash and it weighs 11.5 lbs...big difference!

    You could find a 62 reissue, they are alder body and they are much lighter.
  11. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    '70s P basses are highly variable in weight ... some of them are very light, and I think the light ones sound the best as well. Look around and see if you can find a light one :D
  12. waxcomb


    Jun 29, 2003
    Martinez, CA
    The walnut Zones are nice players.