Most affordable vintage Fender tone....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pmaraziti, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. pmaraziti


    Feb 12, 2006
    Hi All,

    Just wondering what would be your magic recipe to get to a vintage Fender tone. For that I mean what would be the bass, pickup choice, woods etc. you'd pick to get close to a J-tone say form 70s and a P-tone say from late 50s.

    Imagine you have 1500 USD or less, so the real vintage road is not possible, nor is fine modern vintage-oriented luthiers ala Alleva Coppolo...

    Ideas ? Is there any affordable replica out there ?

  2. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Buy a used (ie "vintage") Fender from Ebay? Or for 1500 can just buy a new Fender to get the "Fender" tone!!! Maybe you could replace the "New" pickups with some old models from ebay. Any modern luthier is just trying to replicate some "mojo" that comes with age and wear...not building skill. So you might as well buy a new Fender.
  3. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    The Fender MIM '50s P does a good job of getting an old P tone.
    How about a Geddy Lee for '70s tone?
  4. tkozal


    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    Fender: 75 MIA RI Jazz for the 70's sound; 62 P, or 57 P MIA RI for the late 50's sound..

    I think Fender asked themselves the same question in the past....
  5. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147

    However, his budget is $1500 US.
  6. Rumblin' Man

    Rumblin' Man Inactive

    Apr 27, 2000
    Route 66
    I put the SD Antiquity in my MIA '57 RI and it improved the tone quite a bit.
  7. cigi


    Aug 22, 2006
    I would get two Lawsuit Tokai's and still have some cash left.

    My 82 Tokai jazz bass gives an amazing vintage fender tone. Better than any contemporary fender (except for maybe customshops) i've ever played. This is also very logical since fender now uses wood that you can never compare with the wood they used in the old days. Tokai (before their lawsuit) however did all they could to use woods just as good as the old fender woods. I even read they used US grown and aged woods in their early guitars/basses. This you can never really copy, not by putting soms vintage replica pu's in your contemporary fender.

    I'm not saying that tokai is your only chance, but imo it's a good one. And I just wanted to ventilate my opinion on the importance of resonant woods in a guitar that is often underestimated omi.
  8. thumpbass1


    Jul 4, 2004
    For $1500 you can still find some late 70's to early 80's
    P-Basses to be had. They were made to the design concept
    of the 1957 P-Bass with the split pickup etc.

    Now what you get with a 70's P-Bass is the heavy ash body
    used on most of them as well as the Karo Corn syrup thick
    poly finish that seems indestructible to any attempts to
    remove it. Also the necks have a chubby hand filling profile
    which ain't all that bad to play. The 70's Fender basses
    weren't as refined as the better stuff from the 60's but you
    can still find some good ones.

    I have a 78 P done in the black and maple neck thing and it's
    a tone monster with no dead spots on the neck and it plays
    pretty easily.The downside is that it weighs about 11 pounds.
    With a good set of flats on it I'm rewarded with all the good
    vintage tone I could want. Other than that you scope around
    for someone wanting sell one of the Fender Reissues that do
    a good job of coming close to vintage specs.
  9. ubado


    Mar 7, 2007

    For $1500 USD you can get a Mojoed 70's Jazz bass or P-Bass. A reissue is also a good idea... a RI series can be picked up in that range with a little time searching on eBay.

    Vintage PU's and pots can be found on eBay that will turn a non-Fender or a newer one, into a close sounding vintage Fender.
  10. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    Please PM me with the answer when you get it and don't tell anyone else. I'd love to quit my day job, by an island in the South Pacific, build a mansion with a nice studio, and retire. Thanks in advance.
  11. pmaraziti


    Feb 12, 2006
    Thanks to all posters ! A foolow up question would be about the Skyline Bog Glaub... how does it compare vs 57 MIA reissue P bass ?

    You love to help I see ! :) I hope we don't choose the same island... well jokes apart, the title said "the most" affordable... I'd love to go vintage but judging on the prices I've seen, I cannot afford it...
  12. mcm


    Oct 2, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Don't over think this. For the P sound, all you need is a highway 1. Then change the pickups to the fender 62 re-issues. Done!
  13. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science!

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    a brand new 57 p-bass reissue is less than $1500
  14. irjason

    irjason In Memoriam

    Nov 17, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    +1. When I got my 50's P, I actually went to look at an early 70's P that the store had in stock. I went home with the 50's P because it sounded essentially the same to my ears, and was less than half the price. YMMV.
  15. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab HELIX user & BOSE Abuser

    Feb 11, 2004
    Here's what I did when GASsing for the F-tones after 20 years of non-Fenders. I was looking for the same thing. I had a 67 P for about a decade from about 1972~ 1982 so I know what they sound like. Modeling devices and technique can do a TON for tweaking a "close to Fender" bass so....


    Works for me.
  16. lovemybasses


    Mar 4, 2007
    spend that $$$ and buy darryl jones or joe osbourn skylines. you'll get high end,top notch bass for good price. you'll spend money anyway and if have 1500,better invest them in good bass.
  17. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    The 50's P reissue...yep!
  18. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    A used Classic '50s P with LaBella or Fender flats, and a used fender '75 RI or a Lakland Darryl Jones with rounds, and you're there with change for $1500. I defy anyone to tell the difference in tone you'd get from going vintage.
  19. buy em used
  20. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    I've got a stock '65 J and of the basses I've tried over the years (lots), the ones with passive Lindy Fralin pickups have gotten the closest to the '65's tone. A nice piece of ash helps, rosewood board perhaps, setup, etc., but those LF pickups are real close to the real thing. This Cote with Lindy Fralins
    was only $1100 and I dare anyone to tell the difference in tones between it and this