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Nate Mendel P Bass or an alternative?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Absumone, Jul 14, 2014.


  1. Absumone

    Absumone

    Nov 20, 2012
    I've been planning on getting a Nate Mendel Fender P Bass for quite a while now, as I like how it sounds & looks a whole lot, but I was wondering if it is worth the money compared to alternatives?

    I can get a NM P Bass for 819 euros, are there any good alternatives that cost less but do sound & look about the same, or can be made to sound & look the same as the NM P Bass for less money? The biggest feature that the NM P Bass has is a limited 1971 P Bass neck, which has dimensions somewhere in between a P Bass and a J Bass. But that isn't a must for me.
     
  2. TheDepths

    TheDepths

    Mar 4, 2014
    England
    Hi Absumone,

    I have played the NM P bass and it is a great instrument! If I could justify having one I would. The closest P basses to the NM is the Fender classic series 50's or 70's P basses (see links below) I have played the 70's P and own a Classic 70's Jazz and they are high quality. Hope this helps you some.

    50's

    http://www.fender.com/en-GB/series/...or-sunburst-gold-anodized-aluminum-pickguard/

    70's

    http://www.fender.com/en-GB/series/...erboard-3-color-sunburst-3-ply-bwb-pickguard/

    Cheers,

    Tom
     
    adi77 likes this.
  3. jwj1701

    jwj1701

    Nov 17, 2011
    Lexington KY
    Not sure about overseas prices but here in the US you could probably pick up an American Special for about the same price. I would say shop around a bit first but if you know it's what you want go for it. I haven't heard anything bad about them.
     
  4. Linnin

    Linnin

    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    I would most definitely go with the Nate Mendel Precision. It has sooooo much good custom touches going for it straight from the factory. The neck is especially nice. I had the neck of my '76 Precision shaved down when I customized it in 1985. It is almost identical to the NM. Once you get used to that neck every other stock Precision seems off and feels clumsy. I put in a pair of Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounders in mine also, and they kill. I have a Leo Quan Badass II on mine, but the new Fender Hi-Mass bridge is even better. That's a very attractive package.
     
  5. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Texas
    I think the necks on the American Specials feel a lot better but if you really want the NM sig then go for it.
     
  6. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Texas
    The NM in the Sweetwater Gallery is pretty heavy at 9lbs 14 oz and it doesn't have the real BA bridge. It is a Fender branded BA knock off.
     
  7. Tbone76

    Tbone76

    Aug 24, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    I have both an American Special Honeyburst P and the Nate Mendel sig, and I agree that the American Special neck is more comfy (to me). The NM is a little chunkier front-to-back, but it still feels great. I did have to sand the nitro lacquer down on the neck a little to get a satin feel, but that only took 10 minutes. The NM is the more aggressive sounding of the 2, but part of that is due to the strings (NM-rotosound swing 66, American Special-Chromes flats). For the price, the NM sig has a feature set not available anywhere else in their line (unique neck contour, unique body contouring, nitro body and neck, quarter-pounder pup, ash body, Schaller straplock pins, light relic finish, high-mass bridge), and you get a lot of bang for the buck. As StrangerDanger also pointed out, newer NM sig basses have Fenders in-house version of the Badass II bridge. Older ones are still out there that have the actual BAII.
     
    Osztertag2112 and Linnin like this.
  8. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    LA
    i ended up getting a used mint skyline 44-64, because i really liked the wide flat neck and i was less than satisfied with my old highway one p and didn't want to go fender again
     
  9. The Nate Mendel P-bass is one of the best feeling basses I've ever played, it's so good I own it. :D

    It's the best punrock/hardrock/rock bass I've ever layed my hands on. I made some soundclips of the stock setup:




    I was not looking for the 'punk rock' thingy though, so I modded it: PU-switch (from the Seymours to the Fender '62), vintage-style bridge (keep the BA, it's gonna be word money), chrome bridge cover, GHS P flats 55-105.

    Now it's like this:

     
    petrus61 and Tbone76 like this.
  10. Tbone76

    Tbone76

    Aug 24, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    I also forgot that the Nate Mendel sig has a 7.5" fretboard radius, instead of the more common (for Fender) 9.5" radius. Some people notice this more than others, so it is something to be aware of.
     
  11. Absumone

    Absumone

    Nov 20, 2012
    Thanks for the responses guys! It seems that I will most likely be going for the NM sig, the sound will be a nice addition to our poppunk/rock band & it will probably serve well next to my Ibanez SRX430 :)
     
  12. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    That is pretty heavy for a Mendel P. When I bought mine, Sweetwater didn't have any that were nearly that heavy. Mine is 8lbs 6 oz, and I think they had one 3oz lighter.

    Also...and definitely not knocking you specifically in any way, but..."knock off" seems like a somewhat derogatory term. Is there something wrong with this bridge? It isn't identical to the Badass, but it is a very well-made, high mass bridge. My understanding is that Fender is moving away from the Badass bridges because of supply issues - I believe that Leo Quan is one company that FMIC has not yet acquired.

    To the OP: a P bass is a P bass, to a very large degree. However, this one has a different neck profile from all other Fenders, plus a quarter pounder. I like the neck and the pickup. Some people will like neither. To my ears, the quarter pounder has all the tonal qualities of a good P bass pickup, plus a somewhat exaggerated low end and top end response. It is like a P bass, only bigger. If you don't want bigger, then you amp has EQ knobs, and there are lots of P pickup options out there.

    Oh yeah... the slight roadworn treatment is kind of stupid, but it isn't over the top and it lets you treat your new P bass like a P bass instead of some treasured piece of art.
     
  13. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    One more thing. The gig bag that comes with the Mendel P is horrible. Very poor quality. I noticed mine was falling apart the first time I put the bass back in it. Some would throw a fit about this, but I, on the other hand, know how to use duct tape.
     
  14. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Texas
    OK I did not mean it that way. It's a Fender branded copy of the Badass Bridge. I did not mean anything other than to say if you are specifically looking for the Badass bridge, this bass doesn't have it.

    As far as supply goes, they crank out a lot of Geddy Lee sigs with BA bridges on them so I am not sure about that.
     
  15. 254 stringer

    254 stringer Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Waco Texas
    My highway one looks pretty close. You could probably get a used one cheaper than a NM sig. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1405384625.951989.
     
  16. obimark

    obimark

    Sep 1, 2011
    I love my Nate P_bass- Cool neck, very punchy, HUGE low end- not quite as much high end output though.

    I do think it was about $100 priced too high when I bought it though, when you compare it to similar MIM P's. (and especially since it was around $800 and had no case.)
     
  17. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Gotcha. It is definitely not a Badass. FWIW- take a look at the Geddy basses on Sweetwater. It looks like Fender is phasing the Badass out on the Geddy basses as well. That is consistent with the rumors posted here several months ago.
     
  18. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Texas
    That is interesting. Are they going to sell these new Badderasses?
     
    wvbass likes this.
  19. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    No idea. They have struggled to name it though, and often refer to it with the same name as the bridges on the American Standards. Thanks to you, though, I now know what I am going to call it!
     
    StrangerDanger likes this.
  20. Flad

    Flad

    Apr 18, 2014
    Badderaxxas?
     

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