NBD - Fender Road Worn 50s Precision

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Thom Fioriglio, Nov 26, 2020.

  1. Hi all, I have always loved the look and sound of the 50s P Bass and have kept an eye open for the sunburst Road Worn 50s. I was able to get one for $975, which I thought was a fair and good price. That included a hardshell case and shipping. Other used ones were going for around $1200. I don't have it yet. It was shipped out on Monday and should be here by Saturday (Thanksgiving holiday is slowing down shipping). I thought I would post some pictures I already have from the previous owner and then share some of mine when it arrives.

    I have not played one and decided to purchase it after doing my research and some stellar reviews I have seen here and from Mark at talkingbass.net.

    I currently have a Fender Player Precision which I am quite happy with, but the opportunity to own a Road Worn 50s was too good to pass up.

    If anyone owns one and wants to add their thoughts I would appreciate it. Also, does anyone know how much these sold for when new?

    I don't intend any mods. I will add some flatwounds and I bought a set of chrome covers for the bridge and pickups to see how that will look, but other than that will keep it stock.
    IMG_9661.JPG IMG_9662.jpg IMG_9663.JPG IMG_9664.JPG IMG_9667.JPG IMG_9665.JPG IMG_9957.JPG IMG_9958.JPG
  2. Joe BassPlayer

    Joe BassPlayer Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Great basses!
    I wouldn’t change a thing. Those basses are extremely consistent. They feel like an old friend.
    I originally installed a bridge cover on mine but removed it because it interfered with palm muting when I played with a pick.
    The only other modification I made was the installation of Dunlop strap lock buttons.

  3. Thanks for the feedback. I forgot to mention it's a 2016. You mentioned consistency, any differences in those made say 2009 or those made later? There was a 2009 for sale but I wanted something newer.

    As for the chrome covers, yeah, I don't anticipate keeping them on. Like you, I do use my palm to mute when playing with a pick and tend to rest it on the bridge. I did try a chrome pickup cover on my Player series and hated it. For me, it covers the sweet spot of picking and plucking.

    As for strap locks, I've been using the Fender rubber casket strap locks. Those are great. Easy to pull on and off and they function as they should.

    Joe BassPlayer likes this.
  4. Joe BassPlayer

    Joe BassPlayer Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    I haven't played any other earlier ones (2009) but from what I hear they seem to have maintained great quality throughout the years that they've been manufactured.
    Thom Fioriglio likes this.
  5. I picked up a fiesta red loaded body on a whim as I had a MIM neck laying around not doing anything...so my bass is only 50% authentic roadworn P. That being said I had no real expectations and was never into the roadworn thing...but I was stunned. It feels great, sounds great, plays great, and it’s really light. An amazing instrument.
    Thom Fioriglio likes this.
  6. My new Fender Road Worn 50s P Bass arrived yesterday. My first impressions were not good. The neck is WIDE. That is going to take some getting used to. The bridge to me just seems so basic. I have a Fender Himass bridge on my other P bass and love it. The tuners were stiff and accessing the truss rod screw is a pain. With that said, I will give it time. My other bass is a Fender Player Precision and the neck on that one seems perfect, so the chunkier neck will be an adjustment. The tone sounds great and the more I play the more comfortable it is becoming. I don't have buyers remorse but I am not yet sold on it. Has anyone else experienced this?

    Here are some pics now that it arrived. IMG_7327.JPG IMG_7333.JPG IMG_7328.JPG IMG_7331.JPG
  7. Joe BassPlayer

    Joe BassPlayer Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    The bass is a replica of a 50's Precision. Everything that you mentioned was a feature of the 50 precision (yes, even the tuners were stiffer back then).
    You might should have done your research a little better prior to making the purchase.
    Maybe you just prefer the newer designs.
    Joshua M, JimboDeebers, ruju and 2 others like this.
  8. Thanks for the input. I did do my research. And without these hanging in the stores, there is no way to test one. Years ago used to have a P Bass with a 1.75 inch nut. It wasn't a problem back then. I am not criticizing the bass, I am just saying the feel is a bit different than my Player P and will take some getting used to.

    murphy likes this.
  9. 754EDBF3-D84D-4E0A-8403-1BAACE0F7BDC.jpeg I have high mass bridges on all my basses except for my roadworn body. I actually like the stock bridge. I did match the body with a standard MIM neck as I previously mentioned, but big wide necks don’t bother me. One reason I use MIM necks is because the truss adjustment is at the headstock. Maybe trade the neck for a standard MIM neck? I also often swap out stock tuners for hipshots but on this bass I only swapped out one tuner for a D-tuner (Xtender).
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
  10. Thanks for the input. I also have Hipshot D-Tuner on my Player P bass. I don't use it often so if I decide to sell the Player P, I don't think I will miss it that much. I could get one for the RW but the hardware is aged, so it won't match. I do want to keep the RW stock, as one of the reasons I got it is I love the look of those 50s basses. The only issue I had with the stock bridge was the saddles got stuck as I adjusted them for intonation. The HiMass bridge saddles slide easily. Though I do like the grooves on the saddles on the vintage bridge so I can adjust string spacing. That is a plus.
    armybass and todd burns like this.
  11. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    I dint own single one, but my friend who work at GC been told me that all earlier batch (2009-2012) roadworn p and j he own, which has zero gloss on body paint plus tiny crack over the painted, Pre drill bridge cover screws holes, all dirty hardware and sanded effect neck has better tone than batch after 2012.
    He also mention that the roadworn series has meet more twisted neck/uneven fretboard/high fret issue from factory than others series, because the lacking of wood drying process skill from factory compare to latest neck Roasted technology.
  12. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    Give it time and a set of flatwounds. You’ll love it.
    2boom likes this.
  13. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    So, I've never owned a Roadworn, but am a happy owner of a 50s Classic honey blonde. If someone had a similarly cared-for Roadworn in fiesta red and wanted to trade, I probably would. Otherwise, I'm not letting this thing go.

    The neck is massive. And I just LOVE it; the shape is super intuitive to my thumb, and the small fretboard radius seems to complement it perfectly.

    Price-wise, you paid close to new, honestly, but then again... these are discontinued basses and no one's letting them go for a reason. You got it under current market value and if I were in the market, I'd pay what you did.

    I've adjusted the relief & action once (well, one set of times) on my 50s in the five years I've owned it: when setting it up and deciding how I liked it. It's never needed it since.
  14. Thanks for the feedback. I am feeling much better about it after spending another day with it. I have it all set up perfectly now as the flatwounds have settled in and some tinkering with the action and truss rod. I shortened my strap a bit so my left hand is in a better position with the wider neck.

    As for the price, yeah, compared to what I am seeing on Reverb, I got a good deal. It's only 4 years old, so I am comfortable with that. And the seller was great to deal with and covered shipping and threw in a Road Runner Hardshell case. All for $975.

    Everything I read about them is fantastic and everyone says they are keepers. And I do love that 50s look and sound.
  15. Joe BassPlayer

    Joe BassPlayer Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Sorry Thom. Didn’t mean that you did do any research. I was just stating that the things that you mentioned (that you didn’t like) are std features of a 50’s Road worn P-Bass.
    That being said, as others mentioned, you’ll probably adjust to the bass some as you play it.
    I did eventually sale my road worn in favor of getting a new 50’s P-bass (before they were replaced with the Vintera line). I immediately replaced the bridge and tuners with Hipshot equivalent. I also replaced the gold pick guard with a tort and the pickup with a Custom shop 62.
    I suppose that I could have done the changes to my road worn but I felt that I should let someone else enjoy it as designed. The overall sound and quality of the 50’s precision’s, whether road worn or std model, is amazingly good.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
    Thom Fioriglio likes this.
  16. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    I mean, it’s a 50’s P reissue. That’s how they were lol.
    ruju and Joe BassPlayer like this.
  17. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    If Fender is smart they will start manufacturing these basses again ASAP. The used prices for these are crazy right now. I believe the first run of these could be bought for ~$675 new.
    Thom Fioriglio likes this.
  18. I looked at the Classic 50s as well. Both the Classic and RW have gotten great reviews. I couldn’t find any available. One came up on Reverb after I already bought the RW for $675. That one disappeared quickly. If the Vintera series came in Sunburst I probably would have gotten one.
  19. Bassmunnky


    Jul 3, 2004
    New York and Philadelphia
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball MusicMan Guitars
    I have the exact bass, added the HIPSHOT Drop D...if you ask you can see if they will age it for you.
    IT's a stellar bass. I'm a Jazz GUY...but I wouldn't call this neck "BEEFY"...it's a WIDE Flat C..It has the bark and Bite of the original, and I took a Zen approach, play it as it is...It's Super Light. and Records spot on. I also have a Sadowsky J, which is MUCH easier to play...HOWEVER, it's not a P...It's the right tool for ALOT of Jobs. I did change out the Pickguard as the metal one feels funky to my fingers. Love it!
  20. JLY

    JLY Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I bought one on Joe’s recommendation and I was not disappointed (thank you Joe!)

    it’s a fine P and plays/sounds as good as any of the multiple P basses I have owned or played .


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