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NBD: Precision Special Deluxe (Passive) New neck or not?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GroovyBaby, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Work with existing neck

    24 vote(s)
  2. Order the Warmoth

    2 vote(s)
  1. GroovyBaby

    GroovyBaby G&L Fanboy Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Huntingdon, PA
    View attachment 3390182
    So I just picked up this really nice Fender Precision Special Deluxe Series (I think those are all in the correct order). I’m a big G&L fan and haven’t had a “Fender” in a while. My two main basses are a JB5 and L-2500 (both USA). That was all for a bit but I was missing having a four and missing having a P, so...I pulled the trigger on this pretty bass. I didn’t want to spend too much on my third bass (keep it under a grand, it’s just a hobby). I remember the reviews on TB about how nice these were when they first came out (a Fender/Guitar Center special). Knowing the TB rep, I bought this used. Previous owner had already upgraded the pickups to a nice Aguilar set which was a BIG plus. It came with rounds on it but I threw some Labella LTFs on there and damn it sounds sweet! I really like the pickup! The weight is a nice 8.4lbs with just a small amount of neck dive.

    Now for the neck. It sets up really low with no real buzz. I’m really impressed that it sets up to play so well! I assumed that if the previous owner spent good money on good pickups, it was likely on a bass that plays well. It does! But, the fret ends need to be filed and polished. I’ve read that this is common on these. I’ve done a little fret work myself under the supervision of a local luthier who is also a friend. I’m not worried about the fret ends as I know these can be cleaned up nicely. The neck has little to no edge roll on it. That isn’t a deal breaker but some edge roll would make a huge difference in feel. Does this neck have a “real” plastic binding or is that just painted on to look like a binding? If it were an unfinished wood I would just do the edge roll myself but it isn’t. If I sanded the edge of the “binding”, am I going to sand through the paint? What will happen to the finish that is left at the edge of where I sanded? Would it chip over time?

    These are the things I’m considering as I’ve been tempted for some time to try a Warmoth neck. I could order a nice roasted maple and leave it unfinished (I’m not crazy about the gloss finish on the Fender neck but I can live with it, I prefer satin or oil). I think the roasted maple might drop some weight. I can install lighter tuners on either neck. These could help with the minor neck dive. Does Warmoth do a nice job finishing up their frets?

    Sooo, what do you think? Do I work with the current neck (which does set up nice and low) or use this as a reason/excuse to pull the trigger on a Warmoth neck? Any idea what this neck is worth loaded (with full disclosure that the fret ends need a polish)? Any feedback appreciated.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
    faulknersj, REMBO, MynameisMe and 3 others like this.
  2. GroovyBaby

    GroovyBaby G&L Fanboy Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Huntingdon, PA

    Attached Files:

  3. GroovyBaby

    GroovyBaby G&L Fanboy Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Huntingdon, PA
    Any input on this? Was I too long indeed?
    murphy likes this.
  4. murphy


    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    I would find a neck you like...buy a standard Player and switch necks
  5. murphy


    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    I was only happiest with American Performer and Professional series...so upgrading would be satisfying for me
  6. GroovyBaby

    GroovyBaby G&L Fanboy Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Huntingdon, PA
    Ever play a Warmoth neck?
  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I'd just take it to a repairman and have the fret ends properly dressed.
  8. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Sounds to me like you are looking for an excuse to expel some GAS. Never mind a roasted neck is no guarantee of weight loss (other than to your wallet). Fix the frets.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
  9. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    the ax looks great! not sure how to advise you on the neck question, except to say: i'd be playing (and improving) that neck until i knew that it wasn't 'the one'. in any event, congratulations on your new instrument! :thumbsup:
    GroovyBaby likes this.
  10. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Things that will make a Warmoth neck lighter than the one you have:

    1) Using Hipshot Ultralites - the 3/8 inch version is even lighter than the 1/2 inch version. Yes, you can use those (the 1/2 inch version) on your present neck, and probably solve the neck dive issue.

    2) Graphite rods. With the standard steel rods in a Warmoth neck it'll be heavier than the neck you have. With graphite, not as much.

    3) Roasted Maple. I have several roasted maple Warmoth necks (all graphite reinforced). I have one Mighty Mite neck - not roasted, no reinforcement rods, no frets. The Warmoth necks are lighter.

    Note: A Warmoth neck with graphite roods and roasted maple ain't cheap. I also buy mine with stainless frets - if you're gonna spend the dough on a great neck, an extra $20 (what stainless costs you) is worth it in my opinion.

    And yes, Warmoth's fretwork is pretty darn good.

    I like Warmoth's work enough that, after buying my first one, I haven't bought from anyone else - bodies or necks.
    BEADG63 and GroovyBaby like this.
  11. tb4sbp


    May 9, 2017
    North East
    I absolutely love tuxedo necks so I would have this neck fixed up the way you want it
    Great looking bass BTW
    Best of luck
    GroovyBaby likes this.
  12. MotorCityMinion


    Jun 15, 2017
    "Does Warmoth do a nice job finishing up their frets?" The rep himself explains why in this video.

    The short answer is no.

    GroovyBaby likes this.
  13. The Deep

    The Deep

    Jul 21, 2017
    Fender Deluxe Active P Bass Special. These are really nice basses capable of some great tones!

    I used to have one, but moved on only because I am not a fan of most active basses and P/J configs.

    If I were you I’d skip the Warmoth option and take one of those green Scotchbrite kitchen scouring pads to the back of the neck. It’ll take off just enough of the gloss and make it feel like a smooth satin finish. Trust me, you’ll be amazed with the results! Just 30-45 seconds of sanding with the pad and your done!

    The neck dive is a serious bummer and a whole ‘nother issue. You may shave some weight by going with some Gotoh Reso-lite vintage style tuners to start with. No guarantees when it comes to dive....it’s a balance flaw rooted in the construction of the instrument.

    Bottom line is if you can live with the neck dive, I’d consider keeping the neck and treat it as mentioned above. If the dive is a deal breaker look toward a replacement neck or maybe even a new bass.

  14. bassstrangler


    Mar 2, 2015
    This bass is not that model. It's not active either. This is the Guitar Center/Musicians Friend FSR model.

    Also the binding on that neck should be real and not painted.
    TinIndian and GroovyBaby like this.
  15. LT131


    Jan 25, 2015
    Deep South
    This. Got a roasted Warmoth. Great neck but no lightweight.
    GroovyBaby likes this.
  16. I have the same bass with the same problem. Also tried another at GC to see if it had the issue and it did. It just seems to be a corner they cut in making these. I paid a shop with a good reputation 30 dollars to file my fret ends. I could see paying in the 30-70 dollar range, and it'd be worth it in any case. It's a good neck otherwise, and the blocks are pretty, so may as well do this step first.
    GroovyBaby likes this.
  17. murphy


    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    yes...very nice quality...too thick for my comfort and was a bit heavy...steel rods...but that was 15 years ago
  18. Eighthnoterock

    Eighthnoterock Supporting Member

    May 25, 2018
    Lynden Washington
    I would spend the $50-$100 to have the fret ends dressed if this is the only issue. I just installed the same neck on my 50's Reissue P Bass. Mine could use to be dressed, not that bad though. Overall love the neck, but I've been a Jazz guy for years with stubby fingers. 20190418_161503.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
    murphy and GroovyBaby like this.
  19. The Deep

    The Deep

    Jul 21, 2017

  20. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    If you get the graphite rids, they are indeed light weight. I have a 6.6 pound pass (yes, really) that has absolutely NO neck dive - Warmoth can make you a light neck, you just have to order the right thing.

    They have a thin profile option, which is a nice profile - a lot like a modern C Fender.
    GroovyBaby and murphy like this.

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