New Fender Bass wanted. Which one should I buy?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BillBlack, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. BillBlack


    Apr 19, 2019
    Hi guys. I need a new bass because my Mexican Jazz Bass is currently on the road with my brother. I was thinking about either buying a used Precision (or maybe a Mustang) Bass. Soundwise I particularly like LCD Soundsystem, and Metronomy Bass tones. I just checked the used market and these are my suggestions:
    Made in Mexico ~500,-
    Made/Crafted in Japan 800-900,-
    Squier JV for 900,-
    USA Standard 900-1200,-
    refinished USA from 1978 1300,-
    I am particularly interested in a bass that holds its value well and in known differences between the models.
    Which one of these basses would you buy and why?
    Looking forward to hearing your opinions :)
    Smooth_bass88 likes this.
  2. EmuBass


    Jan 24, 2018
    Vienna, Austria
    Get yourself a no-name Pbass. Plug in fine pickups. Save money. There you go. Fenders are overrated.
    lizardking837 likes this.
  3. dmt


    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    I’m not familiar with the bands you mentioned, but I just checked out a few videos and saw the Metronomy bass guy was playing a Precision in the video I watched, while for LCD Soundsystem, I only saw synths making their bass sounds (not saying they never use a bass, just saying that in the two videos I randomly checked, they didn’t).

    Basically, I’d recommend going to a music store or stores and checking out the basses you’re interested in in person. Ideally you could a-b them (compare them) back to back, but even playing them at different times at different store would still give you some basis for comparison (especially as you’re already familiar with the Jazz).

    That said, you should get a Precision ;)

    Mustangs are cool too though..., but hard to go wrong with a Precision unless you are specifically looking for a short scale or are playing a genre or style where a P wouldn’t be ideal.

    I’d get an MIA if the budget allows, or an MIM if money is a bit tighter. For an MIJ, well, that’s an interesting wildcard... I’d want to know the specs on an MIJ or get a chance to play it before buying as a lot of those have vintage radius (7.25") fretboards, which I’m not a big fan of. That said, my 2nd favorite bass is an MIJ Mustang with a vintage radius fretboard, so go figure! (but I do wish its fretboard were flatter radiused). I’d go Squier if the budget were really tight or if I picked up a particular Squier instrument and just really liked it, but otherwise I’d go MIA or MIM first, with MIJ being an intriguing possibility if, again, i could actually play it first and ended up liking it.

    I’d avoid the 70s refin and go with something from, say, within the last 15 years, myself.

    Since these basses are already used and are Fenders, they should in general hold their used value reasonably well.

    Happy hunting, and good luck!
  4. BillBlack


    Apr 19, 2019
    Thanks but I specifically asked about Fender basses and don’t think that no-name basses hold their value that well. Especially if I put more money in them to upgrade parts.
    wncBass, bhendrix, mexicant and 14 others like this.
  5. Levitamin

    Levitamin Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2009
    I recently bought a 2018 MIJ Midnight P Bass. I owned an older CIJ Mustang prior to that. I really didn't like the P Bass. I tried. I just bought a used 2018 MIM Player Jaguar and I was surprised at how much more I liked it than the MIJ P Bass. The P pickup sounded way better to me. Like very noticeably better. I would not have considered a MIM Fender before this, they seemed like overpriced junk to me. I think they've upped the quality with this new Players series and they're definitely worth checking out.
  6. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I recently went with the Fender Mustang PJ. Easy to play, reasonable price, reasonable weight and I really like the sound of the P pickup alone. It has replaced my P bass.

    I'm more concerned with tone and playability rather than resale value but I don't plan on letting the Mustang go for a long time.
    dmt likes this.
  7. mapleglo

    mapleglo Ancient Astronaut Theorist Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    If I were looking for a Fender bass that holds value, I'd be looking at either a MIJ or MIA P-Bass, mostly used models as they won't lose value as soon as I buy them.
    Ghastly and Wisebass like this.
  8. Robert Darby

    Robert Darby

    Mar 23, 2018
    Made in Mexico ~500,-
    mexicant likes this.
  9. Conrad Gently

    Conrad Gently

    May 14, 2019
    Everett, WA
    I like P-Basses, but to each his own. I have a squier Jaguar, and that’s great as well— except for the smaller number of frets. My Yamaha TRBX170ew has a great growl with everything running wide open, even though I still have the manufacturer’s pickups on it. (Buying the Geezer Butlers I have my eye on would probably be more than the value of the guitar.)

    That said, a friend of mine has one of the Affinity series J-basses, and those have great tone, too. Just a different kind of tone. It’s really a matter of preference. Do you like single coils a whole heckuvalot, or do you want some of that split coil sound? In my experience, I’ve preferred to have a little more room to experiment, so I’ve always gone with a P-bass that will give me a single coil and a split coil.

    But it’s your guitar, so it’s up to you.
  10. BillBlack


    Apr 19, 2019
    Have you also tried a regular MIJ Mustang bass and can compare it to the PJ?
  11. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    American Fender Precision, P/J is even better, you'll never regret it.

    Fender Precision basses.jpg
    Ghastly likes this.
  12. Keger Jupit

    Keger Jupit Inactive

    May 10, 2018
    The Great PNW!!
    If the basses on your list are within driving distance, go play them & pick the one that speaks to you. The temptation to sell is far less when you find a really good "player". If resale value is what you care about, them American or Japanese built is always the safest route.
    dmt likes this.
  13. Levitamin

    Levitamin Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2009
    I lost about $125 on the MIJ P Bass I bought and resold within a month.:crying:

    But I did make about $200 on my CIJ Mustang.
  14. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I've had the MIJ Mustang for several years. The MIJ has a thinner neck and sounds like a Mustang. The Mustang PJ sounds more like my P bass. Since what I was essentially looking for was a short scale P bass, the Mustang PJ was a good fit for me. Both get their share of use.
    dmt likes this.
  15. sgtpepper


    Jan 22, 2010
    Mexico City
    Have you checked the new American Performer series??? The Precision model is basically a PJ, but they sound better than the new Pro models with its greasebucket tone system IMO. They are around the 1,200 bucks you are willing to spend. You should really check them out. Best bang for the buck right now. And as an American made instrument it will hold its value for sure.

    American Performer Precision Bass® | Electric Basses
    johnnynitro and pioneerp61 like this.
  16. mapleglo

    mapleglo Ancient Astronaut Theorist Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    Yes, there are always exceptions, I was speaking generally.
  17. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Since I'm not strictly speaking a Fender guy, my one late-model Fender bass, a 50s Classic Precision, covers the territory when I really need THAT sound.

    That said, it does the P sound superbly, and that's what it does. If you need more variety, you may want to look at a different bass.

    I wish there were more varieties of Jaguar bass available, as that's a style of instrument I might not kick off my bass stand. Or if suddenly I landed in a parallel universe where I didn't buy my 50s Classic, and suddenly needed a versatile instrument, I'd take a look at the open-box Special Edition Deluxe PJ in Seafoam Green at Musician's Friend.

    Only hangup I'd have about the Mustang is given that it takes me a while to "learn" different scales, something with which I'm contending now while prepping for some gigs on a Danelectro bass. If you wanted to make the Mustang your main squeeze and get your short scale on, then rock that sucker...but it may be a hassle to switch back and forth between that and the Jazz. YMMV.
    garp likes this.
  18. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    +1. One of the best instruments to come out of FMIC, IMHO. ¡Viva México!
    Real Soon likes this.
  19. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    if you get a decent used price for any fender bass, it holds its value just fine. while the p and jazz basses are well known, i sold my 2016 MiM mustang very quickly at the price i asked with no problems. i got a bunch more people who wanted to buy it, too.
  20. Conrad romeo

    Conrad romeo

    Jun 17, 2018
    Hands-down, the new Fender Duff McKagan Deluxe precision bass, they look sound awesome, $1,200 price tag is a bit steep for a Mim