So I'm about to go get a MO to send for a used Ken Smith BSR-J and I stop by the Ford dealership to pick up my wife's truck. And there goes almost all the bass money!! But wait, to console myself, I stop by the local music shop and what do I see? A brand new MIM Fender P-Bass Deluxe Special. I've been interested in checking one of these out, simply because it covers several of my "ideal" bass attributes: Jazz neck Precision shape body P and J (noiseless) pickups Active electronics When you think about it, not too many brands offer that combo. But for me, it's sort of my idea of "chocolate and peanut butter". But anyway, this is an MIM bass, so I'm not expecting much in the fit and finish department. You all may remember my proclivity to bash Fender on other threads. The Fenders I've had over the years have included: MIA Jaco Jazz Fretless MIA 1975 Jazz Reissue MIA Deluxe P-bass MIA Precision MIJ 1975 Reiussue MIM Standard Jazz 5 Squier Affinity P-bass All but one of these I turned around and sold within a month. I have torn Fender a new one quite a few times on this board and pretty much never thought I'd go back. Well...I'm speechless. The level of fit and finish on this MIM exceeds anything on and of the MIA basses listed above. For one thing, the neck is perfect. There was a hair too much relief so I tweaked the truss rod and it settled down perfectly. There's just the right amount of fallaway, too. No high frets. And even though the neck is maple, someone actually crowned these frets--unlike the trapezoidal frets on most maple-necked MIA basses. The nut was cut as expertly as on my Lull. The edges are rolled nicely. The finish was nicely applied as well, with no glaring gaffes. But this is all secondary. I bought the bass on impulse, threw a new set of Rotosound nickels on it, and drove to rehearsal. We had the best practice we've had in months! And all of my band mates were gushing effusively about how the bass sound was "tighter" and "more punchy" than on my Sterling. Though in fairness, if that's true it's probably partly my fault for EQ'ing the Sterling incorrectly. But there's NO denying the incredible tone coming from this bass. The active preamp is quiet and effective. The "noiseless" Jazz pickup is a little on the tame side, but the P pickup roars and you can really get some great "civilized" tones in the middle. You know, when I was at the store, when I picked up the bass it was like "ok, this is my bass". No fanfare, no fireworks. Like it had been sitting around my house for years. Amazing. Did Roger Sadowsky or Mike Lull sneak into the Fender plant in Mexico one night or something? How did this happen?