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New MIA P's vs. New 70's P's - a few concerns

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mikeddd, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. mikeddd

    mikeddd Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    I'm essentially a Jazz guy, but have found myself playing more and more Motown lately. So, I've begun a quest to get into a P to satisfy this "Let's try a P w/flats" jones.

    I absolutely love the look of the new '70s
    Precision Basses.

    Pic courtesty of this thread: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f126/new-fender-70s-p-bass-olympic-white-blocks-binding-830536/

    Also in that thread, you'll see the pic of the serial# with "Made in Japan" stamped right above it.

    Since the NEW, '70s P's are so new there's not a lot of info out there on them from real users. Are ALL these new 70s P's MIJ or are some MIM? I don't mind paying $850 for a new MIJ but no way in hell I'm paying $850 for ANY MIM bass.

    Let's continue to muddy the waters. :eyebrow: I'm also looking at the new American P's with the hi-mass bridge, lightweight tuners, etc. No doubt the QC is there and the resale value seems pretty good.

    I understand that the '70s P has hardware based on the HW from that era. Got it. Their look is undeniably sexy to me. If I could get a new, American P identical to the '70s P, I'd have done so already.

    I'm suffereing from indecsion based on the possibility of Buyer's Remorse. I love the look of the 70's P, but what if the tone, fit and finish, etc, just arent' there? OK, so I buy the new American P. F&F top-notch, sounds great, but doesn't scratch my itch, visually, like the 70's does?

    Looking for advice here. Thanks. :)

    Buy both and return the one you don't like isn't an option.
  2. I purchased a 2 month old Sunburst 70's P classic on CL and I'm really enjoying the bass. A couple of things I noticed right away are the finish and the overall quality is superb, the action is amazing and the bass weighs in at a light 8.5 lbs. The neck has a slightly different profile than a modern P and may take a little bit of time to get used to; I did notice a slight buzz in the pickups so I've put shielding in the cavities, this improved it slightly but a trip to my local guitar tech I'm sure will do the trick. I've put a set of chromes on her and replaced the stock bridge with a gotoh 201 and she really sings. The sound is pure P and it has a very nice range of tones. While shielding the bass I couldn't really tell if the pickups were American although they were all one piece (cover and pickup together) which usually means there not, but the vol & tone pre was as solid and very close to my MIA. Overall IMHO it's a great bass and was worth the purchase. :bassist:
  3. meatwad

    meatwad Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
    I have no experience with the MIJ 70's Precision, although they look sweeeet! I do own an '11 American Standard Precision, and it's all I ever wanted from a Fender bass. Being a 3TSB w/ tort, it has more of a 60's vibe. If you want the 70's vibe along with undeniable quality, check out the American Deluxe Precision.


    Hmmm, they did away with the blocks and binding on these...
  4. BassmanM


    Feb 17, 2011
    Hamburg, Germany
    Since you say you're a jazz guy, why not buy a MIA p bass and look for a p guy who wants a jazz with a p neck, have him get one with a maple fretboard and black blocks and then swap necks?
  5. meatwad

    meatwad Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
    To add, this is the American Special Precision -


    Probably the closest to looking like a true 70's Precision being made by Fender, atm.

    Hey, where did the HWY 1s go?

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    MIA Special doesn't have a traditional tone circuit. I haven't been super impressed with them to be honest. They are basically a MIM bass but with a couple of small changes. The 70's Classics are cool for sure. The 50's Classic is a great bass for the money as well, and tonally right up your alley. The best value out of all of them is to buy a used MIA Standard as it will hold its value.
  7. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    The newer 70's jazz I know are MIM so I would have thought the P would be made there too. Guess the Geddy Lee is the MIJ 70's jazz?
  8. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    I never cease to be amazed. I've spent the last 30 years listening to my musical brethren lament the sh_tty CBS-era Fenders, and now they're uber cool, desirable reissues? :rollno:
  9. meatwad

    meatwad Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
    I know, ain't that something? Actually, the only bad design from the CBS-era was the three-bolt neck joint, IMO. Luckily, the Precisions never had to suffer from this, but I've met more than a few Jazzes with unstable necks.
  10. mikeddd

    mikeddd Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Thanks very much for all the replies. I am "a Jazz Guy" but I've never really played a P for any appreciable length of time and want to add one to the stable. If it turns out to be "really not for me" I can always FS/FT it.

    Essentially, I want to ensure that the "good money" I'm looking at spending doesn't wind up wasted. I.E. $850 for a MIM instrument (MHO, of course). I definitely aware that AFA resale value goes, you're never going to beat a straight ahead American P or J. Like I said earlier, if I could get a 2012 American Standard P with the black blocked neck I'd have done so already. :)
  11. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I'd go with a Fender MIA AVRI '62 P, or an MIM Roadworn P. The American Standard MIA P's are also great. You can't go wrong with one of those 3, though the AVRI '62 is much closer to the FunkMachine, IMHO.
  12. The 70s Precision like the one in the picture, in Oly White and Sunburst, are MIJ. They are not being made in Mexico at all AFAIK. There was a 70s J MIM, but not a P.

    I have an MIJ 70s P in Oly White. I love it. It is very nice in every respect. Great P Bass tone.

    The only significant advantage I could give to the Am Standards and Specials is the graphite support rods in the neck. Some people don't like them, I think they're great. I can feel the added stability when I play them, and I know the rods will contribute to that stability over time and environmental change.
  13. Just to answer OP's question, yes the new Classic 70's P basses are MIJ, and I believe I could safely assume that ALL of them are MIJ, just like I could safely assume all Fender Standards are MIM.
  14. 3 bolt necks are fine, the problem is when the pockets are badly cut and then you could use 6 bolts and it would still be unstable. Musicman and G&L used 3 bolt necks for years and they are solid. Modern Fender reissues with 3 bolt necks are solid too.
  15. AndybradleyUK


    Sep 30, 2010
    Could always get a Jazz with P/J pickups and roll off tone and J pup, and us a pick and foam mute for that authentic Motown sound. This means you don't have a bass you'll only use for 3 or 4 genres of music.
  16. The term "Standard" can apply to instruments made in either Mexico or the USA. You have to designate them as such i.e. "Fender MIM Standard" or "Fender MIA Standard."
  17. I have an Am Std and I think it's the nicest bass I've played, and I've owned a few basses. As far as differences go, the only significant difference I can see between an Am Std and a 70's is the neck.
    They both have a 'C' shaped neck, but the Am Std is the 'modern' C shape, and I'm not sure what this translates into feel-wise.
    The Am Std has carbon fiber rods where the 70's does not. These things may or may not be important to you, but I'd bet that if you tried one then the other you'd notice the difference. I would strongly suggest going someplace that has both and give them a spin.

    Also the Am Std has an 'Alnico V' pickup where the 70's has simply a 'Split Single-Coil Precision Bass pickup.' Again, not sure if this is significant or not, but if it doesn't float your boat there are many P pups to choose from.

    Aside from that, there are hardware differences which IMO are purely cosmetic.
  18. :rollno: Please, not THIS again.....
  19. mikeddd

    mikeddd Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Lots of replies; this is great! Thanks a lot, guys. I do appreciate all the suggestions of different models. I've got to check them out carefully though as a lot of the RI-types have very narrow radius FBs. I.E. like 7.5" or so. I can't play those types of necks. The Fender 9.5" standard is as narrow as I can comfortably play. I have a Warmoth Jazz that I built and it has a straight 10" radius. It's a pefect neck for me.

    I'll check out all the suggested Ps. Thanks again.
  20. mikeddd

    mikeddd Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    I agree. I'm going to take a day off from work and check out my local Guitar Center to see if they have both and give them a spin. I DO really like the hi-mass bridge the new A-Standards come with. But that neck on the '70s P...my oh my. You know how that GAS hits you. :help:

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