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Opinions on P-Bass, P-Bass Special, Active J-Bass, yadda yadda yadda

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dawgawd, Jun 15, 2002.


  1. dawgawd

    dawgawd

    Mar 23, 2000
    Maine
    I'm looking into getting another 4 string bass. I've recently realized that my pink P bass really really sucks... i've long known this, but It's getting to an unbearable extent... you know how some instruments just make you sick to your stomach to play? that is how my p bass feels to me.

    I have another bass, a five string standard J, and i love it, it's seriously the best instrument i've ever played, it just feels and sounds perfect.

    so i'm asking for opinions on the following:

    Standard P Bass. although an attractive looking bass, i'm a bit affraid of buying another one of these. My old P bass sucks... but it's also a squire. my main problem with the one i own is that I find it impossible to get a tone out of it that i like... it always seems a little empty... like it's missing something tonally. also, the instrument just feels sort of awkward. My question is, the problems with my current P bass... might they be accountable to the fact that it's a cheap ass squire... or are these things i can expect from a fender standard as well?

    Deluxe P-Bass Special. Naturally this seems like the alternative, based on what i've told you about my current P bass. it's got the bridge pickup, which could help fill out the tone a little, and it has a Jazz neck... which i'm lead to believe i like (i'm a bit unclear, i love MY j's neck, but it's also a 5 string... does the 5 string J bass neck differ greatly from a regular J neck... they should be relatively similar right?) My question on this is... is this bass more comparable feel wise and tonaly to a Jazz or a Precision... can this bass create the tones that i've grown to love from my J Bass?

    Deluxe Active Jazz Bass. So eventually I start thinking that since i love my Jazz bass so much... why don't I just get another one, so I see this one as the next logical step up. We've already established that I love the Jazz Bass, so can anybody tell me if the active electronics do a lot to separate this bass from just your average standard? are the extra bells and wistles worth the extra money or would I be better off saving my money and getting something cheaper?

    or something else entirely? I'm a big fan of fenders, for... i'll be honest... mainly cosmetic reasons... hey, who wants an ugly bass? But anywho, i like fenders, so I'd like to get another. got any suggestions in the similar price range that i should check out?

    I thank you in advance for whatever opinions you may have to offer me.
     
  2. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    American Deluxe P Bass. $895 from The Bass Place, Arizona. Great feel, fit, finish, tone. Yeeha!:D
     
  3. dawgawd

    dawgawd

    Mar 23, 2000
    Maine
    i'm sure it's wonderful... but not exactly my price range.
     
  4. Johnny BoomBoom

    Johnny BoomBoom Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2001
    Glasgow, Scotland
    If the P-bass plays well, n=how about upgrading your electronics???? You could a a Seymour Duncan Basslines Quarter Pounder pickup! This is used on the Steve Harris (Iron Maiden bassist) signature series - as is a BadAss II bridge!!!!


    This will cost you a lot less than a new bass if your budget ain't great!!!! I love my P-bass Special - but mine it the 80'2 one, it has the standard P pickup but it has an active circuit (switchable) and has both treble and bass controls as well as a volume control. You see them on ebay from time to time. I've played otehr standard P basses and haven't been impressed with their tone!

    I do fancy a Steve Harris P-bass though!
     
  5. dawgawd

    dawgawd

    Mar 23, 2000
    Maine
    i've been thinking about the new pickup idea...

    but it seems to me like maybe the instrument is just inherantly flawed... i'm affraid that i'll just keep plunking down money for it and never actually improve it to an extent where i'll be happy with it. make sense?

    so, since i'm not exactly mad about the tone of a p bass, i should probably steer clear of the standard p basses. is that the general consensus?

    i'm really interrested in the p bass special, i'd like to hear more about it... i would like to hear that it performs more like a J bass than a P bass... does it or does it not? i've never played one.

    by the way, if you find yourself thinking, why doesn't he just get his ass to a music store and test this stuff for himself... i live in northern maine... i don't think i've ever been to a music store that had more than 10 basses in stock at a time... think "rural"
     
  6. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    To quote Rickbass:

    "A polished turd is just a shiny turd."

    That was in response to this thread:

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=49656

    Basically the woods on Squires are junk the necks stink, and the pickups stink, and because of this changing the PUs will not help that much.

    A Squire will always be a Squire.

    Peace
    Nick
     
  7. Hate to break it to yo, but Squiers use Alder and Agathis for their body woods. The necks are no worse than MIM fenders, and their electronics are equal in quality. It really depends on where the Squier is made. Chinese and Indonesian Squiers aren't nearly as good as the older Korean Squiers.

    Squiers are fully backed by Fender as far as warrenty, and since they are built to the same specs as Fenders (save for quality control) any Fender aftermarket product will fit in a Squier. Pickguards are the only things that don't match up perfectly, you may need to put in a few extra screw holes. Yes, Fenders are better basses off the rack. You would expect it to be. A Squier P costs $170, versus a MIM that runs $350, versus a MIA that runs $850. No rational person will think the Squier will be as good off the rack as a MIA Fender. But, Squier + BadAss II + S/D 1/4 pounders + new pots + new srings + setup = just as good as MIA Fender for less than hlaf of the price.
     
  8. MJB

    MJB

    Mar 17, 2000
    Look for a used MIA Fender. I bought a NOS 98 MIA P last yr for $529. You'll be much happier than "settling" for less.
     
  9. dawgawd

    dawgawd

    Mar 23, 2000
    Maine
    perhaps i'm just not the player you guys are, but i've never looked at a MIM bass as "settling". since I have to mailorder everything, I am much more confident buying new most the time.
     
  10. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Not all alder is created equal.

    I suppose you could be right that some are just as good quality, but not any of the ones Ive tried.

    Ive played several and have several friends who own them. I havent found a Squire that I like.

    Are you sure they use alder? I find it odd that from what Ive read about their specs, it always says "solid wood body". It would almost seems as though they are trying to hide what wood they are actually using. Besides, not even all the MIM models feature alder or ash (woods of choice for Fender). I believe most are poplar which in my opinion doesnt sound as good. I would doubt that Squire can use higher quality wood that MIM Fenders.

    Aside from that, the electronics on most of the ones Ive tried are fairly weak. They just lack the tone that anything sporting the Fender name should.

    All that being said, the guitars are a different issue. My friend had an older Squire strat that sounded really nice, and another friend just gave me his fairly new Fat Strat for me to reapir, and it too sounds nice.

    That reminds me the workmanship on these guitars is poor. I cant tell you how many nuts ive had to reglue/replace on Squires, and electronics Ive had to rewire. It seems like they all just fall apart.

    Peace
    Nick
     
  11. dawgawd

    dawgawd

    Mar 23, 2000
    Maine
    my squire is junk wood, i'm sure of it. my MIM J bass feels a lot more solid than my squire. i can't describe to you what i mean precisely, but like, it feels more dense, and notes ring through a LOT better on my MIM... i'm pretty sure whatever they used for my squire was whatever they refused to use on any real fender. it's just cheesy. and it's EXTREMEY soft wood too, i've had occaision to make some holes on the body, and trust me, it was way too easy.
     
  12. dawgawd

    dawgawd

    Mar 23, 2000
    Maine
    while we're on the subject of old squires. my favorite bassist, Daniel Brummel, of my favorite band, Ozma, has 2 basses that he brings on the road with him. An american deluxe Jazz Bass, and a Squire Jazz Bass from the 80s. He says that the American Deluxe is still his first choice, but the Squire is still pretty good. Daniel Brummel is a damn fine bassist (if you haven't heard ozma, they are a powerpop band in the same vein as stuff like weezer, you should check them out, they are all very talented) and he knows his basses, so if he chooses his 80's squire over some of his other fender basses... it must be a good instrument. He admits that newer squires aren't very good.
     
  13. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    My friends old Squire I was talking about was from the 80's as well.

    Peace
    Nick
     
  14. The old 80's Squiers were better than the 80's Fenders IMO. But anyway to the topic at hand...

    MIMs are now all made with Alder, they used to be poplar.

    Tone-wise its a matter or preference, personally I like the Precision tone better than the Jazz bass tone. Thats just me. Basically I think you should just head to a music store and play them all. See which one you like the best, and buy that one.
     
  15. The other day, just for the hell of it I played a Squier P-bass Special and some hi-end Fender P's, J's all on the same amp. I was totally amazed by how how well the Squier P- Bass Special played and sounded.. Pretty good tone for a inexpensive bass. It didn't feel cheep at all .. This is great bass for the money. I think it has a Agathis body. It's light. I loved the J style neck , P and j pickup config. I also like that you plug the cable into the side ...
     
  16. The Squier Affinity P-Bass uses alder. The rest are agathis. As such, the affinity, despite being the cheapest of them all, is my favorite Squier (I own one), and I'd say they're right up there with the quality of most of the MIM P's I've played.
     
  17. dawgawd

    dawgawd

    Mar 23, 2000
    Maine
    i've had a problem with the music stores in maine.

    basically all the ones i've been to have had a limitted selection, and usually weird brands.

    their prices tend to be a little bit high as well.

    I've played the basses at these stores and most of them are flawed in some way, the necks are all screwed up most the time... sometimes the problems MIGHT be fixable... but do you REALLY think it's a good idea to take home a flawed bass that you payed too much for just so you can try to make it playable? when this isn't the case and the instruments are perfect it turns out that i just DON'T like them for whatever reason... you know, sometimes something just doesn't look and sound right.

    i also really have my heart set on fenders... no speciffic reason why... i just like them. and in the past year of going to various music stores in the area i've seen like a total of 4 fenders on the wall.

    all these shops are well stocked with fender and other brand name guitars, but nobody really gives bass anything more than an afterthought.

    and THAT is why i mailorder all my goods. sure, i would like to try things out before i buy them, but i can't always do that, that is why i do things like this and ask people their opinions, so i can make the best desicion possible.
     
  18. pc

    pc

    Apr 4, 2000
    Montreal QC
    My 1991's Korean Squire has an AAAAA+ grade plywood body :D
     
  19. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I just bought a '92 Fender Precision Special off of eBay for $545. It has a P-J setup, jazz neck, passive. If you solo the neck pup, it sounds exactly like a jazz bass. It also feels like the Jazz since the necks are the same. P pup is a bit weak for my taste though, so I will either add a pre-amp, or change to a Quarter Punder...all in all, a great bass for the price.
     
  20. dawgawd

    dawgawd

    Mar 23, 2000
    Maine