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P-basses, old and new

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SanDiegoHarry, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    So I was sent on a quest for my buddy No-Static who is searching for a good 4 string. He has it in his head that he wants a P-bass, and who am I to argue? With this simple set of orders, I went to the Pasadena GC over the weekend to check them out.

    Now, I don't own a P-bass, nor do I really want one. I'm more of a J-bass guy, so this was to be a tiny bit of a learning experience (the last P-bass I owned was back in the early '90s).

    To be brief: I played every new MIA P-bass they had on the wall (four, as I recall). While every bass had dead strings, they were otherwise in good shape (since they were hung on the very top run of the wall so small, grubby n00b hands couldn't get to them). Simply put, I was impressed - the narrower neck works better for me, the fit/finish appeared good and, with the exception of some mild post-purchase setup requirements, they all played nice. I actually imagined buying one and putting in a nice J p'up in the bridge position -That'd be a nice bass, for me at least.

    Okay, so I played these basses, made my notes and looked around a bit more - and what was hanging on a different wall? Three "Vintage" P-basses. I put Vintage in quotes since they were all late '70s pieces. The salesman was nice enough to pull them down for me...

    Now, I tried to have an open mind. I am, after all, a man of science.... That said, I have one word: BLECCCCCH. Heavy, poorly fit, necks like baseball bats, too much poly... ick ick ick.

    In summary, based on my little field trip, I'd have to say that today's Fenders are better than I had expected, and very much better than the ones made thirty-plus years ago. I would actually happily own a new P-bass (provided I could modify it as previously mentioned) - but a '77 or '78? No thanks. But I gave them a fair try. Let it never be said that I don't try to keep an open mind (though I may not always succeed!)
  2. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Yup, the mid and late fenders where rather hit and miss with all haveing clunky necks to me. As far as nice P basses go, I dont concider fender at all. Better choices out there for body woods, necks, playability, workmanship, neck pocket, better hardware. If your wanting single P pup bass or P pup neck and bridge set, BC Rich makes the best ones imo. Even their rather silly low priced new eagle 1 bass is much better imo then any fender for my interests sound and feel wise. But Im odd like that. Lol.

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