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Performer or Player series

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 4 Strings Only, May 10, 2019.

  1. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    I would get the Player but that's just because I don't really like bridge J-pickups or the greasebucket tone circuit (and also because I love the Player Buttercream finish). It really depends what your needs are.

    The most important thing would be to try before you buy though. Fender MIM and MIA quality is currently all over the place in my experience. If possible try several of each model before making a decision.
    bdplaid likes this.
  2. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    I have a Player series that's the best Fender I've ever owned. One thing about it - I prefer a P with a Jazz neck, and the Player allowed me to change the neck and tuners for less cash than any other new Fender. I've lost a lot of money on Fender basses over the years; this one is a keeper.
    bhendrix likes this.
  3. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Having had a bass with those rods, they are useless. Neck still had a dead spot, neck still moved. I discovered they are wooden dowel rods wrapped in carbon fiber, making them hardly as stiff as CF rods. Fender does a great job at marketing.
    Malak the Mad and keithbroussard like this.
  4. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    If you want/need a PJ, then the Player won't cut it unless you want to mod it. That said, passive PJ setups can be tricky - usually the J pup is way lower in volume than the P. You can adjust heights to deal with some of that, it will depend on the bass, your other gear/technique, etc.

    I think most of the marketing speak on Fender stuff is...marketing speak (e.g. the graphite rods). They are production basses, most of them are solid, some are dogs. If you are picky, pretty much all of them will need some work out-of-the-box. fwiw my main basses are Foderas but I have a Player P that is a great bass. That said, I had it Plek'd (there were a few hight spots at my desired action) and swapped Hipshot ultralite tuners in to save some weight but mostly improve balance. I still spent less than the US-built instrument and it is dialed-in.

    In an era of globalization, the "made-in" label is mostly marketing for large-scale production products. If you're buying from a small builder, that is a different beast as you can know the people who took your order and build your instrument. But said instrument won't be inexpensive...
    bdplaid likes this.
  5. Iofflight

    Iofflight Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2018
    What neck did you buy? I'm thinking of swapping out the maple on my player to a rosewood jazz.
  6. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Mighty Mite Rosewood Jazz.
    alanloomis1980 and Iofflight like this.
  7. Mike Vee

    Mike Vee

    Oct 8, 2012
  8. OP hasn’t been here since June, I wonder if he got one....

    How did that fit? I also like a J neck on my P bass. We should really have a club.... ;)
  9. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Perfect. I like everything about Mighty Mite necks.
    As for a club... Fender should pay attention and make P's with J necks more available.
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  10. Iofflight

    Iofflight Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2018
    I'm seriously debating between Mighty Mite and the Warmoth slim profile rosewood. I recognize that is a different thread topic and the warmoth is far more expensive.
  11. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    The Warmoth is also considerably heavier. I have used USACG, Mighty Mite and Warmoth. And that is my order of preference. USACG and MM are about the same weight, but the former has graphite rods in it, and the workmanship is top notch. Not that Warmoth is bad, the work is great, but the steel rods weigh a lot, and the graphite rods seem to not make a great difference in weight because Warmoth necks, IMO, tend to be chunky. For the casual guy who just wants to slap on a J neck, Mighty Mite is hard to beat.
  12. Iofflight

    Iofflight Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2018
    that's really good info thanks, I really want a nice neck with good fretwork but not a ton of weight. I know the graphite could help but if doesn't make a huge difference in the weight then that it's not worth the upgrade imo. USACG may be worth looking at.
  13. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Speaking just about my experience and just about Warmoth, I think they say the diff between steel and graphite is about 6 oz or so. That's almost a half pound, and in a neck it is significant. However, between the Warmoth and the USACG necks, both with graphite rods, the USACG is lighter. And can be thinner if you order it that way. The lightest of all, again IME, is the Mighty Mite. But the MM has no stiffening rods and will have all the same issues such as the dreaded dead spot, etc. But the price is about half of boutique builders, and are usually available right away.

    I just got a new neck from USACG that, even though a custom order, had nothing special specified - just a maple neck with rosewood, 12" radius. It arrived made from a mid-grade flame maple on the back, no extra charge. It's nice. They do stuff like that here and there when they can.

    But if I wanted a neck fast, I'd do Mighty Mite. And don't forget that Fender also sells necks. Jazz necks from Mexico are available and that might be worth considering, although I still like the MMs best.
  14. Iofflight

    Iofflight Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2018
    Yeah there is no hurry on this. It's simply an aesthetic choice. I've got the buttercream player series p bass coming and I prefer a darker wood with a lighter body. I also have a personal dislike of all the Pau Ferro fingerboards I've played, which admittedly have all been on lower tier Fenders to substitute for Rosewood. I'm sure a nicer cut on a more expensive bass could possibly change my mind but so far I haven't encountered a single neck that I've liked with it. I also have a maple neck on my short scale Birdsong Cbass so I would like to change up a bit.
    bdplaid likes this.
  15. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Good luck with it. I also have the buttercream, I liked the tone with the Fender maple P neck, but the Mighty Mite J plays like, well, butta.
    Iofflight likes this.
  16. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    Is this just MIM vs MIA in disguise?

    You have to try the bass in question. There will be gems and dogs in both lineups.
    crucislancer likes this.
  17. Thanks! Somewhere I got the impression they took a little work to fit, on an MIM anyway. You’re the second person recently to vouch for MM necks, good to hear cause they are so affordable!

    I guess I get not making that option on a mass produced budget bass, but you can’t even get a Jazz neck on a CS P; that’s nuts. Cmon Fender! Call it the 70s A neck Reissue. There’s :greedy: to be had!
  18. Resonance129


    Feb 15, 2011
    Late post, but...

    When I purchased my Player Jazz, I'd A/B'd a Performer with it before pulling the trigger.

    The Performer sounded better than the Player to me - It was warmer and had a more "solid" sound than the Player. I'd assume that's got a lot to do with the woods being used in the different models. It was aggressive, but didn't have that over-the-top glassy zinginess the Player has. I also felt the neck profile of the Performer was more comfortable to me. Otherwise, they were fairly comparable, IMO.

    I was torn for a sec BECAUSE the Performer really did sound better, but not enough to justify a $600 price difference. I figured I'd get the Player and modify it to my liking using that difference, and possibly end up with something even nicer.

  19. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    If you're a Player kinda guy you'll find the Player to your liking. If your a Performer kinda guy. . . etc etc, by that I mean you can either hear or feel the difference or you can't. And if you can you don't mind paying more for it.

    I don't know these basses but I would imagine the Performer has to be either made with better materials or made to a higher spec, or both, or maybe the only difference is where they were made.

    Usually higher priced products have to justify that extra, so I'd expect the Performer to be a "better" bass in some respects. I'd try both basses out and see which one appeals more. If it's the Player then you always have the option to upgrade the sound later, if you want to. Once the band and that loud drummer start up are you going to notice any small differences anyway?

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