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Precision Bass Shootout - 1976 vs. 2009

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JimmyM, Mar 8, 2013.

Which is the 1976 Precision Bass

Poll closed Mar 15, 2013.
  1. Track 1

    70 vote(s)
  2. Track 2

    124 vote(s)
  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Thought this would be fun...got a new-to-me 2009 Precision today courtesy of TB user BassSurfer and thought I'd make a test recording, then thought it would be fun to see what you folks thought. So here's a little poll (no jokes, please), and your goal is to pick the 1976 Precision.

    The Contestants:

    1976 Fender Precision with ash body, 1983 rosewood Fender Precision neck, Schaller roller bridge, Fender 62 Custom Shop pickup from either early 2000's or late 1990's (it also has a DiMarzio Ultrajazz in the back but I turned it off), no finish on the body.

    2009 Fender American Standard Precision with black alder body, maple neck, stock, strung thru-body.

    Both basses were strung with D'addario XL rounds and given very similar setups, almost identical, and had the tone knob turned all the way up. The samples were recorded into an A-Designs REDDI into an Avid Fast Track. Got a little walking swing line, a little Motown, and a little Chicago played with a pick. Apologies for any stray artifacts you may hear...this is a newish computer and interface and it isn't fully debugged yet.

    I don't think it'll sway the voting to tell you a little bit about what I thought...I am completely impressed with the 09, and it doesn't even have a tort pickguard! Not getting one either...but I am ditching the white one and it's getting a black one to more closely resemble Roger Waters' old Precision. Should be here later today.

    I can't remember if the newer AmStd's and this one have the same pickup, but it says in the specs they use a 60's Custom Shop pickup. But the polepieces look nothing alike. The 09 has flat polepieces and the CS pickup on my 76 has rounded off polepieces. No matter...it will remain stock. I think it's an awesome pickup. I like this bass way better than the stock black 79 P I used to have. Has a better sound and plays way better than the 79, plus it's a little lighter. Missed that black/black/maple P look, though. Definitely the coolest I ever looked onstage. I look forward to regaining some cool points that I lost using the P Lyte ;) And it'll be nice to have two basses I can use interchangeably without having to re-EQ or adjust volumes. Might even start bring both P's to gigs.


    Anyway, let me know what you think...here's the files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Aw, you guys knew I wouldn't forget pics:


  3. Jungy


    Jun 9, 2011
    I can't tell you which is which but I can tell you I prefer the first sample. So I'm going to take a stab at number 1 because vintage is always better right?
  4. Energy


    Jun 20, 2006
    I won't dare to guess which one is the '76.
    I like #2 better, because it sounds a little more full-bodied and less trebly.
  5. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    Pretty much identical, which is what I love about P basses.

    Anyway, #1 sounds a wee bit whiter and brighter in the high mids and I'll for that reason guess that one is the 2009.

    Nice instrument, Mr. M, and thanks for not playing the bassline of 'Money.'
  6. Matthijs


    Jul 3, 2006
    There's a big difference but that does not mean I can tell which one is the oldie. If I have to it forces me to venture into tonewood territory, always a big risk ;). I'd say the first one is ash and rosewood and the second alder and maple.
  7. OldogNewTrick


    Dec 28, 2004
    Germany, EU
    I heard a distinct difference between the 2 basses... #1 shows more upper mids and treble, #2 has more low mids and sounds fuller...

    which is which, I cannot say - ash is brighter and alder sounds rounder may be a fair generalisation, but there are too many other factors involved in the timbre of an instrument, so I didn't vote.
  8. Matthijs


    Jul 3, 2006
    Sissy ! :D

    One other thing I just thought of: there's an awfull lot of pots on that '76 bass. How is it wired: is the total resistance over the p pickup comparable to the 2009 bass?
  9. Uncle K

    Uncle K The bass player doesn't get a sandwich Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    I like number 2 cuz it sounds a bit more mellow, but I don't think you can go wrong with either one.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    It's wired VVTT. Got no idea what that does different as opposed to VT, but I've never noticed much of a difference.
  11. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    Bigger difference than I expected, but (unless you cheated, which I doubt) I think #1 has a '62 Original pup in it, so that would be the '76. I have a strong preference for one of the sounds, but that isn't what you asked, so I'll leave that alone.
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I did not cheat ;) I tried very hard to keep in the same spot on each bass and use the same fingers on each note.
  13. I think the first bass has maple fretboard, which would make it the '09, and the second one has rosewood fretboard, which makes it the '76.
  14. #2 is the 76 for sure.
  15. Matthijs


    Jul 3, 2006
    If both volume pots are standard 250k it has the same tonal caracter as a p-bass with a 125k pot or maybe as a P with the volume at 80%. It would be darker compared to a "normal" p and my speculations on tone wood would be totally useless.
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well if I could solder worth a crap, I'd disconnect the J's wiring and try it again. As it stands...

    Honestly, it doesn't matter to me. The volumes match and the sounds each gets will work just fine. So even if it would make a difference, I'm not all that interested in worrying about it.
  17. noermaen


    Nov 4, 2011
    i think the first one is the 2009, second one the 76.
    The first one does sound more "modern", very tight basses, and it sounds like its more easy to play.

    I prefer the sound of #1. But I also think that #2 could fit better with certain music. both are really nice basses, congratulation.
  18. Matthijs


    Jul 3, 2006
    Don't worry, it's just that I would have to change my vote and feel stupid because I brought tone woods into the discussion.:)
  19. Matthijs


    Jul 3, 2006
    And you could ofcourse see this as a very intelligent ploy to make you tell which one is the brightest :smug:
  20. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Jimmy did you pull one of my old tricks and there are two recordings of the same bass? I use to love it when guys try so hard to see which bass is the MIM and which one is the U.S? and they go into great detail about each sound and why one or the other sounds better? Jimmy I'm still gonna love you but come clean sir. :)

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