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Should i get a Fender MIA std P bass for my 1st "pro" bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by boristhespider7, May 10, 2010.

  1. boristhespider7


    Jan 27, 2008
    Getting to the stage where I'm think about getting a "pro" level instrument and seriously thinking about getting an American Standard precision (black with maple kneck).

    I currently have an Ernie ball stingray SUB which is pretty versatile but looks mediocre (textured red finish) and the PU can be too trebly for my liking sometimes. Nice punch too it though. The 2 bass sounds I regularly aim for are:

    The Jamerson motown sound (i play in a soul band)
    The aggressive p bass (eg. Bruce Foxton, John Wetton, JJ Burnel etc....i may even form a Jam tribute band).

    I'm asking as i hear a lot of people say that for the same dough (approx £900 UK....about $1200-1300 US i think) you can get a lot more bass for the money. Should i get something more versatile to stick with getting a P bass? If i went for another bass what should i go for?
  2. j.kernodle

    j.kernodle Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    South Carolina
    More bass for the money? I guess its subjective. The MIA P is a great bass, I'd imagine there's tons of black and maple ones on the used market though. Save $400 bucks and look for a minty used one. Its not a rare color combo.

    I've got a stable of four great basses that I'm proud to own. Each has their place. One is a Euro Spector, another is a Ken Smith 5'er, an EBMM Sterling, and a P-bass. Guess which one gets used the most for gigs? Yup, the P. Simplest bass out of all of them, but for all the cliche's its perfect for so many types of music.

    The American Basses have great craftsmanship and will be a bass you can love and play forever. Don't hesitate to pull the trigger. In fact, One of the things I like about the P is that I'm not tempted to fiddle with blend knobs, and EQ's. I crank the tone all the way open, or roll it off a little and control the rest with the right hand.
  3. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    The 2 sounds you're after are those of P bass users, so I'd be inclined to think that the P bass is right for you.
  4. Get the P bass. It's an institution. You'll still have it and love it 30 years from now.
  5. I think what sets a Precision (and I guess Stingrays and Jazzes for that matter) apart from virtually EVERY other bass is you can use it EVERYWHERE. Your musical interests might change down the road but I can almost guarantee that no matter the genre, there's a lengthy list of bassists within that genre that use a Precision.

    More bang for your buck? Where else can you buy a US made instrument with an iconic tone for under $2,000? Especially if you get a good deal on it, you could easily score a MIA P-bass for under $1k. For instance, in late 2006 I bought a MIA jazz bass in guitar center that sounded and played better than everything I'd tried (I was willing to spend up to $2k) and I got it for $800 brand new because it was a 2005 model. Just keep your eyes open.
  6. For the 2 criteria you posted, a P bass no doubt!

    Bang for your buck is subjective. It's only a deal or worth it, if the bass in question is the bass for you. In other words, one man's $1500 bass is another man's boat paddle and vice versa. ;)

    If a P bass works for you, then who cares what other people say you can get for your 900lbs (sorry, don't know how to type a pound sign).
  7. BenGrim


    Feb 3, 2010
    Bellingham, WA
    If you're looking for a newer MIA P-Bass, try to look for one made in the past 2 years. I haven't played a new P-Bass that was made since 2008 that hasn't been amazing. Some people say they're the best they've been since the late 60s
  8. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    There is *nothing* wrong with an EB SUB - those are good basses. Who cares what they "look" like - they are US made and *do the job*. Are you sure you're just not *gassing*???:cool:
  9. I say get the American Standard Precision Bass, it's a bass you can have the rest of your life.:smug:
  10. can't go wrong with a p bass.
  11. A pro player is in your hands not your gear, nicer basses feel nicer but the sound froma cheaper one is about the same. Your sub is on par with a MIA p bass at least the highway one p bass but i am guessing your just not into that tone.

    I have had extremly talented musicians tell me that was the best tone they have heard in person as i am playing a squier p bass.

    But yes get a p bass still:cool:
  12. I'm debating between the MIA P and the Hwy 1 as of right now. I'm looking to sell off some gear and save the difference. Obv the Hwy 1 is cheaper and easier for me to swing relatively soon (pending the sale of some gear obv) but the MIA is tempting.

    To those who have played both, are there serious differences in tone and feel of these two? I kinda like the idea of the matte finish on the Hwy 1 that will wear nicely and give me that weathered look, I also love the 70s style logo.

    I need to go to GC or Sam Ash this weekend and A/B the two of them, but that of course would require them having both in stock, which I can bet right now is not very likely :meh:
  13. The MIM '50s Classic P is a big hit with many players.
    I have two. Been giving my '75 P a rest.
    Lot less $$$ compared to a MIA.

    Either way ..... can't go wrong with a P-bass!

  14. I owned a highway one for about a month before it was stolen back in 2006.

    I personally don't care for the HWY1 series at all, but some of my reasons are for the reasons that you listed as pros (I don't like the logo or the matte finish). I also like maple fingerboards, so the HWY1's definitely aren't for me. It's all on an individual basis though, I tend to see a better "out of the box" fit and finish on the American Standards than I do the HWY1, but again, this is just my experience. Tonally? I don't hear the difference. I think a very good example of a HWY1 p-bass could compete and beat the American standards, but from what I've played they fall a bit short.
  15. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    Get what you want. If that's a P-bass, get a P-bass.
  16. Yeah, for me personally I love the 70s logo and the matte, and the Badass is nice since I have one on my MIM jazz project and I like it alot.

    The color options are OK, since one of my first choices would be sunburst/rosewood, but tied with that is definitely Oly White/Maple. I've always loved that combo, but I have to say I like it a little better on Jazz's than on P's.

    I would probably buy it and immediately get it setup by a pro with flats before I took it home, so out of the box setup isn't necessarily a concern.

    I am looking for that vintage-y P bass tone, and if the hwy 1 doesn't fall $400 short of the MIA Std then I might go with that.

    Like I said, I really need to A/B the two, but I don't know how possible that's going to be, since there are 2 sam ash's and 2 guitar centers within 30 min of me and none of them seem to care about having a decent selection of basses.

    OP- sorry for hijacking your thread
  17. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    The MIA Fenders from the last few years are very well made and generally get very high marks here. I have one (a 2008 Precision V) and love it.

    For what it's worth, I also have a Stingray that I love. Between the two of them I can get a wide range of tones that covers anything I need. IOW, it's a nice combination of basses to have. ;)
  18. It does sound like you want a P bass.

    But you could always consider getting one used (sadly being familiar with the horrific UK prices here :( )
  19. I have the HWY 1 P bass, and had a MIA Std P bass. They are both excellent basses. The MIA P is one I regret selling. It was light, and the neck was incredible. That said, the HWY 1 is also a superb bass. The finish is different, and the neck has a different finish on it, but it is an incredible player as well. You really can't go wrong either way.
  20. How does/did the tone compare from one to another? I'd be stringing it with flats for that real thumpy classic sound. Did you notice any lacking from the Hwy 1 that the MIA had?

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