Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Show Yr P-Bass Elites

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dgce, Jul 13, 2004.


  1. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I blew it back in the 80s. Three times I had a chance to buy this bass, a Fender Precision Elite. The first one was gun metal grey with rosewood board for under $600. Then I found one in a pawn shop; black with black pick guard with maple board. The white pickup covers really stood out in a very cool way on this axe. This one was under $500. Did I buy? NOOOO! Idiot!

    Finally I saw a one pickup version of the Precision Elite. This one was really weird. It was ugly mint-like green with white pick guard and white pickup cover on its one P pickup. It had a fretless rosewood board. I never caught the price but given that it was during the hot pink, pointy guitar era, I probably could have gotten on the cheap.

    One day I'll score one of these puppies in black or white. In the meantime, anyone out there want to show off their P-bass Elites? I'd love to have a look.

    r
     
  2. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    [​IMG]

    It's an '83 in 9+ condition. I love the sound of this bass. I also really enjoy playing it, even though it has a "C" width neck - just a little wide for me, but I like the extra space. Great response across all strings and clear as a bell. They weren't kidding when they called these Elite. Very under rated. If you can ever grab one of these, do it now while they're still sleepers.

    Will
     
  3. bassturtle

    bassturtle

    Apr 9, 2004
    I used to have a Walnut one. Cool bass. I'll see if I can find some pics and post 'em.
     
  4. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Hey BassClef,

    When did you pick up that black Elite? It looks like new! How buch did it cost ya?


    r
     
  5. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    dgce,

    I got it off ebay a few months ago for $800 BIN with the molded HSC and I think it was a steal. The neck is mint - no fret wear or dings, finish is in excellent condition. The only thing is a small bit of chrome chipped off one of the fine tuners.

    Like I said, these basses are sleepers. With the current "affordable vintage" focus on the 70's stuff not many people are aware of these and how well they were made. The active electronics give it a tight sound - it can actually get pretty sizzly in the highs with the bridge pickup. But the bass sits great in the mix, punchy and focused.

    I believe if you can find a walnut "special" or the gold hardware versions especially it'll be a good investment. As it is, in a few years more people will catch up to these - get one now while they're still this reasonable ($700-$850).

    Good luck!
    Will
     
  6. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Thanks BassClef. Its amazing how if you wait long enough, everything becomes hip again (and expensive!). Remember when 70s era Fenders were considered crap? Now the Mexican reissues cost more than the originals used to.

    I'll keep on the look out for any Elite (a walnut one sounds next to impossible to find, but hey, ya never know).

    Say, have you ever done an A/B test with yr Elite and a new P Bass Deluxe with the bridge humbucker? How does old-reliable hold up?

    r
     
  7. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    dgce,

    You are absolutely right - all the 70's stuff was frowned on as CBS product made by bean counters instead of musicians. The only reason it's looking so good is the 60's stuff is out of reach for most people, me included.

    I've never done a comparison with a Deluxe (or any of the newer incarnations for that matter), but I'm pretty sure they're voiced differently. The Elite has its own pickups (they're sealed like Barts) and preamp circuit with a unique setup: vol -vol -tone and 2 toggles. One toggle is a pickup selector, and the other selects which pickup (or both) is affected by the tone control. Makes for an interesting pallette. They were trying to modernize the sound vs emphasizing the vintage factor.

    Meanwhile, take a look at this one. If it's still there I think it's a pretty good deal.

    http://www.gbase.com/gearlist/guitar_picture.asp?guitar=253445

    Good luck.
    W
     
  8. Well lookee what I picked up on Honeymoon in the US a couple of weeks ago?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    ...complete with cheesy brown-and-gold case and manual. It's heavy, but it sounds astonishing. Even if I could find one in the UK, I would never have been able to afford it. :D :D :D
     
  9. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Holy crap!!! That's it!!! How much did that puppy cost you in US dallors?

    r

    PS Say BassClef, thanks for that link. I'm holding out for something in a little better condition unless price-wise its a complete steal (like yr axe!).
     
  10. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    dgce,

    Keep an eye out - the last couple on ebay were real beauties in top condition - both just under $800.

    wateroftyne,

    WOW! That is gorgeous - And what luck finding it! Enjoy man!!! :bassist:
     
  11. :) Thanks folks!

    I already have a 1981 Walnut precision special (see here) which I love dearly, but the Elite has actually nudged it from it's pedestal. The ebony board is gorgeous, and it's in perfect condition apart from a bit of varnish which has worn away on the lower edge of the body - it's hard to see.

    I paid $850 (Truetone in Santa Monica - great store), with another $220 shipping and duty on top. Still worth it, though!
     
  12. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Bravo wateroftyne! That bass is killer. If it sounds half as good as it looks, then I'd say you've made the score of a life time. Hope you've invested into a good strap to support that 10+ pounds of walnut!


    r
     
  13. Hi Everybody !

    I have a Fender P Elite 1983, with sunburst finish, and goldplated hardware. I only have one p-pickup on it. It is a great bass, easy playing, good sounding. I was wondering if I should consider changing the pickup.

    Please don't tell me there is a vintage value, the sell new Fender-Mex twice the price you can get one on these. These are underrated basses for sure.
     
  14. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I've never owned an Elite. However in the 80s, I had a standard P-bass that wasn't bad but not all that great. I put an EMG in and a BadAss II bridge--big improvement. I would have loved to have a J-pickup in the bridge as well but I wasn't willing to carve up my axe. I'd hang with that stock Elite pickup for a while and perhaps even look into an EQ pedal to get more tones before swapping that pickup.

    Come to think of it, a couple of years back I picked up a Pedulla 4 string fitted with one Bartolini P pickup with one master volume and a concentric tone knob (bass/treb). Wow, that was a very simple yet amazingly dynamic bass. Perhaps you should look into that as well.

    r
     
  15. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    crocau,

    Elites were designed to have their own voice vs the traditional P sound. I would say if that's what you're looking for get a straight P and mess with that. The Elites are pretty hi-fi and on the II's the bridge pup will absolutely sizzle. But I love the tones it can make - very tight and solid. Nothing like my '76 P (which I love for what it does!). The Elite pup/pre were made to compliment each other - I'm not sure how it would work out with a different pickup. Personally I think it kind of defeats the purpose of the Elite.

    But of course, YMMV. I'd be interested to hear how it works out if you decide to do it.
     
  16. Dear Bassclef,

    My P elite only has one pickup. I agree, the bass is hi-fi, the body and neck are awesome ! But there is too much high frequencies with the tone at 10. I was wondering if I should change the pickup (and remove the electronics) in favor of a Bartolini, a Dimarzio or a normal Fender pickup.

    C.
     
  17. wateroftyne, that Walnut Gold Elite II is gorgeous. I'm incredibly jealous.
     
  18. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    Hiya crocau,

    Yes, these basses are extremely bright. I never play mine with the tone at 10. Maybe 3 tops and then EQ at the amp. The bright tone of the bass gives it that definition when you boost the bass and low mids at the amp. I suggest you try that first. These basses like meaty amps like Ampeg or Mesa vs something like a GK. IMO their electronice are the character of an Elite. Once you gut it it's just another P bass (not a bad thing but not the same at all). When I want something more traditional I go to my '76 with a DiMarzio and RB-1.

    But, it's important to be happy too. If you decide to change anything make sure to keep all the original parts so you can restore it.
     
  19. Thanks, LJB... I like it a lot. :)

    Bright is the word... I actually turn the bridge pickup off, and roll the tone right off. I couldn't wish for any more thump. The bridge pup is great to have in reserve in case I need it. :hyper: