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Skyline Duck Dunn or New American Standard. P?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by matt11, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. matt11

    matt11 Supporting Member

    May 19, 2006
    Hi, I am trying to decide between a Skyline Duck Dunn (w/Fralins) and one of the new Fender American Standard Precisions. Haven't had a chance to try either yet, but I play most styles of popular music, and am looking for a nice all-round p-bass. I love my MIJ P, but its got the small "mandolin" frets, and I'd like a P with the more regular size frets too. Anybody compared the Duck and the new P?
  2. chiplexic


    Apr 21, 2004
    The Lakland Duck Dunn is going to have smaller/thin "vintage" style frets also. The new Am. Standard P will have the medium jumbos. I've played a few of the new Precisions and when set up to playable specs the stock pickups sound great . I'll be getting one once Fender has produced enough 3 tone Sunbursts to give me a selection to play and choose from.
  3. basspraiser

    basspraiser Jammin for the Lamb! Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Chicago - NW Burbs
    Also - keep in mind that a Dunn has a JAZZ neck....much narrower than a P neck.....

    if you want a "std" P neck look at the Glaub.....

    I have yet to play a new MIA Fender but I did have a 2001 50th anniversary American P which was nice, but I (personally) liked the feel and soud of the Glaub better...
  4. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    This and the pickups (Fender vs. Fralin) appear to be the biggest factors separating these two basses. I played a Duck Dunn for a long time at a Sam Ash not that long ago and have only played 1 American Std. P-bass. I think its not a matter of quality here, but a matter of taste.

    First of all, I greatly preferred the Jazz-bass neck of the Duck Dunn. Smooth, satiny, and fast!!! However, something in the tone was amiss IMO. The Fralin pickups sounded like they over-emphasized the upper registers with more restrained mids. In the mix, I imagine the Lakland would have more clarity but it would lack the raw, low-mid heavy sound of the Fender. I greatly preferred the tone of the Fender that I played. The Fender's neck was pretty nice too, just as smooth but a bit thicker, still very comfortable though. If I had bought a bass that day, it would have been the Fender. Of course, if we put flats on both basses, the extra clarity of the Lakland might have won me over. So, I guess it depends on your taste and how you're going to set it up. I don't know if you can really go wrong either way.
  5. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    I can't comment on the pickups, since I haven't had a chance to A/B the two directly. But I agree with everything else you said. Both quality basses. Now if looks are important for the OP, the Dunn is freakin' gorgeous, IMO.
  6. matt11

    matt11 Supporting Member

    May 19, 2006
    Thanks for all the input. From what I can see, most seem to prefer the Fender. I wish I could find a Dunn in town (I'm in Montreal) to try out, as I'm curious about that j-neck and the sound of the Fralins, although I'm leaning more toward a maple fretboard with medium-jumbos (I didn't realize the Dunn has the smaller frets). I'm sure there'll be a few of the new Fender Ps for me to test in town soon. Anybody heard the new Lakland P-pickups? How do they compare to the Fralins and Fenders? The Lakland website only has Glaubs with the Fralins to listen to. Thanks again.
  7. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I like the fender because I prefer the neck profile/shape. However a lakland bob glaub is nice too, with a P width neck.
  8. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    I've messed around with both within the last month. I really liked both of them. If you like a P-Bass but don't like the big old P-Bass necks, then you'd probably prefer the Dunn. IMO, both had great tone. I've been Jonesin' for a Dunn for quite awhile. I love the block inlays, but I just don't care for the Candy Apple Red. I know, I know - most people just love the CAR. It's just a personal thing with me. If it was available in other colors, I'd have probably bought one long ago.

    And I've always loved the look of Fenders, especially the bursts and the new white ones (both with tort). But I really don't think you could go wrong with either one. They're both impressive. Please let us know what you decide, and definitely post some pics once you get it!
  9. Sleeq


    Feb 13, 2008
    I wouldn't call the Am. Std. P neck "big". They have the B width and 9.5 radius and slightly larger C shape.

    Its not the vintage P neck. So its a good balance between the P and a J.
  10. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    Ive got a Skyline DD (the USA ones do come in other colours) and i love it.

    Im not a fan of CAR either and that was the thing that put me off getting it last year but when it arrived i instantly loved it. Its go ta sparkle finish that looks great on stage. That was quite a nice surprise as a mate has a CAR strat but its just a plain finish and ive never liked it.

    I messed around at the end of last year looking for a P. I got the MIM 50's Classic first (remeber sleeq?) but didn't get on with the neck. Too large for me so i settled on a HW-One P. But still didn't get on with the neck so i put my Jazz neck on it and it was wonderful. Seemed to have the right tone as well.
    But the neck had to go back on the Jazz so i had to start looking around for a Jazz necked P and settled on the DD. I had to buy it unplayed but when it arrive it was fantastic. Neck is the best i have played, action very low but no buzzing and the tone seemed to be more open sounding. Could be that it had new SSs strings on it and my HW-one had Nicks but i felt the DD was quite bright sounding with the tone full up but got very warm once backed off but still clear. The Fralin seems to have a bit more punch to it over the Fender PUP. im not really one for authentic vintage tones, i just like what i like but to me the DD sits in the mix much better than my HW-one. It seem sot fill a gap and at the same time has the low end thump.

    I also did try one of the new USA P's but only quickly, in a shop, but thought it sounded closer to my HW-one than to the DD (as others have said) and i didnt think the neck was an improvement over my HW-one in terms of feel.

    I was thinking if i hadnt been looking for a jazz neck i might not have got the DD but after playing it im certain i made the right choice.
  11. chiplexic


    Apr 21, 2004
    The Bob Glaub will also have the narrow vintage frets.

    Yes, to the other post, the Am.Standard P is a nice 1 5/8" B neck which I find to be my favorite size.

    I also found I didn't like the Fralin P pickups (but love the Fralin jazz pu's). They are suppose to cop that 60's tone which they probably do well. I found them very bland. I much prefer the Am. Stnd. stockers when the set up is right. They have a nice 70's P tone to them. Smooth present top end that's not overbearing and that nice up front mids that is synonymous with a Precision...some people refer to it as a woody hollowness, and I do agree with that description but descriptive words can be misleading. You could still even dial in a 60's tone with amp eq if you like. Fender has really closed the quality gap between Am Standard and Skylines. It is really just up to what traits of each bass you like better. I like the Fender.
  12. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I agree with Double Agent that the neck and pickups are the biggest differences, especially now that Fender has adopted a high mass bridge more like the Lakland.

    When I wanted a P-bass in 2004, I went with the Fender over the Skyline Glaub (then available with the J neck) because I preferred the B sized neck, rolled fingerboard edges, and medium jumbo frets. I'd become used to the latter two features from my 2003 Fender Jazz. (I also got a killer deal on a black/black/maple P, and who among us could pass that up? :D) I've played a few Duck Dunn Skylines, and they're fantastic basses, but I still prefer the Fender necks. It's just a preference, not a quality issue.

    However, I think the Lindy Fralin pickup is superior, and I have one in my 2004 Fender. The stock Fender pickup is good, and provides solid, classic tone. But the Fralin has more punch and greater clarity, especially in the lows. The high end can be aggressive, which some don't like, but that's solved easily with the tone control or flatwound strings. I've gigged and recorded with the Fralin, and it's just outstanding. It might sound "ugly" played solo, but in a mix it's dynamite, with a little "crunch" mixed into the thump. I don't know which pickups have been in the DD's I've tried recently, but if they were the Laklands they sound very, very close to Fralins.

    So, if I had to do this over again, I'd probably go the same route: Fender American Standard, and install a Lindy Fralin down the road.

    Edit: I should add that the new American Standards seem lighter on average than past Fenders, and are probably lighter than the ash bodied DD. This is a nice advantage. And the flight case with the new Fenders is way cool IMO; I got one with my 2008 Jazz V. It's solid, well-balanced, and not as bulky as it looks in photos. I think it tips the value equation toward Fender.
  13. matt11

    matt11 Supporting Member

    May 19, 2006
    So much to think about after all those thoughtful and informative posts! Can't wait to try them both out....and finally make a decision.
  14. Fretlessboy


    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    I have a vintage P and a non P Skyline (55-02). The quality of the Skyline is second to none. The fretwork is impecable and across the board is about the best off the rack bass I have bought. If Fender is paying attn the quality of theirs could be on the money as well but I haven't played a NEW Fender in about 5 years. At that piont I played about 5 of them in a GC and the fretwork was horrible. I think the biggest thing for you to think about is you'll know when you play "the one".
  15. matt11

    matt11 Supporting Member

    May 19, 2006
    Well, after trying out both the Duck Dunn (super nice bass) and three of the new American Standard Ps, I bought a 3-tone burst New American Standard P with rosewood board. Bass is light, neck is very comfortable, frets and finish are excellent, TIGHT neck pocket, balance is good, tuners are accurate, and the tone, to me, was just a bit more even than the Duck Dunn's, which seemed a bit more mid-scooped. The Dunn was also a very nice bass, and the neck was lovely (faster than the P), but in the end, the Fender just felt right--I guess 'cause I've been playing Fender Ps of one generation or another for 30 years..... I agree with a number of the previous posts though, you really can't go wrong with either. And by the way, the finish and workmanship on all three of the Fender Ps I played was very good. I was a bit surprised actually, as I've seen some real crap from Fender over the years--maybe they've really turned the corner.
  16. Marcury

    Marcury High and Low

    Aug 19, 2007
    Mid Hudson Valley, NY
    Congratulations, I was about to weigh in here till i saw your post. I'm in the love the way the DD plays but like the AS Pbass sound better camp myself.
  17. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I played one at Sam Ash and it was incredible!
  18. DW1969


    Feb 24, 2008
    I just was at Sam Ash to play the new Fender AS, they didn't have one. I did pick up the Skyline DD. Overall I tought it was nice, but didn't feel it was a $1000 bass considering it's made over seas. If it sold for $699 it would be a good deal.
  19. chiplexic


    Apr 21, 2004
    For sure. You know there is a good sum of money being saved on production cost since it's made over sea and I understand some of that savings is eaten up by the time/labor spent in Chicago finishing it off. But to be priced pretty much the same as American Standards and not include a case doesn't add up to me. Especially considering the improvements Fender just made to the Am. Standard. I know the level of service Lakland offers. That's what always keeps them a consideration in my mind.
  20. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    " wouldn't call the Am. Std. P neck "big". They have the B width and 9.5 radius and slightly larger C shape. Its not the vintage P neck. So its a good balance between the P and a J."

    Best description of the new MIA P bass neck. I too found it was right between a jazz and a p. Probably what I liked best about it. I will be gassing for a sunburst with maple neck until I can afford one :smug:

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