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The Fender American Standard... is it just me ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by artfahie, Feb 23, 2008.


  1. artfahie

    artfahie Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Bar Mills, Maine
    I tried one today at GC... I grew up in the 60's playing Precisions (about 3 of them, I could could trade them for a BMW today !)... and although I haven't had an "original" in my hands for years the "new" version seemed light, I didn't much care about the string-thru-body feature, and the tuning gears (now enclosed) had a different look and shape (on the exposed parts) than my old Fenders. Even the cloverleafs look "light" weight. I'm hearing a lot that this is the "new" & improved version of the Precision... I just don't "feel" it when it's in my hands... am I the only one to feel this way ?
     
  2. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    Light weight is important to some people, and can be seen as an "improvement."
     
  3. artfahie

    artfahie Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Bar Mills, Maine
    Sean... just send the photos so I can see what you've got ! Thanks. ;)
     
  4. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    Off topic Art, but OK I'll get off the couch and go do it now. :D
     
  5. I quite like the new American Standards. As for the weight, there's a real trend towards choosing lighter weight woods in higher-end axes, and I quite like it. It's because the guys making classic basses didn't think about it; they were trying to bring the bass to the masses in a wide-open market, whereas these days there are guys out-Jazzing Fender left, right and centre. I think that the new Standards show that Fender's finally listening. The way I see it, if you want Old Skool Fender goodness, there's the RI series, and if you want a nice, up-to-date axe without a bunch of active crap stuffed into it, the Standards are a great solution. They give you the Fender sound without breaking your back -- and with some really nice features, to boot.

    Though I'd happily trade a BMW for an old P or two ;)
     
  6. If there's one thing I dislike it's enclosed bass tuners. Don't know why, just do. :/
     
  7. purfektstranger

    purfektstranger

    Apr 10, 2003
    Canada
    Tired one yesterday....only one because Steve's Music store only had one hanging up (what a surprise....). Anyhow I was very impressed with the bass. What impressed me the most was the neck. I found it very fast even for a P bass.
    I really think Fender got it right on this one imho.
     
  8. Was it as completely out-of-tune as it was the day I picked it off the wall? I agree that it felt nice, though. I told them that if they ever got the 5ver in, I'd be back to try it out.
     
  9. purfektstranger

    purfektstranger

    Apr 10, 2003
    Canada
    Hahaha...good old Steve's eh? Gotta admit I have never bought any guitar from them new because they never have more than one in stock of most mid to higher end models. It was actually reasonably in tune, which was surprising. Colour was nothing to write home about but what a great feel for a Fender P.
     
  10. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I just don't see the point in making heavy basses anymore! Weight of an instrument has always been a bugger for me since I started playing in the early 70's! One of the main things that steered me away from a Fender Precision was it's weight (the other being the chunky neck)! The look of a tuner, open or closed back, makes no difference to me. Anything that contributes to an instrument being lighter in weight, is fine by me.
     
  11. artfahie

    artfahie Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Bar Mills, Maine
    Okay, so I'm "old"... I was gigging 7 nights a week in the late 60's and was on stage on Long Island when Woodstock was happening upstate. I'm so old that Lincoln use to take off to celebrate my birthday... okay ? But still, that new version (IMHO) doesn't capture the "vibe" of an "American Standard".... call it something else if you want... but to stop just short of calling it an "American Legend" (which I think a "P" bass is) is just clever marketing, especially to some of you who may not have been around long enough to sense the real... (and I'm talking about wearing the frets-down real) feel & vibe of the thing. As for weight ?... I'm no big fan of heavy basses... I do love my TF fretless... it feels like it "should" (great... great bass). So no flaming here, just an old guy (I've backed-up Bo Diddley among others) voicing what may be an archiac(sp?) opinion.
     
  12. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    +1. i dont know why, i just really dont like the look of them on a fender. on the same note, i feel that the later gibson grabbers look bad with the closed style tuners.
     
  13. Standards are, by definition, a constantly-evolving thing, so I don't see a problem with calling these new axes the new 'standard' for Fender's MIA offering. I also think that Fender's line was badly, *badly* in need of an overhaul, and I find that they're finally making machines that are up to to-day's standards (no pun intended).

    I'm not a big fan of the closed tuner look either. I love the way the back of those old Fender headstocks look with those massive tuning machines. But it's not a make-or-break thing for me. As for the weight, I draw a parallel to mountain biking: a 30-pound cross country bike was fine way back when there *weren't* any 22-lb XC bikes, but these days I wouldn't spend serious bike $ on one.

    I see the axe weight in a similar way: If I'm going to spend near (or more than) a grand on a bass, the yardstick says that these days, it's got to be light.
     
  14. purfektstranger

    purfektstranger

    Apr 10, 2003
    Canada
    Wouldn't call it a legend, or for that matter any Fender P that I have played to date (including some 70's models which totally sucked imho) but it did play very well and the neck felt really good to me.
     
  15. Contrapuntal

    Contrapuntal Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    Toronto
    I bought a Sunburst/Tort/Rosewood Am St Jazz last week from L&M in Toronto as it was just a great player, nice light weight. I have a couple of early Fullertons that I just dread turning my back on at gigs and so wanted a good quality bass that plays well that I'd hate to have stolen but is replaceable. This one does it. I've owned some Laklands in the past and this, to me, is Fender's attempt to stay competitive. Its contemporary but with both vintage and modern elements now in their main line of basses/guitars. When's the last time Fender put tort pickguards on non-reissue basses? And the American Standards are cheaper than Lakland Skylines and built in the US too.

    Sure they don't have vintage tuners but I'm not even noticing that. The worksmanship is great. They obviously are choosing lighter alder to use as almost all the new basses I've tried have not been anchors. And that's important to older (42) guys like me. The bridge is nice and solid but still vintage looking. And most importantly, it plays great and feels great. Those last two are the main criteria IMHO.

    I'm keeping my eye out for a companion J or P in sunburst/tort/maple that feels and plays like the one I got.


    C
     

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