The Fender Precision V dilemma.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by barroso, Feb 5, 2002.

  1. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    i'm really curious about this, why Fender doesn't make a Fender P passive 5 string in the American Serie? i'm a big fan of the Precision and even if some fool guys call the Precision the bad Fender because it has only 1 pickup, i'd really like to know if there are 5 strings precision out there. i only know the Mike Lull P 5. plus, do you know something about the wilkinson conversion kit? i found this Q&A on the Bass player old site:

    In a old issue of BP there was a review of a product that could turn a Fender 4-string into a 5-string without drilling new holes. Who makes it?
    Cecil DeMeerleer
    Tahoe City, CA

    You're referring to the Wilkinson 4+1 Bass Conversion Kit, which was reviewed in Summer '90. This allows you to convert a Precision or similar bass into a 5-string. The kit's bridge (available in chrome or black) uses the standard screw holes, but it has five saddles and a rear-mounted tuner. The extra string is anchored to the headstock by replacing the string tree with a new part. The kit also includes a self-lubricating nut blank, a B string, and allen wrenches for adjustment. List price is $169.99. Contact Wilkinson at 3154 E. LaPalma Ave. Unit A, Anaheim, CA 92806; (800) 446-6010.
  2. I knew a guy who put one of those Wilkinson conversions on a P, but the string spacing was so tight he took it straight off.
  3. Lakland rumors a 5-string Bob Glaub model P bass on the design board. And Sadowsky has something in P5 also, I think. All of these are beyond my price reach.

    The Fender P5 is annoying because it uses crappy parts. The preamp is less than optimum, and they chose to use plastic tuners. I don't like in the 5+0 inline tuner arrangement and lil' dinky tuners, either.

    Other than the Roscoe Beck 5 string, Fender 5 necks don't seem to quite make it for me. The RB5 has superior tuners, bridge, passive electronics, and is very well balanced.

    I'm keeping my eyes open for a used RB5 so I can replace the neck pickup with a Bill Lawrence passive split-P type. I'm currently starting a project of putting a J-Retro preamp into my existing RB5 and stock pickups. If this goes well, I'll J-Retro another RB5 with the split-P in the neck position.

    For me, *the* perfect 5-string would be an RB5-P type.
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I'm a P-bass guy at heart. A bugaboo of mine about the Fender Precision V is that weird asymmetrical P-pickup. I also dislike the preamp and the 5+0 tuner arrangement.

    So, I have an RB5 and a Lull P5. The RB5 provides OK thud in series mode, but not as nice as a Precision. The Lull P5 has very good Precision tone, as well as the beautiful Precision body shape. The Lull headstock shape is kinda weird, but at least it offers 4+1 config (anything except 5 on a side is OK with me).

    As mentioned, Sadowsky makes a 5-string in PJ or reverse-PJ configuration, but it has his Jazz body shape. Sadowsky now makes an Ultra-Vintage P-bass with the Precision body style, but no word on whether he offers a 5-string version. I'm sure he could do it, but I suspect it would add a lot more to the cost of an already-expensive bass.
  5. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    If you like the feel and tone of a P-bass and want a five string, I suggest a test flight of a G&L L2500. You'd have a P-bass plus.

  6. It depends on how the pickups are wired. My chat on the phone with Bill Lawrence was quite revealing. The P pickup uses large diameter, short height coils. It has very little flux leakage and is very efficient. The J pickup is the opposite: smaller diameter coils, taller structures, leaks more flux and is less efficient. This seems obvious to me, but it must have a fundamental impact on the tone characteristics. My understanding of the split-P design is for humbucking purposes, not tone modification.

    The G&L sales rep called me yesterday about the L-2500 nailing the P tone, and he wouldn't commit to it. He kept suggesting I earball one and try to A/B it with a genuine P. Easier said than done in my local area. I don't know what the design specs are for the MFD pickups, so it would be entirely a crapshoot. I know I can get a P tone from a P pickup though.
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