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Thoughts on the early 80's Fender Precision Specials?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by stingray56funk, Apr 27, 2009.


  1. Do it...

    45 vote(s)
    73.8%
  2. Don't...

    16 vote(s)
    26.2%
  1. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Atlanta
    Hola TB'ers! I have the chance to grab an early 80's Fender Precision Special locally and I wanted to ask your thoughts on the bass. I have never played this series of the P's...I've played other early 80's P's but never the Special. I completely dig the look of the bass w/ a Candy Apple Red finish and matching headstock and maple board.

    How are the active electronics? Noisy? How did the necks usually feel? I'm going to look at the bass probably on Friday of this week...but I'm curious what all of you in TB Land think about the bass.

    Thanks!

    bxspecial.
    Pic for reference
     
  2. 3rdBass

    3rdBass Funk in A Supporting Member

    Pardon my asking, but what price range is the buyer asking ?That would play a major factor in my decision.
    Other than that, a maple board, active 80's Precision with the matching headstock is a nice addition to anyone's colllection.

    50/50 on the poll....:confused: :meh: :eek:

    My previous version attached
     

    Attached Files:

  3. I was playing a lot in those days, but couldn't afford anything that nice- it takes me back. Price, though- yeah.
     
  4. spideyjg

    spideyjg

    Mar 19, 2006
    San Diego
    I dig mine.

    Active electronics in it rock. They can be totally bypassed and just have a typical passive P sound. Once activated you get +/- 12 db treble and bass controls.

    The third knob is the bass control that does nothing in passive.

    They do tend to be boat anchors. Mine is 11+ lbs.

    The neck is a bit on the thinner side front to back on mine.

    How much???????? Last I looked they were $750+. If very light, it is an oddity so be willing to pay more.

    Jim
     
  5. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Atlanta
    The asking price is sub $700. Haven't held the bass yet...but it is an original owner and he runs a local studio in town. Decent mid sized studio. Comes with original case and looks to be in great shape.

    I don't mind if it weighs a ton...but I'd love to have one in the 8-9 lbs range.
     
  6. IMHO the early 80's were turbulant years for Fender. Some great products, some good products, some poor products. I think each must be judged alone. On the average, I think they are less valuable than the 70's. Price? Maybe somewhere around $500 - $600 if it is very nice.
     
  7. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Atlanta
    These were made in the Fullerton factory correct?
     
  8. If I had that dough & was looking for a nice P I'd chase it. I would certainly try to haggle though.
     
  9. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Atlanta
    I'm going to haggle a bit with him to see where he'll budge. He seems legit.
     
  10. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Atlanta
    Anyone have any cool pics of these basses to get me jazzed (or P'd up?) up?
     
  11. 3rdBass

    3rdBass Funk in A Supporting Member

    See the attached FrankenFender in my previous post. Not your anticapted purchase but a tease anyway.
     
  12. Musicphan

    Musicphan

    Oct 11, 2008
    I have a 83 PBass... its passive w/ Lace pickups & badass bridge. From everything I could find the bass was made in the Fulltertin factory. Paid $650 w/ HSC. Love it.
     
  13. scatman

    scatman

    Jun 12, 2003
    Two concerns of mine.

    1. I thought some of those were made in Japan.

    2. Not feeling the white pickups.....
     
  14. RexNFX79

    RexNFX79

    Jan 12, 2009
    TENNESSEE
    Never been a fan of that era of Fender basses and that is why I said no. However, if you play it and like it, I don't think it's a bad deal.
     
  15. spideyjg

    spideyjg

    Mar 19, 2006
    San Diego
    Sub $700? I'd hit it. Get familiar with the controls and ensure it is 100% functional first.

    Jim

    Storage004.

    Storage003.
     
  16. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I have a white '82 P Special, it's all nicotine yellowed-out. Weighs in at a hefty 10-1/2 lbs, and yes they have a chunky almost U shaped baseball bat neck.

    Now the electronics.....ehhhhh, I'm not really fond of it. I really think the treble is too sizzly and overly harsh, if I use the active at all the treble knob is left flat, and only use it for the bass boost. But really I just leave the bass passive 99% of the time, and it sounds awesome and full.


    DSC01703-1.
     
  17. Absurdism

    Absurdism

    Mar 13, 2009
    My bass teacher had three of those that he rotated two blue and one red.
    To me it represents one of the ideal P on steroid tones He replaced his preamp I belive though.
     
  18. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Atlanta
    Caca...looks beautiful! Thanks for the pics as well Spideyjg! I am really looking for a solid passive p bass tone...the active preamp is simply there and that is fine. I really dig the looks and hopefully the tone of the bass. A nice baseball neck is fine with me as well...something I can really dig into.

    We'll see gents...keep the opinions coming but I'm going to check this thing out later this week and hopefully come home with a smokin' red p bass!
     
  19. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Atlanta
    None of the early 80's P Bass Specials were made in Japan to my knowledge. They may have had a Japanese-only market version...who knows?

    I dig the white pups...very 80's to me and that is cool. I'm hoping this is from my birthyear, 1983, but it could be earlier and that is also very fine with me. :bassist:
     
  20. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Atlanta
    Did your Special come with the gold bridge and pickup covers?
     

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