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Understanding the P Bass ...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Cullen G, Apr 14, 2019 at 6:04 PM.

  1. Cullen G

    Cullen G

    Feb 14, 2019
    Mendo Redwoods
    I see a TON of people make P Basses. Can it be assumed the American made Fender is the ultimate in sound and playability?
    Are there any other P Basses for less, which equal a Fender? And are there P Basses even better than the Fender? Curiosity kills me. Thanks
  2. J_Bass


    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    When I bought mine, it was a side by side comparison between a USA and a MIJ. I chose the MIJ.

    Just sounded better to my ears, but they had different pickups.

    Build quality was excellent on both.
  3. I'm not sure it's the ultimate anything, but the design and pickup at least the pickups made by Fender - are proven to be versatile and acceptable for just about any style of music and situation.
  4. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Honestly, the best one is the one you like. You can find excellent examples that are Fender MIA, CIJ/MIJ, or MIM. There are other builders that make excellent copies as well. You just have to pickup a few and see what speaks to you.
  5. I have played several USA Fender "P"s---I have owned MIJ--MIM--and CHINA (Squire) as well as versions from BC Rich--Dean--and Peavey (USA) and currently own a Peavey P/J Dyna Unity --- and (among lots of other stuff) a SQUIER P bass I got for 50.00 at a pawn shop-- w/ proper set up -- new SD pups and Flatwounds --- it (IMHO) actually SOUNDS better than the stock USA PEavey -- is on PAR with the MIJ and MIM and frankly just due to pure simple --"I dont give two craps if it gets a scratch" value it floors a 2k USA Fender AMerican "Elite" "P" for me...

    but Im a cheap bastard--- ask my wife---
  6. Just depends.
    There are many P Bass varieties.
    My 96' MIM P with new pickups is great.
    I have an 80's Arbor PJ that plays and sounds great.
    My 95' American Standard P Bass is pretty awesome too.
    I had a no named eBay P Bass that I got in a trade that also played great. You could get one of those for about $ 60.00 US.
    Lots of options.
    I kind of sound like a hoarder...
    EatS1stBassist and Spidey2112 like this.
  7. BTW, flats are the bomb on a P Bass.
  8. Fender Precision bass is pretty much the standard, I own a couple of American Fender P/J basses among 6 other basses that are ready to go and if I go to a situation I'm not sure of the Fender comes along because they sound good in just about any situation.
  9. I am a hoarder ------but SHHHHH its not a disorder, yet.......well at least I havent gotten a number.....
  10. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Revolver, gepettus, Nev375 and 5 others like this.
  11. freight charge
    shipping me your basses
    shipping me your amps

    thanks man
  12. Floppystrings


    Apr 5, 2019
    The Fender Custom Shop '62 P-bass pickup sound fantastic IMO.

    I think most people stick with Fender because the P-bass pickup route on a lot of basses is in the wrong location, sometimes WAY off where it should be.
    retslock, Pbassmanca and petrus61 like this.
  13. Herrick


    Jul 21, 2010
    Munchkin Land
    They say the Peavey Fury is better. I've never played one myself.
    Bassamatic likes this.
  14. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    You can find a playable P for under $500. You can spend a lot more. It's the ultimate workhorse bass.
  15. This one doesnt suck
    P bass 2.
    P bass1.

    and was under 200.00 -- USA made --
  16. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    No...What it is: It is one of the simplest.utilitarian designs - in both aesthetics, material/construction, and electronics. That utilitarian simplicity is part of a P-bass's charm....however, by virtue of that simplicity, it also makes it very easy to replicate.....With that said, some companies put more into a P-bass than others....a Sadowsky P is going to be a superior built instrument over a typical Fender (even a USA production model)...YMMV, of course
    Whippet and Rice like this.
  17. dmt


    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    It’s a pretty simple instrument: one pickup, one volume, one tone, bent metal bridge, simple body curves, one piece of wood for the body (perhaps a few pieces glued together to look like one piece], bolt on neck. Heck, half the time it’s even just one piece of wood for the whole neck (i.e., maple fretboard). Accordingly, it’s not something you necessarily need the "ultimate" of; you just need a good one that speaks to you on multiple levels (looks, neck, sound, weight, branding aspects, price).

    Fender of course is the go-to brand for a P bass. So, that’s pretty simple, too. If for some reason, however, you want to avoid Fender, or if you run across something by someone else that you fall in love with for whatever reason, then, well, get whatever appeals to you
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 2:48 AM
  18. I have 2 squier precisions (an affinity and a standard.) They both kill it. Fenders are nice and all, but I cant bring myself to spend 2x for a MIM or 4x for a MIA when I like these basses so much. IMO strings and amps make a bigger difference.
  19. Mantis Tobaggan

    Mantis Tobaggan Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2015
    Tampa, FL
    It is ultimately up to you, but for me, it was the Fender 63 AV
  20. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it

    I’ve played many many P basses over the years and it’s actually amazing how different they all are from each other. Best one I ever played was a US Lakland with an alder body, rosewood board and 1.5” nut. There’s a huge difference when it’s a hand made instrument with such attention to detail.
    mattj1stc, Pbassmanca and tradernick like this.

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