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US Fender opinions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by klejst, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. Happy New Year everyone! I love my main and current only bass of many years to death (1998 Mexican made Fender Precision Standard) but now it's time that I start looking into investing in a second bass so I have been keeping an eye out for the last couple weeks. Today I came across a person selling a black American made Fender Special Precision Bass that is used but in very good cosmetic and working condition. He did switch out the stock pickups for some Vintage DiMarzio's, but is including the original pickups too. My only concern is that this bass features a maple neck, my current bass and a few others I have owned in the past have all had rosewood necks. I have heard maple necks do give the bass a little bit brighter sound, however like I said I am a little concern because I never used a maple neck bass before. Also he is selling the bass for $699, is it a fair price? I know these retail around $1200 so I would say so, but what opinions and/or experience with this bass do TB members have and can say about it? Thanks.
  2. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    to my ears maple and rosewood sound the same, specially when I am the guy playing them
  3. I personally could never really tell a big difference either, but just wanted to ask opinions of the above mentioned bass.
  4. pringlw


    Nov 22, 2008
    Seattle Area
    You will get many opinions about whether there is a sound difference between maple and rosewood. Personally I believe there is a difference but it is very slight - much less than the difference driven by strings or pickups.
  5. I gotcha, thanks for the responses guys. Any opinions on the bass itself or info from people who have played a American Special Precision though?
  6. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    I had an American Special Precision, and hated it. My personal objections are drawing cards for other people, though, so it really is a matter of personal taste. I didn't care for the poly finish (especially on the neck) or the GreaseBucket tone circuit. If possible, play it first. If not, the build quality is excellent and the electronics are CTS, so you are buying a good instrument. The other stuff can be fixed.
  7. bubinga5


    Jun 6, 2006
    imo.. this pretty much spot on... there are so many variables within an instrument..
  8. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    i played one the other day and did not like it at all. it was very neck heavy and the tone control was not good. even with it full up it still sounded like the tone was closed and not letting much high-end through. personally i'd rather just find a used american standard ('08-on). i have one that is going to be in my stable for a very long time.
  9. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    On the 23rd of December I bought a Fender American Standard 5 string Jazz bass with the maple fretboard. First bass I've ever owned with an all maple neck and I LOVE IT!!

    Even though I did a lot of comparing between maple and rosewood I am not saying that I'm an expert and your results will no doubt vary.

    Of what I could tell based on MY findings, the differance between the two was there but subtle. The all maple necks seemed to have a clearer and slightly punchier low end response, while the higher end wasn't quite as punchy as the neck with the rosewood fretboard. Not wimpy, just not as "thick" per say. This was my conclusion after trying out six differant basses ( 3 of each) at various locations. It really was a close call, there are a lot of variables involved and again, I am no expert. Just going by what my ears were telling me based on the instruments that I found and compared.

    Thought I was a sworn "rosewood fretboard" kinda guy but this bass changed all of that for me. But for me it really came down to not only which bass sounded the best (very subjective), but which bass played the best and the all maple neck model that I wound up buying was the clear winner over all. Plays great, love the vibe and the tone.
  10. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    That's exactly as it should be, based on the relative densities of the woods involved. All this garbage about "maple is brighter" is bunk. Maple looks brighter, but doesn't sound that way in reality. However, the difference is fairly subtle.
  11. ^^ Mesmer, is that you?
  12. TheGreatSealof

    TheGreatSealof Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2010
    Deptford, NJ
  13. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    I agree.

    Maple seems a bit brighter to me on Jazz basses and Stingrays (vs rosewood), but I think it is just in my head.;) usually not much of a difference IME.

    I have more rosewood board basses than maple mainly due to preferring the look of dark boards.

    p.s. I really don't like the Greasebucket electronics at all. If I owned a Special, I would immediately replace the tone circuit. Actually, I would buy a used 2008+ American Standard for $700-800 (there is one on TB for $680 for example).
  14. It's the strings.
  15. BassBob1


    Dec 21, 2010
    I have an american standard jazz and love it. Any american special I have picked up has felt like a well constructed bass but I hate the necks on them. The neck profile is very different (to me perhaps less different to someone else) from my american standard or any other fender I have every picked up. The neck is more thin from front to back and has a flatter feel. If you don't mind that kind of thing then it shouldn't be a problem. You can decide if you like or dislike the grease-bucket after you own it. It can be easily changed.
  16. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    The Specials go for less than $1,000.
    $1200 is what the American Standards go for.
    For $699 or so, you could buy a used American Standard. For $70 more than he is asking ($769), you could buy a brand new Highway One. I believe that except for the finish, the Highway One is pretty much the same bass as the Special.
    Fender Highway One P Bass: Shop Bass & Other Musical Instruments | Musician's Friend
  17. True. You can find a brand new (with warranty) American Special P online for $950, so a used one for $700 isn't that much of a smokin' deal, IMHO.

    I also agree about the Highway One, as it's pretty much the same bass as the Special, with the exception of the nitro finish. I haven't played the Special, but I've spent some time with both the older and newer H1s, and IMO they're a really solid buy.
  18. matti777


    Dec 13, 2007
    Edmonton, Canada
    I tried a few American Std Precisions out last week. I was impressed and especially like one with a Maple neck but will probably pull the trigger on a used '57 RI today as it was even nicer.

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