What to look for in a MIA P?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tattooed, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. Thinking about getting a precision. I've been checking them out on the bay and notice a lot of people ask if they're string through body and how much they weigh. Is string through better? What are the best options? How is the S1? Is there a difference between quality in the 80's to 90's to the new ones?
  2. Late '90s on is going to have a higher quality on average than the 80's-90's ones, on average. You're more likely to find one you like.
  3. I wouldn't buy one sight unseen, only because Fenders are very inconsistent. I think the pre 70's are safe to get, but then again there are some vintage P's and J's that are not great players pieces, they're great collectors pieces. Have you checked out the Lakland Bob glaub P basses? If you're looking for the P bass tone the Laklands have great tone and they're built very well, even the skyline series are really great.
  4. I'm trying to keep it in the $800 range and those are going for too much.
  5. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Most of the MIA Fender P-basses I've played are pretty well set up, though I'd agree that getting any used bass without playing it can be a little risky.

    I second Ceaserbass's suggestion about considering a Lakland Skyline Glaub bass. I played one in a store recently and darn near bought it even though I went in looking for a 5-string Jazz. The Glaub felt perfect in my hands and had tone for miles. :D

    String-through body is supposed to give a bass a longer sustain, and change the shape of the tone slightly, but I've never compared two identical basses set up with/without string through to say for certain myself.

    Bottom line: play before you buy, if at all possible!
  6. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    I think I saw the Dude at Vintage Bass Trading Co. was selling Lakland Skyline Glaub basses for around $850 last year, but i could be wrong. You could get him to e-mail you a price list.
  7. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Never played a Skyline BG but the Skyline Osbornes (or at least the one I played) seem to be very nice basses.

    I have a 2001 MIA Fender ash/maple P which I just love. Well built, sounds great and, except for the pickguard, bone stock. If I had it to do over again I would probably opt for a rosewood board with an ash body but I'm not complaining about the one I have. If you find a good one used you will have a great bass for a reasonable price.

    Edit: I never string through the body. I've never seen an advantage to it.
  8. I read somewhere skylines are made in korea or something and I only want USA basses.
  9. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Skylines are made in Korea, then sent to Chicago, where they go through an intensive inspection and are set up. Calling them "Korean" misrepresents things a little bit.

    Full story is here:
    Skyline story

    Also, USA basses are not necessarily better. I'd take a Sadowsky Metro (made in Japan) over anything made by Fender.

    If it's a patriotic thing, I can dig that. Bottom line: play all the basses you're considering, and get the one that "speaks" to you. You'll know it when you play it. Happy hunting!!! :)
  10. bino


    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    $800 should get you into or close to a new Fender or Lakland Skyline. You will have no problem finding a used one to your liking under that amount. I personally feel the more recent MIA Precisions are really solid. Sure, there will be some duds but not a ton. You can probably find a mint used one for $600 or so without looking hard and use the spare change to have it setup or dressed to your liking.
  11. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    When I was in the market for a precision, I tried out maybe 30 US Fenders, a number of MIM and MIJ Fenders and a few "clones"

    Right at the top of the pile was a Bob Glaub Skyline, easily the best of the lot. I had no idea at the time it was Korean.

    Recent US models were (IMHO) the best players among the Fenders, American series rather than the earlier American Standard. Some of the earlier 80s and 90s Ps were terrible, but this may have been a setup issue.
  12. Big thimbs up for the Lakland Skyline Glaub. They're only about $800.00. :p
  13. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I don't think that is nearly as true as it was before the quality turnaround in about '94. They've had their act pretty well together on the USA basses since then, in my opinion. Thats when they started doing the strings through body and graphite in the necks.

    I've got a sunburst '95 I'm selling, send me a PM or an email if you are interested. I can rip you an MP3 of a song or two I used it on, if you'd like to hear it, reguardless of if you actually want to buy it ... and I have pics of course. It plays and sounds really solid, and records beautifully. I got a sweet maple '78 that I like better, so I'm going to let this one go.
  14. Thanks for the replies. :bassist:
  15. NOLA Bass

    NOLA Bass Mr. Worst Case Scenario Man Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    New Orleans LA
    Endorsing artist: Bergantino Audio Systems
    I just got a new Fender American P with the S-1 switch. According to the serial #, it is a 2003, but I loved this one in particular. Chrome Red with the black pickguard is just badass!! The S-1 does add a nice tonal variation that I don't really use, but someone else might use alot. Great neck (maple board), string through body, and solid construction. I'm pleased with the bass, and it was really cheap compared to the $1000+ I've spent on my last few basses. It is one of the 2 basses I bring to every gig in my current band.
  16. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    What does the S-1 switch do, anyway?
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