What's the best Fender Precision model?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bass Atlanta, Apr 15, 2004.

  1. I'm looking for a Fender P-bass. I already own a Mike Lull PJ, but I want a REAL Fender.

    My question is: What is the best year or model in my price range? I'd like to stay under $1000. My GAS bass is the 2001-made 50th Anniversary P-Bass like this one, but I've been having trouble locating one.

    So, my TB friends, I am soliciting your input. I have heard that the 80's were not kind to Fender. So, should I try to find a 70's P, or go to the 90's or even 2000's? (BTW, I don't like the look of the '57 RI, and I don't want the SC hum of the Sting. And the '62 RI has the C-neck, which is too wide for me.)

    I probably want to stay with USA-made, and I would prefer one that is not too beat up. Also, I prefer the A or B neck.
    I don't want a Burst.

    Bottom line:

    -- Under $1000
    -- Passive Fender P
    -- No PJ or Deluxe
    -- No burst
    -- No '57 RI, '62 RI, or Sting.
    -- No re-finishes, hybrids, or add-ons; original only.
    -- A or B neck
    -- Good to excellent shape.
    -- Probably USA-made, unless there is a compelling reason to go with MIM or MIJ.

    So....what's my best bet?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    Excellent condition MIA P's sell for between 400 and 600 bucks on Ebay all the time. I picked up a new old stock 2001 MIA P there for 460.00. After I'd had it for a year, I sold it on Ebay for....460.00. It was just like THIS ONE I have an L-2500 now, but sometimes I really miss that P thump.
  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Definitrlly consider used. Almost any Fender is in that price range when used. (non vintage of course)
  4. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The absolute sweetest P-Bass I ever played was a 1959 with a rosewood fingerboard. other than that, the P-Basses I have tended to like the most have been MIM P-Basses. I just checked out a really sweet one at a local store yesterday. Most of the more expensive reproduction haven't dome much for me. Maybe I'm just tone deaf. :(
  5. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Not necesarily tone deaf. Ive found that some middle price range basses sound and feel outstanding. ( LOVE my Godin SD4.. and it costs around $540 at the most, usualy a little less) I mean, iupgraded the pickups and it sings. Dont need a $2000 bass to satisfy me.
    Something ive noticed though; i really like smaller companies better than really mass produced basses. Godin isnt that large and you can feel the quality in them. I dont think I will ever be a Fender or Ibanez guy. Maybe a Warwick guy because i really like them, but we'll see. I tihnk a Godin BG4 is in my future, not sure.
  6. Just get a new Ameican Series P . You can even get that butterscotch finish like the 50th anniversary P you admire. It is now an offered finish on the 04 models.
  7. Sweet. But are they as consistent as other year models? Reading the reviews on the 50th Anniversary model indicate that they are a cut above the regular P-basses.

  8. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Just play the bass before you buy it and you should be fine. The quality control on MIA fenders is decent enough.
  9. That's not always easy when buying used. That's why I want to get everyone's opinion first, because I'll most likely be buying from TB or eBay.

  10. Fred312b

    Fred312b What if I want to play jazz precisely? Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    maybe you guys should become a fender dealer, then you wouldn't have a problem ;) i don't mean any offense, but looking at all the wonderful lines of instruments you carry, and you're looking for a 50+ year old design instrument? i guess that's why it's a classic (and i love good fender p basses too, so don't think i am knocking them)
  11. Mattski


    Jan 6, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    You might want to re-consider the '62 RI. They're my fave! :)

    Of course the best option is to try as many models as possible. You may just find "Your" bass in the process.

    Good Luck.
  12. Excellent point......and you answered your own question. :D

    I started out playing Fender P's and J's about 30 years ago.
    Just thought I'd add one to my collection.


  13. They are indeed cool; I just prefer a thinner neck.
    I'm sure the Holy Grail will come along soon.

    This one looks pretty good.

    And so does this one. :hyper:
  14. if you want the "holly Grail" then you want a 1962 precision bass, but that would run you a lot more than $1000. generally I think if you just find a nice US made fender P then you can't really go too wrong with it. I think the build quality on them is all good, and my only complaint is the pickup which is easily changeable. if you want the 60's P thump put a 62' re-issue fender pickup in there or a lindy fralin.
  15. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Given the lack of consistency in quality control at Fender, best thing to do is to spend a day trying everyone you can get your hands on. Do not plug them in. Try them acoustically. See how the neck feels, if the frets hang off the sides. If the neck has no unusual contours, etc.

    I've picked up nice MIM, MIJ, MIA, vintage ones. I currently have a 75, and a more recent MIM. You just have to plow through a bunch.

    I would recommend bringing your strap to see how it hangs off your body, as some are heavier than others.

    You'll find one that speaks to you. Plugging in for your initial test will not give you the true voice of the instrument.
  16. Thanks for all the comments.

    What about the MIJ? Are they good quality? How do they compare to MIM? How's the resale?


  17. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I'm pretty sure the MIJs are worh more than the MIM P-Basses. I don't know if actual quality is better, but MIJs will be perceived as better quality.