1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Where's the love for the Fender American Series (2000-2008)?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dinosaurneil, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. dinosaurneil


    Jan 9, 2011
    My first and only Fender Precision is an '05 and I really like it. It appears well made, has great sound and is very playable.

    I read a lot on the forum that makes it sound as though these years are to be avoided, or at least not a first choice. I assume its because of the poly finish and heavy tuners. Is that the bulk of it, or is there more that makes this the red headed stepchild of the more recent Fender line?

    Anyone here's primary go-to model a Fender from these years, or did most upgrade to the newer American Standard? I'd love to hear some encouraging support!
  2. RaginRog

    RaginRog Last guy you want to see is Employee Relations guy

    Nov 29, 2009
    Formerly Staten Island
    My goto bass is a 1999 Fender American Std from the era you mention. It has the big heavy tuners, and a thick poly finish. Great bass, and I love how the Oly white has aged into a nice creamy white.
  3. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    My MIA 2002 has that great growl and the bullet-proof poly finish. It has held up very well and I love the look (sunburst) feel and tone.

    I have to say however, that my 2010 Precision V is really, really nice! They're both great instruments.
  4. My first P-Bass was an American Standard '95. I still have it and still love it. When the American Series came out, I thought in some ways it was a step backwards. I don't like the S-1 switching system and thought the colors were ugly. I don't hate 'em, just find them kind of uninspiring.
  5. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    My "go to" bass is a 2004 American Series Precision Bass. I absolutely LOVE this bass and I've had three '08s and two '10s. Didn't keep any of them, BUT I'll never part with my '04!
    Dunno why it's so good, it just is!
  6. muzikman7


    Sep 16, 2004
    I've got a CAR Jazz that without me mentioning it many people have commented about how good it sounds.
  7. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    My number one is a 2003 Am. Series Jazz with noiseless Fralins and drop tuner. It's fantastic, and one of the best J-basses I've ever played, period. I also have a 2004 Precision, 2004 Strat, and 2001 HH hardtail Strat, all of which are excellent. Lots of love here for the American Series, even though on average the new American Standards are better, especially on the bass side of things. My 2008 Jazz V is amazing.
  8. ajn


    Sep 3, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    My number one bass is also an '03 Am. Series Jazz. It has the nicest, most stable neck I have ever played, and I'm a fan of the S-1 switch on a Jazz. The only mod I've done is replace the boat-anchor tuners with Hipshot Ultralites, which has made it much more comfortable to play. It's the one bass I would never consider selling.
  9. Medford Bassman

    Medford Bassman Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Medford, Wisconsin
    Iown a 2006 MIA Jazz and a 2009 MIA Precision Deluxe. BOth are main basses for me.

    love the buterscotch blond on the jazz. solid and reliable.
  10. dinosaurneil


    Jan 9, 2011
    I also find the S-1 pointless on the Precision and am not thrilled with the color selection of the MIAs then or now. The Sunset Orange transparent looked pretty nice, though. I wish they'd bring back Lake Placid in the AS!

    Your "uninspiring" reference is simple but well put. It's likely that that, combined with the points of the other posters is why it doesn't hold up to the '08 and newer.

    I was mostly looking for support to fight the urge to sell my '05 because of some perceived build quality difference. I'm now at the conclusion that I'll buy a newer AS when I can afford it, but for now it's "good enough". Thanks, everyone!
  11. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    You have to judge basses as individuals, not groups. But, IMO, this 08 Fender stuff is a bit overstated. I've played Fenders from every era, and the 08s are by and large no better than any of the American Series basses I've seen. I could care less about the high weight vintage bridge on the 08s, and other than that, same bass. btw, the early AS basses didn't have the S1 switch -- mine doesn't.
  12. Matthew_84


    Nov 7, 2010
    I have a 2000 MIA P and couldn't be happier with it. I was weary of the quality, mainly from this site and I assume the very reason for the OP, so when I found a used one at a local shop, I actually wrote out a whole checklist for me to determine its condition. Then I found out that year didn't have the high mass bridge and I was even more sold on it (I've read those bridges can take away some of the classic P tone).

    So I went into the shop and it passed my entire checklist and most importantly, it played fantastically and it was the exact sound that I was after.

    My next Fender will be used, and likely from this era
  13. Sleeq


    Feb 13, 2008
    Here's my two MIA P-Basses, both 2006:


  14. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    The criticism I've seen for that era has been only in TB, and has been for two things: consistency of QA/QC and of course the S1 switch on the P bass. The 2008s on the other hand got a lot of good press here on TB for their consistency, and in some cases for the new features. This doesn't mean that Fender wasn't making many quality instruments before 2008, or that every one made after that was great...

    I personally suspect that the QA/QC issues are limited to TB users who shop at GC. I've just had no encounters in my local stores with "bad" Fenders.

    I owned a 2006 and a 2003. The 2006 was a great instrument! The 2003 was ok - had a neck issue, but I'd bought them both used and I'm not sure the original owner of the 2003 took the best care of it. eBay purchases... I traded it in on the 2008.
  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    i also hated the s1 switch. otherwise, they're fine basses.
  16. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    Bill, no offense to anyone on TB, but what percentage of posters do you think can accurately evaluate a bass? I'd say maybe ten percent. I worked in a music store for ten years and I can tell you the number one thing that impresses a "player" is low action -- number two is new bright strings. Back then I could set up a Series 10 P bass with low action and new strings and the guys would marvel at what a great bass it was. IMO, the number one reason for all of the inconsistent Fender is high action and dead strings.
  17. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Aside from the atrocious disintegrating neck finish typical to most years of production, I prefer the American Series to the post-2008 American Standards and have explained why many times.
  18. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I say 5% and it's only because I'm feeling expansive and generous.

    It's probably a fraction of 1% if this sub-board is any indicator.
  19. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    I bet you're right!
  20. Medford Bassman

    Medford Bassman Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Medford, Wisconsin
    I didn't care for the S-1 switch. I took it out and replaced it with an Audere. I also copper shielded it and threw on a ba bridge. While I use my RIC more, I still play the MIA Jazz especially for recording work as its quieter.