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Which Fender will give me the best classic P-bass sound?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BillyIVbass, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. BillyIVbass


    Sep 24, 2008
    Gear Reviews Guitar World Online
    I'm trying to decide between a:

    Fender MIM Standard

    Fender US Highway One P-bass

    Fender US Special

    Fender US Standard

    What I want:

    The bass that will give me the more cliche P-bass sound. I am by far a fan of the Jazz Bass sound for live playing both for it's sound and slim neck, but I want to pickup a P-bass to have for when I need something different.
  2. Highway One has a BadassII bridge and somewhat hot pickups for a more modern rock sound, so that eliminates this model.
  3. fender sells vintage 76? RI MIA basses..full on w nitrocellulose finish and period spec parts and finish/color options..ive never played one, but if you are looking for a faithfull vintage P tone id guess thatd be the way to go..just my 2cents...im a J player myself and i was really close to buying the vintage series j bass but found a good deal on an orig 65 jazz and bought it instead..gcenter prob has the basses im talking about..i dont know your budget but ive found alot of original 70s P basses going for pretty cheap online...-joep
  4. Fender Classic 60's series P bass or, Road Worn.
  5. '51 P bass reissue with single coil p pickups, but hum might be an issue.
  6. PJRL


    Mar 27, 2010
    greenfield center NY
    I would look for a USED 62 or 57 US vintage P bass, you can get one of those for about the same as a new USA standard P. The road worn is MIM electronics, They look OK but I think a lok of folks replace the P-ups and such on them. I'd go for something better for the money.
    Used Fender US Vintage gets my vote, I found a 57 P for a great deal and it needs nothing.
  7. thmsjordan


    Jan 10, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA & State College PA
    Eschew Obfuscation
    By classic - do you mean James Jamerson? Pink Floyd?

    Classic Motown style is a matter mostly of the flatwound strings, and a foam mute, along with the classic Ampeg B15. Other Cliche' P bass sounds are achieved in other ways. Not sure which 'cliche' you are askin for here.
  8. ljazz


    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN
    The AmStd P ('08+) is a great bass, but achieving a more "classic" P tone is benefitted greatly by installing the "Original P" (the '62 RI one) pup. I did in mine, and the difference was perfect. The tone was re-focused on the low mids, and much less wide sounding (like the std pup).
  9. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Any P basss with a bent plate bridge, flats, and swap in a Duncan Antiquity pickup.
  10. cobbster


    Sep 11, 2000
    Make sure you use flats and mute at the bridge with foam. You will be amazed.
  11. I like the FEEL of the Road Worn, that is very good but, yeah you would have to spend about 60 to 70 bucks and some solder time
    to put in a 62 RI pickup to get it up to specks but, to me that's a very nice option to get an almost Custom shop feel for little money :D

    But that's just me :)

    ....and yes, don't forget the foam rubber mute on any P for the old school thump.
  12. ....but yes, it really comes down to this ^^^^ or, with whatever pickup you think has "the sound" IMHO too!
  13. The Standards.
  14. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Try a Lakland 44-51 Skyline.
    I have played a couple of them a few times.
    They out Fender a Fender.
  15. I did the same thing with an SX P bass!
  16. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    51 or Sting model will get you to the other end of the Fender bass spectrum. The old fashioned bridge makes a difference but I think any P will get you there as long as it doesn't have modern amenities--i.e. you have to be selective about pickups & bridge. And flatwounds certainly help.
  17. sigmafloyd


    May 1, 2011
    Can someone chime in on how the newer hmv bridge takes away from the classic sound?
  18. IMHO for a classic sound the newer high mass bridge adds too much sustain :D No really, they sound good, almost too good for a so call classic tone. Some people say there's no differences, others say it make all the difference in the world. YMMV
  19. gigslut


    Dec 13, 2011
    St Louis, Mo
    Another vote here for the '62 RI pickup. I have a MIM with it and CTS pots. I get plenty of compliments on the tone. It sounds great live and tracks even better. One engineer called me after a session to pick my brains. He wanted to have a bass in house that would give him that sound. He was quite surprised to find out my bass didn't cost a fortune.
  20. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Don't discount the Classic '50s or Roadworn P's.

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