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! :)

Which Precision Bass is actually a P Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by boynamedsuse, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. boynamedsuse

    boynamedsuse Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    No I'm not being a wise guy and I did search. Although discussion of Precision basses takes up 20% of what we talk about here, I couldn't find an answer to my version of this question.

    I am on a quest, so to speak, to get a Precision bass since I've never had one. Now that I am looking around it seems like there are tons of basses made by Fender and Squire that are "P Basses" but I am guessing they do not all sound the same. What in this huge sea of P Basses do you need to get to really get a P Bass? Do you have to get an MIA Precision Standard to get the sound? Does a Precision Plus Bass sound the same? How about a P-bass special? Fullerton Era Precision Bass? Do active electronics negate it getting a real P Bass sound (MIA Deluxe)? You got the idea. Thanks in advance for the help.
  2. CnB77


    Jan 7, 2011
    If it says "precision bass" on it, it's a precision bass
  3. First off, they're all basically the same. With the differences being build-quality, woods, pups (they do sell something called a modded P-Bass, don't they?), and h/ware. But, I understood your question. Trying to keep up with Fender these days is like trying to keep up with all the new Kool-Aid flavors that came out every summer when I was but a wee young buck.
    Yet they won't release a wide variety colors on their high-production stuff. And, IMO, it's hands down the most stupid business move they can make. And yet they do it year after year.
  4. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    P basses don't necessarily have to be Fenders....My P bass is a Lakland...
  5. goldenglory18

    goldenglory18 Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Amateur. Take my advice for its resale value.
    As much as I agree they should have MUCH larger option base, specifically with finishes, Fender itself seems to be a pretty well run/successful business though, no?
  6. 4andnomore


    Nov 14, 2008
    Depends who you ask. Technically, if fender puts "precision bass" on the headstock then it's a precision. But with Fender producing so many variations that stray from the original design a lot of old timers/purists will argue that certain models aren't "real" p-basses. On the other end of the spectrum there are those who will call anything that uses the P-bass format a p-bass. To me, when I hear P-bass I think Fender, not that I think Fender is better or anything, just cuz that's what I've come to associate with the term p-bass. I tried to start a thread on this. Don't bother going there - it quickly turned into a flame war and I fond myself taking heat for defending myself against the internet goons that often lurk here.
  7. 4andnomore


    Nov 14, 2008
    I dunno, last I heard they are losing money on a regular basis. Can't speak to the reliability of the source of this info though.
  8. What if it's not a Fender and doesn't even have a P pickup, but was built with a lot of precision?
  9. Eckie


    Jan 14, 2004
    Edinburgh, UK
    No, Lakland don't make P basses - they borrow a design that someone else has produced and make their own product.

    P-Basses or more correctly Precision Basses are a copyright of Fender
  10. 4andnomore


    Nov 14, 2008
    Sorry, I don't think I addressed the OP. I'd start by checking out Standard p-basses i.e. the American and the Mexican made. Play a bunch of them because they will vary from instrument to instrument. From there, if you can, check out the Vintage re-issues as they are more reminiscent of the original designs. After that, you're starting to get into variants that were designed to meet a more specific demand and it might be more difficult to asses their usefulness. I do think it's a good idea to check out other manufacturers like Lakland and i would personally advise against going the custom route until you've owned a p bass or two and have better idea of what really works for you. I ended up with a black and Maple American P because I liked the feel and sound of it as well as the simplicity. And it was within my budget. I played about 20 different P-basses and about a half dozen Am Stds before finding "the one". It's a really subjective thing. I hope this helps.
  11. samurai1993


    Jun 6, 2010
    The only basses labeled P Bass, exactly like that, AFAIK, are the lower tiers of Squier basses, especifically the California (not the 90's, but the mid 2000's ones) and Affinity series
  12. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    OP, I would strongly suggest that you look at (in increasing $$$) '50s or '60s Squier Classic Vibe Precision Bass (if money is an issue) Fender Standard, Road Worn, Fender American Standard, AVRI '62. These, to my ear, are the most iconic of the current Precisions. Obviously, you can get silly with money getting actual vintage instruments, but any of these will cop a true Precision vibe quite well.
  13. boynamedsuse

    boynamedsuse Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Good point. To clarify my original post, "P Bass" as I originally wrote it, was only meant to be a shortened form of the name "Precision Bass." The printed form of the name used on the headstock is a minor concern.


    My focus is on the sound, if that helps. For example, last night I stopped by a Music & Arts on my way home and the only Precision Basses they had were two Squiers. They looked nice and the price was LOW, but I am concerned that if I tried to gig (or record) with either, I would end up with a "non-standard" sound. So, when I get the chance to go to a larger store (or perhaps resort to buying online), what should I look for to get the "real" Precision sound? :help:
  14. boynamedsuse

    boynamedsuse Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Thank you. This answer is the type I was seeking that narrows down the search.
  15. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    Good...the giant scam is on a decline.

    [preparing for hostile fire]
  16. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    Really dude? Welcome to talkbass...

    And no one else is making cars since Henry ford made the first massed produced piece of shizzo!

    Enough of that stupid nonsense.

  17. THORRR

    THORRR Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    Parker, Colorado
    After playing Jazz Basses for 4 decades I succumbed to
    the hoopla on TB about P-Basses and decided to see
    "what I was missing". I came upon a Squier Affinity P
    on Craigslist for $100. It had loose pots, loose jack, loose
    tuners, a warped neck, dings, etc, so I offered him $30
    and he took it!.

    I took it all apart, serviced it, tightened everything, did a
    great setup on it and I swear it's a great little bass. It sounds every
    bit as good as my MIJ Aerodyne Jazz does with its P-pup.
    And I'm still a Jazz man. But once in awhile I go to the P just for a change.

    Personally I think too much emphasis is placed on the difference between most pups. I really don't think the differences are perceptable to the normal ear, especially
    in the mix with the band. (Recording may be a different story) but for live shows, they're all great.

    But here's the big secret. Ya hafta know how to use the controls on your AMP! A little EQ here....a little EQ there . . . and you can make just about any decent bass sound good.

    I can get all my Jazz basses to sound like a P via proper EQ-ing the amp and the pre-amps on my basses. Even the passive Jazzes I own can sound like a P. I have found it's
    not rocket science. It's just frequency emphasis. And that's what EQ's are for!

    What a concept!

  18. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    The one with the p pickup.
  19. +1 ... it's really that simple :bassist:
  20. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Which Precision Bass is actually a P Bass?


    The one with frets

    The precision bass was one of the first basses to have frets ... unlike the upright double bass which is fretless.

    Hence the name "Precision Bass" ... it was very easy to play it precisly and get accurate intonation.

    All of these are p-basses





Share This Page