Which Precision Bass to buy?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MichiBass, Dec 15, 2014.

  1. Fender Japan PB62-US

  2. Vintage

  3. Warmoth

  4. Clones (Lakland, Carvin, etc.)

  1. I am looking to buy a Precision Bass, mainly because it's a very minimalist, classic and simple, but great sounding bass. I am looking for a light bass, ideally with a Jazz Bass neck, in alder / rosewood combination, very good craftmanship, quality and great Precision sound. Budget would be around 1000 - 1500 USD (I live in Europe).

    Here are the options:

    1 - Fender Japan PB62-US - http://www.fenderjapan.co.jp/pb62-us.html

    This one is as classic as it gets, and also the cheapest option and my current favourite. Cons here would be the fact that it is a "new" and unplayed (although I could try to find a used one as well).

    2 - Vintage - http://www.yeahmansguitars.com/products/basses/fender

    This would be the most expensive one, maybe the heaviest one, but surely the best sounding one. Cons here would be the fact that it might have problems (I will buy online and not try it).

    3 - Warmoth - http://www.warmoth.com/Bass/Bodies/PBass/PBass/

    Here I could get a Jazz Bass neck, choose every detail, and add aftermarket pickups, tuners and bridge. Cons here would be that I will have to assemble it myself, which I never did.

    4 - Clones

    Lakland Skyline, Carvin PB4, etc. I am not really attracted to these because they don't look like the original. But maybe the craftmanship is the best on these. Also considering other options, please feel free to suggest.

    Any input is welcome.


  2. Roda


    Jun 18, 2006
    Zagreb, Croatia
    If you want a P bass with a narrower neck, go for the PB70, not PB62. It has a 40 mm nut, which is pretty close to a Jazz neck, an alder body and a rosewood fretboard. Currently it's available only in Olympic White, but I seem to remember seeing some sunburst and red ones. Ishibashi had a few used ones some time ago, but now it seems they've sold 'em all.
    R&B likes this.
  3. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Fender doesn't currently offer a P bass with a J neck. You could consider a Deluxe Active P Bass Special, but it is active and has a J pickup (and a terrible looking pickguard, IMO). The bass you want is the Skyline 44-64 Custom, if you don't mind red and can get past the bridge and headstock not looking like a Fender.
  4. OldDirtyBassist

    OldDirtyBassist Guest

    Mar 13, 2014
    This one would be a good deal if the bridge was correctly installed.

    This is the one I'd go for.
    They've got a couple early JV's on there too but they're kinda overpriced IMO. These are from Yeahman's Guitars.
  5. ou812


    Dec 14, 2013
    IF you have three months, Fender's design-your own does have the option of P body and J neck. I was using they're tool to try body/pickguard color combinations. No way I have the patience to wait that long, but you did mention Carvin . . .
    Anyway, it kept pricing out at around $1500. You can get vintage or modern bodies/necks/hardware
    Osztertag2112 and Mikaelbass like this.
  6. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Yamaha & Grosbeak. I’m Marc!

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    G&L LB-100 with a narrow neck option (custom ordering takes 8-10 weeks, but you get exactly what you want, often cheaper than a US Fender), or the Fender Japan PB70 would be my picks.
    R&B likes this.
  7. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: Rhythm AND Blues! Supporting Member

    Yep, even with the stock #12 neck the LB-100 is highly playable. And anything MIJ is likely to be quite nice.
  8. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass Inactive

    Apr 9, 2009
    CARVIN all the way. Guaranteed craftmanship, easy to play, great sound, beautiful custom finishes. If I had the bucks I would have bought a PB4 to match my jazzy B40. I didn't so I bought a Squire Matt Freeman P-Bass, which is outstanding considering the price. Getting used to the thic P-neck.
    Fender had a really great Deluxe PJ bass a few months ago which had a slimmer, Geddy type neck on it, but they're gone. That was a killer bass.
  9. Ace Of Bass

    Ace Of Bass A Rooster Illusion

    Jun 27, 2006
    Just because it's vintage does not automatically mean it will sound better....within that price range, you could very well find a nice used American Vintage P Bass here in the classifieds...
    TheBear and Osztertag2112 like this.
  10. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Ultimately the one that speaks to you.
    You've heard this before but they all vary a bit.
    I bought a bass once and the salesman brought out 5 basses
    all the same model & only one sounded right to me.
    Happy Hunting

    Keep G&L in mind.
    It's still Leo's company.
  11. Thank you for all the replies!

    - the PB70 is definetily an option, only downside here is the colour and the non-USA pickup
    - the Skyline 44-64 Custom is also an option, but is has an ash body
    - i don't like the LB-100 headstock, but it is an option too
    - same with the Carvin PB4

    So I guess the PB62-US is still my favorite, mainly because it is also the cheapest (much under 1000), and most probably the best quality for the price.
  12. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Inland Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    Given those choices, I'd go with Warmoth. There are an incredible number of options available, including woods that Fender can only dream about. I played around with Fender's customizer tool, and the limited amount of options is really pathetic by comparison.

    If assembling a bass is something that makes you uncomfortable, you can have a luthier assemble it and set it up for you. But doing it that way allows you to get exactly what you want, including all the components, for less than the price of an American Fender.
  13. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
  14. Alaotatto

    Alaotatto Guest

    Aug 19, 2014
    Porto Alegre, Brazil
    G&L SB-1 or the LB100
    friendlybass likes this.
  15. theduke1


    Dec 22, 2010
    Sussex WI
    I'm a G&L guy I owned a 1990 SB1 if I played 4string I would have never flipped it. Hot fast and pretty and with flats pure vintage. But as I said I'm a G&L guy so that is always my first choice.
    Good luck in the search!
  16. reddog


    Mar 5, 2013
    Philly burbs
    Squier has P options with jazz necks. Find a good one, explore pickup, bridge and string options... in the end you.'ve got a nice bass you don't worry about... also leaves you cash for next Spring when you may have a different vision of what you want. Food for thought.
    Some look like this....

  17. I have a number of Fender Ps of various eras and I can say the Skyline 44-64 holds its own and then some. The neck is amazing.
    R&B likes this.
  18. danosix


    May 30, 2012
    Yeah, but if you get a finished Warmoth and have someone else assemble it you will be getting well past the $1000 mark even with relatively basic hardware/electronics choices.
  19. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: Rhythm AND Blues! Supporting Member

    And good luck selling it if you decide to go in another direction.
  20. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Inland Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    Fair point, but keep in mind what I was comparing it to -- the Fender dream tool. I actually couldn't find it just now when I looked (it seems as though Fender has changed their website around), but I did find the parts section. They offer bodies in a wide variety of alder. Necks can be had with your choice of maple. Fretboards come in a mind-boggling array of maple and rosewood. [/sarcasm] Fender offers one American Precision for $999, all others are north of $1300.

    At Warmoth, $305 gets you an already finished alder body, or an unfinished chambered black korina body (try getting one of those from Fender!) plus a can of tung oil or whatever from a hardware store. Another $250-350 gets you a finished neck or a made to order neck with some fairly exotic woods. Guestimate $80 each for a pickup, bridge, tuners, electronics, and setup, and you're right around $1000. For $1300, you could get practically anything your heart desires for a P-bass with American made body and neck.

    To me, it's a no-brainer.