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Will Am. Ser. P develop "woody" tone over time?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nedmundo, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I own three Fender basses, a 1994 MIJ Foto Flame P (RW fretboard), 2003 Am. Ser. J (maple board), and 2004 Am. Ser. P (maple board). They are all fantastic, but the 2004 P doesn't have as "woody" a tone as the others. It sounds great (especially with a band), but doesn't "sing" like they do.

    At first I thought this lack of "woodiness" might be from the maple fretboard or graphite rods in the neck, but of course my Jazz has both those features. (But the Jazz still has less of this quality than the '94 P.) Then I thought it might be a matter of age, because instruments tend to warm up with lots of playing. My Jazz is only a year older, but has been played much more, so that might explain some of it.

    But I'm left thinking this is probably the result of different trees, different assembly, etc., your basic instrument to instrument variation we all know about that's impossible to quantify, which is why so many of us spend time and money looking for "the one." (Not that we have GAS or anything, and just enjoy the hunt!)

    This leaves me with two questions:

    1. Assuming I'm right, can I still expect the 2004 P to develop a more "woody," vocal tone over time?

    2. Assuming tones like this result from more resonant woods, could I expect a bass from a boutique manufacturer (Lakland, Kinal, Lull, etc.) to have more carefully selected tone woods that would be more likely to produce this desirable quality?

  2. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I played a '95 American P regulary for about a decade, and I don't think it sounds any different than it did when it was brand new.

    Have you ever tried an Ash bodied P bass? That might be what you are looking for? I especially like ones built in the 70s, but I'm wierd like that.