Your opinion on new Fender P5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by funkythumb, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. funkythumb


    Aug 26, 2005
    Hey all,
    I've love to get your feedback on the new Fender American Series P5 basses.
    I've recently tried them out and dig them. I'd like feedback on both their live sound and studio sound. How does the low B hold up?
    I'm thinking of getting the maple board.
    many thanks
  2. funkythumb


    Aug 26, 2005
  3. ChrisPbass


    Jul 18, 2006
    Fairfax, VA
    search function? no offense intended but i'm sure i've read reviews.
  4. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Oh yes, I love the new P-basses, and the 5ers are as well-made as the amazing 4-strings. Yet for me, based on playing only one P5, I prefer the feel of a 35" B string.
  5. funkythumb


    Aug 26, 2005
    thanks Chris..I actually read and participated in the thread. The same question was asked by someone else and only one person chimed in with an answer on the 5 strings so I thought I'd repost with the specific 5 string question. I also did try the search function. I always do before posting. I couldn't find anything that dealt with my specific question. Mostly all 4 string reviews.
    Jim, thanks for the input. I agree that a 35" scale feels and sounds better for a P.
    Still looking for recording and live experience with these new basses.
  6. dean82


    Aug 14, 2007
    Check out this review of the P5 by Ed Friedland on youtube.

    IME, the B is one of the weakest parts of the tone. It's usable, but fairly floppy and unfocused IMO. I'm not sure how much of that is due to the Fender Nickel strings because I've not tried anything different yet. I have the action as low as it can go with very little neck relief. The exposed core B is a must, and I'm not a huge fan of this type of low B. I have had better luck with the low B with DR Hi Beams on other 34" scale Fender style instruments I own. To my ears, the B is much less floppy.

    In the vid with Ed on youtube, he discusses the low B and how much he likes it. Check it out and see what you think.
  7. I can't help you with the recordings but I know mine works great live, I feel and sound like I'm playing my 78 P but have the B available.

    I might just put a preamp in it one day but will gig it a bit more before I do.

    I did put a BAV bridge on it and it helped the tone a bit, it's a bit more clear.

  8. FL Knifemaker

    FL Knifemaker Guest

    Apr 9, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    Over the past month, I've been to the big music stores here in Florida, Atlanta and Jackson MS and no one had them in stock :mad: I'd really like to play that B string before I plop my $$$$ down. Ed Friedland could make a washtub bass sound great :D
  9. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    I played one for a few minutes at the 14th Street GC in Manhattan - cured my GAS right away. Neck is *way* chunkier than I like, but the tone was great!
  10. funkythumb


    Aug 26, 2005
    Right on. Thanks for the input everyone.
    I did check out Ed's review earlier but good to hear it again.
    Any preference for rosewood or maple?
  11. Bassmunnky


    Jul 3, 2004
    New York and Philadelphia
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball MusicMan Guitars
    I just got mine Friday, White with Tort..god, it's sexy.

    It's incredible. I've been playing 5 strings since I have a bit of experience on 'em.

    This will be short, as I can't find anything else to add to Ed's Review.

    The bass is super light, and feels like 'home' if you know what I mean.

    While someone made a comment here about a 'super chunky' neck. I disagree.

    I have a 2000 MIA Fender Jazz first, the P5 neck looked exactly the same, except for the new headstock and tuner configuration and the dark rosewood board.

    However, I found the front to back profile on the new P5 thinner...wide yes..uhm it's a 5 string, but chunky is not at all is how I would describe it...wide and flat, very comfortable.

    The strings were the biggest suprise for me. I was freaking out about the string gauge of the Fender 8250 Tapers....130 B, .110 E. However, with the taper, the feel of the strings are such that I just ordered 5 more sets, which one I will add immediately to my Jazz V..The strings work, very playable, 'speak' well and have tons of tone.
    The feel of the strings IS different. I understand the 'floppy' issue..however, this sure as hell doesn't mean a 34" scale can't do it, as not many complain about the B on a StingRay 5. Floppiness usually lies in the string, not the bass...but again, that's only my experience.

    Recording wise, which I did in Pro-Tools this week. It smokes. I WILL be honest and say I may raise the pickups a bit, as it came with the 'slanted' configuration which has always puzzled me, since I've always kept my Pbass pickups about equal height.
    But this is a niggle. The B is dead on with the rest of the strings.

    This bass is top notch. I've been a Fender player for a looooooong time, but not a Fender buyer of their recent stuff, not a vintage snob (bunch a hooey IMO), but the 'crapshoot' factor of Fender is what I was always concerned about, how you had to play 5 or 6 to get to the 'one'... Whatever Fender is doing THESE days, seems to be the right thing, I bought this on the web, perfect out of the box. I'm no noob either, so I do know what perfect means...

    It's killer, and, it made me think: I wonder what that new 08 Jazz 4 would be like...

    Hope this helps

  12. asg618


    Jan 9, 2006
    I also disagree with the comment about the neck being too chunky. My experience was the opposite - the neck is very comfortable, in large part because it is extremely flat front to back. I had no problem reaching across the neck to play the low B - amazingly comfortable.

    The string spacing also feels narrower than a traditional P-Bass (very much like a Jazz), allowing for fast runs with surprising ease.

    In all, the 2008 American Standard series from Fender is incredible, with many improvements to the instruments, and a major improvement to the hardshell case.

    I did, however, swap out the strings for a new set of Thomastik Infeld Superalloys. These strings feel great - terrific for slides. But they sound worlds better than the default Fenders, pristine and booming. They expecially brought greater clarity to the low B, and eliminated the slight "wobble" I experienced before changing strings. Even though the TIs are not tapered, and thus rest slightly on top of the saddle groove (this I thought was a mistake by Fender, an "improvement" designed possibly to sell more specially designed Fender tapered string sets), the strings nonethteless feel "tight", stay in tune, and intonate almost perfectly. This is an important consideration, and I would tell other owners of new 2008 Fender American basses not to hesitate to try their favorite strings, even if not tapered to fit the new Fender saddles. In my case, doing so brought immediate improvement to feel and tone, especially to the low B.

    FYI, I own the P5 in Candy Cola finish with maple fingerboard - looks just great and the maple adds just a hint of bright zing for more aggressive styles. I'm considering getting a rosewood board to string with flatwounds for classic Motown and reggae thump.

    Hope that helps - for the $, the 2008 Fender American basses are just terrific.
  13. funkythumb


    Aug 26, 2005
    Many thanks everyone!!! Really appreciate the help. :)
    I think you guys have sold me on the bass!!! It sounds kinda lame to say this but I thought the maple board one I tried was especially musical sounding (whatever that means) and brought out all kinds of bass lines while sitting there and playing it.
    As far as the chunkiness factor, it felt very comfortable. Maybe a weee bit more chunky than I'm used to but nothing to really complain about. Something that I'd get used to in a day or two.
    I'll buy one, record it, play it live and then try different strings on it.
    After playing and listening to different brands of P basses, I came to the realization that I want a very traditional P bass sound. Passive and mostly to use for recording and some rock/R&B gigs. Though the Lull has a tighter and bigger B, the Fender still sounds the most like a Fender!!! :)

  14. My thoughts exactly, what else do you want for 1100 bucks.

    At that price I can mod a few things if need be and still have cash to burn.
  15. dean82


    Aug 14, 2007
    The slanted P/U config. is to match the relatively small fingerboard radius. With a totally flat pickup the A string is farther away from the P/U than the B and G. IME, it's not a huge difference, but I do hear a volume difference across the strings with the P/U flat.
  16. dean82


    Aug 14, 2007
    I've wondered about that myself. In the past I too have changed out the factory Fender bridge for a BA, but this is the first bridge that I really have confidence in. It's beefy and solid, but hey, the BadAss bridge is a tried and true upgrade so I can definitely understand the desire to switch. I may have to A/B the Badass just to see.

    As a previous poster noted, the bass does leave some cash available for doing some modding.
  17. steve21

    steve21 Inactive

    I liked it, but there were things about that particular bass that just made it not perfect for me.

    But, it's a 5 string version of a regular P-bass. There's that.
  18. The BAV did help, my p5 was pretty light, so it gave it a bit more weight, better balance and some more roundness in the bottom end, notes come through a bit clearer now as well.

    The new bridges are good, but I've always done the BA on my Fenders or Fender clones, they just look right to me.

    If I can, I'll get a photo and post this weekend.

    I often wondered about flattening out the pickups, I might try that before I gig tonight. I would think it would help get the B string through a bit more.

  19. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I had one, and still would, if P-basses were my thing. I changed the strings on mine immediately to DR Black Beauties, and had absolutely no issues with the low B string being floppy. Not a Roscoe/Modulus level low B, but it held its own just fine.

    It was a great bass, but it just wasn't a jazz bass.;) TBer PSPookie now has it. I'm sure he can give a little more info on it than I can at this point.