Fender Precision? BASS GAS alert

Digital Larry

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It's starting to look like I deal with Wintertime seasonal gloominess by freshening that outlook by purchasing music gear! In California it's routinely 80F in November, but the sun is still low and sometimes you need to close the windows at night.

I got a new used keyboard controller and electric guitar. I was at Guitar Center (where I bought both) and decided that the time to wait for a nice bass is over. I have a Carvin fretless and an Ibanez TMB30 short scale with flatwounds on both. So I don't have a bright twangy bass. Part of that was on purpose, but FOMO combined with GAS results in FOMOGAS, even more impossible to resist.

I'm checking out the bass room at Santa Clara GC. I did something I never do - picked up a Precision. Long ago I convinced myself that I didn't like the wide neck. My main bass was a Peavey Foundation (modeled after the Jazz bass IIRC) for a very long time, after a borrowed Ric 4001 got repossessed by its rightful owner. But somehow, this Precision wasn't so bad. I see also that GC has a special Precision model with a Jazz bass neck! Whoa, I may have to go back.

I already know that I don't like active guitars, and active basses are much more common. I also tried an Ibanez TMB-100, which has the volume, front/rear split, and high and low tone controls. Yow. I also have learned I don't like 2V/2T on guitars and 5-ways on a 3-pickup guitar, even though that's the thing, is just too much for me. All of a sudden the simplicity of 1 pickup, 1 volume, 1 tone seems really nice. Yeah I cranked the Ibanez' tone controls this way and that, easy to get way too much of everything, Probably easy to get an OK tone too. That said, the TMB-100 is a $200 bass, fine for the price, but the search is on.

I watched a YouTube video last night comparing the sound of the P-bass vs. the J-bass. I don't know why this never hit me before, but the P-Bass IS THE SOUND OF ROCK AND ROLL. Especially played with a pick, man those skinny pants and sneakers practically fly out of the back of your closet and... uh... well you know what I mean.

Long story short, is there any reason I should look for anything beyond a P-bass? I've got two other basses and have them going on that dead thumpy sound already. Don't really need more of that (even though I like it just fine).

PS yes yes I know this is a decision that only I can make. But I know how to trigger people into gushing about their favorite instruments.
 
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EsquireBoy

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I’m not a bass player, but the idea of getting a bass and tune it like a tenor (ADGB or C) crossed my mind.

I know that if I do that, I’d like a P bass. I totally get what you say with this bright and rock n roll tone.
Plus they look so cool.
 

Dismalhead

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I'm the same. After owning a few other basses with different pickup configurations, I've found that a simple P-Bass pickup is the sound I want when I play or record. Built myself a lightweight parts P-Bass a few years ago with a single Tonerider pickup, plays and sounds great.

2daBtKp.jpg
 
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Digital Larry

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If you’re a guitar player and going to dabble in bass, and only ever own 1 bass, make it a P.
Well, I've played bass for as long as I've played guitar, about 40 years. I think I'm past dabbling. The purchase of the fretless as my main full-scale bass a few years back was always a bit suspect. I had an OLP ($200 version of a Music Man bass) but it was not that great so I moved it along. I knew this day was coming!
 

no doz

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the precision bass is leo's greatest invention IMO. essentially a perfect instrument from both a functional and aesthetic design perspective

if neck size is your main area of apprehension, look into "a-width" precision neck specs (my personal favorite). you can also consider popping a jazz bass neck onto a precision body. tons of players who like to do that with great results
 

scook

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Well, I've played bass for as long as I've played guitar, about 40 years. I think I'm past dabbling. The purchase of the fretless as my main full-scale bass a few years back was always a bit suspect. I had an OLP ($200 version of a Music Man bass) but it was not that great so I moved it along. I knew this day was coming!

Sorry, I was making a general comment about stepping from guitar to bass and is the path I took myself.

Your original post is dead on, the P is all over countless R&R records.
 

Skyhook

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Long story short, is there any reason I should look for anything beyond a P-bass?

Sound-wise? Nope.

The question you need to ask is if 4 strings are enough for what you do.
For me that's a no as I frequently need low D's and low C's so a 5-string is minimum for my use case.

Nothing but love for the P-bass though.

MV5BMTQxOTE2NTkxM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNTQwMjA1._V1_.jpg
 

SmokinJoe992

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When I first started playing bass I completely disregarded P basses. I assumed I would not like the bigger neck, simplistic controls and thought they sounded bland every time I tried them.
After playing for about 3 years I was practicing with a rock n roll band and the drummer had an older beat up MIM Pbass on a stand in the corner of his rehearsal room. For the hell of it, I asked him if he cared if I played it during rehearsal. He said it was cool, so I used it for the entire rehearsal. I was almost immediately shocked at how great it sounded playing with the band. Way better than the bass I had been playing. The chunkier neck was way more comfortable than I thought it would be as well. This is also when I realized that what sounds good playing in your basement alone is not the same as what sounds good in a band mix. That same Precision bass tone I did not think much of when played by itself, was absolutely perfect when played with a rock band. I have played Precision basses almost exclusively since then. Any type of music that a Pbass would not work for, is also a type of music I would not be interested in playing.
 

WingedWords

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My first decent bass was a P Bass. 96 US Standard. Since then I've dabbled with various Warwicks, 4 and 5 strings, fretted and fretless, a headless 5 string Steinberger copy by Hohner and a nice enough Jazz Bass. Over the past couple of years all I've played is my P Bass. Plug straight in and play and it always sounds right.

Here's a little bit of history



And a (mostly) picture thread

https://www.basschat.co.uk/topic/116578-precisions/

But you must make your own mind up!
 

Jowes_84

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If that P with Jazz neck is similar to mine… go for it. I love it.
Mine:
https://www.tdpri.com/threads/nbd.1078508/
i am still not sure about active or passive, but I have and play both, and I still can’t decide. It depends on how you are set up with amps, but most bass amps have an input gain control to take care of matching both active and passive basses. Just use the Lo, padded input on older amps with the active bass if you plan on getting one.
 

Digital Larry

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How long before we get a NBD post?!

And of course we’ll expect pictures!
You all can start betting on how long it will take.
I've decided I want to use the following approach:

a) Go to Guitar Center/Starving Musician. They are about 1/4 mile away from each other on Stevens Creek Blvd. GC has better range but SM does occasionally have a used bass worth looking at.
b) Play available basses in my price range.
c) Does one leap out and speak to me? Does it start cooing sweet nothings? Should I get a room?
d) cha-ching (reverse direction)

I'm reluctant to pick one from a catalog. I've been fairly lucky buying instruments without holding them but for something like a bass, I mean come on, that is like part of your body, and not just any part either! It's gotta be the one. Yes this limits me to the ones I can find at the local stores.

The big revelation from this episode was just an acknowledgement (belated) of THAT SOUND and how I want it NOW. Even at the risk of having an instrument dedicated to it (though I do realize you can turn down the tone control).
 

KATT

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I borrowed a Japanese Fender Precision for a year or so for a band I was in. It was my first P Bass and I loved the sound and simplicity. It seemed to fit right in with many types of music, whether played live or recorded.

I decided to treat myself to my own Fender Precision for my 30th birthday. Like you, I wanted to try out a few basses and by the one I liked rather than order one online. I started with the cheapest American Precision (I think it was called the Performer) and worked my way up through the American Standard, Deluxe and vintage reissue. The vintage ones were my favourite and I tried two or three out in different shops. They were very nice.

I then saw a small guitar dealer online had a custom shop Precision. The weight was good, and I asked him about the neck (I prefer the normal wide P Bass neck) and all looked good. It was about 300 miles away, so a long way to go to try it out. Instead, I said could I buy it, and if I didn't like it, send it back for a refund, less 5% for his time. It would have cost me about the same in fuel and saved my many hours of travelling. He agreed, I got the bass and it was perfect! Very resonant, with a powerful but not overbearing sound. It's by far my favourite bass.

So long story short, definitely buy one!
 




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