The Last Bass Outpost

Gear Discussion Forums => Fender Basses => Topic started by: dadagoboi on December 19, 2016, 03:58:06 PM

Title: Incoming Performer
Post by: dadagoboi on December 19, 2016, 03:58:06 PM
I've never seen one in person but I became intrigued in the 90s after reading about them in a German history of Fender basses.  A guy on TB just bought a basket case and linked to this one.   BIN seemed right, so...

(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae241/cata1d0/Performer/577a7236-8024-4ce0-b745-a616dbe4e3b9_zpsxr0d0yto.jpg) (http://s976.photobucket.com/user/cata1d0/media/Performer/577a7236-8024-4ce0-b745-a616dbe4e3b9_zpsxr0d0yto.jpg.html)

Possibly the last time Fender attempted anything different, even if the headstock was just a trimmed  standard one.

(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae241/cata1d0/Performer/f5c49145-ab48-44f2-89e5-f620c94dfee8_zpsuuda86kj.jpg) (http://s976.photobucket.com/user/cata1d0/media/Performer/f5c49145-ab48-44f2-89e5-f620c94dfee8_zpsuuda86kj.jpg.html)

Got some pretty severe chunks out of the body as well as crack in the stock at the E string.  Might be just what I was looking for to paint Sunset Orange Metallic.

Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: OldManC on December 19, 2016, 04:04:43 PM
I'm interested to know if that neck is as thin as it looks. Cool score!
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: dadagoboi on December 19, 2016, 04:12:50 PM
I'm interested to know if that neck is as thin as it looks. Cool score!

Yeah, it looks pretty narrow!
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Highlander on December 19, 2016, 05:11:19 PM
Nice use for the spare paint... :mrgreen:

 :popcorn:
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Dave W on December 19, 2016, 05:52:02 PM
IIRC the Performer was a John Page design. It may have been designed to be built in the US but that was when Fender was reorganizing. The neck is as narrow as it looks, string spacing is very narrow, under 2" at the bridge. I think the width at the nut was 1.5" and it had the 7.25" neck radius.
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: dadagoboi on December 19, 2016, 06:16:31 PM
IIRC the Performer was a John Page design. It may have been designed to be built in the US but that was when Fender was reorganizing. The neck is as narrow as it looks, string spacing is very narrow, under 2" at the bridge. I think the width at the nut was 1.5" and it had the 7.25" neck radius.

Yes, it was a John Page design.  I think the rest of your info is also correct.
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: BeeTL on December 19, 2016, 09:20:53 PM
Nice...cool project!
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Pilgrim on December 20, 2016, 07:51:39 AM
I've always thought those were different enough to be fun. Cool color, too.
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: dadagoboi on December 20, 2016, 08:05:13 AM
I've always thought those were different enough to be fun. Cool color, too.

got some nasty chunks chipped out of it...

(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae241/cata1d0/Performer/Performer%208_zpsex57gxbg.jpg) (http://s976.photobucket.com/user/cata1d0/media/Performer/Performer%208_zpsex57gxbg.jpg.html)

(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae241/cata1d0/Performer/Performer%2010_zpsqlontmq0.jpg) (http://s976.photobucket.com/user/cata1d0/media/Performer/Performer%2010_zpsqlontmq0.jpg.html)

...so it may be ripe for a refin.

Supposed to ship today, full assessment on arrival!
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Highlander on December 20, 2016, 03:35:11 PM
Nothing beyond your capabilities...! ;)
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: dadagoboi on December 20, 2016, 04:05:22 PM
Nothing beyond your capabilities...! ;)

Been wanting to paint something else Sunset Orange Metallic, this may be it!
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Pilgrim on December 20, 2016, 04:31:38 PM
Been wanting to paint something else Sunset Orange Metallic, this may be it!

An excellent choice!
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Rob on December 20, 2016, 05:47:31 PM
Nothing beyond your capabilities...! ;)

Yeah that's true I've been watching this horse run faster with every bass.
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Dave W on December 20, 2016, 10:38:18 PM
I passed on the Performer b/c of the extra-narrow string spacing and the long scale. Couldn't get comfortable with the combination. Hope it works for you. No doubt you can fix this one up and make it look like new.
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Psycho Bass Guy on December 21, 2016, 01:16:24 AM
A fretless Performer played through an old Snarling Dogs Bawl Buster through an Aguilar DB359 head into an Eden 210XST cabinet made my ex-wife physically nauseous. ...so it's got that going for it.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: dadagoboi on December 21, 2016, 05:28:15 AM
I passed on the Performer b/c of the extra-narrow string spacing and the long scale. Couldn't get comfortable with the combination. Hope it works for you. No doubt you can fix this one up and make it look like new.

Yeah the string spacing is a head scratcher.  I haven't had a problem with my H-22s but they're SS.  My SD Curlee has a narrow neck that barely contain the strings.  Arrives tomorrow, all will be revealed.


A fretless Performer played through an old Snarling Dogs Bawl Buster through an Aguilar DB359 head into an Eden 210XST cabinet made my ex-wife physically nauseous. ...so it's got that going for it.  :thumbsup:
;D ;D
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: gearHed289 on December 21, 2016, 10:01:28 AM
Looks like something out of Japan circa 1965, right down to the skinny neck. And I noticed they even made the Fender logo pointy! I like it.
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Dave W on December 21, 2016, 12:28:34 PM
I found this FDP thread from 2005 where John Page discusses the Performer. It's about halfway down the page.

http://www.fenderforum.com/forum.html?db=&topic_number=473518&offset=2
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: dadagoboi on December 21, 2016, 02:34:52 PM
I found this FDP thread from 2005 where John Page discusses the Performer. It's about halfway down the page.

http://www.fenderforum.com/forum.html?db=&topic_number=473518&offset=2

Thanks, Dave!  Very interesting about the shape starting as the back of a Strat.
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Happy Face on December 22, 2016, 10:58:48 AM
I bought one based on the description of the neck size here a while back. I am really comfortable with the feel of the neck, but my other basses are Guilds and Ricks which all sport pretty thin necks.

One point is that I found the sound to be too "zingy" when i put rounds on it so I replaced them with flats.
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Highlander on December 22, 2016, 03:39:41 PM
 :mrgreen:
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Alanko on December 22, 2016, 04:17:32 PM
How do these things sound?
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: dadagoboi on December 22, 2016, 04:27:07 PM
How do these things sound?
Good.
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Alanko on December 22, 2016, 04:32:35 PM
Excellent. There was I thinking they might sound 'bad'.  :P
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: dadagoboi on December 22, 2016, 04:53:37 PM
Excellent. There was I thinking they might sound 'bad'.  :P


Well, they could. 

It just arrived today so I'm still figuring it out.  Meaty sound from the neck pickup but the bridge is weak.  I couldn't balance the two for output by height adjustment.  Strings are new EXLs and they re very high off the neck.  After a set it up I'll have more to say. 

So basically neck, good.  Bridge, bad, too far south for my liking.
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Alanko on December 22, 2016, 05:17:40 PM
It looks like '70s Jazz bass spacing, or that the pickups are located further apart? Definitely an odd fish, but also very '80s like a Countach or similar.
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: dadagoboi on December 22, 2016, 05:52:08 PM
The Performer pup is 1/2" closer to the bridge than a '70s Jazz. (I measured both from the twelfth fret to the centerline of each bridge pup).

(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae241/cata1d0/JAEZZbird/P1040398_zpse3812e1a.jpg) (http://s976.photobucket.com/user/cata1d0/media/JAEZZbird/P1040398_zpse3812e1a.jpg.html)

(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae241/cata1d0/Performer/577a7236-8024-4ce0-b745-a616dbe4e3b9_zpsxr0d0yto.jpg) (http://s976.photobucket.com/user/cata1d0/media/Performer/577a7236-8024-4ce0-b745-a616dbe4e3b9_zpsxr0d0yto.jpg.html)

That much makes a big difference in my tests with 'The Mule'.

(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae241/cata1d0/02/TalkingMule_zpseae879bc.jpg) (http://s976.photobucket.com/user/cata1d0/media/02/TalkingMule_zpseae879bc.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: chromium on December 22, 2016, 06:37:14 PM
Route that sucker and cut a new guard- fixed!  8)

I recall playing a few of those when they were new. Body shape drew me in... always thought they had a cool look, and I seemed to enjoy playing on them at the time. Blast from the past.

Look forward to seeing the refin if you go that route. Nice catch!
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Dave W on December 22, 2016, 09:27:34 PM
Don't you know a guy who can repair that pickup?  ;)

What's the neck width at the pocket? Isn't it narrower than a Strat?
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: dadagoboi on December 23, 2016, 05:23:41 PM
Arrived Yesterday afternoon, the unwrapping:

(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae241/cata1d0/Performer/P1100600_zpshx3nc0jw.jpg) (http://s976.photobucket.com/user/cata1d0/media/Performer/P1100600_zpshx3nc0jw.jpg.html)

Neck is 2-1/8" at the 24th fret, string spacing centerline to centerline E-G is 1-15/16",  The neck is narrow but not thin.  Plays fast and easy.  Trussrod does its job well.  Cleaned and set it up this AM.  Color is a very fine metallic 'champagne'. Body edge radii are smaller than trad Fender and really crisp.

(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae241/cata1d0/Performer/P1100619_zpsyl30xm4k.jpg) (http://s976.photobucket.com/user/cata1d0/media/Performer/P1100619_zpsyl30xm4k.jpg.html)

(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae241/cata1d0/Performer/P1100618_zpsgygwem3z.jpg) (http://s976.photobucket.com/user/cata1d0/media/Performer/P1100618_zpsgygwem3z.jpg.html)

Got the action very low and managed to balance the pickups.  I added some helper foam to the original black sponge.  The strings are stainless EXLs.  Sound is OK but volume pots are almost on/off, very weird taper.  Gotta change the strings after I fiddle around a bit.  Plays great, though.

Steve won't be modding these pickups!  I might take Joe's advice and relocate the bridge pup but I think I'm just going to play it like it is for a while.  The dings and scrapes don't bother me either.

(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae241/cata1d0/Performer/P1100602_zps5zxx6siu.jpg) (http://s976.photobucket.com/user/cata1d0/media/Performer/P1100602_zps5zxx6siu.jpg.html)


Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Happy Face on December 23, 2016, 07:53:29 PM
Tres kewl! I've never bothered to open mine up. I'll be real curious as to what you do with it. 
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Dave W on December 23, 2016, 09:15:51 PM
That looks like it's in better condition than you thought.

It only has one volume pot. It's volume, tone and TBX, according to the archived manual on Fender's website. So I looked at Cadfael's schematic. Not sure how the TBX works, but it's a double pot with two levels, with 250K audio and 1 meg linear. It works differently each side of the center detent.
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: dadagoboi on December 24, 2016, 05:51:03 AM
Tres kewl! I've never bothered to open mine up. I'll be real curious as to what you do with it. 

I don't think I've ever owned a bass I haven't opened up.  Had no idea what I was looking at a lot of the time!

That looks like it's in better condition than you thought.

It only has one volume pot. It's volume, tone and TBX, according to the archived manual on Fender's website. So I looked at Cadfael's schematic. Not sure how the TBX works, but it's a double pot with two levels, with 250K audio and 1 meg linear. It works differently each side of the center detent.

I knew there was a TBX in it but didn't look closely at the wiring.  It's been rewired V / V / TBX with a missing cap and an additional resistor and the V pots say MIM on them with no value.  The switch comes after the the V pots instead of before.  I had to find the current Cadfael's for the wiring diagram, wasn't in my old one. Thanks for making me aware of its existence, Dave!  The TBX works like a standard treble cut 1-5, after the center detent it's a treble boost.

There are a lot of body dents in addition to the chips and bruises and would be a lot worse if it wasn't a poly fin.  I think I'm just going to get the controls back to stock and leave it at that.  It looks and plays fine and I have too many projects stacked up.
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Alanko on December 27, 2016, 02:39:24 PM
I dug out Klaus Blasquiz's book on Fender basses when I was back home over the last few days. The book has a picture of a 5-string Performer prototype, which is quite interesting has it has a third pickup, butting right up against the bridge. The headstock on it looked quite clumsy. The bass was pictured on a page of other Fender odds and sods, including a headless design that had a body similar to the Martin-18 with two pickups that look like Dimarzio Model Gs, and another model that had a headstock like a garden hoe.

The weirdest part for me is that Klaus Blasquiz sang with the French band Magma, who were like Carl Orff and Earth Wind and Fire, combined with abstract occult and Nazi-mysticism imagery, and who sang in a fictional language called Kobaian. Not the first guy I would consider up for documenting Fender bass designs.

Klaus is the long haired guy at the front:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swGcYYuMOQ8
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Rob on December 27, 2016, 05:36:01 PM
Well that was interesting.
It lacked the grace of Frank Zappa but reminded me of "We're Only in it for the money"
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Alanko on December 28, 2016, 11:26:34 AM
Yeah! Early Magma have a more Hot Rats sound to them. Their sound evolved until they ended up here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2l7PPpQn4bc

I saw Magma earlier this year. It is basically a revolving cast of musicians with the drummer (of mad starey eyes) being the only constant member.
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: clankenstein on December 28, 2016, 02:52:02 PM
Wow i had sort of forgotten about them .Mssr Vander certainly has some chops!
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Pekka on August 06, 2017, 12:42:21 PM

I saw Magma earlier this year. It is basically a revolving cast of musicians with the drummer (of mad starey eyes) being the only constant member.

I saw them in 2004 and going to see them again in October. A truly original band who created a whole new genre (Zeuhl). Bassist Philippe Bussonet has been with the band for almost 20 years and uses the same cello tuning (octave lower of course) that Jannik Top brought to Magma when he joined in 1973.
Their latest albums like "K.A.", "Ementeht-Re" and "Slag Tanz" are outstanding and could be even better than their seventies material.

I wasn't sure that Klaus was the same guy who wrote the Fender book so hanks for clearing that up. Are there any Magma -related pics in it?
Title: Re: Incoming Performer
Post by: Denis on August 06, 2017, 06:46:14 PM
That thing is funky! I rather like the color.