Author Topic: Played some Fenders yesterday  (Read 2839 times)

Dave W

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Played some Fenders yesterday
« on: December 06, 2015, 08:53:54 PM »
I was near a local store and stopped in to say hello to an old friend who works there. Saw a new American Deluxe Precision on the wall, beautiful white blonde finish, maple board. Took it down, plugged it in, and I was underwhelmed. It has an active/passive switch, and the pickups were just anemic in passive mode. Really surprising, less output than a typical passive P or J. And the (noiseless) J pickup soloed did not sound good.

"While you're here, you ought to try this (American Deluxe) Dimension." Umm, not for me. Odd feeling asymmetrical neck, and I found out I don't like compound radius boards either. The tone was so-so. If it's meant to be a competitor to Musicman or G&L, IMHO it doesn't make the grade.

Then I plugged in a rosewood board Standard (MIM) Precision. Perfect! I should have known! Don't mess with a classic. No tone-killing graphite rods, no fancy S-1 series/parallel switches, just plug-and-play tone for days. The fit and finish on the Standard was excellent, every bit as good as the two American-made ones.

I also briefly played an Indonesian-made Ibanez Talman bass that was sitting out. Sounded nice but the neck was really beefy, bigger than I like. Workmanship was sloppy in places, though. Still, a lot of bass for $300.

gearHed289

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Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2015, 09:07:03 AM »
Can't say I'm surprised by any of that. Glad you got to find out first hand.

Dave W

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Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2015, 01:16:36 PM »
I had an MIM Precision for a while about 15 years ago. The pickup wasn't nearly as nice sounding as the one they're using now, the workmanship wasn't great and the neck never stopped moving. But at least it sounded better than the 81/82 American P I bought from a Pitter in the early 00s and resold a few moths later. No idea what they were doing in those late CBS days but it just had zero low end, and not much in the way of highs either. Tried a Fender '62 Vintage pup in it and then a Bart 8S, neither improved it. I warned the buyer but he bought it anyway. He resold it a few months later.

After buying my Classic Player Rascal Bass last year, I knew the quality of Mexican Fenders had improved drastically. I hadn't played a plain old standard P in recent years, though. These can hold their own against a vintage P.

The American Ps and Js I've played since they introduced carbon fiber rods in the neck all sounded lifeless. They may be more stable than an unreinforced neck, but given the choice, I'd take my chances with the traditional neck.

Pilgrim

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Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2015, 03:32:27 PM »
I had a 2000 MIM Jazz for a few years (the Midnight Blue one...) and it was every bit as good a player as any other bass I've had. No neck or other issues, nice finish, and easy to play.  I only sold it because I had other basses which were lighter (it was a tad heavy) and which did everything it did.
Good sloppy playing is an art in itself. (Uwe)

patman

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Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2015, 04:31:31 PM »
I have a 2000 Precision MIM that sounds wonderful...it has a bunch of washers in the neck though, and the neck still never stops moving...

Flexibility of the neck might be why it's so resonant, though.

Dave W

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Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2015, 11:24:30 PM »
I had a 2000 MIM Jazz for a few years (the Midnight Blue one...) and it was every bit as good a player as any other bass I've had. No neck or other issues, nice finish, and easy to play.  I only sold it because I had other basses which were lighter (it was a tad heavy) and which did everything it did.

And here I thought you sold it b/c everyone else thought it was purple!  ;D

Chris P.

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Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2015, 02:27:15 AM »
I had a couple of MIM Fenders of the Classic Series. I loved them. I also had a standard MIM P and I didn't liked that one that much. A friend recently bought one and I will try his one out to check!

IMHO the more expensive Squiers are better than the standard MIMs, the more expensive MIMs are better than the standard US-models.

ilan

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Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2015, 05:52:21 AM »
Don't mess with a classic
Amen to that.

I love the MIM Road Worn basses - aged P's and J's. I prefer them to many MIA's that are twice or triple the price. As a matter of fact, a certain MIM Road Worn J in faded Fiesta Red that I played in a local store about five years ago was - and I mean it - the best Fender Jazz I have ever played, and that includes some real pre-CBS J's that I played. It was just perfect in every way. I didn't buy it then because I was stupid.
A bad day of playing bass is still better than a good day of playing cello.

Pilgrim

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Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2015, 11:37:44 AM »
And here I thought you sold it b/c everyone else thought it was purple!  ;D

Dangit, haven't I lived that down yet????

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Good sloppy playing is an art in itself. (Uwe)

Dave W

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Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2015, 06:30:33 PM »

IMHO the more expensive Squiers are better than the standard MIMs, the more expensive MIMs are better than the standard US-models.

In what way? The standard MIMs have alder bodies from the same stock as US bodies and good quality components like CTS pots and Oak Grigsby switches. Even the more expensive Squiers don't have that. I've never liked any basswood body guitar or bass I've heard, and I'd never consider any instrument made from a soft softwood like the type of agathis used for guitars.

From what I've seen at the Tele forum over the years, the folks who sing the praises of the upper line Squiers wind up modding just about every thing on them. You rarely hear of a MIM Standard with everything upgraded, and plenty of them are left stock.

luve2fli

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Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2015, 07:34:59 AM »
Quote
IMHO the more expensive Squiers are better than the standard MIMs, the more expensive MIMs are better than the standard US-models.

Not sure I agree with that either although I will say that the Squier Vibe series are truly excellent instruments. The few that I've owned required very little in the way of setup or adjustment, stayed in tune, were stable and sounded as good as their Mex/American counterparts. Cheap components for sure but really well executed. I wouldn't touch a Squier Affinity series and I'm not completely sold on the Vintage Modified ones .... but there are some good ones out there. The MIM basses on the other hand have been a bit of a crap-shoot for me. Better overall build quality but I've had some real dogs. Right now, I have a 2010 MIM P which is a killer. Does it sound/feel better than it's Squier Vibe counterpart? Hmmmmmm.
"I think it's only proper that I play until the last note of a set, then fall over and die. The band won't have to play an encore and they'll still get paid for the gig" (Dr. John)

copacetic

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Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2015, 12:34:57 PM »
I would say here that as in all eras and makes, there are duds and and varying degrees of good to great instruments. I think Fender USA are producing consistently better ratio if good instruments. Same w/ the MIM. In the past years I have had the pleasure of buying instruments for orchestras, youth clubs, myself etc. so have had to consider price ranges, makers and that along with my own experience have come to that conclusion. About the 'tine robbing graphite rods'... Well I was skeptical as well. It gets down to the instrument itself and all its components put together.

Chris P.

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Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2015, 02:32:41 AM »
Some year ago I played the (sold) MIM '50s P a lot. Loved that bass. Well made, great sounding. I bought a standard MIM P later to have a back up. LPB with rosewood board. And I was quite underwhelmed. A flimsy gig bag (no gig bag provided with a standard MIM nowadays), flimsy tuners, dull sounding, small pots. Nothing special and not even close to the '50s P. I had three '50s Ps (stolen, sold, ..) and all were good. The standard wasn't. But, but but: I just played one of them. A friend just bought a brand new one, LPB too and I will check his bass out and come back to you.

I bought the Chinese Fender with double chrome humbuckers later and I liked that one much better than the standard MIM.

patman

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Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2015, 02:40:34 PM »
I was very tempted by that double pickup tele bass when it came out.  Glad to hear it's a keeper.

Dave W

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Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2015, 07:12:16 PM »
Not sure it was a keeper, since Chris used the past tense. It seems he only keeps Warwicks now.  :o