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Best modern Precision Bass...
Old 25th January 2013
  #1
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Noise Commander's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Best modern Precision Bass...

Hi!

What specific model is the "best" precision bass for studio use with flat wounds???
Older ones from the 70ies? Modern ones? Differences?
What fender precision bass would you pick?
I have a Stingray 5, and I'd like to cover the "opposite" sound range as well...
Old 25th January 2013
  #2
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Bob Ross's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noise Commander ➑️
What fender precision bass would you pick?
Well, if I had unlimited wherewithal and unlimited time, I'd go on a massive worldwide search for a mint pre-CBS Fender that hasn't been abused...but note, I'd want to discover several of them and then chose the best one of the bunch based on feel & sound

...but since that probably won't ever happen, I'd suggest a brand new Lakland 44-64. Off the shelf it'll be as good as (if not better than) any but the most pristine Fenders. And if it gets lost or stolen, you can run down to the local music shop and order another that will be for all practical purposes exactly like the previous one.
Old 25th January 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noise Commander ➑️
Hi!

What specific model is the "best" precision bass for studio use with flat wounds???
Older ones from the 70ies? Modern ones? Differences?
What fender precision bass would you pick?
I have a Stingray 5, and I'd like to cover the "opposite" sound range as well...
If you want the "best", go for vintage (but not 70's - that was a bad period for Fender) or modern Custom Shop models - but be prepared to pay a lot of money. There is nothing wrong with choosing a modern American Standard (they are well made, easy to upgrade with third party pickups, bridge, electronics) or American Vintage P-bass (a little more expensive than the standards, but more similar to the vintage specs - Fender has new basses coming out in the American Vintage series this year - if they are anything like the 2012 American Vintage guitars, they will be awesome).

Also consider a Roadworn - they are made in Mexico, but the quality is good. If you are on a budget, get a Squier Classic Vibe P-bass. It's no frills and you will want to upgrade the pickups and electronics, but it is a great value for the money. I have owned both of these and had no complaints, other than the need for new pickups on the Squier.
Old 26th January 2013
  #4
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John Eppstein's Avatar
 
58 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Not '70s. Regardless of what dealers may try to tell you, '70s era Fenders are not "vintage", they're just old. Well, unless you consider vinegar to be vintage.
Old 26th January 2013
  #5
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Actually some early 70's P's are really nice. I just played a 71 that was fantastic. Anything post 74 I would forget about.

For modern production check out Nash guitars. He's making great stuff.
Old 26th January 2013
  #6
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skinnypete's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noise Commander ➑️
Hi!

What specific model is the "best" precision bass for studio use with flat wounds???
Older ones from the 70ies? Modern ones? Differences?
What fender precision bass would you pick?
I have a Stingray 5, and I'd like to cover the "opposite" sound range as well...
Best new P-Basses: Sadowsky Ultra-Vintage P, Lakland 44-64, Fender American Vintage

Based on personal experience, I would probably go with a Fender American Vintage '57 Precision. I have played 4 of them now, and they were all stellar.

The American Standard Precision isn's bad, but there are several new Fenders that sound better, imho. Besides the American Vintage basses, there are the Classic Series '70s Precision Bass, and the Fender Select Precision, which both sound substantially better than the American Standard. The Road Worn '50s Precision also sounds around the same to me.

I just saw a really nice pre-CBS P for $12k haha

As for bashing the 70's basses, I guess guys like Tony Franklin and Marcus Miller were just "making due" all these years, playing on ****ty instruments...

Edit: I forgot the 60th anniversary p-bass, if you can find one, also very good. Also the Skyline 44-64, and for cheap I just played a LTD Vintage 204 that sounded damn good for $350 retail!!

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Old 26th January 2013
  #7
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Ephi82's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Like many guitars, each one is unique, and you should play before buying.

I played a bunch of bass guitars at GC and Sam Ash and determined that Fender American made is what I wanted. I had heard that early 2000's American made P Bass's were in particular worth checking out.

I did a Craigslist search, looking for American made models, and found a guy selling a 2002 American Standard.

The guitar was immaculate, perfectly set up and I couldn't find a dead-spot on the neck, $550 exchanged for the bass, and slapped on some flatwounds and I am in P Bass heaven!
Old 26th January 2013
  #8
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kennybro's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Forget Fender. Get a Lakland Vintage P 44-64.
Old 26th January 2013
  #9
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FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I understand the workmanship and detail is great on Sadowsky & Lakeland, but for a studio, I think brand recognition, especially something as foundational as a P-Bass kinda needs to be a Fender.

57 P-Bass or early 60's C Neck

I prefer rosewood fingerboard to maple, but that's me.
With new wood, I think the rosewood fingerboard does a better job of stabilizing the neck, where solid maple necks can twist over the long haul. Everyone has different experiences and preferences on that.

Passive Pickups work great D/I or mic'd.

If this is going to be your one and only bass, you might consider a P/J
pickup configuration.

That gets you the best of both basses.
Old 26th January 2013
  #10
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skinnypete's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT ➑️
I think brand recognition, especially something as foundational as a P-Bass kinda needs to be a Fender.
For whom? The Skyline 44-64 out-Fenders the American Standard by a long shot. If your going by sound, get the Lakland.

If you need your clients to see the logo decal, than I guess get the Fender. Kinda frustrating though, because there a scores of Fender basses out there that just sound mediocre.

Its not like an old Neve that sounds great every time.

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Old 26th January 2013
  #11
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skinnypete's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
.
Old 26th January 2013
  #12
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FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I never mentioned, these days you might need to try like 30+ Fenders to find a really good one, but they do exist.
Old 26th January 2013 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT ➑️
I understand the workmanship and detail is great on Sadowsky & Lakeland, but for a studio, I think brand recognition, especially something as foundational as a P-Bass kinda needs to be a Fender.
Don't forget resale value - much easier to quickly unload a Fender, if the need arises, than some boutique brand that only a handful of people have heard of, no less played. Fender is the standard for P-basses.
Old 26th January 2013
  #14
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jmain's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Some good suggestions. I'll chime in on the Fender Road Worn Series. I have a Jazz and have played the P and it is really sweet. I also have a Fender Classic 50's P that is really nice. (Both with GHS Flatwounds. As you probably know, strings are another discussion by itself. I like the GHS for old school tone with medium tension.)

I had a Lakland JO4 and 5 and have played the P. Those are super sweet as well. The older Fralin, Hansen, and now Lakland pickup are really nice and the playability is nice.

I also had a Squier Classic Vibe made in Indonesia. Very nice as well. Replace the pickup (or not) and you're in the same ballpark as the others.


Strings: I do like the GHS Precision Flatwounds. Nice thump, vintage tone, and medium tension. D'Addario Chromes have just a smidge less tension (maybe) and they're a little brighter. The comparison b/t the two - to me - are like a nickel vs steel string (that's just a comparison, as both are steel). TI Jazz Flats (haven't plalyed) get good reviews, but are lower tension and cost quite a bit. Fender Flatwounds would be my second pick.
Old 26th January 2013
  #15
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FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'd look for an early 90's American Fender, now 20 years old and well seasoned,
so you know if the neck is true after 20 years, it's probably going to stay that way forever.
Old 26th January 2013
  #16
Here for the gear
 
jmain's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Something with a preamp may be good for covering more ground and songs while playing live. If going for the classic P tone, I'd go passive. Used definitely if you have time to look.
Old 26th January 2013
  #18
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🎧 10 years
Fortunately, unlike the Fender Coronado Bass, the Precision Bass is not a rare instrument. Odds are that even in Munich there are some music stores near you that have some Precision Basses in stock. Your best bet is to visit all the music stores in your area and try out every single Precision Bass you see regardless of where it was made or what year it was made. The best one for you is the one you find that you like the most. You will know it when you play it and hear it.
Old 26th January 2013
  #19
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FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'd stay with passive and just go flats for old school smooth and round wounds
if I need more grind.

The original pickups in my '64 Jazz are still considerably milder than most
modern Vintage RI pickups.

Going D/I you don't need a whole lot of volume boost, because even with mild vintage pickups, every detail comes through, from finger noise, tapping attack, clack from hitting hard, its all there.

All that considered, passive pickups just help you get a smoother, warmer, more natural & even tone.
Old 26th January 2013
  #20
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skinnypete's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT ➑️
I never mentioned, these days you might need to try like 30+ Fenders to find a really good one, but they do exist.
Yup. The American Vintages are pretty consistant though!

Yo FFTT, have you ever played a Skyline 44-60? I wonder if it comes closer to your '64 jazz than a new American Standard.

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Old 26th January 2013 | Show parent
  #21
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kennybro's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by indravayu ➑️
Don't forget resale value - much easier to quickly unload a Fender, if the need arises, than some boutique brand that only a handful of people have heard of, no less played. Fender is the standard for P-basses.
The only problem you'd have selling a Chicago-made Lakland, any model, is that you won't want to.

...and yeah, even a Skyline. I've got a 5 string Skyline that is a gem, though not quite up to my 4 string Chicago.
Old 26th January 2013
  #22
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Old 26th January 2013 | Show parent
  #23
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro ➑️
The only problem you'd have selling a Chicago-made Lakland, any model, is that you won't want to.

...and yeah, even a Skyline. I've got a 5 string Skyline that is a gem, though not quite up to my 4 string Chicago.
I'm sure they're awesome, but I have been playing bass for over 25 years and have never even heard of them (and I am not a hermit - I am always researching and trying out in store new gear that I might like to buy) - most musicians aren't into boutique instruments, so when it comes time to sell one, it's much more difficult. Believe me, I have been there with boutique guitars and amps - it can take much longer to unload them.
Old 26th January 2013
  #24
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skinnypete's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by indravayu ➑️
I'm sure they're awesome, but I have been playing bass for over 25 years and have never even heard of them (and I am not a hermit - I am always researching and trying out in store new gear that I might like to buy) - most musicians aren't into boutique instruments, so when it comes time to sell one, it's much more difficult. Believe me, I have been there with boutique guitars and amps - it can take much longer to unload them.
Dude, how have you not heard of Lakland? Lmao you cant be serious.

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Old 27th January 2013
  #25
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jmain's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Lakland Skyline is pretty relatively mainstream. Great instruments.
Old 27th January 2013
  #26
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FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've known about early USA Schecter, Lakeland, Sadowsky, Anderson, Suhr, Music Man for along time and most of these names are reasonably well known, but on re-sale value loss can be downright painful on some of these expensive custom basses.
Old 27th January 2013
  #27
Gear Addict
 
skinnypete's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT ➑️
I've known about early USA Schecter, Lakeland, Sadowsky, Anderson, Suhr, Music Man for along time and most of these names are reasonably well known, but on re-sale value loss can be downright painful on some of these expensive custom basses.
Yo FFTT, have you ever played a Skyline 44-60? I wonder if it comes closer to your '64 jazz than a new American Standard.

Also, I hear you, but I could care less about the resale of my Skyline 55-64. I doubt I will never want another 5-string P, and besides it only cost me around $950 new (slighly scratched)!

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Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #28
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT ➑️
I never mentioned, these days you might need to try like 30+ Fenders to find a really good one, but they do exist.
My understanding is that this has always been the case from the very beginning!
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #29
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FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by skinnypete ➑️
Yo FFTT, have you ever played a Skyline 44-60? I wonder if it comes closer to your '64 jazz than a new American Standard.

Also, I hear you, but I could care less about the resale of my Skyline 55-64. I doubt I will never want another 5-string P, and besides it only cost me around $950 new (slighly scratched)!

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I have no need to try other basses, I'm covered with my '64 Jazz Bass, '66 Hofner, and my Tom Anderson built, '79 Schecter USA Custom Shop PJ.
Old 27th January 2013
  #30
Gear Addict
 
skinnypete's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT ➑️
I have no need to try other basses, I'm covered with my '64 Jazz Bass, '66 Hofner, and my Tom Anderson built, '79 Schecter USA Custom Shop PJ.
OK, I hear ya. Well since this thread is called "best modern p-bass" i thought it would be interesting to hear how well the Skylines nail the vintage sound. Trust me, I am not generally in to "botique" instruments. The Skyline Ps and Js are really practical workhorses.

Soundwise, I would rate them American Vintage > Skyline 44-65 > American Standard

I wonder if anyone else has heard those basses, and could actually compare them respectively to a pre-CBS P.

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