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Thread: REVIEW: Fender Precision Bass MIM Used 2013 in 2019

  1. #1
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    REVIEW: Fender Precision Bass MIM Used 2013 in 2019

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    Ive had a Squier Jazz for 30yrs. Its from a Korea era, E series, with Alder body and Rosewood neck (they all used to be Rosewood until the recent change-law to Pau and Indian Laurel something). Ive not had to do anything to it ever, it still plays perfect for me. worth $200?

    2018 I went through a few Bass guitars to see if the old Squier Jazz held up and it did. Reading about MIM Fenders, seems with the move over the history to more and more to robots and better CNC machines, MIM got better and better. (and their prices went up and up ). Wanting Rosewood neck lead to Used (over newer Pau ferro or Indian Laurel) Taking this logic, a 2013 seemed to fit the timeframe and parts. MIM would be an upgrade, logically.

    $449+ tax...$487 Used at GC, done. 2013 in 2019. Alder, Rosewood, traditional stock P-Bass...Sunburst.

    In the End...fired up the Reaper and played both. 2013 PBass and my old Squier Jazz. Apples to Oranges, intentionally.

    JAZZ: the Squier Jazz pickups, other than the single coil noise issue, sound great, I love it still. If I sit just right the noise is gone 98%. With a MIX track the noise is not heard, imo.

    PRECISION: The MIM P-Bass, dead silent, no position issue.Humbucker/Split single....its great, no noise. The MIM is so well done, its hard to imagine anything worth more to me. Im not a collector but Ive had US models in the house, there might be some subtle things, maybe...Im skeptical. This MIM has all the "parts" of a standard original Fender P-Bass in general.

    Im not flaming, maybe my silver logo Squier is an exception? the Precision is worth more, cost more, and possibly built better for a real bassist who plays live and would hold up better due to components. I don't play much other than in the studio closet so... it wouldn't surprise me if a Squier affinity P-bass, setup well, toss in some top line pickups would work in my HR environment. I don't see it as a Upgrade really in sound or for my needs.

    Last year I had a Affinity P-Bass and it played well .it was $80 used. Maybe some sanding on the neck edges would work, maybe $80 in pickups would bring the tone way up. Its bizarre and common , the US Elite P $2000 real hard core bass players spend more money "fixing it"; this always confused me. "fixing" a $2000 guitar? Fixing a $80 guitar makes more sense to my wallet. But by the time you spend cash on the "fixing" a $80 Squier Affinity....a MIM is the same cost, and has the Alder body and Rosewood neck etc..etc..

    I'll probably take the P-Bass back. I only need one bass, imo….and the old Jazz works fine as long as I sit in the non-noise tilt angle.

    Heres the spec sheet for the gear gang...

    Manufacturer Description 2013
    Combining traditional design with contemporary features, the Standard Precision Bass is an elegant and affordable classic designed for the bassist who appreciates great style, rich and muscular tone, and excellent value. Time-honored Fender style and performance-minded modern upgrades don’t have to break the bank, and this model delivers the best of both in a design ideal for Precision Bass players everywhere at every level.

    Tinted maple neck with “C” profile
    Rosewood with 20 medium jumbo frets
    Modern split single-coil pickup
    Shielded body cavity
    Vintage-style bridge
    ’70s-style headstock logo

    BODY FINISH: Polyester
    BODY SHAPE: Precision Bass®
    MIDDLE PICKUP: Standard Split Single-Coil Precision Bass
    CONTROLS: Master Volume, Master Tone
    CONFIGURATION: Split Single-Coil
    BRIDGE: 4-Saddle Standard Vintage-Style with Single Groove Saddles
    TUNING MACHINES: Standard Open-Gear
    PICKGUARD: 3-Ply Parchment
    CONTROL KNOBS: Knurled Flat-Top
    NECK PLATE: 4-Bolt Standard
    OTHER FEATURES: "New" Knurled Chrome P Bass®; Knobs
    NECK FINISH: Tinted Satin Urethane
    NECK SHAPE: Modern "C"
    SCALE LENGTH: 34" (864 mm)
    FINGERBOARD RADIUS: 9.5" (241 mm)
    FRET SIZE: Medium Jumbo
    NUT MATERIAL: Synthetic Bone
    NUT WIDTH: 1.625" (41.3 mm)
    TRUSS ROD: Standard
    CASE: None
    MFG: Mexico
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails fender-p-bass-2013-jpg  

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

  2. #2
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    Ive decided to buy a Used Fender American P-Bass. Why not? For comparison to the MIM and my Squier.
    It will have Rosewood and Sunburst and near identical to the MIM.

    All specs seem the same but the curiosity to compare seems interesting enough to spend some time and lose some shipping money.

    One thing is the obvious string-thru on a US. Is that something that's really a big deal? I noticed the original 1959 didn't have that neither does the MIM.

    Pickups will be something different thats always a comparison bust...oh well. Im one of those who believe the pickups are a huge part of the sound as compared to wood.

    So what really is the difference I wonder from a 1959 $18,000 Pbass, to a Custom Shop 59 $4000, or a New US at $1200-$2000, or a Used American at $1000 to $800 or a new MIM at $675 or a Used MIM at $480 or a Squier top line new at $400 or $300 or the MIJ for $700 or the Squier Affinity starting at $199 new?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails fender-pbass-png  

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

  3. #3
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    Im thinking it might be interesting to grab a Sqiuer Affinity P-BAss to round this out again. Used $100.

    US PB, MIM PB, Squier entry PB..... for a tone test if all three had the exct pickups would be interesting too.

    But for build and feel comparison just having one of each the difference in fret, neck, hardware and guts. I was tearing apart a Squier STrat and noticed all the wiring was extremely thin, but Im not a wiring expert and have never compared "guts".

    The tone is tricky because its so subjective. Pickups are such a huge tone impact imo.

    If I had a pie chart of tone, I would put the pickups as 90% or more of the tone....the paint, wood type, neck woods , bridge metals, string trhough hardtail or top load some effect on tone. Maybe string brands also.

    hmmm? then Im thinking it would be a good test to run all thru the same feed, like a JDI Radial DI .... trying to offer up a industry standard for tracking.

    so my train of thought is

    1) get the feel of the guitar , compare....

    2) plug in and see which one sounds best to my ears.... and money

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolCat View Post
    If I had a pie chart of tone, I would put the pickups as 90% or more of the tone....the paint, wood type, neck woods , bridge metals, string trhough hardtail or top load some effect on tone. Maybe string brands also.

  5. #5
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    ok, so the American PBass showed up, it was $545+$45 tax+$6 shipping.. $596. I expected a poor condition but it was really really good shape. There was still plastic on the chrome. If this was fishing I might brag abit about a good catch. Anyone that deals with GC Used stuff knows its a total unknown blackhole and is why I open the packages up in the store, to verify its the correct item in the box! (try returning a Jazz when the receipt says P-Bass!). It was a Pbass and was really great shape, plugged it in and took it home. (I swear the ad said comes with hardshell case...but no case arrived? jhhmm ripoff or my bad memory?)

    Got it home.. Tuned up and played was compared this MIA to the recent MIM I grabbed off the used bin.

    Different years, different pickups but really they are both sunburst p-bass , with white pickguard, stock, one neck is heel truss rod the other headstock, one a skunk stripe the other not.

    1)The big difference is Truss rod. US has the heel and the MIM has the Black Plastic in the headstock. Anyone whose replaced a truss rod nut enjoys the MIM better, imo. It has easy access and the MIM isn't wood so it doesn't deform and the nut can be removed without doing carpenter work of replaced a wood truss rod.

    2)The string through body = MIA and the top loader is MIM. I will go with the crowd who cant hear a difference.

    3)The neck is where I prefer the MIA. Its just like a worn and smooth neck, frets and edges all feel exactly as comfortable as my 30yr old Squier.
    Seems this is not stock on MIM, to some probably meaningless. Someone with expertise could probably smooth out and roll the edges on the MIM in a few hours, I don't know.....but Ive always liked the feel of the smooth, well done neck.

    My 2 Cents...
    Both are gorgeous the MIM here has a 3 tone Sunburst, the 95 is almost a reddish 2 tone.
    The tuners on the MIA feel smoother and better to the turn, the MIM are stock and to be honest I don't have to tune my Bass very often. For this test $120 more , the MIA has neck work already done and the string through body is interesting. (the hardshell case is not included yet? be continued)

    I was trying to stay around $400 - $500.

    Fender American '95 specs
    Body: Alder
    Finish: Polyurethane
    Neck: Graphite Reinforced Maple
    Fingerboard: Rosewood
    Frets: 20 Medium Jumbo Frets
    Scale Length: 34” (864 mm)
    Width @ Nut: 1.625” (41.3 mm)
    Machine Heads: American Standard
    Bridge: American Standard (Strings-Thru-Body)
    Pickguard: 3-Ply White

    MIA Pickups: Vintage ‘62 P Bass

    MIM Standard Precision Bass pickups,,,,

    of course I plugged them both in, I ran each bass clean and into Reaper. The two sounded very similar to me. The MIM a little brighter and tiny bit louder. Was it the pickups or the fact the MIM has newer strings?
    imo, in this test, they sounded extremely close to my old ears.

    Normally a used MIA is $800-$900 and climbing... with hardshell case.
    So the MIM is about half that price used. A person could probably sand down the neck and not need a hardshell case in HR land.
    Soundwise I didn't hear any difference. To be honest I like the MIM truss rod adjustment by far better but like the smooth MIA neck far better.

    All factors included I don't see much difference, in this specific case I got the MIA very cheap or else the MIM would be the easier
    choice, imo...with some sanding down of the neck.

    add: GC called the selling store and there was a hardshell case they will ship out, part of the $596, reduces cost of guitar a bit.

    add 4/16/2019: GC came through vis the Customer Service Center calls, several and the missing case was never found, but GC gave me $100 credit. Excellent!!
    Last edited by CoolCat; 04-17-2019 at 06:54.

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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