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Fender American Standard Precision Bass Review 2012
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Fender American Standard Precision Bass Review 2012

Have you been thinking about buying a quality instrument to add to your bass collection? I'm talking about that classic bass sound that was used to record most of the songs played on the radio for the past five decades. From Rock N Roll to Reggae, Progressive to Punk and every thing else in between, the Fender Bass is still a classic. This review is the experience I had when I bought the 2012 Fender American Standard Precision Bass.

I played bass guitar for almost 30 years and never owned the classic precision bass. Back in the early 90's I played a Precision Lyte bass made by Fender. They don't make those anymore. It was a small bodied bass with active electronics. I've owned Rickenbacker, Aria, Carvin, Gibson, super expensive custom Ed Roman basses, Peavey, Steinberger, and probably others that I have forgotten about. But I never owned a Standard Precision. I think maybe it's because I was always looking for the latest thing and subconsciously thought that concept was out of date. I'm not really sure why but for some reason I never owned one for all those years.

When the vintage craze of owning guitars that were new but had a worn look to them I started to get interested. I was the one in the music store asking the guy to get out the ladder so I could try one of the American made Fender's they have hanging so ridiculously high up on the wall.

As I mentioned, I've owned many basses and I wish I could have kept them all but being on a musicians budget I often had to trade in gear with a little more money to upgrade my bass setup. I clearly wanted my next bass to be one that I would keep. A bass I could pull out and instantly get that classic identifiable sound. So I asked myself the question: If I had to choose one bass that had the look, feel and sound that was good enough to keep the rest of my life what would it be?

The store I went to did not have a Fender bass in stock with the features I was looking for so I asked the store manager to call over to another store a state away. Which I was a little nervous about but I could return the bass within 30 days if it wasn't right. About five days later I got the call to pick it up.

It came out of the box with a new molded Fender/SKB case with TSA locks, glass reinforced nylon trigger latches, and a form fitted plush interior. The color is Candy Cola Red. The paint finish was flawless, no dips or smudges. Maple fingerboard, satin finish on the back and a urethane gloss finish on the front. The neck is a modern "C" shape and could take a little getting used to if you have smaller hands like I do. Overall the feel of the neck is good with medium action, Fender has added graphite neck support rods that really add to the bass' sturdy feel. The vintage tuning keys are accurate and smooth. Fitted with Custom Shop '60s passive pickups provide loud and clear output. I suppose you could modify the bass with different pickups but I like what Fender has done by using these. The sound is even and clear with just a little bit of overdrive when the volume is at the 9 or 10 position. And the best part of the bass for me is the bridge. It is a high mass vintage string through the body bridge that gets great sustain and keeps the strings in a firm position even when your playing aggressively.

From the tip of the headstock to the end of the bridge the weight of the bass is comfortable while playing standing up or sitting down. I love it! This bass was built to last. Mission accomplished Fender.

Pros: sturdy and balanced, good sustain, punchy pickups, beautiful finish, great for live or studio.

Cons: hard pressed to find any, the neck size took a little getting use to but after two weeks I got use to it.

At about $1200 with the case it's a timeless classic with modern appointments worth checking out.


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