Introduced back in 1951, Fender’s Precision Bass was a revolutionary instrument. With a solid double cutaway body and two pickups, it was the first bass guitar to receive widespread attention and use. The original Precision Bass was modelled after the popular Fender Telecaster guitar and the design has evolved over the years. It is, without doubt, one of the most popular basses for professional performers. Consistently well-built and great sounding, this version of the “P” bass offers active electronics and a very attractive price.
The look of this four-string bass is classic with its double cutaway body and Fender headstock. It also features a modern “C”-shaped neck that plays well with a modern 12″ radius and medium jumbo frets. The bass we tested was made in Mexico, and the finish and assembly details were perfectly done. If you like the feel of a Fender bass, you’ll feel at right at home with the familiar feel of this model.
In the electronics department is really where this bass is different. This Deluxe model has a versatile “PJ” pickup configuration with a P-style Vintage Split single-coil neck pickup and dual-coil ceramic Noiseless J-style bridge pickup. The combination offers remarkable tonal versatility. Add to that a three-band EQ with treble, mid and bass boost/cut and an active/passive switch that allows you to switch between the traditional sound of a Precision Bass and all the variation presented by active electronics. It did take some playing time to get used to the location of the boost/cut controls, but the remarkable changes in tone that you can achieve is well worth the effort.
The tried-and-true combination of semi-hard alder and hard maple construction with a rosewood or maple fingerboard has proven itself over decades. Fender’s HiMass bridge on this instrument has a contemporary look and comes with the manufacturer claims of increased attack and sustain. As the name implies, it’s weighty and with lots of mass comes this bass’s great sustain, precise intonation and tuning stability. Two nine-volt batteries, to support that active electronics, are mounted in quick access carriers on the back of the body for easy replacement.
This hybrid version of Fender’s traditional Precision Bass retains the instrument’s classic look, solid playability and classic sound. It adds modern active electronics that make the bass more capable of getting new tones. No matter what style of music you play, you can find the bass tone you need and great playability with the Fender Deluxe Active Precision Bass. It is available in Three-color Sunburst with maple fretboard, Olympic White or Surf Pearl with rosewood fretboard and ships with a deluxe gig bag.
Street Price: $799.