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Upgraded Mexi vs Stock American Fender


Jonrh98

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4 hours ago, Jonrh98 said:

I've just qualified as a teacher, which means I'm getting a full time wage for the first time in September - living at home (even after parents' wage!) leaves me with a fair amount of spare cash, and for the first (and probably last!) time I can afford to buy myself a high-quality, workhorse bass, rather than flit between budget and mid range models, selling as I buy each time. 

 

I will be getting a passive p bass (black, maple fretboard, with a replacement black pickguard), but I'm stuck between two options:

 

- All stock American Pro II, nice rolled fretboard edges, V-Mod pup, high mass bridge as stock. Lovely tuners and feel too, but would set me back about 1600 quid all told.

 

OR

 

- Mexi player, sent straight to my tech to have a hi-mass installed, plus a set of SD quarter pounders or a Delano split pickup. I may also replace the tuners at a later date, but this would set me back around 900ish with the work and new parts included.

 

Opinions: what would you go for? I can afford either really, but the American is over a month's wages when you include a fresh set of flats and the pickguard, and I don't know if the extra 700 quid is really worth it, considering how much money it really is. I'd love to hear what people reckon. 

 

Cheers!

 

Save yourself possible years of research and get a Sandberg.

 

https://www.sandberg-guitars.de/sandberg-configurator/

Edited by Frank Blank
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Some people here on BC also like the new "Modern Vintage" basses:

 

Bass Direct is the UK distributor for MV. If possible, I would go there for a daytrip and check out the MV and compare it to the other P and PJ basses they have in stock (e.g., Sandberg, Maruszczyk etc.).

They also always have several nice second hand basses in stock too. For example, they currently have a nice MIJ Fender P in CAR finish. Very tempting indeed:

Fender Precision Made in Japan Candy Apple Red : For sale, UK, EU, USA Germany, UK, On offer Second Hand Bass Guitar Stock :: , Warwick, Leo Fender, London, Manchester, Birmingham, (bassdirect.co.uk)

They also have a used MIJ in black (but with rosewood fingerboard):

Fender Precision Made in Japan 1989 Gloss Black , four string bass: For sale, UK, EU, USA Germany, UK, On offer Second Hand Bass Guitar Stock :: , Warwick, Leo Fender, London, Manchester, Birmingham, USA (bassdirect.co.uk)

 

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2 minutes ago, Eldon Tyrell said:

Bass Direct is the UK distributor for MV. If possible, I would go there for a daytrip and check out the MV and compare it to the other P and PJ basses they have in stock (e.g., Sandberg, Maruszczyk etc.).

 

This is really the best advice as you're (Jonrh98) spending so much money.

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1 hour ago, Pirellithecat said:

Not sure about direct ordering - but if you give Mark a call at Classicandcool guitars I'm sure he'll know.  Sandberg will basically "bespoke" a guitar for you - and have a rather tempting "Configurator" on their website!    Terrible if you're trying to resist GAS!   

Ahh nice, good to know! I'm going to have fun on Sandberg's website tonight for sure!

 

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1 hour ago, [email protected] said:

If you spend loads of extra on a Mexican Fender, it’ll be great for you but you’ll likely lose a bunch of your initial outlay if you choose to sell it later on. 
Lots of recommendations for other basses, but in my recent experience, if you get a good one, then there isn’t much else that out Fender Precisions a Fender Precision. 
But, as shown in these types of thread, it’s pretty subjective. 

True - resale value doesn't massively bother me, but it could always be needed in unforeseen circumstances. 

Definitely tempted by the Am Performer - if I can get something I like stock, then I'm very happy and that'd be my top option.

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6 minutes ago, Eldon Tyrell said:

Some people here on BC also like the new "Modern Vintage" basses:

 

Bass Direct is the UK distributor for MV. If possible, I would go there for a daytrip and check out the MV and compare it to the other P and PJ basses they have in stock (e.g., Sandberg, Maruszczyk etc.).

They also always have several nice second hand basses in stock too. For example, they currently have a nice MIJ Fender P in CAR finish. Very tempting indeed:

Fender Precision Made in Japan Candy Apple Red : For sale, UK, EU, USA Germany, UK, On offer Second Hand Bass Guitar Stock :: , Warwick, Leo Fender, London, Manchester, Birmingham, (bassdirect.co.uk)

They also have a used MIJ in black (but with rosewood fingerboard):

Fender Precision Made in Japan 1989 Gloss Black , four string bass: For sale, UK, EU, USA Germany, UK, On offer Second Hand Bass Guitar Stock :: , Warwick, Leo Fender, London, Manchester, Birmingham, USA (bassdirect.co.uk)

 

Ah yeah, I'd seen Scott Devine mention an MV at some point, they look great!

 

I might head down to BD for a day like you say, although if I'm going then I'm buying - it's about a 2 hour drive!

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4 minutes ago, Jonrh98 said:

 

I might head down to BD for a day like you say, although if I'm going then I'm buying - it's about a 2 hour drive!

From my own experience, I can tell you that you will exit the shop with at least one more bass and much less money in your bank account. You've been warned 😉 

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21 minutes ago, Eldon Tyrell said:

From my own experience, I can tell you that you will exit the shop with at least one more bass and much less money in your bank account. You've been warned 😉 

that sounds like a decent day out to me!

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2 hours ago, Jonrh98 said:

Thanks for the tips, much appreciated! I've seen a few of the S-1 basses around, but only ever heard negative things about the S1 circuits, so that throws me off a bit.

I have a 2008 AM P-bass with an S1 circuit. Whilst the S1 switch is rather pointless as it just makes it sound thinner, not what you want from a P-bass, the answer is simply ignore it and leave it disabled. It will still be the same as a standard passive circuit. If it really bothered you, you could swap it out for one of @KiOgon’s passive wiring looms for not a lot of money. 

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3 hours ago, Velarian said:

I have a 2008 AM P-bass with an S1 circuit. Whilst the S1 switch is rather pointless as it just makes it sound thinner, not what you want from a P-bass, the answer is simply ignore it and leave it disabled. It will still be the same as a standard passive circuit. If it really bothered you, you could swap it out for one of @KiOgon’s passive wiring looms for not a lot of money. 

Yeah, fair enough! If I did go for a used American, I'd have my eye open for something more recent, but having the S1 switch and not using it wouldn't bother me - right now I have a Sire P7 with 3 band EQ plus mid sweep and I just run it in passive!

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1 minute ago, Geek99 said:

Yes get a post 2012 one used and save the money for amp GAS

I'm not much of an amp-crazy guy! My Ashdown Studio 15 delivers plenty of oomph for monitoring and rehearsal purposes, and it's DIs/FOH all the way for me!

 

However, the savings would certainly feed other forms of GAS - probably keyboard/guitar, or maybe even strings! (600=10 sets of TI jazz flats=basically a lifetime supply, right??)

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If it were me, I’d be buying Japanese fender  non export models, or post 2012 us standard 

buying new is for mugs 

 

and I agree, I use a zoom b2.1 for everything alongside a little ampeg ba108

Edited by Geek99
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I'm not sure if you're wanting a "workhorse" meaning something to take the scars and scrapes of many, many future gigs, or an emotional purchase to treat yourself to something special that will be forever cherished. If looking at it like that then the choice between your US and Mexi fender becomes a lot easier. 

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11 hours ago, Geek99 said:

If it were me, I’d be buying Japanese fender  non export models, or post 2012 us standard 

buying new is for mugs 

 

and I agree, I use a zoom b2.1 for everything alongside a little ampeg ba108

The music shop near me does have a non-export aerodyne for about 990 quid - might try that out.

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3 hours ago, uk_lefty said:

I'm not sure if you're wanting a "workhorse" meaning something to take the scars and scrapes of many, many future gigs, or an emotional purchase to treat yourself to something special that will be forever cherished. If looking at it like that then the choice between your US and Mexi fender becomes a lot easier. 

Probably something between the two if I'm honest - I look after my basses, but I'm not precious about dents and dings, and it will be used on all my recordings and gigs for sure.

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How about G&L? If you went with their tribute range then the LB100 already has the hi mass bridge, or the SB2 for the hi mass bridge & US pups, but in a PJ configuration.

 

Or go full fat US LB100 or SB1. They're generally cheaper than their Fender counterparts and the quality is right up there.

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If I were in the OP's position, my choice would be a used, recent, US-built Fender. I cannot speak for the basses but I recently bought an American Pro II Stratocaster. It is extremely well made.

 

It isn't simply a matter of outlay versus resale value, although on that basis I think a heavily modified MiM instrument is at a disadvantage. It is also the relative likelihood of getting an instrument that is fundamentally sound to begin with. I have played some superb Mexican Strats and some mediocre ones (never worse than mediocre, however). Every US-built Strat I have played recently was first rate. If quality control on the basses is similar, I would absolutely go for an American Pro II.

 

If either would be a financial sacrifice, I would also recommend getting an instrument you love enough to justify that sacrifice. Then it becomes a kind of spiritual or emotional investment. I agree with others who have suggested taking the time to try alternatives. Always a nice project.

 

Have fun choosing. I'm too jaded to enjoy it as much as I did when I was young and broke, but I suspect this is one of those moments when life expects you to treat yourself well.

 

To the OP: congratulations on qualifying.

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15 minutes ago, Pseudonym said:

If I were in the OP's position, my choice would be a used, recent, US-built Fender. I cannot speak for the basses but I recently bought an American Pro II Stratocaster. It is extremely well made.

 

It isn't simply a matter of outlay versus resale value, although on that basis I think a heavily modified MiM instrument is at a disadvantage. It is also the relative likelihood of getting an instrument that is fundamentally sound to begin with. I have played some superb Mexican Strats and some mediocre ones (never worse than mediocre, however). Every US-built Strat I have played recently was first rate. If quality control on the basses is similar, I would absolutely go for an American Pro II.

 

If either would be a financial sacrifice, I would also recommend getting an instrument you love enough to justify that sacrifice. Then it becomes a kind of spiritual or emotional investment. I agree with others who have suggested taking the time to try alternatives. Always a nice project.

 

Have fun choosing. I'm too jaded to enjoy it as much as I did when I was young and broke, but I suspect this is one of those moments when life expects you to treat yourself well.

 

To the OP: congratulations on qualifying.

I'm fortunate enough to have a Pro II P Bass and a Strat. I can't recommend them highly enough. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

50 Shades of Bass hey - well there are advantages and disadvantages to both

 

American - all up together, QC great, great sound and playability you wouldn't need to mod (but could sometime - would  affect re-sale price when you sold it ….one day)

 

MIM - sure mod this to f&*^ - pick-ups, wiring loom, hardware - etc,etc - but its still a MIM bass at the end of the day...….the good thing about doing this is you can experiment with different parts and find out what you like/don't like....but it becomes expensive

 

- I started doing the same thing in 1995 when I started teaching, on a Korean Squire jazz - re- sprayed, etc, etc, - the only things that are the original are the body neck - probably spent over £600 - plays like a dream - and the only reason I did this is because I adore the neck - but its still a squire

 

TIP - if you do mod it ….Keep the original parts so you have the option to pop them back on if/when you sell it

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I’d concur with the above with the caveat that you really should play it first. I tried an a American Pro (1) P at BD a couple of years ago. Looked stunning. Sound was distinctly average, very dead sounding - not the amp or strings, it was just a dud. And it’s not the only one.

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