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What makes a Precision Bass, a Precision Bass?


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I asked this question today on the Facebook Precision Bass Lovers group, so I thought I would ask the great BC community as well.

 

Not sure if this has been asked before, but what makes a Precision bass a Precision bass, is it just the shape?

The reason I ask is because there are so many different pickup configurations such as a single-coil, a single split-coil, a single split-coil + jazz, humbucker, soapbar, etc, most have a P neck, but some have a J neck, then there are the headstock and pickguard variations, active, passive, and so on.

 

Because of all these variations, they would surely all sound so different, but they are all called a Precision bass, so is it all down to just the body shape?

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1 minute ago, PaulThePlug said:

Body Shape 'n Split Coil... anything else is P Bass+

Absolutely - except I'd say that anything else is no longer a Precision. It might be as good as a Precision, or even (however unlikely this might be) better than a Precision, but take away the simplicity of the standard Precision and it becomes something else.

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I would say:

 

1. Split coil pickup in the right place

2. Body style

3. Thick-ish neck

 

and......

 

4. Made by Fender or Squier.

 

Anything else is either slightly less than, or with more pickups a little bit more than, or a variation of, a Precision.

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Body shape.

 

You can put all sorts of pickups, numbers of strings etc on a P bass, but it's the body that defines the instrument.

 

Put a P pickup on a Ric and it's not a P bass!!

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The split pickup in the traditional spot. Only the pickup. It can look however it likes but the only bit that matters, the single defining characteristic, is what you hear coming out of the speaker.

 

Brand doesn't matter a jot.

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4 hours ago, headofire said:

Im going with, 1 split coil hum-cancelling pickup in the right spot (not reversed), two knobs, 43.75 mm at the nut, Depth at 1st fret 20.25mm..  a wide and slim C profile with a 7.25" radius. 

 

Anything else is a sandberg. 
The rest only matters in videos. 
 


 

 

That would mean a lot of fender precisions aren't actually precisions though, including some pre CBS golden era vintage stuff.

 

They made em with 1 1/2", 1 5/8" and 1 3/4" nuts didn't they? A, B and C neck?

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3 hours ago, Bassfinger said:

A Fender factory, or a Squier factory.

Yeah I think the only difference between a "P Bass" or a "P style bass" and a "Precision Bass" is it has to be made by fender to be called the latter.

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