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What makes a Precision Bass, a Precision Bass?


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On 16/04/2022 at 14:17, thebrig said:

but what makes a Precision bass a Precision bass

For me, a single coil pickup [original or split] and body shape are the most obvious. But there are other details such as a larger nut width, that is perhaps less of a deal for some, but a consideration for me 🙂.

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8 hours ago, Greg.Bassman said:

For me, a single coil pickup [original or split] and body shape are the most obvious. But there are other details such as a larger nut width, that is perhaps less of a deal for some, but a consideration for me 🙂.

That seems to be the general consensus of opinion so far, but I have four P basses and they all have J width nuts, and some late 60's and early 70's P basses had J width nuts.

 

I'm still confused, lol. 🤔

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11 hours ago, thebrig said:

That seems to be the general consensus of opinion so far, but I have four P basses and they all have J width nuts, and some late 60's and early 70's P basses had J width nuts.

 

I'm still confused, lol. 🤔

As I mentioned before, this is perhaps less of a deal for some, but a consideration for me. I suppose the larger nut width is ‘traditionally’ speaking, as the first version and split coil update had this. It was not until the 60s when jazz necks started to show up on them, like you said 🙂👍.

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22 hours ago, Greg.Bassman said:

As I mentioned before, this is perhaps less of a deal for some, but a consideration for me. I suppose the larger nut width is ‘traditionally’ speaking, as the first version and split coil update had this. It was not until the 60s when jazz necks started to show up on them, like you said 🙂👍.

It wasn't until the 60s that Jazz necks showed up full stop. The Jazz bass only existed from 1960 on.

 

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18 minutes ago, miles'tone said:

A Precision bass makes a Precision bass a Precision bass. 

Which is a good answer. There have been so many variations on a theme it’s pretty difficult to find a definitive answer. A reissued telecaster bass is probably the closest thing to the original unless you have very deep pockets.

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Old grumpy guy answer is that a Precision bass is made by Fender or Squier, says "Precision Bass" on the headstock (NOT delux/lite/whatever) has ONE split coil pickup (P/J is a P/J). Anything else is something else, at least to a bass player. Non-bassist probably think everything is just a guitar, so they do not count.....at all. 

 

Seriously, we need to be as careful as any professional about our terms. "Hand me that P bass" does not mean "hand me that 4/5/6/7 stringed instrument with 4  pickups, active electronics, and a Hello Kitty sticker". A G&L is not a P Bass. Fancy Euro copy...still not a P Bass. P basses are like Ford Model T's..unique, old fashioned, revered. I do wish I still had one because there is nothing quite like it for what it does. 

 

Hmmm....maybe I should sell everything off and find a nice old sunburst, rosewood example????

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3 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Body shape + headstock shape

Which body shape, original "slab" body, or later "cutaway" body? 🤔

 

Which headstock shape, original "tele" shape, or later "standard' Fender shape? 🤔

 

Which pickup, original "single coil pickup, or later "split-coil" pickup? 🤔

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53 minutes ago, thebrig said:

Which body shape, original "slab" body, or later "cutaway" body? 🤔

 

Which headstock shape, original "tele" shape, or later "standard' Fender shape? 🤔

 

Which pickup, original "single coil pickup, or later "split-coil" pickup? 🤔

 

The body outline.

Either 'traditional' Fender shspe, rehardless of size.

 

Pups... too much variation to be meaningful.

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1 hour ago, Stub Mandrel said:

 

The body outline.

Either 'traditional' Fender shspe, rehardless of size.

 

Pups... too much variation to be meaningful.

I guess it's really hard to say what makes a P a P to be honest.

 

I've had many precisions over the years, most of them Fenders, but I'm now into Lakland precisions and I love them, they look like P's apart from the headstock, they play and sound great, just like a P 😉

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47 minutes ago, thebrig said:

I guess it's really hard to say what makes a P a P to be honest.

 

I've had many precisions over the years, most of them Fenders, but I'm now into Lakland precisions and I love them, they look like P's apart from the headstock, they play and sound great, just like a P 😉

But, Yet, NOT a P...:)

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11 minutes ago, dclaassen said:

But, Yet, NOT a P...:)

Yep, but, my Lakland that is the same shape as a P, and has just a split coil pickup is more like a P than a Fender PJ 😏

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3 minutes ago, thebrig said:

Yep, but, my Lakland that is the same shape as a P, and has just a split coil pickup is more like a P than a Fender PJ 😏

What name is on the headstock? And, a PJ (see above) is not a P-Bass..... :) 

Your Lakland is lovely...totally agree....and yet, not a P Bass...

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I don't call my G&L Tribute LB-100 a "Precision bass" or a "P bass".  That's because it's a G&L Tribute LB-100.  It is definitely reminiscent of a Precision bass, until you notice the 21st fret (which admittedly some Precisions have, but most don't), the bridge, the headstock, the slightly slimmed down horns, the shortened lower horn, the deeper lower cutaway, the pickguard shape, the fact it's not a Fender...

 

As far as I'm concerned a Precision bass is whatever Fender say it is.

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, dclaassen said:

What name is on the headstock? And, a PJ (see above) is not a P-Bass..... :) 

Your Lakland is lovely...totally agree....and yet, not a P Bass...

That's true, it doesn't say Precision anywhere on it, but it's a P to me 🙂

 

The Fender PJ I owned a few years ago had Precision on the headstock, so it must be a P 😉

Edited by thebrig
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  • 3 weeks later...

Having wanted to try the EMG Geezers for a while, I picked up this old Highway 1 body, a while back, which already had them installed. The good people at Warmoth delivered another lovely roasted J neck last week and, as a result, I can positively and affirmatively confirm without doubt that neither of these are Precision basses, no matter how much they sound like them.

01D27A41-A4FC-4C5B-96D8-004C1844714D.thumb.jpeg.d0ffc9dc3d33638d1442a5ffd4db161d.jpeg

 

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