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Post subject: What are the differences in woods used?
Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:52 am
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Hi all. I am new to the Precision world and play a 2009 MIM/RW fretboard. I am thinking of getting a second, “better” Precision. Obviously hardware can be upgraded but the wood can’t :wink:
I also hear about USA Precisions using quarter-sawn, not half-sawn??? The new American Performer sounds interesting too. Any insights would be very interesting. Thanks in advance!

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Fender Play February 2019
Post subject: Re: What are the differences in woods used?
Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:04 am
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Hi mk10,
Your best bet would be to go to a bigger store with a large selection of Fender basses and try several out.
As with any instrument one will speak to you more than another, so try and play as many as you can. Try some Jazz basses out too. You might find that it's good to have one of each. I know I did.

I think that quarter sawn wood refers to the necks, and I think those come mainly on Custom Shop or US models. I read previously on this site that all the new body wood is inspected at the California plant before being distributed. The best pieces, especially for natural finishes, go to the Fender Custom Shop first. They go to US models next, then to the plant in Mexico. So the Mexican bodies are more likely to be three piece bodies, although some US made bodies are probably three piece too.
There may or may not be a difference in tone, but if finished natural or sunburst, a one or two piece body tends to look the best for that finish. It's easier to hide the joints in the wood and that gives a better appearance.

The most important thing is to play as many as you can, and buy the one that you like the most. You can have good luck buying online, but you can be disappointed sometimes too. It can be a crap shoot to buy online.

The type of strings you play can make a difference too. I would say all new Fender basses will come with Fender strings, so that is something to consider too. If you play round wound strings it's usually a good idea to change your strings regularly, say every two to six months depending on your preference. But if your bass doesn't sound as good as it used to, it's time for new strings.

I have a Japanese made Jazz that I use rounds on, and I change the strings when they start sounding wanky. I also have an American made Precision that I use flat wound strings on. Some people leave their flats on for many years. They do last longer.
Good luck in your search!

Jim

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Post subject: Re: What are the differences in woods used?
Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:50 am
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Hi Roadie Jim,

Thanks for replying. I live in Cyprus, so will not find anywhere with more than one, max two Precisions. I have distilled my options to: new Player MIM, used MIJ, used Mike Dirnt for a similar price. A used USA model is a step more. I will not be able to hear/try any before buying... which maybe points to the new MIM, relying on the much-vaunted increased QC from Fender lately.
I also have no experience with the neck differences- mine hurts me a little when having to stretch 1st and little fingers one after the other.

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Post subject: Re: What are the differences in woods used?
Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:31 pm
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mk10 wrote:
Hi Roadie Jim,

Thanks for replying. I live in Cyprus, so will not find anywhere with more than one, max two Precisions. I have distilled my options to: new Player MIM, used MIJ, used Mike Dirnt for a similar price. A used USA model is a step more. I will not be able to hear/try any before buying... which maybe points to the new MIM, relying on the much-vaunted increased QC from Fender lately.
I also have no experience with the neck differences- mine hurts me a little when having to stretch 1st and little fingers one after the other.

As far as quality woods; hardware, electronics, and QC goes, the new Player Precisions out of Fender Mexico are the best non-U.S.A. yet. If the 34" scale is too much of a stretch for your fingers & hand, you might be better off with a Fender Mustang with shorter 30" scale neck.

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