Fender Precision Bass Buyer's Guide

The Fender Precision bass is an iconic instrument – the oldest solid-body bass guitar in the world. Its legacy is unparalleled, and nowadays it remains a staple in the Fender line-up.

With more choice than ever before, it can be difficult to choose the best Precision bass for your needs. In this guide, we’ll explore the main features and differences between models to help you make your decision!

Precision bass key features

The Precision bass is widely perceived to be the first mass-produced electric bass guitar. It was introduced in 1951 and has been in production ever since (in various forms).

The P bass utilises a thick body and a chunky neck profile. Even new models hark back to mid-20th century designs because they tick all the boxes for retro style. The most prominent change made early on in its life was the ‘slab’ body being updated to feature more contours.

This is the bass you want for full-on power. The hum-cancelling split coil pickup provides a huge, full range tone that sits in a mix extremely well for a lot of styles of music. Saying that, it’s not really a versatile instrument. It does a good job for an old school, boomy sound but it doesn’t really cut it for super modern tones. It’s kind of a one-trick-pony, but it’s a great one nonetheless. Using a plectrum with this bass is ideal to get grunt out of the sound.

Fender Precision Bass range

The Precision Bass has come a long way since its inception in the ‘50s. There are the models that pay homage to the classics, but as you might expect, there are plenty of modern takes. Here’s a rundown of what’s what:

The Player Series is Fender’s affordable line-up. This Mexican-made range features a broad selection, including plenty of finishes, alnico-powered pickups and various configurations including 5-string and lefty options. Check out the range below!

Shop All Player Precision Basses Here!

The Vintera Series is directly inspired by Fender’s most iconic classic designs. For the Precision Bass, these are plucked right out of the ‘50s with period-accurate specs to match. Check out the range below!

Shop All Vintera Precision Basses Here!

This is Fender’s most affordable US-made range. With upgraded hardware, circuitry and pickups, the Performer range is built with the stage in mind. Sturdy, reliable instruments that can take whatever you throw at them and deliver night after night. Check out the range below!

Shop All Performer Precision Basses Here!

Arguably their flagship range, the American Professionals have been a go-to for working musicians for years. For the Professional Precision Bass, features include Michael Bump-design V-Mod pickups, easy Narrow Tall frets and Hi-mass bridge for excellent sustain. Check out the range below!

Shop All Professional Precision Basses Here!

Like the Vintera, the American Original Series aims to capture the magic of the earliest Precision Bass designs. US-made, these instruments feature Pure Vintage ’58 split-coil pickups and Nitro finish for Motown honk and stunning looks in equal measure. Check out the range below!

Shop All Original Precision Basses Here!

It’s in the name; the cream of the crop. While not necessarily faithful to the original Precision Bass blueprint, the Elites opt for precision and versatility instead. An 18V preamp offers chest-thumping tone, with 4th Gen Noiseless pickups and a hybrid neck profile to boot. Check out the range below!

Shop All Elite Precision Basses!

Squier are known for reproducing some of Fender’s most popular models for the budget/beginner market. In recent years, they’ve taken bolder steps in tweaking these classic designs. Their range spans vintage-style models to their cutting-edge Contemporary Series.

Shop All Squier Precision Basses!

Famous Precision Bass Players

Aside from being one of the longest-in-production instruments of our time, the Precision bass has been brandished by countless players throughout the years. Here are a few highlights:

  • James Jamerson
  • Steve Harris
  • Jaco Pastorius
  • Pino Palladino
  • Duff McKagan
  • Nate Mendel
  • Phil Lynott

Summary

There you have it - the Fender Precision bass range broken down into edible chunks. You should be feeling a little more informed about your decision - which one will you choose?

If you've got any questions about our Fender Precision bass selection, please don't hesitate to contact us. In the meantime, happy shopping!

Shop All Precision Basses!

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