Tuesday, January 17, 2012

1992 Fender Precision Plus Bass Review


Como estas?

From 1989 to 1993 Fender sold high-end modernized versions of their venerable Precision and Jazz basses, and added the “Plus” moniker onto their names. I see scads of the Jazz Bass Plus models, but very few Precision Bass Plus instruments. Today we are looking at a very good 1992 Precision Bass Plus.

This body of this bass is sprayed in its original red poly over alder wood. You may notice that this bass was built during the tragic era when they extended the cutaways to allow greater fretboard access. Unfortunately this resulted in an unseemly upper horn that results in the nickname “boner bass”.

The body is loaded with P and J Fender Lace Sensors pickups (my favorite configuration). These are routed through volume and tone pots. The tone pot operates the TBX tone circuit which cuts treble or bass depending on which way it is turned. There is also a 3-way pickup selector and a series/parallel switch (originally a button, which broke at some point). These pickups provide all of the classic Fender bass tones without any added noise, and the switching and TBX control provide even more options.

The 34-inch scale neck is maple with 22 frets sunk into its rosewood fretboard. Though it has a chunky precision width at the neck it has a thin profile, measuring only around 0.80" thick at the 5th fret. The 9.5-inch radius retains a pseudo-vintage feel while the flatter board allows a bit more flexibility for left hand fingerwork.

The hardware is a step above its contemporaries, with a high-mass Schaller bridge with fine tuners and large head Fender machine heads. The 3-ply pickguard is a classy touch.

This one weighs in at a little over 9 pounds, and is a real peach to play. It has a very comfy neck and the tone is incredible. It has a solid low end and sweet high mids which really helps it cut through in the mix.

If you get a chance to buy one of these, do not let that gnarly upper horn put you off – they are fantastic instruments.

Mahalo!

11 comments:

  1. I have owned one of these since I bought it new in '91 or '92. I wasn't interested in Fenders at the time and not all that impressed with the look of it. But from the moment I played it I knew it was a cut above anything I else I had played. It took me a while to realize I wasn't setting it down (I couldn't even really play then!) but I just kept doing everything I knew how to. It holds its tuning very well, is terrific on stage and has a fabulous neck that is easy to play. Its tone is consistent from string to string without any of that "extra" punch on the 'E' string. Just great tone throughout. I play mine with the piano type strings that offer great sustain, although they make the low tuning adjustments a little harder to use. It's been 20 years and I'm now looking for my second bass, and only because I'd like to try 6 strings!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Couldn't agree more! I bought mine at the tender age of 17, exactly 20 years ago. For years, or decades, I've been talking about buying a second bass, but I've never done it. I have done all my studio jobs and all of my gigs with this baby. And all my bass teachers, a few of whom are incredible (Victor Bailey), tried it and really liked it. I couldn't imagine a meatier, punchier, yet more beautiful tone. I love it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Precision Bass Plus (aka "The Boner") was Fender's own response to a popular mid-to-late 1980's concept adopted by other makers such as Aria, Yamaha, Guild, Jackson and Ibanez.

    This bass was designed by George Blanda, who also designed signature guitars for former "Yardbirds" Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Agreed +1 !!!

    I bought one of these back in '96, second hand. Walked into the local bass guitar store, looking for a Rickenbacker 4001/3 and very anti-P, anti-Fender.

    They said - no, not Rickenbacker, try this instead. Hmmm. Walked out 10 minutes later with the Boner, in the deep sparkle blue. WTF???

    But - very best bass I ever owned.

    Traded her for cash when going on a long term backpack some years later, she went to a good home, but would take another on the spot - if I could only find one.

    As a former cellist, loved the adjustable bridge intonation, and the neck was very good for melodic lines. Fat bridge adds transmission of vibration into body, and Fender Lace pickups are just mangificent. So she's real good for Carol Kaye sounds, or for driving thud, and has real clarity for jazzy work.

    If you are offered one - buy. Or let me know...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just bought one again! Finally, reunited... :)

      Delete
  5. I've own a 93 for 13 years now and i've always wondered how much it's worth? Bought it for 850$ at the time. Considering it's gonna be 25 years old in 5 years, does it make a difference at all on the value? Does it fall into the ''Collection'' category? Make it worth more, etc...?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I still have mine that I bought new on 12/31/92 - it's all original and sounds amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Out of my Fender Basses, A 1953 PB, '56 PB, 1960 JB, '64 JB, '62 PB, '71P PB, 2010 JB THE 1989 Boner - White with Maple neck - is by far the best bass. John Bachini

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am thinking to buy this amazing bass instrument by the end of this year. Wish me luck!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great bass. I have my brother's which he bought new in 91 or 92. He replaced the 3-way switch with a pan pot for some reason and, being in college punk bands, spray painted it stupid colors. I borrowed it for years, played it live. Great bass, great feel, great sound. I started to strip it of the crappy spray paint when my brother died suddenly. Now I keep it looking like this in memorium. Kinda bittersweet cause it's a shame that such a sweet bass should look like this!

    ReplyDelete