Saturday, March 24, 2012

2012 Fender American Standard Precision Bass Review

Como estas?

Fender has been making the Precision Bass for 60 years now, so you would think they would have reached the end of the road for development, but I guess they are still tweaking this icon of musical history. I got a chance to see the latest changes when I was recently invited to play the 2012 American Standard Precision Bass.

There is nothing earthshaking about these latest changes, but it is not just a facelift, but an attempt to incrementally improve an already very good product.

For 2012, the American Standard Precision receives a Fender Custom Shop ‘60s pickup, a thinner undercoat, a newly designed high-mass vintage bridge, lighter tuners and Posiflex graphite neck support rods. Oh yeah, and a new color – Jade Pearl Metallic.

Other than these changes, it is the usual P bass stuff you would expect: 20 frets, 9.5-inch radius C-shape neck with a 1 5/8-ich nut. It still looks and sounds like a Precision bass, too.

The one I tried had a maple fretboard, and it was a fine player. The fretboard edges were rolled, and the fretwork was fantastic. It was very comfortable and was set with a surprisingly low action from the factory. The build quality was excellent, but I would expect that from a new US-built bass in this price range.

As far as differences to the bass with the new parts, I was hard-pressed to notice the changes. Theoretically the high-mass bridge should give better sustain, and the new pickup should improve the tone, but I never noticed any of the newer Precision basses lacking in these areas. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a very good sounding bass, and but A-B’ing it with an older model did not really show that much of an improvement. The new-style graphite reinforcements might make me more likely to throw really burly strings on one of these basses without worrying about the neck, though.

That is about it. If you can live without the new color, you will be better off buying one of the 2011 basses that are on clearance now.

But, if you just have to buy one, the 2012 America Standard Precision Bass prices are the same regardless of finish selection (even sunburst) or fretboard material. The list price is $1649.99, and every dealer in town is selling them for $1249.99.

If you are more of a Jazz Bass guy, Fender has made similar changes to the American Standard Jazz Bass too, so check them out if you get a chance.



  1. I love the Fender Precision Bass, it was one of the first basses I played.

  2. I'm gonna buy a new P.Bass 2012 made. Its serial number should begin with US12XXXX, right?