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Thread: 2016 Fender Elite Precision and Jazz Bass guitars

  1. #1
    Funkfingers
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    Default 2016 Fender Elite Precision and Jazz Bass guitars

    Just been "forced" to test drive the new models at my local Fender dealership. (They do like quick turnover.)

    Both examples were ash body and maple neck.

    P model feels superb in the hands. Weight is acceptable. Basic pickup sounds are fine. The P and N4 J balance nicely in the middle for a presentable JJ Bass "honk". I could quite happily have gone onstage and played the instrument in passive mode. Engaging active EQ mode immediately introduces a slightly annoying high frequency lift and an edginess to the overall sound. (A bit like the "sterility" accusation that some people level at EMG active pickups.) The three-band active EQ works well but I did not care for the centre frequencies.

    I have no idea what frequencies Fender has chosen but I wish that they had chosen different ones.

    The Jazz Bass was as you would expect. Narrower fingerboard. Gratuitous binding and block inlays. Of necessity, the active/passive switch is squeezed onto the control plate between two of the EQ stack knobs. Same annoying "sterility" with active EQ engaged. Same feeling that the EQ was to generic and not really "tuned" to the host instrument.

    My number one bugbear is the Volume, Pan, EQ control layout. Being habituated to VVT, I find the modern layout slower in use than ol' faithful. So, having said that I could happily play live on the Elite P Bass, I still wouldn't necessarily buy the one that I tried.

    Finally, the new generation Fender N4 noiseless J Bass pickup is pretty darned good - certainly on the Elite Precision. A pair of these installed into a Fender American Standard Jazz Bass would be an interesting proposition.

  2. #2
    Toneologist YeRedHouseOverYonder's Avatar
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    Feb 2015
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    Default Re: 2016 Fender Elite Precision and Jazz Bass guitars

    Nice review. I've never been fond of any of switching options that Fender puts on the American stds. I was never a fan of the S-1 switching. Way too bland and sterile.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Funkfingers
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    Default Re: 2016 Fender Elite Precision and Jazz Bass guitars

    Well, it is no secret that my personal preference amongst Fender instruments is for the AVRI series. I am not usually a fan of the PJ pickup combination. The ash/maple 2016 Fender Elite Precision Bass is an exception to that generalisation. It does both the deep thump and the Marcus Miller slap.

    My comment about the active/passive switching may need some explaining. On some Warwick bass guitars, the volume knob pulls out to bypass the onboard active EQ. It is impossible to ignore the fact that, with the EQ bypassed, the instrument does not sound as good. IMO, these two Fender basses are the opposite. On these, it is engaging the active EQ that makes them sound less good.

    If it turns out that there are EQ centre frequency adjustment screws on the PCB, I would reconsider my non-purchasing decision.

    A friend of mine owns both an Am Std Jazz Bass and an Am Std P Bass. If she had waited two years, she could have combined the best aspects of both instruments into one and saved some money.

  4. #4
    Toneologist YeRedHouseOverYonder's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Fender Elite Precision and Jazz Bass guitars

    Ah, gotcha. Glad to hear the p bass plays well. I've always leaned that way with Fenders.


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  5. #5
    Funkfingers
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    Default Re: 2016 Fender Elite Precision and Jazz Bass guitars

    Thread closed in readiness for deletion.

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