Fender American Standard Precision Bass
Finish: Aquamarine Metallic
Mods: Q-Parts knobs, Schaller straplocks
Still owned: Yes (Kat)
We didn’t need another bass. We’d just moved to South San Francisco and just getting to know the neighborhood. Then again, living a few blocks away from a family-owned music store was a recipe for acquisition. Kat loves shades of blue and green, so when she spotted this on the wall at Bronstein, she said, “Ooh, that’s gorgeous.” I said, “Ooh, we don’t have a P-bass.” But it didn’t matter, because the rack we were looking at was instruments that the store had marked for rental only. Oh well.
Three weeks later, we visited the store again on a whim with Jude from Palette-Swap Ninja. Surprise! A big clearance sale. Surprise! The rental instruments were up for grabs. So, in front of a friend, we impulse bought it because, come on – a used but respectable American Standard P-bass, in a color that’s hard to find (Fender discontinued it the following year), for $600? That’s a stupid low price for a workhorse, especially considering that the signs of wear were the standard nicks, dings, and light belt buckle scrapes you’d expect to find on a rental instrument. We paid for it and carried it home, and tried to convince Jude that we really don’t just, you know, saunter into music stores and buy gear on a whim.
For years I thought I was destined to play Jazz basses because of the thinner necks, but even my tiny hands like this P. After a setup with lighter strings (.045-.100) from Greg at Orbiter, the only other changes were Schaller strap buttons and the Q-Parts knobs. Kat had a few lovely abalone-topped chrome barrel knobs from one of the earlier bass projects, and it was clear that they were destined for this bass instead. I’ve used this on a handful of parody & cover recordings because the original player used a P-bass and, well, the Precision defines electric bass, doesn’t it? I’ve always been glad we grabbed this when we found it.