Dee Dee Ramone Precision Bass review by Fender

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  • Features: 9
  • Sound: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (7 votes)
Fender: Dee Dee Ramone Precision Bass

Price paid: £ 699

Purchased from: HW Music

Features — 9
This bass is a limited run Mexican made Precision Bass that was released in the early part of this year and is limited to 1000 instruments world wide, I then bought it in May after my birthday. It features; a bolt on maple neck and fret board, an alder body, Fender Standard Precision Bass pickups, a Fender standard bridge, Fender Standard tuners, and a 30'' scale length. It's an extremely well made bass, as you'd expect, and has quickly over taken my other bass (a 2012 Retrovibe Vantage 4) as my favorite and is now what I use for any situation. It came with a set of 45-105 Fender strings (which I have been impressed by but not enough to switch from my normal Rotosound Swing 66 set) and a standard fender gig bag, it also featured an extremely interesting booklet about Dee Dee, a poster and a sticker of the image engraved on the neck plate (a version of the Ramones logo with a precision bass in the center) which I think were really nice things to be included with the instrument as a memorial to Dee Dee.

Sound — 8
I play in a rap metal band and a folk band, this bass copes extremely well with both genres despite only having one split pick up, a master volume, and a master tone. I currently play through a Fender Rumble 200 V3 and occasionally using a Morely Bad Horsey 2 Wah, both sound incredible with this bass. I can't imagine a musical situation where this bass would be out of place in, it's got a very classic tone which really would lend itself to any project that I may be involved with and I imagine that the pickups will lend themselves to any effect I may put them through. Personally I would have preferred the bass with a higher mass bridge as I feel it would have given it a thicker darker sound, but that is only a small alteration to make if I feel like it's really necessary and the bass doesn't sound bad with the standard bridge style. I'm also a big fan of maple fret boards on basses (both my main basses feature them) as I find it adds a really nice cutting sound to the overall tone so the fact that this bass featured one was a big bonus for me.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I've not altered the set up at all since buying this bass, it's been perfect my playing style (which is currently mainly pick based, however I do also play a lot of slap and finger style material when at home). One issue that I've had is that the pickup for the higher two strings is angled so that the A string rubs against it slightly during aggressive playing styles, but it isn't enough to make me want to adjust it to risk changing the sound of the bass. I'm extremely happy with the quality of finish on this bass as it's taken about two months of near constant playing in a metal band to slightly scratch the back with my belt, which I think is pretty good going even if i do prefer the look of worn instruments. The neck is also finished in a similar level of lacquer to the body, which at first I was apprehensive about but I've really warmed to it over the last few months as it just feels sturdier than some of the unfinished necks I've played in the past. This bass also weighs about seven and a half pounds which isn't as light as other basses but it's not that bad a weight to deal with if you have a stable enough strap and make sure you take care of your back. I used to get a lot of problems that my old bass would wear the skin off of my picking wrist due to it's flat edges, however the slightly curved edges of this bass and the way it sits on my definitely eradicates this issue so it's easier to play for extended periods.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I think it's generally unwise to gig without a back up in case of string breakages however if that wasn't a factor I would definitely perform using this bass with no back up, it is a P-bass after all so could probably survive an apocalypse with only some slight wear. The tuners are extremely reliable, I travel by bus and walk with this bass a lot and in the past couple of months it's not even fallen a semi-tone out of tune, which I'm extremely impressed with and I doubt I would every replace them unless they were to break somehow. As you expect from Fender the build quality is second to none, in the past couple of months of rigorous playing I've only just about managed to scratch the finish slightly and I've not found any faults in the overall quality. I'm especially impressed with the fret work on this bass, the frets themselves are extremely small compared to normal bass frets and it gives the bass an almost fretless feel, that then paired with the quality of the fret work makes the neck on this bass extremely comfortable to play for extended periods.

Overall Impression — 10
I honestly think that this bass would fit into any genre I would feasibly play in, as you'd expect of a Precision bass. I've been playing bass for about 4 years now and it didn't take any time to adjust to playing this bass at all, apart from setting my strap to the right height which is to be expected for any instrument. If this bass was somehow stolen or lost I would definitely try to track another one down or failing that try out basses until I found one just as comfortable, which would probably end up being another P-bass. Before buying this bass I had also looked at a Modern Player Jazz Bass and a Blacktop Precision Bass (both Fender) and they were both extremely good basses, but this bass just felt so natural to play that I didn't consider them as options anymore. The only thing I would consider changing about this bass is the mass of the bridge, which I would probably replace for a bada-s II bridge as I've heard a lot of extremely good things about them. However I'm a sucker for trying to keep the parts of an instrument as original as possible so I'm more likely to just save up and by another bass one day rather than edit this one (for example the Mike Dirnt Precision basses feature a higher mass bridge, and I'm also a big fan of the Rickenbacker 4003 series). I would definitely recommend that if anyone gets the chance to buy one of these basses to take it as they certainly won't be disapointed by the quality of the instrument or the sound

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Bought this 2 weeks ago to replace my Squier Vintage Jazz bass. As great as that Jazz is, this is a definite step up. I play Rock in C tuning similar to QOTSA and it sounds amazing. Never a big Ramones fan, plenty of respect, but I was only really after a new bass, and after playing this and loads of others in the shop, Dee Dee won, hands down. Great gigging bass.
    All the components that make a good bass. However it is just a lower end model from Fender with a higher price tag because a name has been attached to it. Look at the many Adam Clayton models they have made of the years. Run of the mill P and J basses with a higher price tag. Fender really hasn't done much to warrant the price of the USA made basses and their Mexi Signatures. G&L offers more customized selections for woods, finishes, neck profiles and pickups at the same price if not cheaper in some cases. I guess Leo Fender new what he was doing when he started G&L.