Deluxe Active P Bass Special review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (72 votes)
Fender: Deluxe Active P Bass Special

Price paid: C$ 500

Purchased from: Used (private)

Sound — 10
I've got it equipped with LaBella deep talkin' bass 0760M flat wounds. The sound is incredible. Between the EQ and pickup blending, I cannot imagine that there is anything this bass can't do perfectly. The sound gets as bright (nearly brittle) and as deep and brooding as you could like. Panning the pickup selection about 65% toward the neck, you get a punch that cannot be beat. Cut the mid completely and you take a lot of the edge that comes with the active system allowing you to sit back in the mix.

Overall Impression — 9
A fantastic piece of equipment. If you can't sound amazing on this, it's you - not the bass. A world class instrument for well under $1000, what more can you ask for?! I would buy this again without question. I'm not even sure I would check anything else out. ONE BIG ISSUE is the pickguard. This whole series comes with gold vinyl pickgaurd which does not blend particularly well with any of the bodies. Also, it's harder to replace the pickguard because it's such a specific design. Consider routing your own from blank material. It might be cool if the strings loaded through the body and if the neck were through the body (not bolt-on). Fancier tuners could be cool too. But again, everything highly functions and is of quality.

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Reliability & Durability — 8
Not sure of the age of this one, but the mid boost/cut pot was no longer catching at the half-way notch and was crackling when I turned it (but I opened the pot, lubed and fixed the notch). The battery lasted it came with (used...), lasted about one year. Everything else seems perfectly reliable. The tuning holds well, the truss doesn't slip or anything. The knobs are metal.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Entirely adjustable action (back-forth, up-down, left-right). The pickups are both vertically adjustable too (though not each pole). The frets were not filed properly (I'm assuming these were the originals), so it's rough to slide my hand along the neck, otherwise the finish is flawless.

Features — 10
Model: 0135762325. Made in Mexico. Maple bolt-on jazz neck (modern "C" shape) with 20 medium jumbo frets and black dot inlays. Truss rod adjusts at the head. The alder P-Bass body with "Chrome Red" finish and gold vinyl pick guard houses Alnico P Bass split pickups at the neck and dual-coil ceramic Noiseless Jazz Bass pickup at the bridge. 1/4" side-mounted jack. Active electronics powered by one 9V battery allow the following controls: master volume, pan (blending signal of pickups) and three-band active EQ with treble boost/cut (+/- 10 db at 8kHz, a shift in the cut frequency, and about a 2dB slope per octave), mid boost/cut (+10dB, -15dB at 500Hz, and a wide band slope) and bass boost/cut (+/- 12db at 40Hz, with a 4dB slope per octave) all with midway notches. - Hardware: Chrome - Bridge: American Vintage 4 Saddle Bass - String Nut: Synthetic Bone - Tuning Machines: Standard Open-Gear Tuners

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Hey everyone, I'm getting a lot of hum from the bridge (jazz) pickup on this bass when I'm not touching the strings (or knob or bridge). I guess it's a grounding issue, but I don't know about that too much... solutions? links to solutions? Thanks!