Price paid: £ 401
Purchased from: GAK
Features — 9
Comes with a volume and tone control, as you'd expect for a bass with one pickup. I'm surprised at how close the Mex sounds to the USA. With a bit of an upgrade to the electronics (which I did but was not a requirement) it can easily sounds as good as a USA P-bass at only about a £60 extra cost. If you spend a bit of time setting it up the way you like, this is a really good bass. A lot better value than the American Standard for sure! This bass is passive and doesn't have a pre-amp, which some may desire. I personally don't think it really needs it. But if you really want a bass for a pre-amp, maybe look elsewhere. The cost of adding one in (I think) would put the total cost (if you want the better electronics as well) well into the £500 mark, maybe even £600. I personally think that's a bit steep. But it wouldn't be a complete rip off.
Sound — 9
I really like the P-bass for funk. I prefer it over the Jazz bass because it doesn't lose all of it's bottom end when you pop the G string. For me it's a really good sounding bass. It is still my primary live bass and will remain that way until I get my Ricky fitted with strap locks. Even then, I'm still going to use this P-bass along side it. Volume is consistent along all 4 strings. The one pickup does fine. For the price it's hard to complain. Though I would really like it if Fender released a MIM PJ-Precision or a MIM Jaguar. Just for a bit of extra tonal range.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Action was pretty good out of the factory. I did raise it ever so slightly for the thicker strings I put on. But for the strings it came with it, was spot on! The inlays are all flush with the neck, which is not something I've seen before or since on a > £500 bass. I'll admit, the basses below that price that I've played are mainly Epiphone and Squiers. But it still seems to be a challenge to get right on cheap basses for some reason. A couple of the frets required a very slight file to level them to get rid of slight imperfections. Though this was more me nit-picking than a real problem with the bass. It played fine without the filing. Not much to complain about out of the factory at all!
Reliability & Durability — 9
Only thing I could complain about is that the stock nut is a bit weak. I've had the bass for a couple of years now and the nut has worn down a lot on the E string. It means that now the E string is to close to the fretboard. So it buzzes a little bit when I play louder. Though this is not a huge issue. I play this bass a hell of a lot. So many string changes have not helped the nut. It's a minor complaint at best. One of the strap buttons has also come slightly loose (not fallen out mind you!) with all the putting on and removing of straps over 2 years. Though again, not many stock buttons would last this level of use! I'm still going to give it 9, just because I don't think any bass would survive this level of use very well. It's also very easily mended, which is a huge thumbs-up from me!
Overall Impression — 10
If not this bass, then one of the other P-basses Fender makes is a must in your bass arsenal. It's a tough cookie. On the off chance you do damage it, it can usually be fixed with a cocktail stick and a screwdriver! It's ease of use and maintenance is it's biggest selling point for me. It makes it a tank of a live bass. The sound is quite good for bunging through a few effects as well. It's fat tone means it doesn't lose all of it's guts when plugged into a distortion. I fully intend to get another one of these to customise a bit! There aren't many basses I would say are worth the price, but this is one of them!