I came across this Special Run Fender Deluxe P Bass Special at my local Guitar Center recently and just had to take it home. I have been pondering adding a PJ bass to my collection, so when I saw this one I knew I had to at least play it. Well, as is sometimes the case, once I started playing it, I just couldn’t put it down.
She is essentially a Mexican Fender Deluxe P Bass Special with a number of key upgrades; Ash Body, High Mass Bridge, Glossed Maple Fretboard with Block Inlays, plus the Pearlescent Seafoam Green paint job. Additional spec’s include 20 fret Jazz neck, standard alnico split single-coil Precision Bass pickup (middle) and a dual-coil ceramic Noiseless™ Jazz Bass pickup with nickel-plated pole pieces (bridge) with pan pot switching. Controls are master volume, pan and three-band active EQ with treble boost/cut, mid boost/cut and bass boost/cut.
She was setup fairly poorly when I bought her. I had to give the truss rod about a quarter of a turn, lower the action and even out the P pickups, which were basically screwed all the way down on top and bottom and high in the middle. Now that she’s dialed in she plays like a dream. I’m really liking the neck and tone on this one, so much so that she is quickly becoming my number one playing bass.
The active PJ pickup combination makes this a very versatile bass. In store, I played it through an Ampeg SVT & 8×10 and the sound was huge. The P pickup has a great, throaty, mid-range tone, while to J pickup adds just the right amount of warmth. You can easily dial in a straight P Bass sound or roll back to more Jaco inspired Jazz tone. I took her out on a recent audition, which was my first real test of playing her in a band setting. Through my GK MB200 Head and 1×15 Cab my tone was fat and warm, with just enough mid range presence to cut through.
With her versatile tone and retro-cool looks, I’m sure I’ll be playing this bass a lot in the very near future.