The bass is probably the most underrated instrument of all time.
Casual listeners barely even notice it.
But some bass guitars stand out. And many of them are made by Fender
The Fender American Performer Precision Bass is perhaps the company’s proudest achievement.
It is the best bass guitar for the money on the market. You simply won’t find a better value anywhere.
Read our review below to find out just what makes it so special.
Table of Contents
- 1 Fender American Performer Precision Bass Review: Overview And Features
- 2 Fender American Performer Precision Bass: Conclusion And Rating
Fender American Performer Precision Bass Review: Overview And Features
Fender enjoys a stellar reputation among bassists and the American Performer Precision Bass is one of their most popular models.
Its P/J pickup combo and tone-shaping options make it extremely versatile.
Without any modifications, you’ll see it used in all genres, spanning from jazz up to hardcore punk, or any other modern heavy genre.
The only potential downside of this instrument is that it might be a bit expensive for those on a budget. But if you can afford it, it’s worth every single penny. It far outperforms its price.
- Alder body
- Maple neck
- Comes with either maple or rosewood fretboard
- Different finish options
- Lightweight vintage-style tuners
- 4-saddle vintage-style bridge
- Yosemite Jazz Bass single-coil in the bridge position
- Yosemite P Bass split-coil in the middle position
- Two volume controls and master tone control
- Greasebucket master tone circuit
- 34-inch scale length
- 9.5-inch fretboard radius
Design And Construction
This model features the classic P-style design. The alder body has that classic Strat-style shape, but with a few unique traits and nicely done contours.
This is accompanied by a maple neck with a maple fretboard, as well as Fender’s classic headstock.
It’s surprising how Fender managed to make it look very eye-catching, while keeping things rather simple. The fretboard, for instance, has simple black dot inlays. But they fit perfectly with the body’s finish options.
There are also variants of this bass that feature a rosewood fretboard instead of a maple one. The choice between these two comes down to personal preference, although maple is the traditional material.
But no matter which of the options you go with, both in terms of finishes and fretboard materials, you just can’t go wrong with this bass guitar.
Pickups And Hardware
The American Performer Precision’s electronics are top-notch as well, featuring the classic “P and J” pickup combo.
In the bridge position, we have the classic Yosemite Jazz Bass single-coil, which is accompanied by a Yosemite P Bass split single-coil pickup in the middle position.
This is one of the most popular combos among bass players, giving some pretty versatile tones. Using the separate volume controls, which let you create the perfect balance for your needs, you can go anywhere from growling punch up to fat and smooth tones.
Additionally, this fine bass has the so-called Greasebucket tone circuit. This means that you can roll off the high-ends, without reducing the gain.
Apart from that, the hardware is the standard deal that you see with many Fender basses. It’s simple, but high quality and extremely reliable. Perfect for playing any of these songs with good bass guitar riffs.
Advantages And Disadvantages
- Very reliable
- Amazing build quality
- P/J combo gives a lot of sonic versatility
- Quality pickups
- Greasebucket tone circuit keeps your tone fresh even on smoother settings
- Very comfortable neck
- Price is a bit higher, though definitely worth it
Fender American Performer Precision Bass Vs Squier Bronco
For most of us, price is always an issue. While Fender’s American Performer Precision Bass is one of the best basses for the price you can find, it might be a bit too costly for many bassists.
If you can’t afford anywhere near this much money, but you still want a decent and reliable bass, check out the Bronco bass made by Fender’s budget subsidiary Squier.
It is a completely different instrument from the Fender and doesn’t come anywhere near it, but it’s solid and much, much cheaper.
The Bronco bass is somewhat of a tribute to Fender’s old 6-string guitar series of the same name. The body shape is almost identical to the classic Mustang model.
Compared to the Fender American Performer Precision bass, this one features a body made out of lower quality agathis wood. On the other hand, what’s really surprising for its price level, is that it has a maple neck with a maple fretboard.
Apart from that, it is obviously much simpler. Aside from the basic body shape, you’ll immediately notice that the Squier Bronco bass comes with just one single-coil pickup, placed in the middle position.
This also means only one volume and one tone control, making it far less versatile. But what can you expect at this price? It might not be that flexible in terms of tone shaping, but it’s definitely a wonderful choice for anyone who wants an instrument that’s cheap, simple, and yet reliable.
The Bronco bass has 19 frets and a total scale length of 30 inches, as compared to the Fender model that has 20 frets and a standard full-sized scale length of 34 inches. Both necks come with a 9.5-inch fretboard radius and a very similar “C” profile.
As already mentioned, the Squier Bronco is for all those looking for a cheap and simple bass. It’s surprisingly great for its price level, and one of our favorite choices for beginners on a limited budget.
Learn more in our Squier Bronco bass review.
Fender American Performer Precision Bass: Conclusion And Rating
It can be hard to find a middle ground for a great instrument at a reasonable price. It’s either something super expensive and really great or super cheap but just decent.
The Fender American Performer Precision Bass definitely pushes toward the higher-end territories.
But it’s not too expensive and easily the best investment an ambitious bassist can make. It’s an awesome instrument that far outperforms its price tag and that can cover an abundance of different musical styles.
There is a reason so many professional bass players use this instrument. Half of the artists on or list of the best female bassists use a Fender Precision bass guitar.
If you’re a frequently-gigging bass player who also does a lot of studio work for various kinds of bands and artists, this bass guitar is perfect for you.
That’s why we voted it the best bass on the market and gave it a Musicaroo rating of 5 out of 5.