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FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / 51 re-issue P bass


Halifax N.S. Canada

Feb 3rd, 2003 12:49 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

. I should begin this by saying that I have wanted a SCPB for a while now.I saw a 54 last summer and than an altered 51 but these were not for sale or totally out of the ball park. When I first heard that Fender was putting out an affordable 51 re-issue I was hooked and ordered one sight unseen.What a gorgouus bass.The neck is wide but thinner than I expected.There are no dead spots and the G and D strings singThe frets were nicely finished and the edges have a nice roll to them.I like the thin vintage frets . The nut looks a bit cheezy but it was cut to a nice height.I did consider lowering it a bit but decided not to.It is very comfortable to play.The factory set up was surprisingly good- I immediately put on a set of TI flats and there were no adjustments needed.Intonation is fine.The bass is also lighter than I expected and I was not bothered in the least by the slab body 's lack of contours.in the course of several gigs with it I was looking for an old school thump when I bought this and I must say I was very pleasantly surprised when I first heard this bass in a live setting.Everyone loved the sound of this bass- and it also had a surprising bark when played with a pick At a blues jam a number of other bass players tried it out and I had a chance to get out front and give it a listen.They all loved it - it does sound gorgeous out front.It slid right underneath everything in the mix and fattened everything up without any muddinessThe presance was awesome and every note was articulate.The vintage tuners have a higher ratio and while it was more of a nuisance to change strings the fine tuning is much easier.i did find the yellow colour a bit too yellow for my taste but maybe that will fade a bit over the next thirty years ( I have no intention of selling this bass).You have done a really nice job with this re-issue.....it is a fine instrument.

The Mad Hungarian


and as we wind on down the road.......
Feb 4th, 2003 04:58 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks for the commentary, Morrow. I'm looking forward to giving one of these a test drive.


Northern Michigan

"I do not play no rock 'n' roll."
Feb 9th, 2003 10:54 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Although I haven't played bass for a couple of years, I got to try one of these out this week. Very nice, great quality instrument. I think I could get used to the lack of body contours easily. Morrow is right, the yellow is VERY yellow, but still lovely!


Halifax N.S. Canada

Feb 20th, 2003 11:05 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I recently had the chance to compare my new re-issue with a real 53.Let me say that they were not even remotely similar.The 53 neck was thicker and much chunkier (and wonderfully worn from 50 years of use ) The 53 weighed much more than the lightweight re-issue.Having said that the re-issue is much easier to play.I think the re-issue had a nicer sound but that probably had more to do with a fresh set of TI's.....The old rounds on the 53 might well have been 20 yrs old.and there were phenolic saddles in the bridge.Still I must say the re-issue is one sweet bass but nothing at all like the old ones.


Halifax N.S. Canada

Dec 9th, 2003 10:48 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Just an update...it's been a while since I bought the 51 and should say it has become my main player.I'm still in love with this bass.



"How sweet it is..."
Feb 24th, 2004 09:12 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Reading all this wonderful praise for the "P" bass, but the "VERY yellow" and similar comments are just too much.

I've been thinking asobut getting one of these for my brother for some time.

How does anyone compare this model to the Highway 1? Or the MIM? Or an AmStandard? Or a Squire?

(This message was last edited by Soundsweet at 09:27 PM, Feb 24th, 2004)


Halifax N.S. Canada

Mar 23rd, 2004 10:06 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The 51 re-issue has a single coil pickup rather than the split style Fender first used in 1957.The re-issue also lacks the body contours and the bridge improvements that are on the later Fenders.It is a completely different animal than the Highway 1, MIM, AmStandard, or Squires.....but it is a lovely bass.They seem to have become quite popular.



May 4th, 2004 04:39 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I just recieved my '51 today from MF. Overall I like it, but I have a couple complaints.
1. no gig bag
2.no warrany card,paperwork etc.
3.pickguard does not lay flat against the body on the treble side between the screw on the treble horn and the one by the control plate.
Is this normal? This is my first non-MIA guitar, and other than the pickguard lifting a little, the quality and tone are very good. Should I let it slide? Skyrat

Contributing Member

don't mean a thang..

...if it ain't got that twang.
Mar 2nd, 2005 06:23 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

morrow -

have you owned and played other Fender basses?

i love my Telecaster for its
simple depth & clarity.

is this "Telecaster Bass" an animal
of the same breed?

does its simplicity hem you in?
or help you dig into "your own sound" on bass?

here's a RI for sale on eBay...
looks quite nice to me...one one bid so far...
snipers in the trees.

gonna go tonite:

fleaBay - 51 Fender Reissue Precision Bass - CIJ

Contributing Member


"Out on a Plank"
Jul 12th, 2007 11:00 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have a 51 P Bass Re-issue and love it. Very nice tone and easy to play. The neck feels very good to me. My only complaint was the stock tuners were not real easy to turn compared to modern ones, however they felt just like the ones on my 1964 Precision I had in 1974 so I guess they were made in similar fashion. I put covers over the Bridge and pickup which really contributed to the overall look. Everyone likes the tone of this bass. The notes ring out clear and bold. Being a single coil it can pickup some hum. I painted the control and pickup cavity with electrically conductive paint from Stewmac which really helped.



Nov 30th, 2007 04:01 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

skyrat - all Fender single ply guards are prone to this - that's why laminates were introduced. The pickguard on the 51 RI is thicker than most but unless it is curling badly I'd be inclined to live with it. If you think it's an eyesore go look at period early 50's guards, many of which have shrunk and warped to hell and back.

The consistent high quality of these basses is due in large part to their country of origin - MIJ / CIJ. The Japanese are real sticklers for QC - hit-or-miss is not their watchword!

Contributing Member


Apr 7th, 2008 07:55 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

regarding the pickguard, on a Highway 1 Telecaster I bought I discovered that the factory used simple double sided tape to hold down areas of the p.g. that are inclined to not stay tight to the body. It's worth a try and doesn't cost much either.

Drop D-ead
Contributing Member


Now I'm hack-a-lackin'!
Apr 13th, 2008 01:42 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My 51RI is my main bass. As far as how it stacks up against the other Fender P basses I would agree that the SCPB is a different animal. However, in terms of overall quality, I'd say it's on par with the American Standard models, and the other Classic series P and J basses. A bit better then the HWY1's and MIM Standards.
For the money, IF you like a Single Coil P, a very hard deal to beat. However, they aren't for everyone.


Contributing Member


"Out on a Plank"
Feb 21st, 2009 09:44 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I love my 51P RI. Unlike most I use DR Highbeams Stainless Rounds .100's on mine. I hadn't played it in a while as I have been busy but pulled it out last night and what a joy to play. Sustain out the wazzoo, a very fast neck that almost seemed effortless to play after playing my 62 style P bass. This bass just reeks of tone [not because of my playing-thought I would make that clear]

If the body just had some curves like the 54's and newer P's it would be a total dream. Not bad, just that I have to approach it a bit different. I rest my arm (slightly shy of the wrist) in the curve on the top edge and that seems to help.

FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / 51 re-issue P bass

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