Fender Precision with Steve Harris Pickups?

Discussion in 'Musicians Discussion' started by Slastor, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. Slastor

    Slastor Prowler

    Hey everyone!
    I've visited a local music-store and after playing it for about 30 minutes, I fell in love with Steve Harris' Signature Bass.
    The problem is, I dont have enough money to buy one of those right now and I probably won't have the money for another few months. Thats why I wanted to ask you guys...
    If I buy any Fender Precision Bass, add Rotosound Signature Strings and his Signature Pickups and set it all up correctly.. don't I have the exact same feeling and sound then? I'm not very familiar with the differences between Steve's Signature Bass and the setup I'd be using, so I wanted to get sure it would be the same.
    Of course, it'd be missing the finish and the reflecting fretboard, but it'd be way cheaper and I could actually afford that combination.
    If there would be any noticeable differences, which would those be? And would you rather recommend me to save up for his Signature Bass?
    Thank you guys sooo much for your help!
  2. Maturin

    Maturin Sköldpadda

    Of course there would be differences. The first you could assume is that there are quite noticeable quality differences between different price-ranges, no matter what kind of specifications the instruments in question have. This has to do with wood quality, workmanship, and parts.

    Secondly - if you look at the specifications of the bass you have in mind, are they the same? A different radius, fret size or neck profile will radically change the feel and playability of the instrument.

    Even if you change all the parts to the same, they will not be identical. The question you need to ask yourself here is - how close do you want to get? If you would rather have Steve Harris signature bass, then save up for it. It will be worth it in the end. Second best thing is never enough; this is an instrument you are going to stick with for years.
    Slastor likes this.
  3. Slastor

    Slastor Prowler

    First of all thanks for the quick reply!
    Yeah you're totally right, I completly forgot about the quality itself.
    Of course I'd be trying to get one with a same radius and fret-size, but I think your last two sentences really changed my mind on my decision, so I'll be saving for a Signature one.
    Might be quite frustrating now, but in a few months, the day I go to the local store and pick it up will be worth all the waiting.
    Thanks alot for your help man!
  4. Martin Scott

    Martin Scott Maiden Mossley

    I have Seymour Duncan SPB-3's in my '86 MIJ Fender PB and a Gotoh bridge. I'm using Fender Flatwounds. This isn't a top end Fender bass but it plays very well and sounds brilliant. As for the sound your pre-amplification and amplification play a big part of this. I can a very similar sound by taking the preamp out from one of my amps into the input on the other, I use the EQ and compressor on both amps. I'm not overly worried about the sound, I prefer to get the notes the right and I like to play with more warmth in my sound than Harry does now.

    So my advice is BUY IT!
  5. I was going to do the same thing, buy an older Fender PB and modify it, but it was so hard to find one in a decent color and good condition.
    How do you like the Fender flats? I'm a huge fan of D'Addario Chromes (medium gauge).
  6. Martin Scott

    Martin Scott Maiden Mossley

    The fender flats are standard gauge and I'm happy with them, like all flats they do lose their zing quickly but I prefer flats for the Harris style playing.

  7. I'm still figuring out which ones to keep on the P Bass. I thought on my active Ibanezes, the rounds were a better match, but on the passive SD SPB1 pickup on the Fender - the rounds didn't sound as harsh. I've used heavy steel, nickel, semi flat / hybrids, and now flats. Love how they sit in the mix, but we'll see over time. Going to use them at church this morning, we'll see if they have enough cut. I noticed that having an adjustable gain on your amp is crucial for it, I've got mine as hot as possible without clipping. Cut back at 40hz and again at 500hz - combined w/ the high gain makes it quite punchy and present.
  8. Bassman61

    Bassman61 Prowler

    Yeah, I know I'm replying to a three-year-old thread, but...

    To the OP...don't be so caught up in gear. Especially with bass. So much of 'Arry's tone depends on amplification, compression, equalization, and right-hand technique. Having a 'signature' instrument really means nothing even with the exact same rig.

    There are so many ways I can emulate different rigs/combos all using the same stock Mexican Pbass that I bought off craigslist. I've had more expensive basses but that second-hand Mexican P is my main axe, and it serves me in most every way I've needed it tone-wise.

    And strings...I've used Chromes for years but switched over to the Fender flats about three years ago. Virtually identical except I save about $10 with the Fenders. I use the ML's. I don't like to go over .100 on the E and I strongly prefer the thicker .050 on the G string over the .045.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017

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