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Rating and Reviews: Fender Adam Clayton P-Bass

Pummel your audience with the same massive midrange growl as U2's Adam Clayton with his signature Fender P Bass in a limited edition Purple Sparkle finish.

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"Best P bass Ive played in years." submitted November 29, 2017

By John S in Kingsport, TN
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Bassist 37 years.
Music Style: CCM, Praise, Rock, Classic Rock, Funk, Alt, Country, Blues
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Overall: After careful consideration, I took a chance and invested in this bass. I've owned a significant number of Precisions over the years (haven't we all) and have yet to find my dream P. The 1963 AVRI P came really close. Amazing tone second only to Abby's hand wound stuff ! But I have never been a fan of 1.75 inch string spacing at the nut. I currently own a Precision Select. It has 1.62 inch spacing. But the problem with it is tone. Its good, but not amazing. And as reference should anyone care, for the last 3 years give or take, my main is a Dingwall Super J5. I received the Adam Clayton Sig P and immediately had a fit ! How in God's name can Fender continue to send 2,000.00 basses out the door with horrific set ups? 1/4 inch action at the 7th fret? I've seen better actions on uprights ! It was so bad that I almost packed the bass up and returned it. As for weight, My Dingwall SJ5 weighs exactly 8.5 pounds. The Clayton, feels a few ounces lighter. Guaranteed under 9 pounds. And yes. as an older guy that spends a lot of time with a bass dangling around my neck, weight matters. I simmered for a few hours and finally decided to make a quick pass on correcting set up issues. Adjusted truss rod, bridge, set intonation, and pick-up height. I didn't shoot for perfection, but did get a satisfactory set up on it. This obviously made a huge difference. Tone came alive on the bass and became far more comfortable to play. The neck is a dream and easily the best P neck I've ever played. While it has 1.50 string spacing at the nut (Jazz Spacing), it is thicker (neck depth) than most of the Jazz necks I've played. It is not a Jazz neck. Extremely comfortable. I don't feel it's cramped to play at all. A refreshing change as Fender seems to be hawking that 1.75 vintage neck and putting it on about everything. In addition to spending a few hours on it with the headphones on, I played it at church Sunday morning. I wanted to hear it through FoH as I had the Precision Select as a reference. While I could take or leave custom shop pick ups in the past, the specs chosen for this bass are incredible. Tone is both thick and focused on the bottom, if that's possible. It is in no way muddy. Low-mids and mids (That P bass magic) are glorious, without ever being honky. Highs are perfect for my taste. The sweet spot of slightly warm and crystal clear. And this is with Fender's stock strings of which I am not a fan. To my ears, they seem to have captured the sweet spot between modern P tones and vintage P tones without any of the respective negatives. It never got lost in the mix, nor did it ever sound clanky. To summarize, yes, this is a lot of money for a Precision. And I understand that because of the faster playing neck and the finish, it is not for everyone. But for my tonal tastes as someone that plays multiple genres, it is absolutely perfect. Frankly, I'm not sure I could do any better buying a Custom Shop or Master built. Fender doesn't make another Precision like this. Not even close. Forget about it being a signature bass. While I do respect Clayton (and the girth of his checkbook), I could care less that his name is on it. If you're looking for a Precision with both amazing tone and incredible playability, take a hard look at the Clayton Signature Precision. I rated manufacture support a 2 because of the horrific set up. Fender should be ashamed of themselves for letting a bass leave the factory like this.
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