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There’s an interesting parallel between Fender purists and Star Wars fans. Both are wildly loyal, quick to point out discrepancies between releases, and ready to devour almost anything (except Jar Jar Binks) that is put on big screens or shelves. Fender has always pushed in new directions, including variations on their mainstay wares. Introduced in 1983 towards the end of the CBS era, the Precision Elite was one such revision. It had a short production life of just a couple years and, yes, there are some who loved it and some who didn’t. But that was a long time ago, so let’s fast-forward to today and the brand-new American Elite Precision—a 21st century incarnation of the P that didn’t leave this bassist wanting for much else.
The American Elite arrived in a rock-solid custom case. I’m happy to see companies ramping up their case game because I still don’t like putting my basses in the cargo hold. Flying with this case would make me rest easier, so kudos to Fender for making it part of the package. Once I opened the case, I was hit with a touch of sensory overload from the new-bass smell and my first glance at this tobacco-burst beauty that brims with familiar lines and new features. For the record, four other finishes are also offered.
The 9.4-pound Elite P just looked and felt right from the get-go. It’s comfortable and balanced, the neck pocket super tight, and the satin-finished maple neck was slick and seemed superbly familiar. Unplugged, this bass resonated huge and fat with no rattles.
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