With a slimmer neck, noiseless pickups, and contoured body, the Fender American Ultra Precision Bass should definitely be on your wishlist.
This past November, Fender released their brand new American Ultra Series, which reimagines their original classics in contemporary and advanced designs. Fender managed to make their iconic brand even better by debuting the even slimmer “Modern D” neck curvature, new color options, noiseless pickups, and medium-sized frets. With this heightened precision, performance, and tone to inspire creativity, the American Ultra Precision Bass is a solid choice to start saving for once those holiday dollars roll in.
Opening the Elite Molded Hardshell Case that the American Ultra Precision Bass comes in, the gorgeous “Mocha Burst” bass still retained its newly manufactured smell and was aching to be played. At first sight, the American Ultra’s vintage style really stood out from those shock value basses in the shapes of lightning bolts or flying V’s. It retains a classic, old-school look with contemporary flare.
Opting to teach myself a simple song (Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”) and plugging into my studio apartment-sized amp, that familiar feeling of adrenaline took over. It was difficult not to imagine myself performing for a sold out crowd—or more realistically, to my friend through FaceTime. With Fender’s new “Modern D” neck shape, which is a slimmer neck with ultra rolled edges, a 10”-14” compound radius, and a tapered neck heel that allows easy access to the higher frets, the American Ultra Precision Bass is a hell of a lot easier to practice or gig with. It was comfortable to play for hours without getting tired because of the delicately contoured backside—it seemed to hug my body.
The American Ultra Precision Bass’s chrome, top-loaded 4-Saddle HiMass bridge (which Fender debuted in 2013) leaves just enough sustain without altering your tone too much. Imagine a person walking by wearing perfume: their scent remains in the air, but it’s not too strong or too light—the subtle sustain the HiMass bridge produces gradually and pleasantly fades away.
Both the bridge and middle pickups feature Fender’s Ultra Noiseless pickups—one Noiseless Vintage split-coil P Bass middle pickup and one Noiseless Vintage single-coil Jazz Bass bridge pickup—which eliminate any unfortunate bass hum. It was as if I was somehow playing a blank canvas, begging for distortion pedals.
A Fender guitar or bass has the ability to become that ol’ reliable instrument, passed down from generation to generation—and the American Ultra Precision Bass shows that the company still has the ability to crank out classic after classic. However, while this bass is incredibly easy on the eyes and comfortable to play due to its fret size and huggable contoured body, I would mainly recommend it to an experienced player, due to the price point and the complexity of this awesome machine.