As one of the most successful and celebrated rock bands of the last 50 years, Pink Floyd have earned their name and the prestige which is attributed to them, in no short part due to founding member and bass player Roger Waters.
The Fender Precision bass has been Waters choice of instrument since the early 70’s and in 2010 his own signature model was released through Fender. With a couple of additions to emulate the original bass design, Fender has created the perfect piece of gear for any Pink Floyd fan and the subject of today’s review.
This signature model takes the classic design and sound of a standard Fender Precision bass guitar and adds some additional features to give it an authentic Roger Waters feel.
The most recognizable feature of this bass is the dark finish. In addition to both the body and scratch plate; all of the hardware on the lower half of the instrument is in a jet black colour, including the tone and volume control knobs, the strap buttons and the pickups.
In appropriate fashion the bass has a distinctive 70’s look and feel, with the addition of 1970’s styled open gear tuners which have the Fender script logo stamped on the neck of the instrument.
The chrome neck plate continues the 70’s theme, with the classic Fender logo adding another level of authenticity to the instrument.
The bass is fitted with a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Split Coil pickup, also known as the SPB-3; it is one of the most popular bass pickups in the Seymour Duncan range. This pickup gives the bass a “punchy” sound, boosting the mid-range frequencies giving the tone a full and thick texture. This particular tone lends itself well to classic rock; however the pickup allows the instrument to be used in a number of different musical situations and across a variety of different genres. Or you can just jam out some Pink Floyd with it…
Bassists who also utilise the SPB-3 in their instrument include Mark Hoppus of Blink 182, Jay Bently of Bad Religion and Justin Meldan – Johnsen of Nine Inch Nails and Beck. Other features of the bass include a thick neck, giving the fingerboard a 9.5 inch radius and a brass nut, which improves the sustain and adds some brightness to the tone.
Pro’s and Con’s
Sounds and looks like the original – It goes without saying that this bass is hands down the perfect instrument for any bassist who is a big Pink Floyd fan. Although obviously it’s not completely identical to Waters own precision bass, this signature model comes as close as possible to replicating it. Whether you’re looking to start tribute band or if you’re casual bassist, this instrument is ideal for you.
Quality Pick Up – As previously stated the Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound pick up is the most popular bass pickup in the companies range and for good reason. It gives a slightly more modern tone than previous Seymour Duncan alternatives such as the SPB- 1 and 2 and while commonly used by bass players seeking a hard rock tone, the pickup has a tonal diversity that allows a variety of different genres to be performed.
Relatively Expensive – At around $880 at most retailers, the Roger Waters Precision Bass is relatively expensive for a Mexican built Fender model. A similar priced instrument, which is also made in Mexican, will be a fair bit cheaper, for example a Fender Standard Precision bass will be priced at around $600. The Roger Waters model does capture the look and feel of its name sake however and for many musicians; particularly fans of Water’s bass work, these additional features may be worth the extra price tag.
As has been mentioned throughout this review, the Roger Waters Fender Precision Bass is perfect for the avid Pink Floyd fan. For a musician looking to start a Floyd tribute band this is the obvious choice allowing you to look and sound like the legend that is Roger Waters. This bass is also a solid investment for any beginner bass player, the versatility and reliability that comes with a Fender instrument makes this an ideal choice. In addition to being a signature model, the bass also stands out in regards to its features and quality, with the brass nut and thick neck being just two examples of such components. Although the price of this bass may dissuade some, the unique qualities of the Roger Waters Fender Precision Bass make it worth the additional cost.