#104 Fender Dimension Bass Guitar – American Deluxe Dimension Bass V

IMG_8267[crop-sz]Fender Dimension Bass Guitar V [MIA]

Almost a year ago Fender released its new Dimension series bass guitars and I have to say that I was a bit blase about this new instrument.  Fender has a rather tried and true stable of basses so why do they need something new?

At the same time, the market once mostly owned by Fender, now has a lot more competition.  So I guess it was time for Fender come up with some new tricks.

The other thing that I wondered was if Fender had lost it’s edge.  It seems to me that in recent years there’s been a lot of really good basses coming from companies like MusicMan, G&L, Warwick and even the higher end SR series basses from Ibanez can certainly challenge Fender for sound and playability.  And if you want to go a little upscale Sadowsky certainly makes one awesome sounding jazz bass.

Today I had the pleasure of attending the “Fender Day of Bass” at the Vancouver Long & McQuade.  The event was hosted by Fender rep Peter Davyduck.  Peter is an awesome guy with lots of expertise and is a great player too.

Fender American Deluxe Dimension V Bass Guitar HeadstockI played a number of basses at the event, but for me this one, a Fender American Deluxe Dimension Bass V really grabbed my attention.

Overall the bass body shape and headstock are not much of a departure for Fender, but it does have a distinctive pickguard styling.  But what is most noticeably different about this Fender is its double humbucking (HH) pickup configuration.  And just maybe this is where “what is unique about this Fender” begins.

The bass has a five position switch that allows for picking up various combinations of coils in the two pickups, then routes that signal to an 18 volt, 3 EQ preamp.  I found that this configuration allowed for a great deal of tonal variation.  This is in great contrast to electronics in my Jazz Deluxe, which I find with a similar configuration to be pretty limited.

Overall the sound of this bass was quite different from what you’d expect from Fender and to me had more in common with that woody Warwick sound.  Something that I really liked about it.

Another thing that I really liked was the slimmer neck.  Previous Fender 5-strings that I’ve played have 1 7/8″ nut.  This one is 1 3/4″.  Just slightly thinner but much more comfortable in my view.

Fender American Deluxe Dimension V Bass Guitar BodyThe fit and finish of this is great.  I really like the violin burst finish and rosewood fretboard.  But if I had my wish I would go for neck binding and block inlays like my Jazz.  And I found the white pickguard is a bit boring. Maybe a tort pickguard?

One of my nits lately has been sloppy fret dressing.  This to to the point of drawing blood.  None of the Fenders I played today showed any signs of this and were smooth as silk.

I was also able to play the maple fretboard version of this, and while I liked it as well, the rosewood felt and sounded better to me.  I find this to be mostly a preference, I like rosewood.  It just has a warmer feel to me.  Others I talked to today preferred maple.

So in my opinion, this bass is a big winner.  I wish I could have taken it home.  I’d wondered when seeing big name players playing this bass if it was just because they got an endorsement deal.  But I take it all back.  This is a solid player.  One that I’d definitely be happy gigging with.


More information on this bass can be found on Fender’s website.

PS Thanks to Peter for having this bass event today!

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2 Responses to #104 Fender Dimension Bass Guitar – American Deluxe Dimension Bass V

  1. Dust Rat says:

    thanks for this, terri.

  2. scarred2112 says:

    What killed any purchase of this Bass for me (…and I was coming *close*) was watching a good many of videos of Yolanda Charles sounding FANTASTIC playing both Fingerstyle & Slap on a “Cayenne Red & Maple Fretboard” Single Humbucker 5-string model, and that I had no Music Man-type Bass to pull out of “My Toolbox”, and then discovering that not only was that particular combination of “Cayenne Red” & “Maple Fretboard” NOT available but the Maple Fretboard model was only available in 2 of the WHOPPING *4* finishes that the “AMERICAN DELUXE DIMENSION” was available in, and the Rosewood models had the other *2* (in a model that had an MSRP at the time was $1,799-$1,899… while Strats at around the $1000 price-point typically has 8-10 colors to choose from). I even had an inquiry pushed “up the ladder” from my local High-End/Custom Shop-Carrying Fender Dealer (aka Not Guitar Center) if it were possible to swap Necks somewhere along the production line to get the Finish & Fretboard of my choice… the word came back that “No, that was not possible on This Line of Basses”. And again, this was from *numerous* Fender produced-and-promoted videos on YouTube and other M.I. Sites, not some single backstage interview w/ YC that showed a Bass made exclusively for a Fender Player. This was a Large Portion of their Promo material for the highest-end model off the line-up… never-mind the also-embarrassing “4 Finishes, 2 Fretboards, and never the t’wain shale meet”. 🙁

    “Not Possible” to unscrew 4-to-5 neck bolts, swap the Neck from the Rosewood-bodied model, and rescrew it back on. I imagine Fender wanted a “Custom Shop” charge for that change, but for myself it was the absolute last experience I’d have with Fender. Too many Bass Amplification companies purchased & killed off (SWR, Genz Benz, etc…) …although I’m looking *seriously* at the Genzler Magellen 800W 2-channel “Micro Head” & two BA210-3 2×10″ w/ 4 small, 3” high performance cone transducers that use Neodymium in both the 10s as well as 3s to make them super-small & lightweight which this Aging, Bad Back’d & Disabled Bassist can use all the help in those areas as possibles.

    …but mostly I’m tired of getting absolutely no “sway” with Fender over the last 10-15 years such as the “American Dimension” issue which would-and-should-of been an easy change for a Sale in the not low-end $1,799-$1,899 price range, but apparently swapping out a Neck would have been too much effort for that amount of money. Which is why I haven’t made a purchase from a “Large Music Industry Company” in just about a decade, why when my 40th B-Day rolled around last year it went to a company where I can pick up the phone and speak directly to the Owner… and after 15 minutes discussing Basses and what Neck Woods effect what Body Woods and so on, another 10 talking quality microbrews… and “My 40th” PJ/JJ-24 (he routed the Neck Pickup shape to fit either a P5 or a J5 with EMG Quik Connectors, to give me the option of a 24-fret 5-string w/ PJ or JJ within 5 minutes of changing out pickguards! :-), and is so lovely even the 1st comment by “Dr Better-Half” upon viewing was “That is a Work. Of. Art”, so even she… who has heard me rattle on about Basses & Bass Tech for 16 years, thinks that much of it and that it was worth the Large Custom Bass price it/he deserved and pulled off every possible option I could throw at the Shop… and since it has arrived it’s been by-far the most played of all my Basses – there’s been no ‘Lull’ in THAT statistic ;-D )

    But mainly, I can’t imagine a scenario where I’d ever find myself purchasing a Fender in the future, and this is not simply regarding the “American Deluxe Dimension”, I had not been happy with both the availability of models and finishes for their higher-end Bass Line-ups. I’m in a place where I have “My Guy” for some future builds, and as for “The One” Fender Bass I need to own?… there are *far* than enough Near Mint-to-Mint Japanese-built Geddy Lee Models on the Used Market to take my pick from.

    …However, very glad you were able to find a Bass that fit things for you. I simply wish Fender had made it easier to put money into their hands. 😉

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