Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ vs Nate Mendel P Bass

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Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ
Playability
70
Sound
81
Build
69
Value
78
Score
73
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Fender Nate Mendel P Bass
VS
Playability
72
Sound
79
Build
74
Value
75
Score
75
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Reasons to Get
Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ over Nate Mendel P Bass

Release Year
2021 vs 2018
From a more recent year
Switch Positions
3 vs 0
More tone options
Pickups
SS vs S
Beautiful cleans
Nut Width
1.5'' (38.1mm) vs 1.615'' (41mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Paint Finish
Poly vs Nitro
Resistant paint that ages well
Scale Length
30'' (762mm) vs 34'' (863.6mm)
Easier bending, shorter fret separation and warmer natural tone
Fretboard Radius
9.5'' (241.3mm) vs 7.25'' (184.2mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend
Avg. Weight
7.719lbs (3.5kgs) vs 9.313lbs (4.2kgs)
Tends to be lighter
Value Score
78 vs 75
Better price/quality relationship

Reasons to Get
Fender Nate Mendel P Bass over Player Mustang Bass PJ

Country of Manufacturing
United States vs Mexico
Built with higher quality standards
Pickups
S vs SS
For twangy sounds and simplicity
Number of Frets
20 vs 19
Allows to reach higher notes
Nut Width
1.615'' (41mm) vs 1.5'' (38.1mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle
Paint Finish
Nitro vs Poly
Thin finish that creates aging marks faster
Scale Length
34'' (863.6mm) vs 30'' (762mm)
Lower action and brighter natural tone
Fretboard Radius
7.25'' (184.2mm) vs 9.5'' (241.3mm)
More curved fretboard helpful to play chords without muting strings

Other Key Differences
Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ vs Nate Mendel P Bass

Middle Pickup
Fender Vintage-Style Split Single-Coil Precision Bass vs Fender Seymour Duncan Basslines SPB-3 Quarter Pound Split Single-Coil
Different Middle Pickup
Body Wood
Alder vs Ash
Different Body Wood
Fretboard Wood
Pau Ferro vs Rosewood
Different Fretboard Wood

Shared Features
Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ vs Nate Mendel P Bass

Neck Wood
Maple
Same Neck Wood
Headstock
4
Same Headstock
Nut Material
Synthetic Bone
Same Nut Material
Strings
4
Same playing style
Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Volume Knobs
1
Same volume control
Tone Knobs
1
Same tone control
Bridge
Fixed
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Pickups Power
Passive
Cleaner sound and no battery needed
Neck Profile Type
C
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Neck Joint
Bolt-On
Allows you to detach and swap the neck
Type of Frets
Medium Jumbo
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings

Common Strengths

  • High-Quality Nut
  • Top Pickup Brand

Common Weaknesses

  • Neck-Through Build
  • Pickup Alter Switch/Knob
  • Weight Relief
  • Retainer Bar
  • High-Quality Frets
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Luminescent Sidedots
  • Strap Lock
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Active/Passive Preamp

Table of Contents

Price History Comparison

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Fender Nate Mendel P Bass Prices

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Which One is Better?

After going through our comparison algorithm, the results show that the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass is probably the better product overall with its final score of 75 compared to the Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ's 73 score, although not by a lot.

The Fender Nate Mendel P Bass wins when it comes to playability, build quality. On the other hand, the Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ has the upper hand when it comes to sound, value for the money.

If you got small hands, you'll probably feel that the Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ is easier to play.

Which One is Better for Beginners?

If you're looking for your first bass to learn how to play, the Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ is the better choice.

The Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ meets 5 out of our 6 criteria items for beginner friendliness, while the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass meets only 3. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players.

New Player Friendliness

Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Short scale
  • Comfortable neck
  • Narrow nut

New Player Friendliness

Fender Nate Mendel P Bass
  • Comfortable shape
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale

Nevertheless, when it comes to choosing an instrument, you should pick the one more compatible with your personal style. Still, below we'll try you to give you our results as objectively as it's possible to help you decide.

Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ Overview

  • From Fender's 2021 Player Mustang series
  • Made in Mexico
  • 4 strings
  • 30"'' scale
  • 9.5" Fretboard Radius
  • Alder body
  • Maple neck
  • Pau Ferro fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Jazz Bass (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: (/)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Bell knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • 4-Saddle Standard bridge
  • Bass C Shape Bolt-On neck
  • 19 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Fender Vintage-Style tuners
  • Weight between 7.625lbs (3.5kgs) and 7.813lbs (3.5kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

Fender Nate Mendel P Bass Overview

  • From Fender's 2018 Precision Bass series
  • Nate Mendel Signature
  • Made in United States
  • 4 strings
  • 34"'' scale
  • 7.25" Fretboard Radius
  • Ash body
  • Maple neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: (/)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • Fender HiMass with Chrome-Plated Zinc Saddles bridge
  • Bass Slim C Bolt-On neck
  • 20 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Fender '70s Vintage-Style Stamped Open-Gear tuners
  • Weight between 9.063lbs (4.1kgs) and 9.563lbs (4.3kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

Sound Quality Comparison

The wood used in an electric guitar or bass is not as important to determine the final tone. However, some people prefer specific wood types, so we'll take a look at those first. Then, we'll take a look at the electronics to determine the versatility and sound quality of each instrument.

Woods Used in Both

Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple

Maple is one of the most popular necks for good reasons. It is a strong wood that is relatively cheap to make and looks beautiful. The highest quality maple is the hardest that comes from North America. Find out more about Maple.

Woods Used in the Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ

Pau Ferro wood pattern used for guitar building
Pau Ferro
Alder wood pattern used for guitar building
Alder

Pau Ferro has a dark, chocolate-like color with straight dark grains that is being used as a replacement to Rosewood due to the regulations. It produces a warm tone that is somewhere between Mahogany and Rosewood. Find out more about Pau Ferro.

Alder is the most popular wood that Fender uses in most of their guitars nowadays. Even though they say it's because of its balanced tone with an emphasis in the upper midrange, it probably is because it isn't too expensive, and it's also pretty lightweight—more than Mahogany. Find out more about Alder.

Woods Used in the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass

Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
Rosewood
Ash wood pattern used for guitar building
Ash

Rosewood is an almost purple-looking wood that is used mainly for fretboards since it's heavy, rare, and expensive. It's sometimes used on acoustic guitar bodies to create stronger warm tones. Find out more about Rosewood.

Ash is a type of wood that Fender used almost exclusively in the 50s, and it's still used by many brands. It's a dense wood with a light color that works well for a transparent, natural finish because of its beautiful patterns. In terms of sound, it's known for emphasizing the mid and high frequencies, but with strong low end. Find out more about Ash.

Winner: Fender Nate Mendel P Bass.

Pickup Configuration

The Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ has an SS configuration while the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass has S pickups.

SS is the classic Telecaster configuration. It's used mainly for playing clean or with low-gain distortion, and it's very popular for the country genre because of their brightness. It doesn't give you as much versatility as a Strat SSS configuration, but you might like the cleaner look of a guitar body with fewer pickups.

On the other hand, A single single-coil pickup is not a configuration commonly found in modern electric guitars because it lacks versatility. But if you only want a guitar that sounds very thin and twangy, this might be good enough.

Pickups Quality

Both come with some of the top pickups on the market. You can't go wrong with either of them. You'll probably never need a pickup upgrade.

Both use Passive pickups. This is what's used for most music genres. They have a regular output and will serve you for both high-gain and clean tones. The alternative (Active pickups) offer a higher output that is mostly used for heavy music.

Preamp Circuit

A preamp in an electric bass functions as an electronic circuit that acts as an interface between the bass's pickups and the amplifier. Its main purpose is to amplify and customize the bass's initial signal before it reaches the amplifier, offering enhanced control over factors like tone, volume, and sound attributes. Preamps typically come equipped with tone adjustments, equalization options, and sometimes built-in effects, empowering bass players to fine-tune their sound to suit their personal preferences and the musical environment.

Both basses have a Passive preamp.

Passive: A bass with a passive preamp lacks an onboard electronic circuit for tone shaping and signal boosting. Instead, it relies solely on passive pickups and basic tone controls, typically consisting of volume and tone knobs. Passive preamps don't require an external power source like batteries, making them low-maintenance and dependable. While they offer a simpler and more straightforward tonal character, passive basses are appreciated for their warm and vintage sound, often favored in genres like classic rock, blues, and funk. They are an excellent choice for musicians who value the simplicity and timeless appeal of their instrument's tone without the need for active electronic components.

Winner: Tie.

Versatility Comparison

Some instruments offer you more ways to explore your creativity than others. Below you'll find how both compare when it comes to versatility.

Switch Options

The Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ gives you 3 switch options while the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass gives you 0. This means that the Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ gives you more options to find the right pickup combination for the type of sound you want to achieve

Neither of them come with some kind of coil split or pickup mod option. This makes both lacking in terms of versatility.

Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ's switch options

The Fender Nate Mendel P Bass doesn't come with pickup switching options.

When evaluating versatility, we also take into consideration bridge and neck joint type, number of frets, switch options, amount of pickups and more.

Winner: Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ
Pickups 100
Sustain 65
Versatility 80
Tuning Stability 80
Sound 81
Fender Nate Mendel P Bass
Pickups 100
Sustain 65
Versatility 70
Tuning Stability 80
Sound 79

Build Quality Comparison

When it comes to build quality, we like to take into account everything used to build the instrument. This includes materials, hardware and the quality control expected depending on the country where it was built. Let's see how the Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ compares to the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass.

Country of Origin

The manufacturing country can tell a lot about the build quality of an instrument. The Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ is built in Mexico while the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass is made in United States.

Mexico has been for a long time where Fender has built their semi-premium series. If you don't want to overpay for a wellp-built instrument, a guitar built in this country by a good brand always offers good value for the money.

The United States is considered one of the best electric guitar manufacturers in the world. A guitar made in this country is supposed to have world-class quality control. Nowadays, guitars made in other countries can beat some of the ones made in the US, but most of the time, this country offers the best you can get. Of course, that comes at a price.

Winner: Fender Nate Mendel P Bass

Nut Material

If you want your bass to stay in tune and sound good, you need a well cut nut. Nut quality can be inconsistent even when comparing two copies of the same model. The best way to make sure you're nut will be well done is by getting a nut made by an expert company like TUSQ or Micarta.

In this case, both have Synthetic Bone nuts. Bone is the best natural material for guitar nuts. However, its tonal properties can be inconsistent. That's the problem that synthetic bone fixes. This is much better than using a plastic nut because the nut is more slippery—which helps with tuning stability—, and it gives your open strings rich harmonics.

Fret Material

Most fret wire is made of nickel silver. This material eventually wears down after a lot of use and most instruments end up needing a complete fret replacement. However, some expensive models come with stainless steel frets. This is what you should aim for if you can afford it.

Unfortunately, none of them come with stainless steel frets.

Winner: Tie.

Tuners

Both come with regular tuners. The Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ's are Fender Vintage-Style while the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass's are Fender '70s Vintage-Style Stamped Open-Gear

Winner: Tie.

Neck Joint

Contrary to popular belief, the difference in sustain and tone that some neck joints give to a bass is simply unperceivable—if they're all well built. However, some of them do have advantages over the others.

Both have a Bolt-On neck joint. This neck is joined to the body by 4 bolts that you can simply unscrew. This allows you to replace the neck or take it off for travel. It's the most common and cheapest way to build a guitar.

Winner: Tie.

Here is the list of features that were considered when choosing the winner in the Features subcategory:

Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ
  • Synthetic Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Mexico
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Active Preamp
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar
  • No Strap Lock
Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender Nate Mendel P Bass
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Synthetic Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Active Preamp
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar
  • No Strap Lock

Final Build Quality Scores

Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ
Quality of materials 66
Features 70
Quality Control 70
Build Quality 69
Fender Nate Mendel P Bass
Quality of materials 66
Features 70
Quality Control 85
Build Quality 74

Playability Comparison

Let's now compare their playability. Bear in mind that the instrument will feel different depending on your hand size and play style. That's why you should always test before buying. But if you can't or want a second opinion on it, we can still take a look at each of the important measurements of the instrument for you. This way, we can predict how easy a bass might be to play, or how different it will feel compared to the other.

Remember that, even though the difference might seem small, every inch counts when it comes to feeling of the instrument in your hands. Any variation can completely change how comfortable a bass feels in your hands.

Nut Width

Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ Nut Width
Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ Nut Width
Fender Nate Mendel P Bass Nut Width
Fender Nate Mendel P Bass Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass has the wider nut with 41mm (1.615'') vs 38.1mm (1.5''). This is a 2.9mm (0.115'') difference

This means that it will be more difficult to do bar chords on the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass, especially closer to the nut. However, it's also easier to play without muting strings accidently. This favors people with big hands.

Scale Length

Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ's Scale Length
Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ's Scale Length
Fender Nate Mendel P Bass's Scale Length
Fender Nate Mendel P Bass's Scale Length

The scale length is one of the things that influences playability the most. This is the distance between the nut and the bridge and will affect everything from low action allowance, difficulty to perform bends, fret separation, and even tone.

The Fender Nate Mendel P Bass has the longest scale: 34". The Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ is only 30" long. This is a 4'' (101.6mm) scale length difference.

This longer scale means that the strings need more tension to get in tune. This is good if you want to avoid fret buzz, which can happen when the strings are too loose and touch the frets while vibrating. This is especially important when playing in lower tunings. This will also let you reduce the gap between fretboard and strings (low action) to make them easier to press down. However, this higher tension will also make it harder to perform bends and vibratos as the strings will feel stiffer.

This also means that the frets have a longer separation between each other, so this will make it harder for people with smaller hands when playing some chord positions.

Another characteristic of a longer scale is that it makes the bass sound 'snappier' or brighter. This is due to the extra separation between harmonics and overtones produced by the tension. This influences tone more than any other factor (except the pickups).

Lastly, remember that you can also affect the tension of the strings by changing your string gauge. You can use a thicker gauge for more tension and a lighter one for less tension.

Neck Profile

Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ Neck Profile
Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ's neck profile
Fender Nate Mendel P Bass Neck Profile
Fender Nate Mendel P Bass's neck profile

No single neck shape is better than others. However, most people tend to prefer a thinner necks because it doesn't get in their way when playing fast and most hand sizes can adapt to it pretty well. However, some people still prefer thicker necks for a better grip, especially if they have big hands.

Both the Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ and the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass have a C-shaped neck. This is what you'll find in most modern guitars. Most people feel like the thickness of a C neck is simply the less intrusive one for playing fast, while at the same time allowing you to grab the neck easily for resting if you want to.

Fretboard Radius

Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ Fingerboard Radius
Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ's Fingerboard radius
Fender Nate Mendel P Bass Fingerboard Radius
Fender Nate Mendel P Bass's Fingerboard radius

Most bass fretboards are not flat; they usually have a curve or arc across their width. A curved fretboard will make it easier to perform chords without muting strings, while a flatter one will make it easier to play single notes, which is good for bending and soloing in general. The best fretboards have a compound radius that varies across the fingerboard, but they're not common since they take a lot more work to build.

In this case, the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass's fingerboard radius is smaller, which means it's more curved than the Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ's. This extra arc will make playing chords easier in this model. You won't be as likely to mute the strings, especially if you have big hands. However, playing single notes and bending will be easier on the Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ.

Hand Size Comfortability

Everyone has a different hand size, and that's why it's recommended to try a bass before buying, even if others tell you that it's comfortable to play. However, we can know whether a bass favors small or large hands just by knowing its exact measurements.

And after taking into account the scale length, nut width, neck profile and fretboard radius, we can conclude that the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass favors large hands more than the Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ.

Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ:
Big Hands
Small Hands
Fender Nate Mendel P Bass:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ and Fender Nate Mendel P Bass Frets Size
Both have a similar Medium Jumbo fret size

Both have a Medium Jumbo fret size. These are slightly shorter than full Jumbo frets, so you'll still feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings. However, they interfere less with your fretting hand than medium-size frets. This is a good size if you like easy-to-press frets, but would still like to feel a bit of the fretboard when playing.

Final Playability Scores

Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ
Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
Chord Playability 70
Solo Playability 60
Playability 70
Fender Nate Mendel P Bass
Bending & Vibrato Ease 65
Chord Playability 90
Solo Playability 60
Playability 72

Specs Side-by-Side

Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ vs Nate Mendel P Bass
General Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ Nate Mendel P Bass
Brand: Fender Fender
Year: 2021 2018
Configuration: SS S
Strings: 4 4
Made in: Mexico United States
Series: Player Mustang Precision Bass
Colors: Gold, Sunburst, Natural Red
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: Alder Ash
Bridge: 4-Saddle Standard Fender HiMass with Chrome-Plated Zinc Saddles
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On Bolt-On
Tuners: Fender Vintage-Style Fender '70s Vintage-Style Stamped Open-Gear
Fretboard: Pau Ferro Rosewood
Neck Material: Maple Maple
Decoration: White Dot White Pearloid Dot
Scale Size: 30" 34"
Shape: Bass C Shape Bass Slim C
Frets: 19 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver 20 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 9.5" 7.25"
Nut: Synthetic Bone Synthetic Bone
Nut Width: 38.1mm (1.5'') 41mm (1.615'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Jazz Bass (Single Coil / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Fender Vintage-Style Split Single-Coil Precision Bass (Single Coil / Passive) Fender Seymour Duncan Basslines SPB-3 Quarter Pound Split Single-Coil (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup:
Switch: 3 Way 0 Way
Knobs: Bell Dome
Pickup Mods: None None
Volume Controls: 1 1
Tone Controls: 1 1