Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass vs Steve Harris Precision Bass

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Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass
Playability
72
Sound
81
Build
69
Value
79
Score
74
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Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass
VS
Playability
75
Sound
83
Build
74
Value
77
Score
77
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Reasons to Get
Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass over Steve Harris Precision Bass

Release Year
2021 vs 2019
From a more recent year
Type of Frets
Vintage vs Jumbo
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Neck Profile
Bass Mid '60s C vs Bass U Shape
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Volume Knobs
2 vs 1
More volume control
Pickups
SS vs Split S
Beautiful cleans
Nut Width
1.5'' (38.1mm) vs 1.615'' (41mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Value Score
79 vs 77
Better price/quality relationship

Reasons to Get
Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass over Vintera '60s Jazz Bass

Frets Height
Taller vs Shorter
Easier to press down strings and bend them
Type of Frets
Jumbo vs Vintage
You won't feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Neck Profile
Bass U Shape vs Bass Mid '60s C
Comfortable neck with more grip
Pickups
Split S vs SS
Reduced interference, warm tone, and strong midrange presence for versatile bass sounds.
Nut Width
1.615'' (41mm) vs 1.5'' (38.1mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle

Other Key Differences
Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass vs Steve Harris Precision Bass

Body Wood
Alder vs Maple
Different Body Wood
Fretboard Wood
Pau Ferro vs Maple
Different Fretboard Wood

Shared Features
Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass vs Steve Harris Precision 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
Switch Positions
0
Same pickups versatility
Tone Knobs
1
Same tone control
Number of Frets
20
Same maximum octave
Paint Finish
Poly
Resistant paint that ages well
Bridge
Fixed
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Scale Length
34'' (863.6mm)
Same string tension and fret separation
Fretboard Radius
7.25'' (184.2mm)
Same fretboard comfortability
Pickups Power
Passive
Cleaner sound and no battery needed
Neck Joint
Bolt-On
Allows you to detach and swap the neck

Common Strengths

  • High-Quality Nut
  • From a High-Quality-Standards Country
  • 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
  • Expensive Wood
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Active/Passive Preamp

Table of Contents

Price History Comparison

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Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass Prices

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Which One is Better?

After going through our comparison algorithm, the results show that the Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass is probably the better product overall with its final score of 77 compared to the Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass's 74 score, although not by a lot.

The Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass wins when it comes to sound, playability, build quality. On the other hand, the Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass has the upper hand when it comes to value for the money.

If you got small hands, you'll probably feel that the Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass 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 Steve Harris Precision Bass is the better choice.

The Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass meets 3 out of our 6 criteria items for beginner friendliness, while the Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass meets only 2. 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 Vintera '60s Jazz Bass
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale

New Player Friendliness

Fender Steve Harris Precision 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 Vintera '60s Jazz Bass Overview

  • From Fender's 2021 Vintera series
  • Made in United States
  • 4 strings
  • 34"'' scale
  • 7.25" Fretboard Radius
  • Alder body
  • Maple neck
  • Pau Ferro fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender Vintage-Style 60s Single-Coil Jazz Bass (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Fender Vintage-Style 60s Single-Coil Jazz Bass (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 4-Saddle American Vintage Bass bridge
  • Bass Mid '60s C Bolt-On neck
  • 20 Vintage frets
  • American Vintage Reverse Open-Gear Bass tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass Overview

  • From Fender's 2019 Precision Bass series
  • Steve Harris Signature
  • Made in United States
  • 4 strings
  • 34"'' scale
  • 7.25" Fretboard Radius
  • 2-Piece Maple body
  • Maple neck
  • Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: (/)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • Fender HiMass with Chrome-Plated Zinc Saddles bridge
  • Bass U Shape Bolt-On neck
  • 20 Jumbo frets
  • Fender '70s Vintage-Style Stamped Open-Gear tuners
  • 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 Vintera '60s Jazz Bass

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.

Winner: Tie.

Pickup Configuration

The Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass has an SS configuration while the Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass has Split 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 Split S, or split single-coil pickup, has a classic, warm, and punchy tone, characterized by a strong midrange presence and noise reduction. Its design cancels out interference, making it suitable for various musical styles and ideal for live performances and studio recording.

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

Both are equal when it comes to the pickup switching option.

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

In this case, both of them lack pickup selector.

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 Vintera '60s Jazz Bass.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass
Pickups 100
Sustain 65
Versatility 77
Tuning Stability 80
Sound 81
Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass
Pickups 100
Sustain 75
Versatility 75
Tuning Stability 80
Sound 83

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 Vintera '60s Jazz Bass compares to the Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass.

Country of Origin

The manufacturing country can tell a lot about the build quality of an instrument. Both in this comparison where made in United States.

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: Tie

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 Vintera '60s Jazz Bass's are American Vintage Reverse Open-Gear Bass while the Fender Steve Harris Precision 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 Vintera '60s Jazz Bass
  • Made in United States
  • Synthetic Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • 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 Steve Harris Precision Bass
  • Made in United States
  • Synthetic Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • 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

Final Build Quality Scores

Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass
Quality of materials 56
Features 70
Quality Control 80
Build Quality 69
Fender Steve Harris Precision 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 Vintera '60s Jazz Bass Nut Width
Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass Nut Width
Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass Nut Width
Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the Fender Steve Harris Precision 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 Steve Harris Precision 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 Vintera '60s Jazz Bass and Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass's Scale Length
Both have the same 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.

In this case, both have a scale length of 34".

This is a scale used for baritones and guitars with more than 6 strings. Since the scale is so long, the tension of the strings will be higher. This means that bending will require a lot more strength than with a shorter scale. However, it also allows you to use really low tunings without causing fret buzz and without needing to increase your string gauge too much.

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 Vintera '60s Jazz Bass Neck Profile
Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass's neck profile
Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass Neck Profile
Fender Steve Harris Precision 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.

In this case, both have different neck shapes:

The Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass has a C type of 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.

The Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass, on the other hand, has a U neck. This is also referred to as ''baseball neck'' because of its shape. It's usually thick, which is why some people with big hands like it. However, they can also be thin, similar to a C shape, but with more shoulders for a better grip.

Fretboard Radius

Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass Fingerboard Radius
Both Guitars Have The Same Fretboard 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.

Both the Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass and the Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass have the same fretboard radius of 7.25". This type of radius is considered vintage because it's a lot shorter than what is used in modern guitars. It'll make chords easy to play without muting the strings because the curve will give more space for your fingers, and it adapts more naturally to your hand. However, this comes at a disadvantage. Bending the strings will be more difficult because you will have to adapt your bends to the curve. Also, you won't be able to set the action of the strings low because your strings will ''fret out'' and get muted when bending due to the curve making the string hit the other frets.

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 Steve Harris Precision Bass favors large hands more than the Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass.

Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass:
Big Hands
Small Hands
Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass Frets Size
Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass's Frets Size
Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass Frets Size
Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass's Frets Size

The Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass has Jumbo frets, which should be taller than the Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass's Vintage frets.

Some people prefer taller frets because they result in more sustain since the strings get pressed cleanly without interference from the fretboard. However, if they're too tall—like Jumbo frets—, you might change the pitch of the strings accidentally if you press too hard because you won't be touching the fretboard with your fingers. This is also why some guitarists with a heavy grip prefer smaller frets. They like to feel the fingerboard to avoid pressing down too hard and getting out of pitch.

Final Playability Scores

Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass
Bending & Vibrato Ease 65
Chord Playability 90
Solo Playability 60
Playability 72
Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass
Bending & Vibrato Ease 75
Chord Playability 90
Solo Playability 60
Playability 75

Specs Side-by-Side

Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass vs Steve Harris Precision Bass
General Fender Vintera '60s Jazz Bass Steve Harris Precision Bass
Brand: Fender Fender
Year: 2021 2019
Configuration: SS Split S
Strings: 4 4
Made in: United States United States
Series: Vintera Precision Bass
Colors: Gold, Sunburst, Blue White
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: Alder 2-Piece Maple
Bridge: 4-Saddle American Vintage Bass Fender HiMass with Chrome-Plated Zinc Saddles
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On Bolt-On
Tuners: American Vintage Reverse Open-Gear Bass Fender '70s Vintage-Style Stamped Open-Gear
Fretboard: Pau Ferro Maple
Neck Material: Maple Maple
Decoration: White Dot Black Dot
Scale Size: 34" 34"
Shape: Bass Mid '60s C Bass U Shape
Frets: 20 Vintage Nickel Silver 20 Jumbo Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 7.25" 7.25"
Nut: Synthetic Bone Synthetic Bone
Nut Width: 38.1mm (1.5'') 41mm (1.615'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Fender Vintage-Style 60s Single-Coil Jazz Bass (Single Coil / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Fender Seymour Duncan Steve Harris Signature P-Bass SPB-4 (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Fender Vintage-Style 60s Single-Coil Jazz Bass (Single Coil / Passive)
Switch: 0 Way 0 Way
Knobs: Dome Dome
Pickup Mods: None None
Volume Controls: 2 1
Tone Controls: 1 1