Fender Nate Mendel P Bass Review & Prices

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Fender Nate Mendel P Bass Review
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  • 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 >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 72
Sound 79
Build quality 74
Value for money 75
Overall Score 75
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
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

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $1400, which means that the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass is within the average price asked for this kind of bass. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 4 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in United States.

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally, and there are many important things they won't tell you about the one you're buying. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this bass say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Fender Nate Mendel P Bass meets 3 out of our 6 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not bad for beginners, but it could be better. 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 to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

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

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass's construction favors people with relatively big hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this bass—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

How Lightweight is it?

We found that the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass weighs between 9.063lbs (4.1kgs) and 9.563lbs (4.3kgs). This was recorded from some online retailers that publish the weight of the instruments they sell.

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass's 34" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Fender Nate Mendel P Bass Scale Length Comparison
Fender Nate Mendel P Bass's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is considered a long scale bass, and it's the most popular choice for several reasons. Even though it might be more difficult to play than short scale basses due to their increased string tension, their punchier low-end results in a clear and defined bass tone that can cut through in a mix, making them well-suited for genres like rock, metal, and funk.

Neck Profile

Fender Nate Mendel P Bass Neck Profile
Fender Nate Mendel P Bass's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Fender Nate Mendel P Bass has a 7.25" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Fender Nate Mendel P Bass Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Fender Nate Mendel P Bass's fretboard radius compared to others

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.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass has the same radius across the board.

Playability compared to main competitors

34'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.615'' Nut Width
7.25'' Fretboard Radius
34'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.625'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
34'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.615'' Nut Width
7.25'' Fretboard Radius
34'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.625'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
34'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.625'' Nut Width
9.5'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Fender Nate Mendel P Bass Nut Width
Fender Nate Mendel P Bass Nut Width

The Fender Nate Mendel P Bass has a nut width of 41mm (1.615''). This is considered a wide width for a 4-string bass. A wider nut provides more space between the strings, making it easier for players to execute techniques like slap bass and tapping, which require extra room for precision. However, players with smaller hands might find it challenging to comfortably reach across the wider fretboard, as it requires a wider stretch between the fingers.

Frets

The Fender Nate Mendel P Bass has 20 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

Fret Size

Fender Nate Mendel P Bass Fret Size Comparison
Fender Nate Mendel P Bass's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Fender Nate Mendel P Bass's frets are Medium Jumbo size. These sit somewhere between a Jumbo and a Medium fret. They're not quite as tall as a full Jumbo, so you'll still feel the fretboard, but you won't feel it as much as with medium frets. This is a good size if you want to make it easy to press the strings but would also like a little bit of ''feedback'' to know when to stop pressing so the notes don't go out of pitch.

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 65
Chord Playability 90
Solo Playability 60
Playability 72

Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Ash wood pattern used for guitar building
Ash Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck
Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
Rosewood Fretboard

Ash Body: The most popular Ash wood for guitars is swamp Ash. It has a really light color with beautiful patterns, which makes it perfect for a natural-looking finish. It's not as lightweight as Alder, but also not as heavy as Mahogany. It's known for producing a bright tone with solid mids and lows.

Maple Neck: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Rosewood Fretboard: Since the ban of Brazillian Rosewood, this has become a rare and expensive wood. It's not usually used for guitar bodies because of this, and also because it's heavy. Instead, it's used mainly for fretboards. Sometimes it's also used for necks because it's an extremely hard wood (even harder than maple). Its tonality tends to favor warm tones.

Pickups

This bass comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Seymour Duncan. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

Preamp

The preamp is an electronic circuit that serves as an intermediary between the bass's pickups and the amplifier. Its primary function is to boost and shape the bass's raw signal before it reaches the amplifier. This allows for greater control over the bass's tone, volume, and other sound characteristics. Preamps often include tone controls, equalization settings, and sometimes even onboard effects, enabling bassists to tailor their sound to their preferences and the musical context.

This bass has a Passive preamp. 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.

The Fender Nate Mendel P Bass's configuration is S. 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.

Versatility

Naturally, the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass doesn't come with a pickup selector because it's a single-pickup bass. These instruments have less versatility, but they're good for practicing. Besides being cheaper, limiting yourself to a single-pickup bass can help you improve by learning to control the tone with your technique and playing style. Things like playing further away from the bridge for a warmer tone, or plucking the strings fast for a snappy sound can help you become a better player.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with more options for coil split or coil tapping. This makes it less versatile than some competitors.

What music genre is it good for?

As a 4 strings, Solid Body bass with S configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Country or similar. However, you can use almost any bass for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 100
Sustain 65
Versatility 70
Tuning Stability 80
Sound 79

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Fender Nate Mendel P Bass is made in United States. Guitars made in the USA have the reputation of being the best instruments you can get. This statement isn't as accurate as a few years ago, but you should still expect top-quality from a guitar made in this country.

Bridge

Fender HiMass with Chrome-Plated Zinc Saddles: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your bass. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Fender Nate Mendel P Bass has a Synthetic Bone nut. One of the best nuts you can have is a Bone nut thanks to their rich tonality and resistance. The problem is that they're a natural material, so different bone nuts will have inconsistent tonal properties. In other words, one bone nut might not sound as well as the other even when they're made from the same piece. Synthetic bone helps with this by giving you a high-quality, consistent nut that resembles the tone produced by bone.

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the bass meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This bass has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 66
Features 70
Quality Control 85
Build Quality 74

All Specs

Fender Nate Mendel P Bass
General
Brand: Fender
Year: 2018
Configuration: S
Strings: 4
Made in: United States
Series: Precision Bass
Colors: Red
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Ash
Bridge: Fender HiMass with Chrome-Plated Zinc Saddles
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Fender '70s Vintage-Style Stamped Open-Gear
Fretboard: Rosewood
Neck Material: Maple
Decoration: White Pearloid Dot
Scale Size: 34"
Shape: Bass Slim C
Frets: 20 Medium Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 7.25"
Nut: Synthetic Bone
Nut Width: 41mm (1.615'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs: Dome
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: ( / )
Middle Pickup: Fender Seymour Duncan Basslines SPB-3 Quarter Pound Split Single-Coil (Single Coil / Passive)

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