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Everything that Iron Maiden is today is partially thanks to Steve Harris, his talent and his bass tone. Not only did this legend write a good portion of Maiden's music, but he gives that band the underlying driving energy that everyone feels when listening to any of their popular songs. It was only a matter of time before Fender gave Harris his own signature model. The result of this effort is a masterpiece that does everything your standard P Bass does, but with a twist. Let's take a closer look and find out why we placed this model among our top picks for the $1000 range.
Unlike most other Fender basses, Fender Steve Harris Precision bass sports a two piece maple body with a glossy polyester finish. The neck looks like a standard U shape maple piece from Fender, but it's definitely extra thick on the backside. There's a good reason for this as well. Extra wood in the neck helps bring that true Steve Harris tone home with less effort.
In terms of hardware, we have a Fender High Mass bridge that takes care of the sustain, and a set of vintage style Fender open gear tuning machines. Hardware comes with a chrome finish, looks good and works even better. Since Harris is generally pretty physical with his bass guitars, that High Mass bridge really feels at home on this signature model from Fender.
This bass guitar is not the only thing that bears Harris' name. Seymour Duncan also produces a series of pickups which were directly inspired by Steve and his unique tone. Therefore, Fender decided to install Steve Harris Seymour Duncan® SPB-4 pickup on this model. This precision split coil pup is controlled by one Master Volume and one Master Tone knob.
If you have heard anything from Iron Maiden, you will know exactly what kind of tone you can expect to hear from this bass guitar. There's a lot of girth, thumping power and clarity thanks to that Seymour Duncan pickup. However, while this bass is probably the best tool for an Iron Maiden cover band, it's still a standard Precision bass. You can play anything on it which you would play on any other bass guitar from this family. It reacts really well to slapping while you can muddy up the tone plenty enough when it's time to kick things into a slower gear. Versatile, flexible and awesome would be three words that perfectly describe the sound Steve Harris Precision bass has to offer.
Signature model guitars and bass guitars are often a hit or miss deal. Some will turn out great, others not so much. Fender Steve Harris Precision bass is one of Fender's best success stories. They have managed to capture the core of what Harris is all about in a bass guitar while still preserving the full range of a standard Precision bass. Because of this, we feel that anyone looking to get into classic Fender basses should check this bad boy out. It might just be a perfect match for your needs.