Fender Meteora Bass

Disclaimer: I am a Fender fan.
Player Plus Active Meteora Bass® | Electric Basses (fender.com)

Having said that, what were they thinking with the new Meteora? I hope somebody else goes out and plays one and comes back to tell me I must have been “doing it wrong” because I have rarely had such a strangely negative impression of an instrument. If you have a different experience, please tell me about it.

The Good.
The weird body shape was surprisingly comfortable. Like, I instantly thought, wow what a comfortable body. Also, fit and finish were really nice.

The Odd.
Rolled edges on the fretboard were… weird. Maybe a little heavy handed for my taste. I’ve played a rolled fretboard edge before and found it to be a nice comfortable addition, but on the Meteora there is so much rounding it started to feel odd the more I played it. Also, it could have used a few passes with something to take the stickiness off the finish on the back of the neck.

The Bad.
The pickups. Ugh, the pickups. Where do I begin?

They could have used or built their own version of absolutely any kind of humbuckers in the world but they chose a design that would be the most difficult to swap out for something else. Why? Who even uses that shape other than Fender and Rio Grande Pickups.

The reason I became so focused on the shape is because of the sound.

Once again, they could have used or built their own version of absolutely any kind of humbuckers in the world but they chose to charge $1200 and use the most generic, lifeless, uninspiring, and bland humbuckers they could come up with.

I’m usually pretty even keeled and I don’t typically get mad at inanimate objects, like pickups. I know such a feeling is irrational and I can’t explain it. But these pickups made me angry that I had ever heard them. :rofl:

It’s like somebody at Fender said, “Oh you want a bass with humbuckers? Humbuckers suck on bass and we’re gonna show you how much.”

I really hope someone posts that this must have been a quality control issue and something must have been wrong with the one I played.


Leave it to Fender to roll out a $1200 bass with bad pickups :rofl:


Wow. Only in Fenderland.

And I like Fender too but sometimes they’re just detached from the world the rest of us live in.


I love the look of the body. And the concept is good.

The last thing the world needs is yet another line of standard Fender P or J basses, so good for them for trying something different… but it’s just not in their DNA.


as I often say, pickups are rarely good on Fender instrument. why ? it’s a true mystery for me. so yeah, everytime I have a Fender, I consider swapping the pickups. only one of my Fenders has its stock pickups, which happen to be excellent … because, sometimes, the pickups are good or even really good. but it’s rare.

Otherwise, I really like the body and pickguard shape on the Meteora. it’s a nice looking design to me.


Completely agree!!
The only ones I’ve ever kept in a bass are the custom shop P’s. And a set of DiMarzios in a MIJ that Fender didn’t make. The MIM P in my Vintera wasn’t bad but wasn’t great.


I’ve been able to test out one of the new Meteora basses in a little independent shop in the city…

My first bass was a Squier which I still have the “first love” feel for, however I’ve not tried many other Fender basses since that I actually like the feel of… at all. And given the debatebly ugly appearance of these new models I was skeptical but intrigued.

As you said, they are really surprisingly comfortable to play! I thought the range of tones was pretty nice too. I basically hate to say that I kinda enjoyed it.
But that’s about it. Everything else about them repels me, even before I think about the price tag… :joy:


I’ve become a Fender fan, first with the Dimensions (which were off of Fender’s beaten path), and then with the Jazzes. I agree with you; I just posted about these in the “ugly duckling” thread. To me, these Meteoras look like the unholy offspring of a Dimension and a Jaguar with some ESP/LTD Stream thrown in for good measure. I can’t help but think that they’ll go down the same path that the Dimensions did.

At least the HH Dimensions have a reputation for being tone monsters; it sounds like the Meteoras don’t even have that going for them.

1 Like

I actually think they look kinda cool. Can’t say anything about the sound but the demos I heard weren’t that bad. Love that you start with a disclaimer and someone said Fenderland. Brilliant stuff :joy:


I think they look great, except the headstock. Headstock looks totally off on this one.


I dig the “Opal Spark” color.

1 Like

I think the headstock looks great on this bass. You know it is a Fender at first glance. Different strokes. I actually like the sun burst on one of the models.

1 Like

I am curious what kind of cool noises you could get with this if you bend the E or G string off the side of it when playing.
I have not played one, but it does sound a little problematic just thinking about it. I think I would end up sometimes when playing fast and really into it, where I could push the E over the edge or pull the G down below it.
It could end up with some cool sounds if you are overdriven with an octave and / or Envelope filter / reverb / chorus / phaser / any modulation I guess.
Kind of like Dimebag with his pinch harmonic squeals, but something on bass. IDK, could be cool, could be lame, would have to try it out.

1 Like

That’s cool. Different strokes, different folks and all. I’m not going to try and tell somebody else what they should or shouldn’t like. I love my Jazz bass but I know there are plenty of people that don’t care for them.

Funny that the Meteora has made it into both the “ugly duckling” and the “bass porn” threads. :rofl:

Yes. Despite the polarizing look, it’s an, unexpectedly, very comfortable body. I recommend trying it out just for that.

This was my first thought on this bass, but there aren’t many options for swapping them out.


Seriously the only bummer is the headstock for me :slight_smile:

1 Like

The guy from Guns and Guitars (a bass player) has launched his own line of instruments.
His first one looked kind of like this bass, but IMO, better.
I cant remember for sure, but I think he used a humbucker or two to get good tones out of it.
I think they go quick, but are in that same price range, and if you otder from him, you can preselect the wood and be in on the design.
I am sure you can add things to it if you are willing to pay for upgrades.
Also, he may have a back log, so not gonna work if you need it now.

Just a thoght if you like the shape, but rather have something that sounds good too??

1 Like

He does and I’m in it. Lol.


Me too but he’ll go only as crazy as what he’s envisioned but probably not as far as you want him to go, lol. I’m on the waiting list for a Rickie.


It’s hard to say about the double jazz the called “fireball”, to me it looks like a sequel to the American dimension bass jazz version on steroids.

Per usual the narrower nutwidth put a pause button for me already. I’d be all over it at 30” or 32” scale. It would be like an upscale Jaguar.

1 Like

Nice look. The burst is particularly nice IMO :ok_hand: :ok_hand:.

1 Like