I had the chance to compare those basses side-to-side. Here is a list of significant differences that I have observed.
Mind you: This list is highly subjective and might differ from bass to bass as well.
|Property||Decisive||Pro II||AO ’60s|
|Neck||⭐️||Comfortable, just right||Too wide, uncomfortable|
Bass + Low-mid oriented
|Color||Eye-catching, sparkly options||Classic options|
|High fret access||⭐️||Good (contoured heel)||Poor (standard heel)|
|Truss rod access||Easy||Hard (hidden)|
|Fret visibility||⭐️||High (white dots)||Low (clay dots)|
Obviously; Pro II wins on more decisive factors. Therefore, I prefer the Pro II over AO at this time.
Except the fret radius; AO looks like it was produced in the ’60s and took a time machine to 2020. Looks great and sounds very powerful. However, it also leaves out the practical improvements that Fender did over time. Therefore, it might not be the best choice for the typical bassist looking for a practical workhorse.
Pro II is a simple, reliable instrument designed for comfort and practicality. The range of eye-candy-level finish options doesn’t hurt either. It doesn’t bring any dissatisfactory properties to the table. A typical bassist can forget about the bass easily and focus on the music. Check my individual review of the Fender American Professional II Precision Bass.
- If you want a vintage-style instrument despite the impracticalities and have a reliable workhorse bass already, get the AO.
- If you want a reliable workhorse or are looking for a main bass, get the Pro II.
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