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Old 01-04-2013, 11:19 PM   #21
Ziphoblat
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Because I have nothing better to do with my time at the moment, I decide to go back through all the new album releases I've listened to in the past year (44 in total) and find out the basses used to record them (or that the bassists are famed for using where this wasn't obvious). Of the 44, here are the results:

24 Fender, 5 EBMM, 5 Warwick, 2 Ibanez, 2 Gibson, 1 Hofner, 1 Rickenbacker, 1 Jackson, 1 Spector, 1 Status, 1 Sadowsky, 1 Lakland & 1 Danelectro.

That's coming from a fairly diverse selection of commercial releases (indie, alternative, rock, metal, electronic, jazz, country, blues, soul to name a few).

That means 55% of the albums I listen to that were released in the past year are played on Fenders. Probably won't be the same for everyone, but I'd wager it's going to be fairly close (providing you're listen to new commercial music of course, if not then you probably don't belong in this discussion anyway). Fairly compelling empirical evidence that Fender are definitely still relevant in the bass world, as far as I see it.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:33 PM   #22
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I would say Fenders are still very much relevant. Fenders have a very 'grandfathered' tone as it were, since pretty much every thing recorded from like the 60's and 70's was on Fenders, especially all the MoTown stuff (no one jams on a fender like James jamerson), very classic bass tone that alot of the oldies grew up on and consider to be the bar as far as bass tone goes. I don't see Fender ever becoming not relevant or going away soon, while Ibbys and warwicks, wal, etc all have there place, no one can match that classic Fender bass tone that so many of the old songs were recorded on.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:36 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziphoblat
Because I have nothing better to do with my time at the moment, I decide to go back through all the new album releases I've listened to in the past year (44 in total) and find out the basses used to record them (or that the bassists are famed for using where this wasn't obvious). Of the 44, here are the results:

24 Fender, 5 EBMM, 5 Warwick, 2 Ibanez, 2 Gibson, 1 Hofner, 1 Rickenbacker, 1 Jackson, 1 Spector, 1 Status, 1 Sadowsky, 1 Lakland & 1 Danelectro.

That's coming from a fairly diverse selection of commercial releases (indie, alternative, rock, metal, electronic, jazz, country, blues, soul to name a few).

That means 55% of the albums I listen to that were released in the past year are played on Fenders. Probably won't be the same for everyone, but I'd wager it's going to be fairly close (providing you're listen to new commercial music of course, if not then you probably don't belong in this discussion anyway). Fairly compelling empirical evidence that Fender are definitely still relevant in the bass world, as far as I see it.
This Jibes with my observation of the "Concert for Sandy". Fender guitars and basses were the most populous.

With that said, these were all old timers, Springsteen, Roger Waters, Bon Jovi, and others. I also see Fender basses in the hands of working pros such as late night TV bands.

It gives rise to the question as to whether they are being used out of habit, reputation, or as a calling card, due to the fact that a working musician might be judged on a "you are what you play" basis.

This isn't as far fetched as it might sound, as pro photographers pretty much either use Nikon, Canon, or don't work.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:17 AM   #24
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Well Spaz, seems you have some disatisfaction.

I suppose the guys playing Fenders and working had custom jobs done so that they can merely endure the instrument. I simply cannot and will not do the necks on anything Leo made.

I suppose then my problem has been for years and years that I do not get the gigs because I do not play a Fender?

Does this mean that the Guys who play Fender will just sit there in the pocket like the MD wants and/or will not threaten the Guitar Player?

I have noticed twice lately that when I pull out my 456 that people in the biz say "Oh, Frustrated Guitar Player?" And that pretty much ends the meeting because you cannot play anything but solid quarter notes to impress such enfeebled minds (who have no idea who and what I am, a second generation Bassist, this is not a second choice instrument, this is my stinkin life).

Anything more and you are GONE!

Nice it was, that when I did a Solo of Dave Edmonds Slipping Away at open Audition at Dollywood (verse 1 mono and guitar fills, verse 2 Octaves with two fingers and guitar fills, verse 3 and bridge chrods), the MD came around the table drooling saying "Where have you Been? GOD I love the Tone."

He has seen Fenders ALLL DAAAAAY Long. (thump thump, thump thump thump)

Then again, some say I am a $200 a Night Bassist, perhaps they just feel guys who have an ear and a mind of their own are beyond their budget range?

Like you I am disatisfied with most of what is out there, and what is being done to people pursuing boutique instruments made by questionable luthiers. Marketing cannot create inspiration, and different things inspire each of us.

Amazing how 55% of the Bass Population is inspired by the same thing, and are carving individual names for themselves and making a living with the SAME THING in thier hands.

Are we that pathetically unoriginal and conformist in areas of music which were supposed to be nonconformist and celebrate the individual?

Oh the IRONY!
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:36 AM   #25
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I think the biggest thing in this thread is that different people prefer different basses.

I have three regularly used basses right now: An Epiphone Jack Casady, A MIG Warwick corvette standard, and a fretless fender pbass. They all have their purposes and I use all of them. I doubt that a company like fender, which is still selling a ton of instruments, and still inspiring kids to pick up an instrument and learn, could be considered irrelevant or outdated.

Also, Sliide, you just bounce around so quickly in subject matter and topic, and use such odd references that I can never really understand anything that you write. Maybe its just my inferior brain...
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:38 AM   #26
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Or maybe we should stop trying to compensate for a lack of musical inspiration with instruments and other tools. Thump is the last word anyone would use to describe my sound, and I play fairly busy bass parts with my band (writing the songs, I can get away with it). I also use a jazz bass. I've yet to find an instrument that responds so well to aggressive playing with the amount of bite you get as a jazz bass. Sound engineers usually love my sound too. Just because something doesn't work for you doesn't mean everyone else will have the same experience.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:35 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will42
Also, Sliide, you just bounce around so quickly in subject matter and topic, and use such odd references that I can never really understand anything that you write. Maybe its just my inferior brain...


Thanks for trying Will.

It is a stream of unconciousness thing.

Actaully all my comments are within the realm of the relevancy of the instrument: internallly myself,
physically my hands,
tonally - the designer and design
externally impressions of Music Directors and Band Leaders seeking a look of confines of a style,
of Course as Ziph points out the satisfaction of Sound Engineers in the Studio.
then there are the percentages of those fellow bassists who are makeing a handy living with a Fender or Fender design.

With 50% in the Fender world the fact then is that not that many really want anything different. Rock, jazz, modern music, was supposed to be about individuality, but even in it there is conformity. (Woe to we who dare to think outside the box, it appears, we are cast out for failure to conform.)

Perhaps everything is just marketing? Marketing seeks the larger portion of the over all market. People then do not realize that they play Fender because a large corporation, one of the 3-5 (Fender, Kaman, Harmon, Hoshino) which control the whole instrument business, wants them to play Fender. (Holy Corporate Serfdom Batman!)

Strange, the basses I am playing were not marketed to me. My Amp, not really, like the BP-8 it was there and fit a need. The PB-1, it was what I could afford as a kid to get into Bi-Amping. I have seemed to just stumble into good stuff, or stuff I thought was good enough.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:46 AM   #28
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Fender will probably always remain relevant. The mere fact that nearly everyone else makes copies of Fender's stalwarts proves that Fender got it right the first time around. I've often wondered how much "better" these high-end Precision and Jazz knock-offs truly are. They use the same designs, the same basic materials and the same hardware and wiring schemes. You may get a higher grade of wood or a pickup with a different sound, but a Jazz is a Jazz and a Precision is a Precision. If you want something different, there are always Alembic and Ritter.

It also seems that a great many players - from amateur to pro - seem to find their way back to a Fender eventually. Fender must be doing something right.

In the end, the only question is: what bass would Jesus play?

I think he's a Fender Jazz guy.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:33 AM   #29
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I had thought this thread was started with the idea of buying a Squire bass, or possibly being offered an alternative.

As it turns out, or as it seems to have turned out, it is about the metaphysical aspect of the instrument, the potential psychological benefits or consequences of owning a Fender bass, and either an indictment of Fender's dominance in the music industry, or a celebration of it.

TS, are you actually in the market for a bass? Because posing the question of Fender's current relevance in the music industry, jus' seems like a good old fashioned troll.

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Old 01-05-2013, 03:59 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatalGear41
In the end, the only question is: what bass would Jesus play?

I think he's a Fender Jazz guy.

LOL!!!! I am so ****ing sigging that.
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In the end, the only question is: what bass would Jesus play?

I think he's a Fender Jazz guy.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:32 AM   #31
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Is Fender relevant? Yes.

They've been around forever, they look good (opinion), the classic Precision and Jazz are stupid simple, they've been in the hands of well known players for ages, they have headstock-mystique, there's a thriving used market, they're old enough to have several vintage eras for the collectors, they're built at every different price point, there's a thousand and one iterations of them, and you can get a very solid professional-level instrument at a relatively reasonable price (US pricing).

Are there other companies making Fender clones or derivatives? Yes.
Are they better quality comparatively or priced more economically then their Fender counterparts? They can be.
Are there high end versions that absolutely smoke Fenders for one reason or another? Sure.
Does any of that make Fender less relevant? Nope.


A good debate is nice, but there will always be Fender fans, and there will always be Fender haters and a bunch of people in between. I say we should go back to our beers and all get back to hating Ricks and T Birds, just like the good old days.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:42 AM   #32
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I wrote a friggin wall of text then accidentally deleted it when adding quotes. **** it, I'm moving today so I'll write it this evening; I'm sure all be on the edge of your seats for that.

Just for the record though, I don't hate Fenders (aside from MIM Standards, they're cruel). Some of my favourite basses have been Fenders, notably the Highway One Jazz Bass and the Fender Japan 51 Precision Bass Reissue.

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Old 01-05-2013, 06:11 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziphoblat
Because I have nothing better to do with my time at the moment, I decide to go back through all the new album releases I've listened to in the past year (44 in total) and find out the basses used to record them (or that the bassists are famed for using where this wasn't obvious). Of the 44, here are the results:

24 Fender, 5 EBMM, 5 Warwick, 2 Ibanez, 2 Gibson, 1 Hofner, 1 Rickenbacker, 1 Jackson, 1 Spector, 1 Status, 1 Sadowsky, 1 Lakland & 1 Danelectro.

That's coming from a fairly diverse selection of commercial releases (indie, alternative, rock, metal, electronic, jazz, country, blues, soul to name a few).

That means 55% of the albums I listen to that were released in the past year are played on Fenders. Probably won't be the same for everyone, but I'd wager it's going to be fairly close (providing you're listen to new commercial music of course, if not then you probably don't belong in this discussion anyway). Fairly compelling empirical evidence that Fender are definitely still relevant in the bass world, as far as I see it.

I would also like to say that Fender is one of the easiest brands to work with due to their constant contact with their endorsers.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:25 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky

TS, are you actually in the market for a bass? Because posing the question of Fender's current relevance in the music industry, jus' seems like a good old fashioned troll.



Yes! You are right.

We must destroy any and all who do not think that everyone makes supurb stuff.

Zero Tolerance for any questions of disastisfaction.

Off with their heads!

<Edited because Captaincranky is not thin skinned.I stand corrected and rightfully put in my place.>
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:47 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Sliide90027
Yes! You are right.

We must destroy any and all who do not think that everyone makes supurb stuff.

Zero Tolerance for any questions of disastisfaction.

Off with their heads!

Axruallyjus' seems like someone is thin skinned.
Me thinned skinned, hardly. Nor have I read too much Marx and Shakespeare, then gotten the two all muddled together in a wretched, barely coherent oneness .

That was just a straight forward and forthright question.

"Are we going to buy now, and troll later, or troll now an buy later"?

I'm up for either one, and I don't play the bass, so nobody's going to hurt my feelings by insulting my brand....
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:10 PM   #36
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One factor not mentioned (although I do tend to skip the long thesis replies) is the trade in value when the name Fender is on the headstock.

My latest bass was a Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:26 PM   #37
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Still, why is it trolling to talk about the realities of the Brand,

...which should be inseparable from its design(s)

....which it has fully capitalized to basically control 50% of the market on Basses and about 25% of the Musical Equipment market

...now being one of the Big 4?

CS aside as well?

In defense of Spaz91-
This conversation made me go look up the Graphite in the Necks of Fenders, and I read comments by owners and players of them that they still had dead spots and weak harmonics even on the MIA's with the graphite renforcement. (Oh no! Have they become Trolls?)

Again, Relevancy from a:

recording aspect? ABSOLUTELY!
(was watching a Youtube vid with Entwistle and some guy looking at all of his Guitars and talking of an orange bass that was on all the classic WHO albums, in some form or another, because it was a collection of about 5 road Instruments that were in various forms of damage and destruction.)

image aspect? ABSOLUTELY!

fundamental design influence? INAGRUABLY!

modern design and production reaching for the optimum performance and vibrational stability? Certainly NOT!

Did Ford, GM, and Chrysler start making immediate changes to their Cars after they destroyed Tucker? Nope, they had image to protect.

That thread of Fender owners having issues at the 5th Frrt proved it to me.

So are they relevant to a purchaser?

Yes, if they do not play before they play because they have bought image in their mind.

Yes! if they want a Fender Logo, or need the Fendera Shape to get the gig as just another Stage Prop. But that makes for an expensive Prop.

Are they relevant to Spaz91 the OP?

Obviously not. Because he is looking deeper into what is he really getting for his money. (snobbery I tell you, just inexcusable snobbery.) He is probably beginning to see the fundamnetal question of the cause and final resolution to GAS, as in, 'to what point is all of this material acquisition?' 'Am I just acquiring more mediocre stuff or actually better stuff?'

I know Spaz91 from only one other posting. It was on Pedals. He is an opinionated judge of pedals, which is not a bad or negative wored by the way when there is a lot of experience behind that opinion, and if a discering and discriminating Ear voiced is Trolling then he would have to be guilty as evidenced by his possession of an Opinion.

So, I believe he is looking for a quality increase. That means doing a terrible thing and making judgment, which then requires discernment, discrimination, and finally possession of an opinion.

Are Fenders relevant to a person who just needs a stage prop to get the gig?

Not really,

... for with a reasonable selection, and trial process examining the fundamentals of each instrument available,

... it seems one might come away with a solid instrument with good fundamentals from Squier or another Fender Copy made from the same machines if not the same factory, and

... then sink money into new electronics, pickguard (did i say that? i have not had one of those in 25 years) or a paint job that they want.

It is just a prop, same as the Fender 5 with the Roland V-Bass Pickup on it played by the Bassist for the Hindenberg Project (a Zepplin Tribute), Just needed the JPJ look and somethng to cover the KB parts, so he is having it refinished to a 70's look.


If people who voice some dissatisfaction and doubt with what is being SOLD to them and the masses are 'Trolls', then people who are happy with what they have a 'Kool-Aid Drinkers'.
If that world view were sufficient, there would be only one place to go and talk about Bass Guitars on the internet. (Because the second cite would have no members as they would have been all kicked off for Trolling.)

Right now, in Zipho's listening range to the preferences of his ear, amongst bassists 55% prefer uninimity and conform to a single image.

Shall 55% assert right against 45% and enforce 100% confomity and satisfaction (Kool-Aid Drinking) amongst all?

This is the stuff that Mods from other sites kick me off about, I believe that I have proved that I have actually endeavored to focus on substance that the OP (Spaz91) was heding for but did not get into words, while most humans focus on their feelings of inferiority or inadequacy, and call names.

Interesting how a generation of the West has been indoctrinated into Diversity and Tolernance, but is so Intolerant to Haze others and call names for questioning what is before them.

Proves to me that no matter how strong and complete the indictrination, Humans still Fear someone smarter than they are cutting in the line ahead of them (if even a futile line into the slaughterhouise), over Fear of being manipulated and controlled.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:52 PM   #38
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Can we keep it friendly and avoid semantics please.
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Originally Posted by Final
I paid basically the same for as a brand new Mexican Fender goes, and it came with Schaller tuning heads and a hard shell case. I haven't really looked into used American made Fenders lately, so I guess I don't know what they go for on average anymore.

The hardware is a serious flaw on Mexican Fenders, it can't cost them much more to put light tuners and heavy bridge on, surely? Use what they shave off the tuners to increase the bridge mass. The same goes for a string through option, it's just four hole and four ferrules.
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Originally Posted by Ziphoblat
Spaz, Thomann is an interesting one. They're in the same country as Sandberg, so I don't consider it fair to compare prices with them to Fenders, which have been imported and had all the tax build-ups and such. It would be more sensible to compare Thomann pricing for Sandberg with Fender USA pricing in the USA. I tried to order a Sandberg a while ago, and my local music shop couldn't price match Thomann for this reason (indeed, they couldn't do any better than price-match the cheapest UK retailer, GuitarGuitar, who I cited in my previous post).

I thought this when I first saw it but remember that Thomann is an EU country so there's no import duty or VAT to be paid, just postage which is very fair (if slow) from Thomann. They are a very professional and, unsurprisingly, efficient company. I wish there was a UK company half as good.
[Doing a quick google I realize just how sparse Sandbergs are in the UK so point taken there. Hopefully it's only a matter of time though.]
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On RATM's most recent performance I've seen Timmy C had his old white/maple Fender J as far as I remember... wasn't stock, of course, but I don't think that the hardware is the thing up for discussion really, the Fender USA hardware is as solid as anything else, that just comes down to taste, but he wouldn't play one if he didn't enjoy the build of the instrument itself.

IIRC, he switched pretty much everything besides the body. I would still call this a plus for Fender as the body and neck were still Fenders. Jazz body and Precision neck? I think the hardware on Fender's is an issue on all of them besides the US made ones, not counting the reissue but they have the excuse of authenticity. My Highway One Jazz Bass was exactly what the Fender Mexican Standards should be. It had upgraded hardware and electronics and a reinforced neck yet it cost me just over 600 brand new with no offers or reductions or anything. This was only 2 years ago so there's no factor of inflation.
Quote:
Despite all this I still don't see what it is that Fenders are apparently lacking. Nobody is suggesting (or at least I'm not) that they're some sort of king-of-all-basses, but I don't see any other manufacturer that you could consider more relevant, so I think that to suggest Fender are irrelevant just because there are other viable options is a very unusual viewpoint. As the consumer, more options is only a good thing (well, unless you're not very good at settling with one instrument).

I suppose my thought process is that the rest of the market caught up long ago and are starting to beat them in terms of prices too.

Historically, Fender will always be the most important brand. Certainly any bass I want (besides an SR Prestige) is based off an early Leo Fender design.
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Originally Posted by KissThaRing
I don't see Fender ever becoming not relevant or going away soon, while Ibbys and warwicks, wal, etc all have there place, no one can match that classic Fender bass tone that so many of the old songs were recorded on.

Iconic, they may have been but a passive bass made from alder/ash with spilt or dual single pickups is not going to be hard to recreate at all. Of course, as someone who prefers vinyl to digital, I can certainly appreciate the magic of an old classic.
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Originally Posted by Sliide90027
Well Spaz, seems you have some disatisfaction.

I was certainly dissatisfied with the two Mexican Fenders I owned, more satisfied with their American and Japanese cousins but far less satisfied with the stigma of non - Fenders.
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I suppose then my problem has been for years and years that I do not get the gigs because I do not play a Fender?

Does this mean that the Guys who play Fender will just sit there in the pocket like the MD wants and/or will not threaten the Guitar Player?

I have noticed twice lately that when I pull out my 456 that people in the biz say "Oh, Frustrated Guitar Player?" And that pretty much ends the meeting because you cannot play anything but solid quarter notes to impress such enfeebled minds (who have no idea who and what I am, a second generation Bassist, this is not a second choice instrument, this is my stinkin life).

As sickening as this is, I can unfortunately picture this scenario very easily. I certainly enjoy getting ripped from guitaists for playing 4 strings and then getting ripped from bass guitarists for playing 6. I remember watching an interview with Frank Bello regarding his [thankfully discontinued] signature Fender and Squier basses, his words were"you've got to grow up and get a Fender." Just call me Peter Pan.
Quote:
Like you I am disatisfied with most of what is out there, and what is being done to people pursuing boutique instruments made by questionable luthiers. Marketing cannot create inspiration, and different things inspire each of us.

Amazing how 55% of the Bass Population is inspired by the same thing, and are carving individual names for themselves and making a living with the SAME THING in thier hands.

Are we that pathetically unoriginal and conformist in areas of music which were supposed to be nonconformist and celebrate the individual?

This is a tangent observation, not relevant to the topic at hand, but I have never known a bass guitarist who has advanced bass guitar playing who hasn't advanced their own instrument, made it their own, in some way. I like that Fender have introduced the Blacktop, Pawn Shop and Modern Player basses, hopefully these will be more inspiring than Jazzes and Precision. Another interview I read or heard (cannae remember) was with Matt Bellamy who believes that instruments hold the history of everyone who plays them, if you pick up a strat then you start playing Hendrix, etc; I struggle not to play Jaco tunes on my fretless jazz. Of course, this is a problem that all manufacturers face, not just Fender. They all need to constantly innovate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatalGear41
In the end, the only question is: what bass would Jesus play?

I think he's a Fender Jazz guy.



Though I'm sure Bill Hicks would disagree.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
TS, are you actually in the market for a bass? Because posing the question of Fender's current relevance in the music industry, jus' seems like a good old fashioned troll.

No.

If questioning Fender comes across as trolling then its worse than I thought.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tostitos
A good debate is nice, but there will always be Fender fans, and there will always be Fender haters and a bunch of people in between. I say we should go back to our beers and all get back to hating Ricks and T Birds, just like the good old days.

This would have just been a big party for all of us if it were about Rickenbacker or Gibson. I'd just love a Rickenbacker hate thread...
Quote:
Originally Posted by dark Mass
I would also like to say that Fender is one of the easiest brands to work with due to their constant contact with their endorsers.

I have to say I didn't factor this in. Then again, I don't know how any other companies fare.
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Swift
One factor not mentioned (although I do tend to skip the long thesis replies) is the trade in value when the name Fender is on the headstock.

My latest bass was a Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5.

That headstock decal is worth a lot. Even when its second hand and the seller points out "by the way, this is an SX with a Fender decal of ebay" the bass will sell for a lot more than it will have done otherwise.

How does the Squier compare to Fenders you've played?
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:59 PM   #39
anarkee
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I think we need to start calling this the big wall of text thread...

In the beginning, Fender was the pinnacle of bass technology. While they are no longer the be all to end all, I do think they are still a viable contender in the marketplace. I still want to own a MIA Precision at some point. And like John Swift said, you can still get a solid resale value on any Fender product out there.

I'm a big fan of the "children" of Leo--I own a MIA Jazz and a EBMM Stingray. But I also think its great that since the 80s the choices for really well made basses have expanded to allow greater variety for players.
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Don't you mean "Why do we alcoholics keep taking about bass?"?


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Old 01-06-2013, 02:21 PM   #40
Deliriumbassist
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They're relevant in the same way crocodiles are relevant. They've been around longest, haven't changed a huge amount, and there's a shit-ton of them, but now they have lions and hyenas and leopards and wild dogs and more to contend with that have adapted to different styles of hunting, in places where Fender would just kind of waddle about.

I may have been watching David Attenborough documentaries a lot recently.
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