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Spaz91
RIP Terry
Join date: Mar 2008
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#1


Are Fenders still relevant? Thinking about the recent high end Squiers, the boutique equivalents such as Sandberg, G&L and Lakland all offering the same (if not better) features for competitive prices; is there really any point in buying a Fender?
Robbgnarly
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Join date: Feb 2011
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#2
Sure why not?
Fender still makes a nice product. There has been a surge lately to put guitars and Bass at every price point imaginable. This bennefits the buyer of having a vast selection too choose from. Besides not every one likes every brand (for what ever reason)
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ZORK
Join date: Oct 2009
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#3
Fender is a classic company that has millions of diehard fans that like the ways thing were in back in the day. They're still relevant in this day and age but in their own way.
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Captaincranky
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#4
Ibanez basses at about the SR-300 price seem to get good reviews. Some better than others, and not necessarily in line with price only, but with respect to PuPs and active or passive electronics.

I don't play the bass, I have no idea what I'm talking about. I was looking for lefty basses once upon a time

So, if somebody that is knowledgeable about then wants to ring, here's your opportunity.

As for for TS's question, I watched "The Concert for Sandy" the other night, and both Fender guitars and basses, were the most abundant. (Of course, they were all most likely Fender USA).
Spanner93
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Join date: Jan 2012
333 IQ
#5
Relevant for posterity, but not as a product. The competitors have raised their game so much that both Fender and Gibson are only relative as a template to be improved upon (case in point Sandberg etc.).

For me however, Fenders feel quite barbaric and dark-agey. I get the feeling that they took the maxim of: "If it ain't broken don't fix it" too far. I ain't no fan of Squier either, but at least they charge you less to flog a dead horse......

Quote by Captaincranky
Ibanez basses at about the SR-300 price seem to get good reviews. Some better than others, and not necessarily in line with price only, but with respect to PuPs and active or passive electronics.



The SR300 is the opitimy of bassy goodness in that price range as far as specifications go. Maybe the Peavey Millenium AC comes close (has similar specs). As for the best in that price range, it's completely subjective.
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Last edited by Spanner93 at Jan 4, 2013,
corrda00
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#6
I feel that Fender basses got a lot of rep from the fact that when they started there were not as many alternatives for professional instruments. For the longest time the only basses pro's played were Fenders, Ricks and the occasional Gibson.

Now days there's so many high end boutique basses as well as lots of high end production models (Ibanez, Warwick etc.) that Fender is just another name on the market.
Alucard817
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Join date: May 2010
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#7
Fender makes a good product, if they didn't they would go out of business.
Theres a certain "classic" appeal to fenders as well, sure you can grab a boutique bass, but Fender also does custom orders as well. It all really boils down to what the buyer finds most appealing, whether it be an Ibanez, Carvin, Sandberg, or a Fender.
Quote by FatalGear41
In the end, the only question is: what bass would Jesus play?

I think he's a Fender Jazz guy.
Spanner93
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#8
Quote by ChucklesMginty

I'd take the Fender Custom Shop over the Warwick or Ibanez custom shop.

Fender gives a you certain thing, just like Dingwall or Mayones does.


And there is the miracle of subjectivity and whilst I respect your opinion, I think the exact opposite here.

I'd be much more inclined to buy an Ibanez custom, as I'd know that a lot could be done to make it "custom" or unique for want of a better term. A custom fender is just a fender like any other, but with fancy paint and a hefty pricetag
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Spaz91
RIP Terry
Join date: Mar 2008
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#9
Quote by ChucklesMginty
Just like you probably wouldn't want Fender to make you a multiscale scale, 6 string with 24 frets and active humbuckers right?

If I wanted something as simple as a Fender then I certainly wouldn't pay Fender's prices.
Sudaka
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Join date: Sep 2008
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#10
Quote by ChucklesMginty
Yes, but it's a huge variety of looks, feels and sounds.

Of course there are many that copy the classic P or J and loads of them are great - some people just like knowing that theirs is the original or 'the real deal' you know?

I'd take the Fender Custom Shop over the Warwick or Ibanez custom shop.

Fender gives a you certain thing, just like Dingwall or Mayones does.

I think you said it just fine. After playing some ibanez, warwicks, and others (I still have a very long way to go about trying expensive instruments, though) I think i like more a Jazz Bass sound and feel, and also a Stingray's. I know you have Lakland, G&L, and stuff, but i can assure you that they won't come to Argentina, so Fender is the best classic style basses we can get. Fender has a fame, is known worldwide, and their products, that may be called antiques, are still a really joy to play and listen.

The only thing i have to say, is that I'm not 100% certain that any other brand making J or P basses are better than fender for the same price... And that is the point here. Are, say, Laklands unarguably better than MIAs and costs the same or less??? I think not. And that's why Fender still exists and makes good instruments... Am Special series sucks heavily, though...
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Ziphoblat
The Enigma
Join date: Jun 2010
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#11
Definition of relevant
adjective

closely connected or appropriate to the matter in hand


Well, the Oxford English Dictionary certainly seems to agree... after-all, what could be more relevant to the matter of bass playing than the company founded by the man who made near-enough all major game-changing innovations in the world of the bass guitar (not to mention designing the damn thing in the first place) that still produce the instruments which you're most likely to see in any professional players hands?

I don't really see how anyone can claim any other manufacter to be more relevant, so by default Fender remains relevant. I don't understand what it is that everyone thinks all these other brands bring to the table. I can understand them being considered equal, but superior? In what way?

Lakland, I saw mentioned. WHAT? They make some great products, but seriously... better _ value_ for _ money? Are you completely insane? The company producing instruments in an Asian sweatshop factory charging the same amount of money as a Fender (with a sodding gig-bag rather than a proper case & candy)? The company who not the other week I read a thread on another forum about someone receiving a new guitar from them which had had the pick-ups botched on after the original routing job had been messed up and sloppily covered up? That represents better value for money than an American-made instrument that comes with a hard-case (anyone who sells a £1k plus instrument without a hard-case these days is frankly taking the piss). This is just brand-bashing because it's cool to hate. There's no sense behind it.

Sandberg are another I see mentioned a lot. I love what Sandberg are doing, but are they really offering anything extra? Sure, you can have it custom made (pick what colour it is) if you're prepared to wait a few months for it to ship, but that doesn't offer anything practical above the stock model which costs up to 30-50% more than a Fender standard model and still comes with a patronising piece of cloth to protect it rather than a real case. Hell, GuitarGuitar (the only UK retailer other than PMT I know of who stock Sandbergs) have the standard models in for around the £1500 mark. You can get an American Special for about £800 (basically an AM standard without a case). So really, the Sandberg is effectively DOUBLE the cost of the American made Fender, so why are they treated so often as if they're in the same price point? Pay twice as much, you'd expect more (but I don't even see that you get that... other than active electronics or something, but for half as much money get yourself a John East pre, or better yet, buy a P bass AND a J bass and you'll have more tonal diversity than you can shake a stick at).

I simply don't understand why they receive so much hate... I always see this airy-fairy shite about them being out-dated or offering less than other brands, but never supported by anything quantifiable, logical, or otherwise worth anyones time. What does my Fender lack that no other bass in the price point does (other than a shitty gig-bag)? How can you say they haven't kept up to the times? From some of the stuff you read you'd think they've never revisited the design and tweaked/improved upon it, which can really make a person look uneducated. They now have graphite reinforced necks, modern/practical finishes, quieter electronics, modern fingerboard dimensions, revised hardware which is lighter/more efficient. What else do you want? What does your Ibanez, your Sandberg or whatever else have that this doesn't? I'm not trying to knock these other brands, just trying to see what on earth it is that Fender are apparently not getting (and apparently neither am I).

I've owned a hell of a lot of basses; Fenders, Spectors, Gibsons, Warwicks, Ibanez EBMM's and so on, and I've played a hell of a lot more. I always end up back to the Fender. Does that mean the other brands are shit? Of course it doesn't. It just means the Fender works for me... ergo, it's still relevant. It hits some spots that other brands don't for some players (and a lot of players for that matter, you really think the likes of Geddy Lee, Flea, Timmy C, Marcus Miller, and how ever many other countless names we could list can't afford to try out/haven't tried out all these other brands? Rubbish... but they stick with what works for them).

Anyway, I could go on forever, but I'll bring my rant to an end now...
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Captaincranky
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#12
Ziphoblat: I briefly considered asking you to look up, "obsolete", for us. In light of your possible response involving a massive dumping of excess information, (notice I didn't dare breath the word, irrelevant), I thought the better of it
Spaz91
RIP Terry
Join date: Mar 2008
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#13
I get a couple of points.

This certainly is brand bashing but I picked Fender simply because Fenders are more popular among bass players than brands like Gibson, Boss, Apple, Razer, James Cameron, Sennheiser, blah blah blah. Things I consider overrated and overpriced but sell due to the name.

As for Lakland, I'll amend the original post. I mean Lakland Skyline. With G&L I was thinking more of the Tribute series but the US series are not that much more expensive than American Vintage Fenders, etc. Sandbergs, however are cheaper than American Fenders, look on Thomann; a passive Sandberg will go for about £200 cheaper than the Fender alternative.

I like US Fenders, I don't like how much they cost but they have a nice look, sound and feel, not to mention silent pickups and neck reinforcement like you said.

My biggest beef is with the Mexican Fenders, they're like an evil trap for beginner - intermediate players. They don't offer a single improvement on basses hundreds of pounds cheaper yet they still get this mystical prestige of being a Fender. For the price of a Mexican Fender Standard you could get a Sandberg Electra, a G&L Tribute, a Schecter Diamond J/Model T, etc etc. Basically a Fender style bass with all the benefits of the last 60 years of design, good pickups, high mass bridges, reinforced necks, etc. As I keep saying, even Squier have overtaken Mexican Fenders, Fender's Chinese lines (Pawn Shop, Modern Player, Blacktop) are all so much better yet cheaper.

Geddy Lee has ****ing awful taste in basses (Steinberger and Rickenbacker, yuck), Flea always reverts to his own Modulus, Timmy C plays Lakland (when he played Fenders the only stock part was a the body) and Marcus Miller had a bass made entirely to his specs and he changes the preamp after all that. I struggle to think of any famous virtuosos that play any of Fender's current lineup without mods (probably because its so late, I understand your point completely.)
Sliide90027
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#14
Well, Spaz91, it depends. (And I am kind of surprised hearing this question from you, but I know it is for discussion purposes.)

Listeners do not care.

Sound Engineers and Producers do not care, but do ask where the Bass is if they do not see a Fender in the Room.

MD's who see them as required props, that will not conider the look of another modern bass, demand the Fender look. care and believe that they are relevant.

Now Leo on the otherhand...he was always doing different things according to Fernando Villareal (my former luthier, and guy who let me slum at his house when my parents ran me off for quitting college and joining a Christian Rock Band) who worked with him at G&L.

Leo made changes with the Jazz Bass, but then addressed the problem of the G string being unstable in the inline 4 confuguration with the StingRay and Sabre Basses.

That was something that did not seem to bother Jaco Pastorious much.
Still it is an admission to a prior design flaw, later resolved by Graphite renforcement and you see the InLine 4 back on the G&L's.

Fenders did not last around Entwistle, but his protege from Canada Geddy Lee has held fast (he once played a Berger, so much for that). Patatucci, Wooten, Nitti (wait he keeps his 65 Jazz handy for the conservatives), Sixx, Levin... so many have moved on.

For me, P to J to StingRay to G&L, I am just not inspired. I think it is the necks for me.

So, is the In-Line 4 cylinder engine still Relevant?

To most of the People in the world it sure is.

To guys flying a Bugatti Veyron, absolutely NOT. (Google James May and Bugatti)

I suppsoe if my humble workingman's bass (Ibanez BTB), the Poor Man's Ken Smith, were a car, it would be a Ford GT400. These puppies be so fast, and faster than the $5000 instrument that they shoved aside.
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Last edited by Sliide90027 at Jan 4, 2013,
Spaz91
RIP Terry
Join date: Mar 2008
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#15
Quote by Sliide90027
Well, Spaz91, it depends. (And I am kind of surprised hearing this question from you, but I know it is for discussion purposes.)

I surprise myself. I lost my faith in Fender when I realized my bitsa precision (The only Fender parts being the decal, which I removed, and the neck plate which no one sees anyway.
Listeners do not care.

Sound Engineers and Producers do not care, but do ask where the Bass is if they do not see a Fender in the Room.

MD's who see them as required props, that will not conider the look of another modern bass, demand the Fender look. care and believe that they are relevant.

This bugs me to no end. You even hear it from endorsers, I think it was Frank Bello who said something like "you've got to grow up and get a Fender." Or some bull along those lines.
Now Leo on the otherhand...he was always doing different things according to Fernando Villareal (my former luthier, and guy who let me slum at his house when my parents ran me off for quitting college and joining a Christian Rock Band) who worked with him at G&L.

Leo made changes with the Jazz Bass, but then addressed the problem of the G string being unstable in the inline 4 confuguration with the StingRay and Sabre Basses.

That was something that did not seem to bother Jaco Pastorious much.
Still it is an admission to a prior design flaw, later resolved by Graphite renforcement and you see the InLine 4 back on the G&L's.

Fender was a great guy and its always nice to point out that Fender stopped making Fenders himself (I'm sure the wad of cash from CBS was a coincidence. ) I'm sure the tuners on G&L basses were more to do with look and familiarity; I must admit that, despite it's drawbacks, I prefer having tuners in line, even on extended range basses.
Fenders did not last around Entwistle, but his protege from Canada Geddy Lee has held fast (he once played a Berger, so much for that). Patatucci, Wooten, Nitti (wait he keeps his 65 Jazz handy for the conservatives), Sixx, Levin... so many have moved on.

Case in point, really, innovators needed innovation.
For me, P to J to StingRay to G&L, I am just not inspired. I think it is the necks for me.

So, is the In-Line 4 cylinder engine still Relevant?

To most of the People in the world it sure is.

To guys flying a Bugatti Veyron, absolutely NOT. (Google James May and Bugatti)

I suppsoe if my humble workingman's bass (Ibanez BTB), the Poor Man's Ken Smith, were a car, it would be a Ford GT400. These puppies be so fast, and faster than the $5000 instrument that they shoved aside.

I can certainly understand and appreciate the relevance of Fender's first designs, every decent bass owes them everything but I'm surprised that they even bother putting 4 saddles on Mexican Fenders, it seems like too modern a touch for such a backwards and overpriced instrument.
Final
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#16
Personally, I have played plenty of Fenders that I have liked, hell, even some Squiers, but for the prices these days, I would only buy used Fenders; I actually bought an American made G&L SB-2 that 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.
Ziphoblat
The Enigma
Join date: Jun 2010
390 IQ
#17
Quote by Captaincranky
Ziphoblat: I briefly considered asking you to look up, "obsolete", for us. In light of your possible response involving a massive dumping of excess information, (notice I didn't dare breath the word, irrelevant), I thought the better of it


You "thought the better of it" but did it anyway? I think I might request that you look up the definition of "thought the better of", but it seems a bit extreme, even for the more challenged among us, given none of the words in that sentence actually exceed 2 syllables... but hey, whatever. Tak of irrelevance, your post didn't really contribute anything to the discussion, did it? Anyway, obsolete?

Adjective
No longer produced or used; out of date.


The longest running bass company in the world still as successful now as ever, used by more bassists than any other brand out there? I think you picked the wrong word mate.

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 think Geddy has played some awful basses too (definitely not a Rick fan myself, and all that headless stuff just offends the eyes as well as the ears). He always gets bloody good tone though (in my opinion, this is obviously subjective, but relevant as it's still an extremely influencial and sought after tone). 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. Marcus Miller's Fender is basically just a 70's Fender (with that ugly abortion of a pickguard covering up the pre-amp) as far as I understand.

I don't know of any examples of people who use the current AM standards professionally, but I suppose at that level if you can justify getting a custom instrument made, why wouldn't you? I know I'd love a 70's jazz bass without the shitty three-bolt neck if money was of no object. I don't doubt that it's uncommon to find a professional player who uses a stock instrument regardless of the brand anyway. They all have endorsements with different pick-up companies and whatever.

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).
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Last edited by Ziphoblat at Jan 4, 2013,
Ziphoblat
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#18
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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KissThaRing
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#19
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.
Captaincranky
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#20
Quote 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.
Sliide90027
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Join date: Oct 2012
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#21
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!
Ibanez BTB 1006 Fretless and 405 (no Barts)
456 & 455(w/Barts)
Genz Benz NeoX400 112T & NeoX 112T cab.
Digitech BP-8 (x2)
Yamaha PB-1
Boss: SYB-5, PS-2, OD-20, EQ-20, PH-3,BF-3, CE-20, DD-20
Morely A/B
will42
UG's bassoon-master
Join date: Aug 2010
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#22
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...
Strauss!
"I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way." - Gustav Mahler.

Quote by AeolianWolf
absolutely what will said

Yay, my first compliment!
Ziphoblat
The Enigma
Join date: Jun 2010
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#23
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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Sliide90027
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#24
Quote 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.
Ibanez BTB 1006 Fretless and 405 (no Barts)
456 & 455(w/Barts)
Genz Benz NeoX400 112T & NeoX 112T cab.
Digitech BP-8 (x2)
Yamaha PB-1
Boss: SYB-5, PS-2, OD-20, EQ-20, PH-3,BF-3, CE-20, DD-20
Morely A/B
FatalGear41
War Mastiff!!!
Join date: Oct 2009
1,381 IQ
#25
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.
"Drinking is a skill and should be recognized as such!"

Quote by gregs1020
FatalGear41 knows the ways of the obscure. I hear it's just not with Gibsons. Beware, Halloween approaches...


Quote by Spaz91
DAMNIT FATALGEAR YOU RUINED MUH FLOW!
Captaincranky
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2011
288 IQ
#26
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.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 5, 2013,
Alucard817
Registered User
Join date: May 2010
1,443 IQ
#27
Quote 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.
Quote by FatalGear41
In the end, the only question is: what bass would Jesus play?

I think he's a Fender Jazz guy.
Tostitos
caffeinated
Join date: Jan 2009
868 IQ
#28
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.
Composite Aficionado


Spector and Markbass
Spaz91
RIP Terry
Join date: Mar 2008
6,280 IQ
#29
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.
Last edited by Spaz91 at Jan 5, 2013,
dark Mass
ZORK
Join date: Oct 2009
523 IQ
#30
Quote 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.
Damn it! Disable can't use disable to disable Disable's disable because disable's disable has already been disabled by Disable's disable!
Sliide90027
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2012
368 IQ
#31
Quote 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.>
Ibanez BTB 1006 Fretless and 405 (no Barts)
456 & 455(w/Barts)
Genz Benz NeoX400 112T & NeoX 112T cab.
Digitech BP-8 (x2)
Yamaha PB-1
Boss: SYB-5, PS-2, OD-20, EQ-20, PH-3,BF-3, CE-20, DD-20
Morely A/B
Last edited by Sliide90027 at Jan 6, 2013,
Captaincranky
Registered User
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#32
Quote 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....
John Swift
Registered User
Join date: May 2004
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#33
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.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
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Ashdown Little Giant 1000
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450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
Last edited by John Swift at Jan 6, 2013,
Sliide90027
Registered User
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#34
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.
Ibanez BTB 1006 Fretless and 405 (no Barts)
456 & 455(w/Barts)
Genz Benz NeoX400 112T & NeoX 112T cab.
Digitech BP-8 (x2)
Yamaha PB-1
Boss: SYB-5, PS-2, OD-20, EQ-20, PH-3,BF-3, CE-20, DD-20
Morely A/B
Spaz91
RIP Terry
Join date: Mar 2008
6,280 IQ
#35
Can we keep it friendly and avoid semantics please.
Quote 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.
Quote 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.]
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.
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.
Quote 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.
Quote 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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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?
anarkee
oh the horror!
Join date: Aug 2006
3,136 IQ
#36
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.
Deliriumbassist
UG's only DB
Join date: Apr 2006
2,387 IQ
#37
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.
Spaz91
RIP Terry
Join date: Mar 2008
6,280 IQ
#38
Our friendly neighbourhood mod has unlocked the thread!

Quote by zakkwyldefan79
I'll re-open it but everybody needs to keep it at a calm discussion. If anyone goes overboard I will be giving out warnings and bans. If you see someone has gone a little too far tell them to calm down and edit their post. Because if it gets too bad I'll be forced to close it again and it won't be re-opened.


Please take note of this, this is an important discussion that I'm sure a lot of us, including myself, can get a lot from. Keep it civil, keep it friendly and keep it as an educational discussion; that way we can keep it open!
FatalGear41
War Mastiff!!!
Join date: Oct 2009
1,381 IQ
#39
Quote by Spaz91




Though I'm sure Bill Hicks would disagree.



Not a chance. After being beaten within an inch of his life and then nailed to one of those things until he died, I'm pretty sure Jesus would be happy to never see a cross again. That was three hours of his life he could probably have done without.

No, he's a Fender Jazz guy through and through. Maple fretboard; metallic red with black pickguard. Bone stock, of course. Jesus is not an ostentatious guy.
"Drinking is a skill and should be recognized as such!"

Quote by gregs1020
FatalGear41 knows the ways of the obscure. I hear it's just not with Gibsons. Beware, Halloween approaches...


Quote by Spaz91
DAMNIT FATALGEAR YOU RUINED MUH FLOW!
JustRooster
Internet Bully
Join date: Jan 2005
7,165 IQ
#40
This community is just a very small fraction of the Bassists out there in the world. The vast majority of everyone in my area still plays Fender.

Quote by EyeNon15
Thats too bad, I was under the impression I was arguing something profound