Serious discussion: buying Squier instead of Fender MIM or made in USA
after 14 years playing bass (with an Ibanez lawsuit Jazz Bass copy and a 1980 Fender Precision Special), followed by 20 years only playing guitar (Gretsch 6118-T120, Gibson Les Paul deluxe, several Telecasters, several Stratocasters) I finally switched back to bass.
Because it's the best instrument for me and at all.:-)
As I sold my old basses, I had to buy a new bass.
I checked all the basses by Fender, from Custom shop to Squier.
And I bought a Squier Deluxe Jazz bass V, for under 300 Euros (an old classmate has about 20 musicshops in germany - means special prices for me...)
The Fender guys are very smart - they set different priceranges for Fender US, Fender MIM, Fender MIJ) and Squier, to satisfy all purses and needs.
And I checked them nearly all.
Result: The Fender US aren't worth the money.
The difference in price is much bigger than the difference in qualitiy and sound.
The Fender US basses are quite nice but too expensive.
Ok, they may use the better wood for US than for MIM and Squiers - but about 50 or 60 percent of the sound is the electronics - you can exchange that to better stuff, and it's still cheaper than an US or MIM Fender.
The audience won't hear a different anyways, nobody can hear the sound difference between an original 1960 stacked pots Jazz Bass and a 2012 Squier Jazz Bass, if the whole band is playing, the audience standing 20 Meters away from amplifiers, or even amplified via P.A.... No chance to hear a difference.
And where is the difference in qualitiy, if a mexican is building the bass in mexico - or his brother as an immigrant in the US is building the same bass in the USA?
I won't offend the Fender USA customers, but for me there is one conclusion:
for Fender style I only buy Squier and maybe make mods on it - and save the money to go on vacation with my girl....;-)
And what's your opinion?
I respectfully disagree with just about everything in your post but I also believe that each of us must play what makes us happy regardless of what anyone else thinks.
You don't want me to go on vacation with my girl? ;-)
Nothing wrong with buying Squires and tricking them out.
I've always bought used..my used USA fender P is worth every dollar I paid. I can't afford to buy new...but if I had the choice and financial freedom I would buy new gear over used gear =)
I would hesitate to say USA Fender basses are 'overpriced' or 'not worth the money' though. I've compared USA Fender against MIM and Squier and the build quality of the USA stuff is just in a whole different/higher category.
My opinion is to do a search, instead of starting a thread that's *maybe* a slight variation on the same tired subject that comes up constantly here...
I would actually tend to agree with the OP. (keep in mind that I paid over $2000 for my current main bass when I say all of this) I believe that you begin to get rapidly diminishing returns as the price of an instrument increases after maybe the 4-500 dollar range (most would place this higher, in my experience). American Fenders are getting very expensive, and the gap in quality between them and the nicer Squiers is simply far smaller than the price gap. An American made Fender is definitely better than a Squier, but it is not $1000+ better. Just as my German Warwick is better than the $500 LTD bass that I replaced with it, but my 'wick is not $1500+ better than that bass. The fit and finish on that 500 bass were quite literally flawless. The reason I paid so much for the Warwick is simply because that's what it cost for me to get the bass that sounds and feels best to me, not because it is actually a better made instrument. I believe that similar principles can be illustrated in many instances, and between a variety of brands in the industry right now. Things like Squier, Epiphone, Ibanez, Yamaha, and LTD are quickly closing the gap in quality between the cheaper offerings and the really high end stuff.
@ Georgestrings: thx for the advice, even if you weren't very polite.
A hint: you are not forced to klick on a thread after reading the headline...;-)
I have considered buying an MIM just to see what I could with it as far as upgrades and modifications but haven't done it yet.
I personally think that putting $200-$300 in a Squier to make it sound good is proof-positive that they don't come out of the factory on par with USA models.
I'm sure it's different in Germany, but over here the going rate for a used USA Fender P or J is $600-$650, sometimes with a case. I think that can't be beat.
Here ya go - this was yesterday:
I agree with the OP, too.
The only thing I really like about MIA Fenders is that they tend to be a few pounds lighter than MOST Squiers or MIMs. Not all, but most.
I have seen MIAs that weigh a tonne, too, but they're few and far between.
But there are also products in the market, not following the market's rules.
There are a lot of products made in germany, that are cheaper in the US than in germany!
So the german companies know the price the have to make for the US market, and every german customer subsidizes an US customer.
Example: german cars (the models build in Germany, not he models build in US for the US market) are about 20 percent cheaper in the US than in germany.
Even within the costs for shipping from germany to US and toll!
BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Porsche won't sell their cars in the US market, if they would try it with the realistic price.
So they make the german price higher to susidize the US-price.
Means: every german customer of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche for about 40,000 Dollars subsidizes one american customer with about 5,000 to 8,000 Dollars.
It works because each year the number of sold cars of those brands is nearly the same in the US and in germany.
So it's not only the market, the companies use control tools for their needs, too.
PS: I know the boss of Warwick, and I visited the place where they made your Warwick bass. It's amazing to see the very modern techniques they're using.
of course, if an american Fender would cost about 500 or 650 bucks in germany, they won't sell any MIM or Squiers brandnew in germany.
Unfortenately you pay about 1,000 to 1,200 $ for a uses MIA jazz bass (depends on the model).
It is even cheaper to buy a bass from america, pay shipping, toll and VAT, than to buy one in germany! Sometimes much cheaper.
If I see the prizes in germany for all kinds of products, I have to say, that german customers are ripped off by every company, even from germany
And if I use the search function of this forum, it is multiple thread nightmare and you find nothing.
I see no need to change anything in my Squier bass.
It sounds great, it plays great, the tuners are working fin, the pots are working fine.
I'm sure, a Fender MIA Deluxe Jazz Bass will be better, directly compared - but the audience won't hear teh difference, not even thhose people we call in germany "musician's police".
I tell you a true story: I bought a Squier by Fender japan vintage 62 Stratocaste r (JV) brandnew in the early 80s.
In those models, the whole electrics, PUps etc. are the same as in the US models. Even the trem bridge and the tuners were US made Originals.
They were made in the japanese factory where Ibanez built guitars - that's a real quality mark!
I visited a vintage guitar shop in my hometown, the company owner was really a conoisseur. We compared the Squier JV with an original 1962 Fender Stratocaster, a very expensive collectors item.
The guy said, there is a difference (for example the lacquer on the Squier wasn't nitro), but the difference is very small.
In the next months, that guy bought all Squier JVs in the used market, he could get...
My brother played that guitar (I sold it to him several years ago) in a concert, and between two songs, one guy in the audience said that this is only a japanee guitar (one of the musicians police, you know). Because he SAW the name of the guitar, not because of what he heard!
To me, the main prob for many people in choosing the perfect instrument is: they don't hear and feel the instrument, they see it too much...;-)
I had a budget of $300-$350 and needed a nice Precision in a hurry.
I got a Squier CV. Nice bass.
If I'd have had a budget of $400-$450 I probably would have gone for a Fender MIM.
If I'd have had a budget of $600-$650 I probably would have gone with a used MIA (if I was lucky enough to find one at that price).
If I'd had a budget of $1000-$1050, hands down it would have been a Fender MIA.
I bought the bass that suited my needs and met my budget. You can always spend $50 more and get something a little better. That goes for everything.
Is my CV as good as an MIA Fender? No. However, it's a really, really nice bass in its own way.
As noted above, are $1350 MIA Fenders "$1000 better" than $350 Squiers? Not really.
A Fender USA is almost always a better crafted bass than a Squier and ALWAYS has much higher quality components (tuners, pickups, bridges, truss rods, wood, etc.). This is a fact, not an opinion. Is a Squier giggable, extremely playable and can they sound good? Absolutely. I have basses that list for $5000-6000 and have a Fodera on order but i still gig my stock $299 Squier pretty often.
Will most people in the audience notice the difference between my $299 Squier and my $3000+ 1973 Jazz or a new American Standard? Likely not. Will I notice? Yup.
To each their own, I guess. Whatever makes you happy!:bassist:
The player has to have the perfect feeling for and with an instrument.
And everybody can buy whatever he wants as long it is allowed by law. ;-)
And I don't want to offend buyers of MIA Fenders as idiots or so.
I just wanted to say, that I think the difference in quality and sound between a MIA Fender and a Squier is not the same as the difference in price.
The Fodera thing is just another subject.
To me, a Fodera ist completely another class in quality, playability and sound as the Fender CS.
It's nearly the same price range, but the Fodera is much better.
Another proof for Fender US prizes are too high.
By the way: a friend of mine has a Fender CS early 60s Telecaster.
Great guitar. Love it.
As a stringbrake-substitute for concerts, he has a noname 200 euro telecaster. He gave both guitars a professional setup.
He is a professional and said, the Fender CS setup is awful. LOL
And he did it: he flipped the electronics, PUps and so on in both guitars. The cheap one with the CS PUs, the CS with the cheap PUs.
Result: the cheap guitar sounded better.
(Edit: not better than the CS with the CS PUps, but better much better than the CS guitar with the cheap PUps. The difference between the CS guitar with CS PUps and the cheap one with the CS PUps wasn't that big, as far we could remember.)
Means: electronics and PUps of guitars are the main factor for a good sound, woods is only 30 percent or so.
I even suspect, Fender fits worse PUps in the MIM and Squiers to produce an audible difference between the price ranges.
Clever guys. Not clever enough, if customers use their ears and not their eyes....;-)
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