Fender Factory Tour + Design Experience

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by totem, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. totem


    Aug 13, 2006
    Bellevue, WA
    I've been in Irvine, California this week, and the other day I made a run over to Corona for a tour of the Fender Factory. Here's a few pics:



    David, the tour guide, holding a choice specimen:

    Back at the visitor center I went in to the Design Experience room for a look around. To the left, they have racks of necks, to the right are bodies, in the corner are loaded pick guards, and in the center, a workbench.

    I have been jonesing for a surf green P-bass for years, and I figured that as long as they didn't have a surf green body, I was safe. I mention this to the Fender tech working on a guitar on the bench, and he said that they could paint me one for an up-charge. Ooops. So I text the wife:

    Me: Well they don't have a surf green body here but they can paint me one.

    Her: Lol, I hope you won't deny yourself this!

    Me: Srsly?

    Her: Dude, of course.

    Oh man, gotta love her; this is all her fault. I actually start looking at the components more seriously. I find a nice jade metallic P body that is very light. Not surf green but maybe it would do. Definitely a possibility as it looks great with a tort guard and a maple neck.

    I find a mahogany-stained ash body that is equally light and really pretty. It looks classy with a white pearled guard and a rosewood neck. My surf green fantasy is fading to dust, and anyway I already have a few vintage-looking basses.

    Then David the tour guide shows up and says he think he's got a cream pearled guard over in his office. In a minute, he's back with it, and it looks awesome. He comments that the rosewood neck I have is kind of light, and maybe we could find a darker one that matches the body better.

    The "piece de resistance" .. we walk across the parking lot to the factory, and I select a neck for my bass right off the factory floor.

    Here's a cellphone pic of the components on the bench. It doesn't do it justice.

    TL;DR: This is the bass they're assembling for me, mahogany-stained ash body, cream pearled pick guard, rosewood neck, '62 vintage pickups. Should ship to me in 2 -3 weeks. I'll post better pics then.
  2. gwangi


    Jul 4, 2009
    Forbidden Valley

    Is this a custom shop bass?
  3. That is great, very nice! Hang on to that lady!
  4. Deaky


    Oct 24, 2006
    Very nice.

    I'm a huge Fender fanboy and I'd love to tour the factory. Scotland to California ain't cheap tho!!

  5. Sponsored by:

  6. totem


    Aug 13, 2006
    Bellevue, WA
  7. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I misssed the machine that randomly puts an irreversible bow in the neck ...
    goodformetal and Jah Wobble Fan like this.
  8. j.kernodle


    Nov 23, 2008
    Charleston, SC

    on a productive note:

    to the op. thanks for posting. can't wait to see your surf green P.
  9. LightForce104


    Sep 13, 2012
    Nice! Question though. Do they do matching headstocks?
  10. jbossolo


    Sep 22, 2011
    Great story man! Thx for sharing! Does your wife have a sister?
    Jim C likes this.
  11. Rob L

    Rob L Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2006
    Chilly ND
    Nice, Thanks for sharing. I'd love to tour the factory.

    They must have missed my basses when using their irreversible bow machine. :)
  12. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Love those hand rubbed finishes! It would be a tough choice between one of those and a Surf Green, Sonic or Daphne Blue though.

    Congrats on a very, very cool bass!
  13. totem


    Aug 13, 2006
    Bellevue, WA
    Unfortunately I didn't ask that question so I don't know. It would be cool if they did.
  14. totem


    Aug 13, 2006
    Bellevue, WA
    This guy's installing truss rods in neck blanks:

  15. HypersoulRocks

    HypersoulRocks Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    Howabout some prices? Are we in the 2 grand neighborhood or the 5 grand....
  16. matey


    Sep 17, 2012
    wild wild oz
  17. LuvMusic


    Aug 18, 2007
    Oak Park, IL
    The cream pearl guard on that body looks great! I have a 2012 P bass with the same mahogany stained ash body, you've got me thinking.
  18. totem


    Aug 13, 2006
    Bellevue, WA
    roughly $1600 - $2400 depending on wood, custom paint, neck blocks, etc. I don't remember all the possible options.
  19. Road Bull

    Road Bull

    Jul 24, 2011
    Seattle, WA.
    Oh nooooooooooo! I thought they stopped making basses with the hand-stained mahogany finish, as they were to be a limited run. I have really dug those dark stained finishes. I hope they keep that as a finish option until I am ready for my next one.

    Congrats on a great looking bass and a cool experience getting to put it together. Thanks for sharing brother.
    pudgychef likes this.
  20. totem


    Aug 13, 2006
    Bellevue, WA
    Here's Abigail Ybarra, legendary pickup winder and a Fender employee since 1956:
  21. 57pbass

    57pbass Supporting Member

    Classic....god bless her...