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Another Fender Rant

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by um... yeah, Jun 19, 2004.

  1. Hi everybody,

    I've spent a lot of time in here recently and have noticed just the shear number of ppl posting about bad Fender necks, and it got me thinking. (I too own a brand new Jazz with a lousy truss rod, so count me among the afflicted.)

    Why does Fender continue to use the same truss rods in the same fashion as they have been for decades? Why can't they emulate the Ernie Ball type truss rods (the best I think) with the adjustable wheel and admit they have a problem? Talk to any Tele player about truss rods and he'll answer with a painful grimace about the total inconveniece of removing the neck to make any adjustments at all. Get with the times, Fender! :mad:

    I have so many questions just like many others in here about this.
  2. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    How have fenders sales been doing lately. Quite well. Why would they change something that is already selling better than ever. Both of my fenders had great necks.
  3. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    I don't think it's the truss rod design as much as quality control and over production to the point of madness. I have two Fenders: 74 P [with a one-piece neck] and a 92 J + 5, and I've never had ANY problems with them.

    Then again I haven't played a new fender in a long time that I would actually like to own.
  4. I never had any problems with Fender...the 3 Fender basses i still own are solid as a rock. I used to own a few other Fender basses/guitars and i only got rid of them to make way for new instruments.

    Ive played many Fenders...the worst i ever seen was nothing a good setup couldnt fix.
  5. yeah, I had a fender without any real problems besides needing a new fretjob. I really wonder how many of Fender's "bad necks" are a result of people adjusting truss rods who really shouldn't be (at least without supervision and experience) and/or stores leaving fender basses sitting around without adjusting the necks or performing basic maintenance.
  6. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    I have also been curious about the sheer volume of complaints that Fender receives on this site, and I may have some theories to put forth:

    1. I think that the type of person that frequents TalkBass may have some of the highest expectations when it comes to the Fender product. Because Fender is Fender, I wonder if many players psyche themselves into some sort of magical thinking about the product. In the bass-player sub-culture, having a Fender P or J is almost a part of what it means to play bass. So, I believe that many people are disappointed when the product is not magical. In a world of Benavente, Hanewinkle, and Sadowsky, how can a simple Fender be more than it is?

    2. Most large retail establishments sell Fender, but seem to do nothing with the product that comes out of the box. I think if retail establishments had their staff set up each bass to a moderate playing level, they might end up sending most of the problem basses back themselves! Selling poorly constructed products is as bad as making poorly constructed products. I know, I know - most (not all!)floor staff know little about what they sell and are too poorly compensated to care. Just shop at GC and then call Bass Central for the ultimate in contrast

    3. Fender is in the business of mass producing guitars, basses, and other musical gear - I would love to know how many P-Basses they actually make in a given period - and there are bound to be a certain percentage of rejects. The majority of Fender basses hanging in a mass retailer are middle-of-the-road models or starter models. They probably provide for the greatest retail profit margins. It seems as if Talkbassers find most of the bad ones!

    4. If Fender were better at quality control, the people at AllParts and Warmoth would not have jobs. Fender's perceived limitations open the door to all of the boutique crafters that make those tasty basses we all drool over on this site

    5. My Fenders may be problematic, but I certainly can't tell and my techs never seem to find any faults. Again, over-sensitivity may be a consideration
  7. Mazinger

    Mazinger Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2002
    I actually just bought a brand new MIA P today. :)

    The neck is fine. I did have a problem with the jack. The sound was very soft. I wiggled the cord and realized something was wrong with the jack. We opened it up and twisted the jack around. Maybe it was touching something it wasn't supposed to. ???? It's fixed now.

    This is a $900US bass. You'd figure someone would notice there was a problem.
  8. You'd figure you would have noticed it when trying the bass in the store! ;)

    Seriously though, some of it is the stores' fault. It's not too hard to spot these things. With the volume of basses leaving Fender it's natural to have some defects, including some that won't be found by quality control. Shops have a responsibility too. A beginner buying a bass with a warped neck won't know there's a warped neck till it's too late.
  9. Mazinger

    Mazinger Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2002
    I did. I told them to take a look at it before I bought it. I'm surprised the store didn't know something was wrong with it.
  10. Absolutely....imagine if stores started taking stock of their basses and did a proper setup on each and every one (as they should)...just imagine.

    I've been playing Fenders long enough to know that there may be 2 out 7 or 8 at any given store that I would consider a playable instrument and worthy of my cash. If I demoed the particular bass which inspired (if that's the right word) this thread, I would've known immediately to avoid it.

    Unfortunately I have learned the hard way and went against my better judgement. This was my first and last internet purchase and I will never order another instrument over the web...lesson learned. :meh:
  11. elgranluis


    Feb 14, 2003
    El paso, TX

    man, are you just into starting conversstion??? since 95 or so the only fender that you{d have to remove the neck to adjust would be the st p bass.....

    ove had maby diffenernt types of basses, and still the nastiest would be my 4003 ric. It works perfectly, but it is so hard toget righte that more than 2 guys would say that the rods suck.... live a litlle, learn a little.
  12. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I myself own 12 fender basses, none with truss rod issues! My basses like anyone else's sense humidity changes, string changes and will shift and flex from time to time. This is nothing an 1/8 to 1/4 turn max can't fix.. Even my MIM basses (3) stay straight, and I live near the ocean. I too think alot of theses issues are caused by poor setups (over adjustments) and string changes (varying guages). My MIM dlx jazz was tramatized when I was looking for "that string" to put on it, but when I settled for what I wanted It stopped!
  13. Even tho I had a bad Experience with a Fender (Marcus Miller).. I think on a whole Fenders have stood the test of time...they are build solidly..and you get the Trad Fender sound..thousands of bands use them to great effect....and their finished are still some of the best....:)

    The only thing that Lets Fenders down are tow simple but large things

    Peavey and
    Yamaha..... :cool:
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    IMO/IME, Fender receives the most complaints because they sell the most product.

    Fender designs haven't changed much but neither have they remained static. Regarding necks, fingerboard radius has changed, and for some models Fender uses graphite stiffening bars. My RB5 is solid as a rock. I switched from stainless roundwounds to TI flats and did not have to adjust the trussrod.
  15. I don't have a problem with Fender, I have a problem with necks in general. Of all the basses that I have owned, I would have to say that I can't think of one that I couldn't find a buzz somewhere on the neck and/or certain strings. I have owned USA Guild, G&L, Rickenbacker, Dingwall, Musicman, and of course Fender. The only way around this that I have found is to buy used basses where the wood has aged and settled down a little bit (5-10 years seems to be the best). So over the years the only other thing that I have also found is that I have to have most of my basses setup with high action and ample neck relief and that is what I am used to playing. So my never ending quest for a bass with low action and decent playability continues...
  16. They are out there, it just takes a little field work to find them ;)

    The best bass I ever had was a MIJ '75 RI. What you hear about MIJ Fenders is true. In my experience, they are pretty much equal to any good American made one. I had it set up to play like an Alembic, straight neck, low action, strings like butta'. Of course I sold it.