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Are Fender Elite/Deluxe Comparisons to Boutiques fair?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Dec 24, 2016.


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  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I was thinking about the current thread comparing the Fender Elite V to Sadowsky Metro MV5. I said the Sadowsky was clearly superior, but that, in my opinion says nothing bad about the Fender. The Fender is an excellent mass produced bass. Any Sadowsky is a rare, handmade boutique bass, and it is made to more exacting standards than even a great factory bass. I think comparing a Fender to a Sadowsky is like comparing a Nissan Maxima or Kia Optima to a AMG Mercedes or a BMW M5.

    That said, if Fender copied the Sadowsky neck, I would happily take the Fender despite not having that Sadowsky sizzle. Afterall, my DJ5 is a passive bass with a neck much closer to Sadowsky specs than a Fender in every category except scale length.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
    TonyP-, fender68 and Mr_O'B like this.
  2. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    NYC
    USA Fenders are just fine. Boutique basses are just fine as well. I love them all. That said, the tone is in your fingers.
     
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I agree, my Kia is fine, and so is a Range Rover.
     
    malthumb, Buzz E, Herrick and 3 others like this.
  4. mrb327

    mrb327

    Mar 6, 2013
    Colorado
    Nobody Knows
    I think there will always be comparisons at relative price levels

    Or against Squiers too
     
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I think everyone accepts Squier is the budget line. I think the confusion between the top level production basses and boutiques. The problem is that even the nicest factory basses like Music Man and G&L can't match the options of boutiques when it comes options like chambering or being ultra picky about wood, thereby avoiding the 12 pound bass.
     
  6. mrb327

    mrb327

    Mar 6, 2013
    Colorado
    Nobody Knows
    Admit that looking at $2k and up for a bass, there are a lot op options besides Fender

    I did like some of the recent updates
     
  7. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I agree with this. I have a 6 string Brubaker KXB-6 that's just a smidge over 10 Lbs. It's very light for a Single-cut monster. Then I picked up a Music Man Sabre that was 13 Lbs.
     
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  8. WorktheWood

    WorktheWood Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2014
    IMO, nothing about a Sadowsky Metro feels boutique. If the Metro had a neck that felt like the NYC basses I would like them more. Tonally, they're OK but I still prefer the traditional Fender tone more.
     
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    YMMV
     
    seang15 likes this.
  10. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    The NYC necks and Metro necks are the same. As for tone, that is highly subjective but the Metro's are vastly different from a Fender. Sadowsky tone is to die for whether solo'd or in the mix. You will get compliments on your tone with a Sad even from non musicians/Bassists.
     
    Munjibunga, MattB88 and allenhumble like this.
  11. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    I don't think comparing them to boutiques is fair despite the fact that the prices of those higher end Fenders do begin touch the bottom tier of boutique instruments.
     
    btmpancake, Mr_O'B and Dr. Cheese like this.
  12. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    You evidently have never owned a Range Rover...at least one that is out of warranty :D
     
  13. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The cheapest Metros are $800 more than a Fender Elite, or enough to buy a Sire V7 five string and a nice Mono gigbag!
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
  14. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I'll take you at your word. I have a sweet, loaded 2017 Kia Sportage that reminds me somewhat of the new, smaller Range Rovers I see around town.
     
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Having played both brands, I don't see where the Fender could be improved. I don't get what is superior about other jazz basses. Different? Maybe. Better? Not to my ears, hands and eyes.

    On the weight tip, as obsessed as some are about lighter weight here, and rightfully so, there are plenty of bassists who have no issue with a 10 lb. bass. Particularly if it's yielding a more desirable product.

    It's about what you want out of a bass. Light weight is not on my list. I want a very responsive, easy to play, tonally aggressive, tonally consistent bass, hard hitting instrument. The Deluxes tick all of those boxes.

    I've said this a number of times... many boutique takes on Fender Jazzes "refine" the sound, which is great if you don't want what a Fender does in the mix. Once you figure out how to control a Fender it's like skillfully riding a wild beast.

    Sadowskys are nice instruments. I think upper end Fenders are on equal footing at a minimum. If not better because they maintain their Fenderness ;). Just my opinion. I am curious as to what could be "improved"?
     
    woody357, joebar, lsu921 and 16 others like this.
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings

    Agreed on Sadowsky necks. That's my understanding too. And agreed on the tone being vastly different from Fenders. And you'll likely get compliments with either one... if you can play. You can get compliments with a Squier. BTDT.
    :)
     
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I think it's perfectly fair because that's what they're aimed at as far as competition.
     
    malthumb, hintz and TMARK like this.
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    A Range Rover can be a money pit. Even if you can afford it being on a first name basis with your SA's is no fun.

    You can pick up used ones for peanuts. But they revert to their original price range when a repair is needed.
    :D
     
  19. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That was bad example then. I go back to my original Nissan Maxima vs. AMG Mercedes comparison.:thumbsup:
     
    allenhumble, Mr_O'B and Flaked Beans like this.
  20. TMARK

    TMARK

    Jan 10, 2012
    Richmond VA
    Imma just say it: Sadowskys are great, no question, but they are over hyped on this website. I like the Fender tone better. They are really well built but the finger style tone is not my thing. It cuts through and sounds good on tape or hard drive, but is too controlled for my tastes. It's not greazy enough.

    I loved my Metro but it doesn't sound like a Fender, which is what I like. I was going to wire it VVT with some NJ4s but I remembered I already have a Lakland DJ4. It would be a waste to rewrite it. So I sold it.

    The NYC/Metro necks are the same. They feel great.

    But to the question, it is fair to compare an Elite to a Metro. The Metro has a bit on the Elite but nothing a fret dressing can't fix for $80. A Hipshot A style bridge for another $80 gets it closer to the Metro. So all in an Elite comes in with a coupon around $1700 with a fret dressing and a new bridge. A new Metro comes in about $900 more. So is the Metro worth it? If you want THAT SADOWSKY SOUND, I guess so.
     

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