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Are higher priced Fenders really worth it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Alex Lineback, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. Alex Lineback

    Alex Lineback

    Jun 6, 2019
    So the Fender Precision Bass is my favorite model and I personally own two of them. Both are made in Mexico. One of them is outfitted with a set of La Belle flatwound strings and it sounds absolutely fantastic. The only change I have made to the instrument is completely aesthetic (tortoise shell scratch plate). All of the electronics and hardware are fully stock. I had the opportunity to play a custom shop P Bass the other day with the same strings and there is literally no difference in the tone quality, in fact, I actually prefer mine because of the C to D neck radius has better playability than the retro P neck with the super wide nut and U shape neck. This leads me to ask: In your opinion, are American Fenders really worth MSRP?
  2. Bass Man Dan

    Bass Man Dan Endorsing Artist: Ned Flanders' Bass-a-Reeno Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2017
    I have never paid at or above $1,000 for a bass and I reckon I never will. So my answer is no, at least not for me.
  3. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    To me, yes. My American Elite J5 is one of the best playing and sounding basses I’ve ever owned (and I’ve owned/gigged basses costing over 2-3 times what the Fender cost new).
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    No, Fender is just running a big scam on the general public.

  5. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    Some are, some aren't.

    If you can do a good setup on your bass on your own, thst certainly narrows the gap. Most of the extra money is in electronics hardware, fit and finish. If you can take care of that stuff, it's certainly a lot smaller difference. Of course stock vs. stock, the Mia will always win for resale, given both instruments are in their stock condition and of equal use/ wear.
  6. walking Bass

    walking Bass Supporting Member

    May 24, 2005
    Northern California
    I can't comment beyond a preference for my American Performer Mustang vs any other Mustang. Not custom shop expensive, but certainly more $.
    CozmoCosty likes this.
  7. To me, no. My 2 main basses are a squier and a squier/peavey parts bass. Im just a weekend warrior, but they work/sound/feel great and get me paid. When one of these breaks down, I'll buy a MIM. I'd rather spend the extra cash on amplification.
  8. Burwabit

    Burwabit Likes guitars that tune good and firm feelin women Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Lubbock, TX
    If you can’t hear, see or feel a difference, then it’s not worth it for you. For those who can, it is.
  9. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I think the American made ones are more consistent and usually great.
    The MIM stuff is really good but not quite as refined and a little less consistent.
    Really dislike the non-rolled neck edge of the MIM; is it really that expensive to add this back in?
    CozmoCosty, Eric66, wluffman and 7 others like this.
  10. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    That’s the one thing that turned me off to the MIM Jazz 5’s-the neck edge. I don’t know if the new Player series has changed that, but if so, I’d definitely give them another shot.
  11. Sean150


    Jul 18, 2018
    It’s a case of diminishing returns. Earlier this year I was looking for a new jazz bass and compared the player (I have a Jaguar and love it), Performer and Professional. Overall they all played and sounded great. I ended up getting the professional because I liked a lot of things about it a bit better (neck, colour, pickups) so it was worth the cost to me. For someone else it might not. My backup jazz is the Squier VM that I started with and it gives the pro a run for its money.
  12. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    I have a MIM Jazz from 2017 that is really great and was around $650 new. It needed better pickups though, but it plays every well besides that.

    Also have an American AVRI P bass that was $1999 new and I think I got mine for around $1350. It’s an amazing bass. Magical, really to me. Besides great tone and playability, it has something extra that I can’t explain.

    I had a MIM Classic 50’s P for while that I thought was excellent. But after a while I realized it just did not have the same extra vibe to it that the AVRI does, so I sold it. I don’t think (or hope) I will ever sell this Pbass. So yes, it is definitely worth it to me.
  13. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    To some people, sure.
    With so many other options for the same money or less, Ithough, they're just not for me.
    I'll always enjoy seeing a nice Fender, but...
    CozmoCosty likes this.
  14. Yep.. USA models are better build quality and sound good.. :thumbsup:
  15. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    The production American models are the best in terms of the quality to price ratio.
  16. Lava

    Lava Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2014
    El Paso, TX
    Um, have you ever played a Fender American Elite P?
  17. Yes, American Fender basses are absolutely worth the extra cost.
  18. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    dmt, warwicktor, tony caskey and 15 others like this.
  19. Jscriv


    Feb 3, 2017
    Tonawanda NY
    Both my fenders are parts basses. My jazz has a warmoth neck. I go play a few MIAs at GC once and a while to try and justify getting one, and I can't. There's really no difference. In fact I'd say my P is nicer than any MIA P I've touched. If in going to spend that kind of money I'm gonna buy an EBMM or just get a sweet amp. Maybe a G&L. IMG_20180818_130535935_LL.
    JohnDL, diegom, leto and 3 others like this.
  20. Eighthnoterock

    Eighthnoterock Supporting Member

    May 25, 2018
    Lynden Washington
    Yes. I love my MIM 70's Reissue Jazz and MIM 50's Precision but the fit, finish and feel of my AVRI 64 Jazz is fantastic.
    Eric66 likes this.

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