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Factory made "parts" Fender?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AaronS, Apr 18, 2001.

  1. A shop nearby has a Fender Bass with a shop tag that says "Fender California p/j Special: Retail $1,139; 30% discount $795". The headstock says "Fender Precision Bass Special; Made in Mexico" The back of the headstock has a serial number starting with "MN". It sure looks like a MIM Precision Bass Special. When I pointed out to the help that full retail on a MIM P-Bass Special is $739, I was told that this was a California model that the neck went bad on and that the MIM neck was all Fender could supply. To me if it has a MIM label and serial number, then it shouldn't be tagged or sold otherwise. I understand that the shop owner may be loosing money, but isn't that between him and Fender? Anybody else have similar experiences? Anybody got a guess on the actual street value of this bass? It plays nice and is the nicest bass available for several hundred miles in my very rural location.
  2. sounds like ebay is more reliable than that schmuck.
  3. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I wouldn't buy it either.
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Welcome to TalkBass, Aaron.

    Are you too remote for someplace where you can do web/mail business, like Musician's Friend, where the MIM Special goes for around $450??? Sheesh, for over $100 less, you could get a basic, American-made, Carvin LB70 that won 3 Bass Player Magazine awards.

    That dealer is taking advantage of the stranglehold he has on your market. What a shyster :rolleyes:
  5. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I think that you should report that guy to Fender. I know that even though they are a big impersonal corporation that they don't do business that way, and wouldn't put up with crap like that from an authorized dealer.

    If the neck went bad on the bass and it was a new unit, Fender would have either had him return the bass for a neck replacement or full replacement.

    More than likely, it is either a MIM, or it is used, had a bum neck, he got it for next to nothing, and bought a MIM neck to put on it.

    Don't buy it. Buy mail order or something. I wouldn't even buy a set of strings from someone like that.
  6. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    That bass used to be a MIA/MIM hybrid. The parts were made in the USA & assembled in Mexico. Due to leagal problems, it was discontinued & now production it totally MIM.

    This retailer probably had the MIA/MIM hyrbrid & had a problem w/the neck & Fender replaced it w/a MIM neck since they no longer make it w/the "made in USA" decal <b>OR</b> he has the tag on the MIM one trying to make more $$$$$!!!! The ones made totally in Mexico are a few hundred dollars less.
  7. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I find it hard to believe that Fender would send out a neck with a different serial number to a retailer. How is that gonna show up in their 'puters if someone sends in a warranty card for their "new" Fender?
  8. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    They will have it on record that original neck s/n ABC123 was replaced w/neck s/n ABC124 & all warranties will still be in affect. I have done a few warranty repairs when I worked @ Sam Ash In Bklyn & that's how it happens.
  9. JohnL


    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    If it had a MIA neck and was replaced with a MIM neck, I wouldnt touch it for anything close to that price. The MIM neck does not have the graphite reinforcement, and that does make a big difference, at least on my bass, with eliminating dead spots.
  10. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    The bass in question is a "California P-bass" 1/2 USA & 1/2 MIM. Not an American Standard or above. The neck that was put on it (I'm assumung) is a MIM counterpart. When they stopped making the "CAlifornia P-bass", they renamed it the Deluxe P-BassĀ® Special
    (MIM) & it has the same exact specs. This series didn't have the graphite reinforced neck.

    P.S. $795 is <b>WAYYYY TOOOOOO MUUUUCH $$$$$$</b>
  11. Thanks for the info guys. While I have 47 years at guitar, I am new at the bass. I am always interested in other people's responses to borderline issues. My wife says I am too forgiving of potential ethical transgressions. I doubt that the shop owner would have been up front with me or anybody else about the mixed parts, but I consider his helper a friend.

    BTW, I checked out the Carvin LB70 that rickbass1 mentioned. From their website and Harmony Central, it looks quite good. Wish I could find one to play. This forum is a great source of info! In the past few days I have discovered Spector, Carvin, Warwick and SWR. I am 300 miles from Denver or Salt Lake and around here if it doesn't say Fender, Gibson or Peavey, it is considered Asian junk by most people. Even my interest in G&L gets a suspiciously raised eyebrow.

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