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Fender Custom Shop Insanity

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by The Bass Clef, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef “the brian” Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    Southern California
    I just looked on Ebay at the Fender Custom Shop basses that are for sale, and it seems like everyday the prices are getting higher and higher, and more and more ridiculous.. to the point that these replicas are as expensive, or even more expensive than the original basses they are emulating. :eyebrow:

    Just a couple examples..


    I've seen real '57s go for less than that lately, and 100% original '72 Ps go for half that!

    Obviously there are a lot of people out there with more dollars than sense, but c'mon people, don't ya think when the price of the replicas meet or exceed the originals there's a problem? Like maybe the Custom Shop is ripping people off just a little bit? What in the name of God do these basses have on them that make them so ghastly expensive? What's so "masterful" about a masterbuilt? What, because this master recreates something that Fender has been doing for 50-60 years - with all the resources right at their fingertips? Wow, how impressive. :rollno: I get why Foderas and Ritters are so expensive, but these CS basses are just Fenders!

    I have personally played 2 masterbuilt CS basses, and I honestly didn't think either of them were all that great. They weren't bad, but they didn't have anything magical about them, either. They act as if they are cutting the tree down themselves and hand shaping the damn thing over 5 years using a pocketknife or something.

    So masterbuilt shmasterbuilt I say. These basses and guitars are not complicated. To me, it's like having Chef Ramsay make you a bowl of cereal. They're just wood and screws people, not unicorn blood and hairs from Merlin's beard.

    There are always people on here saying that they don't get the whole vintage thing. At least vintage basses have historical significance if nothing else. But I just don't get this whole masterbuilt thing. /rant.
    bassarama likes this.
  2. antonspon


    Mar 27, 2013
    A big thumbs up on that one! Yup, delusions of grandeur indeed - the finest Fender out there is still two pieces of wood screwed together...;)
  3. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Yamaha & Grosbeak. I’m Marc!

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    I agree. I have expressed feelings before about Fender's current pricing model, and I'm not fond of how expensive things got over the past few years - and continue to rise. The Custom Shop in particular is jaw-droppingly expensive for what it is.

    My solution? I just play stock production Fenders. I also try to get them when I can save some money on them.
  4. Dean N

    Dean N

    Jul 4, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA

    That right there's the Quote Of The Day, I'll tell you what..
  5. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    Custom shop getting more expensive, Squier becoming higher quality. It all makes perfect business sense. or does it??? :confused:
  6. bigsnaketex


    Dec 29, 2011
    Down South
    Please remember that money means different things to different folks. If you're "rich" then spending $5000 on a custom shop bass is no different than a poor working musician spending $399 on a Squier.

    Everything is relative and Fender simply provides products for all levels of folks.

    It's not always your perspective that counts..........
  7. lowendmafia

    lowendmafia Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2007
    Sacramento, California
    The one that really got to me was the CS Geddy Lee bass for over 5k. A legit 72 J would not cost that much, and they didn't even do the black blocks on it...
    bassarama likes this.
  8. jason_cfh


    Sep 6, 2013
    I'm surprised most people nowadays can even afford gas for their vehicle every week let alone ridiculously over-priced pieces of wood, metal and electronics. Who says the economy is in the gutter? LOL
  9. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA

    Truthfully, I'm sure that FMIC makes much more money by selling cheap ChiCom mass-produced instruments than they make off of high-end custom shop products like this, so it isn't worth getting too upset.

    If you want reasonably-priced US-made custom instruments from major manufacturers, Carvin and G&L seem to be where it's at right now.
  10. Fender PRICES products for all levels of folks. They're not necessarily worth the price. It's just what people are willing to pay for a luxury.
  11. We pay less for our gas than we do for the bottled drinks we consume on a daily basis.
  12. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    But this isn't exactly about rich/poor. It's about the real deal costing $5000, and reproduction also costing $5000.

    I agree with thebrain, I like visiting a local shop where I can find originals for the same (or cheaper as some models) of what the Custom Shop is asking anymore. Also you can flip through Vintage Guitar Magazine and find dealers all day long similarly priced. Not to mention I also own a vintage and a CS Fender basses, so I see where this is comging from.
  13. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Yamaha & Grosbeak. I’m Marc!

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    The really funny thing is that Fender hires skilled craftsmen to build stuff by themselves that imitates what a team of assembly line factory workers built 40-60 years ago, and sells them at a price that gives true artisan basses a run for the money.

    American Vintage reissues - USA factory built, just like the old days!

    P.S. Nothing wrong with wanting Fender CS. No way I'm buying one though.
  14. MVE


    Aug 8, 2010
    The "Masterbuilt" thing is a little ridiculous.

    Shouldn't every builder the in the Fender Custom Shop be a freakin' Master-builder???

    I think 2500 is about my theoretical ceiling for any bolt-on instrument.

    (Not including instruments that are legitimate collector's items or antiques.)
  15. WretchedExcess


    Jul 29, 2013
    > But this isn't exactly about rich/poor. It's about the real deal costing $5000,
    > and reproduction also costing $5000.

    If the cost of the old bass and a new bass that's made the same way end up being exactly the same, then doesn't that mean that the marketplace values both instruments equally?

    If the reproduction is a faithfully true reproduction, then how could you expect anything else?
  16. 6stringpanda


    Aug 9, 2013

    Hell, I think the prices for Mexican and American Fenders is insane, considering the woods used and craftsmanship.

    Sorry, used to be a big Fender person but finding a 3 piece body under an Amercian deluxe Jazz bass totally turned me off years ago.

    I once contacted Fender to inquire about getting a 6 string Jazz bass quote, when it started getting over 5K with an aldler body I stopped!
  17. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Actually, Leo was known to partake in a shot or two of unicorn blood on occasion. They say that every now and then he trickled a tiny bit of it on a guitar or bass. Those are the ones with "mojo".
  18. pudge

    pudge Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    That's what I've always said to the "vintage" silliness.Yeah some are great but every single one isn't the greatest bass ever made as some would have you belive,
  19. MVE


    Aug 8, 2010

    Not exactly, there are a few additional things to consider in the value of both objects.

    1. The FCS signature replicas of are replicas of specific instruments. The GL bass or Jaco bass, were carefully modeled on those exact instruments. The woods were hand chosen and all finishing details have been very carefully attended to. (You might play 100 other '72 Jazz basses and never find one that is quite as much like Geddy Lee's as the FCS replica.) The non-signature, FCS and "master-built" instruments are again carefully hand chosen woods and extremely fine attention to detail in finishing. (Is it $8000.00s worth of attention? I certainly don't think so.)

    2. A real 1972 Jazz bass has value as a vintage antique object, totally exclusive of it's value as an musical instrument.

    There are collector's willing to pay hundreds of dollars for an empty Coke bottle.

  20. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX
    Fender's Custom Shop is providing an excellent incentive to buy Lull, Sadowsky, Lakland...

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