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Fender: Dimension discontinued and new Pau Ferro Jazz?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by swartzfeger, Jul 7, 2017.

  1. Hi All!

    Recently moved from the mainland US to the tropics and had to sell my basses due to the cost of shipping... I only kept my Squier P fretless as it was a gift, the resale wouldn't have been worth it and, most of all -- it's a great bass! My Jazz, my '83 P and my Ibanez 5ver were all sold prior to moving.

    Now that I'm settled in, I'm looking to buy again... definitely jonesing for a Jazz or inspired variant. More than that though is I want a stable neck. So I've been looking at Lakland's 55-01s since they have graphite rods and a few other similar options.

    ANYWAY --

    Remembering that Fender Dimensions have posiflex and could be had cheaper than the MIA Jazz w/ posiflex, I hit sweetwater to shop for a Dimension. No results. I did see 'coming soon' on the new Pau Ferro fingerboard jazz, though.

    So I went directly to Fender's site and selected Dimension from their bass menu:

    Dimension Bass

    Page not found. Hmm. Did Fender quietly discontinue the Dimension?

    re: Pau Ferro -- I've never been a rosewood purist, and preferred the look of maple anyway. I had pau ferro on my Bongo fretless and seemed to be a great fingerboard. Not sure about the 'look' on the jazz though, it doesn't look quite as dark as rosewood (completely, shallowly aesthetic, of course!).

    A new MIM Jazz with pau ferro and block inlays may just be what I go for, but it's got to be $500 better than a Squier VM 77. And somehow I can't see a MIM being $500 better (or willing to have it shipped halfway across the Pacific to find out).
  2. dxb


    Dec 25, 2016
    I think the Squier Dimensions are discontinued, but I'm not sure about the Fender models. Musician's Friend still has a bunch of them for sale.

    Also, keep in mind that Dimensions don't really sound anything like Jazz basses.
  3. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    That was a short lived model. Could be they are updating the site. I thought it was a nice bass. As far as Pau Ferro not sure I even have an opinion.. Sometimes it was referred to as Morado.. I had a Tobias with that type fingerboard. It felt good. Did have work done to it (bowed up a bit). Not sure I can tell the difference in sound. Just that fender had a vintage flair to it. But we all have to deal with changes. Not a economic expert but I get the feeling many other companies will do the same. Rosewood may go up in price as an alternative.
  4. The Bassman 300 amp and 810 cab went away too...

    And yeah, the Dimension shows up on the website as a series, but every time you try to click on a specific model, you get "N/A" or something...

    Laney did the same thing with their VC series class A amplifiers. Not a good sign.

    This is too bad, because the Dimensions actually got me to pay attention to Fender again. It was something fresh in the lineup that maintained a distinctively "Fender-y" look, but brought a new pickup design and preamp into the lineup. I guess now it's time to go back to ignoring them again. Sure, they make great P's and J's. But so do dozens of other makers.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
  5. dxb


    Dec 25, 2016
    Yeah, it would be a shame if Fender is ditching the Dimensions altogether. The reason they still have that Fender-y look is that the body is essentially a modified Jazz shape with a little bit shorter length and a smaller lower horn that greatly improves upper fret access. They also have an extra fret.
  6. PaperbackRyder

    PaperbackRyder Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    Maynard, MA
    I read somewhere that Pau ferro is replacing rosewood in many instruments. Something about new import regulations, ecology etc.
    Tbone76 and Tvrtko like this.
  7. Linnin

    Linnin SUSPENDED

    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    This just in from a chat on Fender.com Q: Have the Dimension basses been discontinued?
    A: "The Dimension models are not discontinued but they are all switching over to alternative fingerboard materials. So for the time being they have been removed from the site. They will be replaced with the new part numbers once we have stock from the factory."
  8. Ant Illington

    Ant Illington I'm Anthony but I'm only illin' Banned

    I want the back story of your moving from Pittsburgh (profile info) to "the tropics" and not having money to ship at least one good bass.
  9. Edmang

    Edmang Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2013
    Understand the change with the rosewood... But maple boards being something else? Interesting.
  10. I really glossed thru that for the sake of speed... it really wasn't the cost of shipping. In the grand scheme of things, the cost wasn't *that* much. Add up a handful of basses, and the total cost of shipping was a decent chunk of change though. And considering the total cost of shipping vs my feelings toward those particular basses, I couldn't really justify the cost. FWIW, I pretty much sold everything I had and only brought 2 suitcases worth of clothes... starting fresh, ya know?

    For starters, I didn't know where we were going to live -- we only had short term living arrangements upon arrival (VRBO, etc). I could've had my basses shipped directly to the post office, but with having to get new driver's licenses, secure long term residence, etc, I wasn't comfortable leaving basses in limbo while I was off running errands taking care of 'real life.'

    On top of that, I wasn't crazy about the basses for many reasons. My 5ver was an Ibanez SR505 (iirc) that I had bought on a whim, brand new, for a great price ($400 or so). The neck proved to be stable as hell, which is important for me because it seemed like every other bass I bought was bowing at the start of a new season. The Ibanez was stable, rock solid, but I never really gelled with the sound of the bass.

    Rickenbacker 4003? Neck from hell. Love the rick sound, but the neck on this 4003 was nuts. And not knowing which climate zone I was going to end up in (the Big Island of Hawaii varies greatly), I wasn't going to spend $$$ to ship a mercurial bass. I had bought the Rick used for a great price, but didn't do due diligence with really checking it out before purchasing it. Once I had it set up professionally, my tech informed me that due to a neck issue it could never get the action truly as low as I wanted. That and the frequent bowing, I cut my losses and sold it.

    My '83 P (pictured in my avatar) was sold early on when I had first decided to move, and wasn't sure if I was going to have enough funds. I sold my Fender P along with my UA Apollo and Axe-FX II and some other big pieces of gear for a savings 'seed fund'. Selling the P was a mistake -- sounded great, played great, awesome neck. Since I'm not a 'P guy' I figured @!$% it, sell it and get some cash. Probably a mistake. But I've mad a lot of mistakes selling basses that I've regretted later, but have always rebounded with something as nice or nicer. Que sera and all that.

    The Squier P that is coming out in a few months is getting shipped via my girlfriend's mom's stuff, who's moving out here in the fall. It's coming along with all of her household belongings (essentially getting shipped for free). The neck is stable, it sounds great, plays great but it didn't make sense spending money to have it shipping out with me given it's cost. I was thinking of bringing it along on the plane, but since I was maxed out luggage-wise, I think the cost was $50 or $75... not prohibitive, but lugging 2 suitcases PLUS a bass while trying to find our rental car after a 14 hour flight was a no go.

    Tangentially related!!! --

    So, now I'm investigating the shipping costs of buying a bass at Sweetwater, Musician's Friend, etc and really having a hell of a time figuring out the shipping calculus. FREX: (using sweetwater as an example)

    Buying a Squier '77 Jazz, there are two shipping options: USPS Priority for $44, and FedEx ground for $92. I was definitely shocked at the $44 option, which seemed ridiculously reasonable.

    Next up, I checked the shipping cost of a Lakland 55-01 -- one shipping option of FedEx ground for $171. $171!!!

    Almost twice the cost of the Squier FedEx option. Insane. I'll have to call these places and see if they can shed some light on why some instruments can ship cheaply via USPS priority and others can not.

    Craigslist here has been a bust. Mostly ukes and acoustics. A few basses here and there but nothing of note. There's been a mid 90s MIJ Jazz (I think), but for the cost I'd rather chance a new Squier getting shipped here for the same amount.

    There's a Fender dealer here in Kona and can order anything. I'd buy a new MIA Geddy Jazz or new Jazz professional in a heartbeat and call it a day, but my girlfriend would probably have a heart attack if I spent anything over $1k. Who knows, maybe some arm twisting. They have two Fender dimensions for under $900 and a new Fender MIA P for less than a grand. I just really want a J tho. :/

    There's another place down the road that mainly sells ukes and acoustics, but they do have one used Epiphone Jazz for $180. I may consider that to hold me over while I look for 'the one.'

    On the other (Hilo) side of the island, Big Island guitars has a used Sadowsky MV4, an 80s Ibanez Roadstar (P/J) and an interesting Hohner 5 string. I've sent them a request for a quote.

    If I hadn't sold my Steinberger XL2 or PRS bass 10 years ago I WOULD NOT BE IN THIS POSITION!!! (sigh and lol)
    Tbone76 likes this.
  11. dxb


    Dec 25, 2016
    All the Squier basses I've bought new came in pretty small shipping boxes (4" x 15.5" x 52"), which could be why the shipping on those costs less than some other brands that might have bigger boxes or double-boxes. Included cases or gig bags would also add to the size and weight of the shipping box, which the Squiers don't have.
  12. I thought the same thing re: the Squier box... but the Lakland doesn't include a gig bag or case, either.

    I just tried Lakland 55-01 shipping to HI from Musician's Friend: free ground (!), $70 2-day, and $90 next day.
  13. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    Pau ferro might be my favorite fingerboard wood. Looks rosewoodish (which for certain colors is a must, if I'm being shallow) but the feel is much smoother. I've played some pretty nasty rosewood, even on good instruments
  14. ...which is kind of silly, if my understanding is correct in that most of the industry's Rosewood sources are, essentially, farm-grown in India. Brazilian and other Rosewoods may be a different story.

    I'm very relieved to see this. Thanks for the update!
    Linnin likes this.
  15. Linnin

    Linnin SUSPENDED

    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    "Silly" is the understatement of the century. Gibson just went through a massive legal assault from the Feds over their stock of tonewoods.
  16. mc900ftj


    Jan 21, 2014
    Well, wood generally floats, so "ground" might be, "slap an address label on it and set it adrift in a westerly direction!". :D

    But seriously, good luck in your search!
  17. Agents showed up with guns. Seized assets. $350,000 in fines.

    Henry Juszkiewicz of Gibson donates/contributes to Republicans, FWIW.

    Thank you! I just missed the usual 4th of July GC/MF 15-20% coupon... maybe labor day deals or Cyber Monday I'll pull the trigger so the savings can go toward a hardshell case.

    Sweetwater has the first models up showing pau ferro:

    Fender '70s Jazz Bass - 3-color Sunburst with Pau Ferro Fingerboard

    I don't know why my brain is wired to dislike light colored rosewood and pau ferro on a Jazz. On a P I think pau ferro would look spiffy. Some strange bias at play.
  18. mc900ftj


    Jan 21, 2014
    I'm not sure about GC/MF, but I have had some success calling up my sales rep from Sweetwater and asking, "so what's the best you can do on the price of this thing I'd like to order." Seriously it works sometimes. Sometimes not, but worth a try. Good luck.
    dxb likes this.
  19. bobpond

    bobpond Supporting Member

    May 23, 2005
    Long Island, New York
    Since the dimension product line is changing I would think that dimensions might show up on SDOTD at MF.
    Tbone76 and HeavyDuty like this.
  20. dxb


    Dec 25, 2016
    Musician's Friend almost always has some kind of 15-20% discount going and even if the item you want isn't listed, a lot of times they'll give it to you anyway if you call.

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