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Fender Masterbuilt Series. $8000 for a P bass. Anyone play one???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TheMartianBassist, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. TheMartianBassist

    TheMartianBassist Supporting Member

    May 30, 2015
    San Diego
    Hello Talkbass,

    I'm currently in the market for a P bass.
    At this point in my career I am somewhat dissalusioned with Fender's production products as I continuously find eyebrow-raising flaws in their instruments.
    From my online searching I came across the Fender Masterbuilt series. Specifically the basses built by John Cruz:

    Fender Custom Shop 1957 Precision Bass Relic Masterbuilt by John Cruz

    Needless to say I'm not getting ready to drop $8 Large, but has anyone played a Fender Masterbuilt? Can you please elaborate on the experience?
    When and how are these basses built? Which Fender luthiers would you choose if you did decide to purchase a Masterbuilt?
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
    AlexanderB likes this.
  2. BIGEJ2

    BIGEJ2 Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    I had a Jason Smith masterbuilt P. Incredible instrument and workmanship. If I wanted a high-end Fender, I would not hesitate to buy another.

    Masterbuilt are available from Custom Shop dealers as "stock" builds or you can order whatever you want. Literally, the sky is the limit. I had been toying with the idea of a Masterbuilt Jaguar bass and went as far as getting a quote. Put it on hold for the time being.

    Here is their brochure. Options are almost limitless. If you decide to go masterbuilt, there is almost nothing they won't do (within reason).

    http://wpc.077d.edgecastcdn.net/000...2017/2017 Fender Custom Shop Design Guide.pdf
  3. JJR58

    JJR58 Dirty Bird Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY.
    Ok, that two tone P is freakin stellar!!!

    But seriously, 8 grand?
  4. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Why MF would get a guitarist playing through a Markbass to demo what essentially are the finest instruments Fender produces is beyond me, but I'm sure you can't lose with either one. I will say, something about Gretch Orange on a P Bass with a gold guard just doesn't sit right with me.
  5. TheMartianBassist

    TheMartianBassist Supporting Member

    May 30, 2015
    San Diego
  6. JJR58

    JJR58 Dirty Bird Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY.
    bdgotoh, Billyzoom and prd004 like this.
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Fender is out of their dang minds!
    obimark likes this.
  8. Take a look at LSL they're making some great classics at a high quality!

    Sent from my iPhone
  9. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Wonder how many of those get sold.
    EdwardofHuncote likes this.
  10. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    FWIW...I haven't played any Ps from this series, but I've played a '66 JB by Cruz and it was one heck of a fine instrument. One of the top five Fenders I've played, and many have gone through my hands. I'll admit to having a soft spot for "transition era" Jazz Basses, but I've also owned a real (very molested) '64 JB for a decade so I have a pretty good idea of what these should sound and feel like.

    If I were interested in a Fender I'd be looking for one of Cruz's pieces on the second hand market...and cultivate patience.

    My $0.02 only...
    TheMartianBassist likes this.
  11. Bassworship1

    Bassworship1 Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2013
    I agree with the poster above...Fender is most definitley out of their mind lol.
    TN WOODMAN and obimark like this.
  12. Bass'd on a true story

    Bass'd on a true story

    Jun 28, 2015
    People will buy that for sure. For me the diminishing returns on how nice a bass can be kicked in about $6,000 dollars ago. You can go ahead and buy the Cryogenically frozen P-Bass with the ashes of Leo Fender and James Jamerson sprinkled under the pick guard. I will probably be satisfied with my used custom shop P that I picked up here for roughly 1,700ish for the rest of my life.
  13. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    I expect it's a great instrument (it better be!), but it's hard for me to imagine a passive P bass any better than my US Lakland 44-64, which is built to my specs and cost well under half as much. To each his own, though.
    DWBass likes this.
  14. twinjet

    twinjet Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    Sounds like a Precision bass should. I like it, but I couldn't ever commit to buying one.
  15. jjmuckluckjr


    Mar 24, 2015
    Wow. And a whole lotta nope.
    TheMartianBassist likes this.
  16. EdwardofHuncote

    EdwardofHuncote I Still Dream of Jeannie Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Southwest Virginia
    Me too... seriously, I wonder in what kind of numbers are these put out?

    Depending on the degree of hand-built-ness, yeah - I can totally see $8k. Personally, *I* don't want one, but I have spent that (and then some) for a custom hand-made bass. It ain't an option for everyone, and there's plenty of awesome basses to be had at lower price points, but if Fender can build *exactly* what a customer wants, and is willing to pay that much more for it... sure, why not? My only question would be, how much is honest handiwork and how much is just stock parts pulled off the standard line?
  17. 58kites

    58kites Save a life....adopt a Pitbull

    Oct 21, 2014
    Austin Texas
    I am curious what kind of eyebrow raising flaws you are finding with their products and which line or lines of production product you are referring to?
    DiabolusInMusic and I am Soma like this.
  18. I do enjoy looking through these kind of things just speculating what I would purchase, knowing unless the lotto rolled my direction, I would never see one. Nice stuff and thinking, if I had the $, I still don't know if I'd roll that way or go another direction.
  19. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact

    Nov 30, 2011
    Can you specify a bridge that isn't shaped like a Texas belt buckle?
  20. bobba66


    May 18, 2006
    Arlington, Texas
    8 grand is pretty cheap if it keeps those crazy eyebrows under control.....:woot:

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