Fender Original or Copies?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by iriegnome, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    Ok. I know I am going to open up a big can of worms here, but what the hell.
    I have been looking into a new bass for about 6 or 7 months now. Why the hell would anyone pay $1000 or more to buy a Fender P with some other name on it? :scowl: I just do not get it. Why buy a Jazz bass for $1200 with Valenti's name on it?
    Can someone explain what the hell that is all about? If you do not like the Jazz bass don't buy one, right?
    I know that I do not like the Jazz body and I do not like the P neck, I do not own either. I also do not own a $1500 botique copy either. I understand there is a uniquness with each bass and each player has a feel for their own bass, but what the hell is going on. Lakeland sells a Jazz copy for $1000 more than Fender. What the hell is that all about?
    PLEASE DO NOT MISSUNDERSTAND!!! All of the other basses out there are really good and everyone of them needs to be out there to keep the market full of choices. I love that about being where we are in the world.
    I know that all of you have opinions about this and I would like to find out about them.
    Thanks :eyebrow:
  2. It's about build quality and custom options. With an off-the-rack Fender, you may have to try out several before you find a good one, and even then, you might need to shell out some bucks to upgrade the pickups and hardware. If you go the custom route, you can specify every last thing, so you know you're getting the exact bass you want. And, you know it will be well-made, unlike something made on an assembly line. In the end, that's worth a lot of money to some people. It was to me. YMMV, of course. Even with a stock Lakland Darryl Jones, you're getting Aero pickups and much better hardware than Fender uses.
  3. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    I do not want to pick on any one maker of other basses. I completely understand the "Custom" part. Do you think that that would warrent all of the extra costs? A new set of P-ups are a couple hundred bucks at most. I am not arguing the fact that you get what you want, but by upgrading and trial and error over time, don't you get what you want anyway? :confused:
  4. Thunder_Fingers


    Jun 24, 2004
    meh... for 600$ i got the bass im gonna live with for quite an while(fender geddy jazz..) its perfect..

    i am quite happy with the regular fender stuff... if im gonna buy somthing else its gonna be somthing else, and not an Jazz copy...
  5. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Because that's what they want and are willing to pay that much for it..

    End of story..
  6. Maybe, maybe not. Owning numerous basses over the years can be a valuable experience, in that it helps you figure out what you like and what you don't like. But, you can end up wasting a lot of time and money, too. Like Mark said, if you can afford a custom bass, it's worth it. Or not. Different strokes, and all that.
  7. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    I can live with that :eyebrow:
  8. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I have been looking for a fender jazz 5 string and was planning on buying a fender 5. After a did the math, It became obvious I could get a boutique bass an just play it and not have to spend my nights and weekends rebuilding the bass.

    A new Fender 5 cost approx. $1000
    +pickups $200
    +preamp $150
    +tuners $100
    +fretboard work etc. $200
    + time $300 (if someone else did the work)

    At this point I have $1950 tied up in this bass. At this price I can get a few boutique basses and just go to the gig.

    At this point, you stil don't have the best pieces of wood available for the body or neck. You can get better quality woods on the boutique instruments because they are not mass produced.

    Don't get me wrong, I think Fender can make GREAT instruments. Some of the custom shop pieces are among the best money can buy. They are boutique instruments. That being said some of the american deluxe models and artists models are great instruments.

    The problem with a lot of mass produced instruments is the lack of consistency. I have seen some really great playing Mexican Fenders and some that just sucked.
    I make a simple analyisis and shut up... Take a sample of 10 Mexican made fenders, 10 American made fenders and 10 "boutique copies.
    Of the Mexican made instruments 2 are exceptional 4 are OK and 6 aren't worth the wood it took to put it together. Of the Americans, 3 are exceptional 5 are very good 1 is OK and 1 sucks. A boutique builder will have 6 that are great 2 that are OK and 2 that suck.

    Which means when you buy the Fender, it is about "THAT BASS". The mail order example may not be the same quality.

    In short, you are paying for an extra level of quality control that may not be available in an "off the rack" instrument
  9. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    Pick-ups, Tuners?, Fretboard work? Pre-Amps. I like playing devil's advocate :cool:. I like my basses they way they are. Pick-Ups and Pre's I can understand. Fretboard work if the neck really sucks and you cannot get it to the string height without buzz. But why would you change the tuners? I have changed tuners only once in 25 years and it was on a 1968 Harmony that had 2 of the retainers missing. When we talk affordability/playability, we have to consider paying hundreds more upfront or a little at a time. Replace the bridge, better case, better pickups and so on.
  10. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Up front or over time.. What's the difference? You're still going to pay the same amount regardless (if you're simply upgrading parts that is).

  11. Good wood isn't cheap- if you think that it's important to you- you pay for it.

    Good hardware and electronics aren't cheap, if you think that's important- you pay for it.

    If you think getting the good wood and hardware machined and fitted and assembled properly is important- you pay for it.

    If you think that it's important that someone who has some sort of knowledge of what they're building rather than a 12 year old kid in Singapore- you pay for it.

    If things like this are important to you- you can get them. If a decent instrument is what you want- it's not going to cost as much. If all you need is something that resembles a playable instrument- it's available and it won't cost much.

    As a side note- the "cheap" stuff these days is vastly superior to any of the "cheap" stuff that was available 20 years ago. A hundred dollar instrument back then may have been suitable for lobbing arrows (until the pressboard body broke), but now a hundred dollars can score you a usable instrument.
  12. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Ummmm.. yeah, I thought that was what I said...

  13. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I agree with Mark Beem. Buy what u like and be happy with it. Im exhausted reading posts about guys and gals who constantly say certain gear isnt worth the $. It is worth the $ to the individual who shelled out the cash, otherwise they'd buy the same old bass everyone else does. Thats what makes the world go around.

    By the way, why is a J bass only worth a certain amount of $ and a custom shape worth more? This baffles me. Is a custom shaped bass warrant a higher price? Mind boggling to me

  14. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    This is what I am talking about. Does a custom shape warrent more $? Does the same shape of another bass warrent more $? It is kind of crazy to me, IMO, that a J Bass is a J bass (Yes Yes I know all the Particulars), but if it quacks like a duck??
  15. RunngDog

    RunngDog Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I think this is exactly the right point -- the appropriate point of comparison between a Fender and a Lakland or Sadowsky is the Fender Custom Shop instruments, not the standard production line models.
  16. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Dude...your questions make no sense. You acknowledge the differences, then you ask why the price is more??

    I have a really nice MIA Fender Jazz. It came off a production line, I know that. If I had the money at the time, I would have bought a handmade bass like a Valenti. Why? Handmade craftmanship is an art. I can appreciate that.

  17. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA

    My bad. I was under the impression they were. I'll have to e-mail Valenti to find out just how much of the bass is custom. I didn't think the body and neck were hand carved. I figured after the body and neck were purchased, that the rest of the bass was assembled by hand, one at a time.

  18. HELL if I know, guess cause I have spent a pile of money over the years and bought a LOT of basses that for what ever reason just weren't the end of the road for me.....the GRAIL if you will....I have had or played just about everything and I finally got a Sadowsky (everybody should try one and ACTUALLY play it before they knock it) and it plays better and to me sounds superior to anything else I have owned...FWIW I probably will not buy another make of Bass again...that is a big statement to be sure but I have found that buying Sadowskys actually SAVE me money over time because I won't have to keep "Settling" for less than what I want out of an instrument....

    OH...BTW - Fortuantely, I am at a stage in my life where I can afford to buy the things that I want...with that said, price was never a factor when I bought my Sadowsky, in fact I nearly forgot to ask Frank what mine was going to cost almost as if it were an after thought before I hung up the phone...

    Maybe there are just a bunch of nuts like me out there that are paying too much for the things they want just because they can??? OR maybe we find that the things we want are worth it to us to pay the price asked for the product purchased...when I consider what I have spent to get to this point, If I had known 10-15 or 20 years ago what I know now about Sadowsky I would have SAVED money even if my Sadowsky cost me 2 or 3 times as much or more so I feel like I got a bargain!!! (I am close to 70 Basses owned and thousands played in the last 25 years or so)......Just my .02......I could be wrong.....

    Peace and Chicken Grease,

  19. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Point me in the direction of another 5 string bass that I could have picked up in green with an EMG P in the neck, an EMG TWCS in the bridge, alder body, Pau ferro board, matching headstock, aguilar OPB-1 preamp, etc...

  20. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Reminds me of something that happened at work (GC) today.

    A customer came in with a Gibson SG Special that was a special edition with the Tommy Hilfiger logo on it to sell to our store. Blue book value was apparently over $1k but no one would want to buy that at even $300 so we turned him away and said we wouldnt give him enough for it. He says he was already offered $400 on ebay.

    Like you guys said: these things are worth however much the customer is willing to pay.