Fender quality

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gregjunior, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. gregjunior


    Sep 5, 2005
    Phoenix AZ

    I wonder if anyone can give me a feel for how consistent that new Fenders are?
    I am shopping around for a new jazz, and I may be buying it online but am a bit leary of doing that if it's not going to be up to snuff.
    I have read over and over again of how Fender quality is not consistent on MIM or even MIA stuff and thought I would get any buy in you may have; When its said that they are not consistent what does that mean? cosmetic flaws or actual playing ability, rough fret ends, etc.? What are the odds of a keeper - 50-50 or better?

  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    For me the shoddy ness comes in the neck pockets (often they arent that tight), and the fretwork. High frets here and there, deadspots as well.

    Id say 80-20 keeper to less than great. Depends how picky you are.
  3. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I think the questions about Fender quality consistency are unjustified myth. I would personally be 100% comfortable buying a Fender without having played it.
  4. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    I think most people say that because they go into Guitar Center and all the Fenders on the wall are beat to hell and have taken weeks of abuse from kids going in there tuning low E to A and other crazy things that warp the necks, etc so it seems like a lot of them are crap sometimes. If you have them pull a few out of the boxes it's a lot different story. I remember doing that a while back when I bought my old MIM Fender P. The ones on the wall all sucked. But they got a couple for me from the back and they were about the same. I don't think you'll have a problem ordering one online, unless it gets damaged during shipping or something.
  5. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    It depends. I dont think that people wanking on them will make the neck pocket not line up. That is Fenders fault. Warped necks and broken knobs etc, could be peoples faults. High frets and loose neck pockets though, id like to see someone wank that into existance.
  6. I am in total agreement with Philbiker here. It's fashionable to knock Fender at the moment. I have just bought an American Series Jazz Bass and I am more than happy with the quality and playability of the instrument. If you want a Fender buy it with confidence!
  7. Do you have some sort of masturbation hangup?
  8. M.D.S.


    Nov 8, 2004

    Although, from personal experience alone I would say more like 70 - 30.
  9. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    What do you think he meant by the word "wank"?

    I have seen problems with a few - high frets, mostly - but as long as you're ordering from a reputable online dealer, I wouldn't be concerned. If you get one with problems, all the big online shops will arrange for a return and replacement.

    Unless you're especially picky, it shouldn't be too hard to find a decent one.
  11. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA

    In this context, it basically means "go into Guitar Center and attempt to show off by playing your most repellent licks through the loudest amp they have in the place".
  12. sublimate


    Jan 12, 2006
    wank or Wank?
  13. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Yes, I know what the slang dictionaries say.

    But that's not what the word means in the context of a discussion of beat-to-heck display axes at Guitar Center.

  14. Thankyou. Now I understand what he meant.
  15. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida

    I purchased 4 Fender Jazz basses site unseen.....all were fine! The only one that was questionable was the one I got from Sam Ash. I guess they never heard of climate control in their warehouse!
  16. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    If you are comfortable with your ability to properly set up the bass, or don't mind paying a trusted tech to do so, I think you'll be fine buying online.

    As mentioned, I would prefer to take my chances with an unseen Fender out of the box over trying to find one at GC.

    If you have a decent local shop, you might give them a try. Typically, the taxes vs. shipping thing comes out in the wash. And they'll set it up for nothing.

    Especially since I live in MO and MF charges me tax :spit:
  17. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I agree with Figjam, Fender's QC needs improvement. The most common problems I see are dead spots and high frets. I'd say overall Fender has greatly improved their neck pockets, especially if you compare a current Fender's neck pocket to some of the 70's-era Fender's I've owned.
  18. Supertanker

    Supertanker Watch the dog! He is trained to bite!

    Jun 23, 2005
    Made In Japan.:ninja:

    Every made in Japan Fender that I have seen has been beautiful and flawless in my opinion. The Jazz Re-issuse's, the Marcus Miller's, Mike Dirnt's, Geddy Lee's, Sting's, etc. In my opinion these are the higest quality Fenders.

  19. heat@500Hz

    heat@500Hz Guest

    Jun 11, 2005
    Lago Blanco de la Roca
    imo, it's just like any other brand in that there exists good and bad examples--you have to find the one you like...as for your chances of success on the first try, i've found that calling and speaking to the dealer,developing a dialogue and effectively communicating what you want and don't want in your instrument is vital...

    as mentioned before, verify your return period, and be sure you are comfortable with spending the money for shipping should it not meet your qualifications but lack damage

    good luck!
  20. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I agree, and I've written something along these lines a few times in similar threads. Sometimes the MIA instruments bear the brunt of this, because they don't sell as quickly, and are thus left in those conditions even longer. I've even seen an American Series P-bass with strings a half an inch off the fretboard at a mom and pop store. Heck, just yesterday I saw a Geddy Lee Jazz (MIJ) at a GC that looked like it had been munched on by a small shark -- the finish was chewed through over a three inch strip on the top of the body. Unbelievable. It's the retailer's fault for not maintaining the instruments, not Fender's, but unfortunately, and understandably, the customers might not perceive the excellent underlying quality of the instruments.

    That rant aside, the quality does vary, as it will with anything made of wood. Some instruments will feel better and/or resonate more than others. And some will be slightly better finished than others. But in the case of MIA Fenders, I don't think you'll find many real dogs. Even the MIM models I've played lately seem very well made. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Fender sight unseen, as I did with a Double Fat Strat (MIA) last year. It's fantastic.