High end Fender clones

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by slobake, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. Yes, I like the higher end Jazz and Precision clones better

    103 vote(s)
  2. No, I like Fender American Basses

    52 vote(s)
  3. No, I like low end/inexpensive basses

    11 vote(s)
  4. I prefer a carrot bass

    16 vote(s)
  5. I like more original basses from manufacturers other than Fender

    39 vote(s)
  6. I had one but the drummer spilled tuna noodle casserole on it and now it smells terrible

    12 vote(s)
  7. I would rather build my own bass

    21 vote(s)
  8. I upgrade my basses to make them high end

    20 vote(s)
  9. other

    21 vote(s)
  1. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    I see ads for high end basses that look a lot like a Fender Jazz or Precision. Some of these basses cost quite a bit more than a Fender Am Std (or, whatever Fender calls their standard American made guitars now).
    I have never played one of these basses. Are they worth it or is it better to just get a Fender?
    As for me, I really like my Am Std P-Bass and don't see the need to get a higher end version at this time. I don't need a Fender Custom shop either.
    I also like other style basses. If I would buy another brand bass I would probably go for something more original like a Thunderbird or a Warwick. Also really like what I see in the Tiescobird thread. Teiscobird project
    No doubt, some folks will have something to say about this but take it easy, we all like what we like and that is okay.
    pcake and mikewalker like this.
  2. Ghastly


    Oct 18, 2015
    Mill Valley
    I don't have strong feelings about it, but I do believe the shape of the 'clones is a ripoff of Fender designs, even 'If' build quality/pickups might be at a higher standard than Fender.
  3. nerkoids


    Jan 3, 2014
    High end Fender copy... I know it seems silly, but that's a pretty vague term. For example, high end Bacchus Ps and Js is easily on par (and in some cases, better) with Fender MiJ and MiA quality-wise, but price-wise, they are often 60% of the price, and they have way way more options.

    Not to mention some of the fancier, decked-out Sire Marcus Miller basses too, and they're considerably less expensive than Fenders.
  4. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Good point about the vague term. I intentionally didn't mention other brands except Fender Custom Shop. There are companies that make basses that are more expensive than American made Fender Basses. They look like a J or P bass and sometimes they name them something along the line of
    J-100 or something that lets you know they are intentionally marketing a products based on a Precision or Jazz.
  5. nostatic


    Jun 18, 2004
    Lompoc, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    I'm just glad someone understands how devastating the Tuna Noodle Incident can be...

    And yes, TNI will be a Coachella next year.
    Mktrat, warwicktor, jay_shoe and 17 others like this.
  6. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    How would someone describe what they play and sound like? If you want to know, go play one. There are some things you can't find out sitting on your couch. ;)
  7. I don't like high end clones of P basses, or Fender's increasingly high end pricing for the originals. To me, the P bass represents simplicity, a great sounding tool to make music. Turning them in to boutique offerings seems to be against the whole spirit.

    IMO, YMMV, WTFBBQ etc... ;)
    warwicktor, reddog, retslock and 11 others like this.
  8. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    I can appreciate the detail of a high end clone. There is something to be said for that level of attention and craftsmanship. However, the law of diminishing returns applies.
    I also really like the quality of today's low end offerings. This is a golden age of affordable instruments. I would say a $250 used Classic Vibe with an average setup is acceptable to most Fenderphiles.
    That said, people are free to spend as little or as much as they want for their bass. The reasons vary a lot for any choice. I love my Squier Partscision bass a lot, just as much as my actual Fenders, which include older and not as old Deluxe models.
  9. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    True, but it can be fun to talk about it anyway, besides I'm sitting in an office chair. :)
  10. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Yes, I like high end Fender clones. They often have better components or improvements in small design details that I think Fender doesn't have the freedom to offer because of it's very well solidified brand and line.
    Find somebody in your area and go play one. :)
  11. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Who's a good boy? Here's your sticker.

    Wisebass, mikewalker, krimo and 7 others like this.
  12. phillipkregg

    phillipkregg Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I've owned the Fender American Elite Jazz basses both 4 and 5 string, Sadowsky basses, Valenti Jazz basses, and most of the other big-name boutique style jazz basses out there. Also have a Sire V7.

    All those basses have wildly varying price points, but they're all great in their own unique way.

    Recently I acquired a Lakland Skyline Darryl Jones 5-string and it has blown me away with its quality and sound. It is now my number one player. I can't believe the sound I get out of this passive instrument. The neck feels and looks better then instruments that cost three times as much.

    Needless to say, I believe that it is superior to the Fender American Elite in every way - and much less expensive.

    I've heard a lot of folks compare the Sire to the Lakland Skyline series. But in my experience there really isn't much comparison. The Lakland uses better quality woods, better materials, and just all around better craftsmanship than the Sire - even though I still think the Sire is a wonderful bass for its price point.

    Just my 2 cents.
  13. ptensioned


    Jan 12, 2013
    Hamilton, ON
    The only 'high-end clone' I have any direct experience with is Sadowsky's take on a J. All I can say is that they're absolutely beautifully made, and they put enough of a twist on the Fender version to be essentially a different instrument that shares a look. The preamp is different, the bridge is different, and the smaller (sometimes chambered) body is different. It's clearly a very refined design, developed with working musicians to address their needs.

    Of course, I also don't own one, mostly because the differences don't matter to me that much. When I did have serious dough to blow on a bass, I bought an actual vintage J, as I figured I might as well have the real thing over a copy.
  14. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    Augusta, GA
    I'm sure someone else mentioned it, but somehow I would but a G&L if I was in the market for a jazz or p bass. It costs about the same and seems incrementally better and more closely associated with Leo.

    That said, I am a Warwick addict first and foremost. I've never seen a thumb I didn't want.
    Reedt2000 and pjbassist like this.
  15. BurtMacklinFBI

    BurtMacklinFBI Degen from Up-Country

    Apr 3, 2018
    I guess it’s up in the air whether they’re really a Precision clone, but I am 110% gaga for the Yamaha Attitude basses these days. Just over the moon for ‘em. I also really like the look and specs of the Sadowsky Jazz clones, but I don’t have enough real hands-on experience with them to have an informed opinion on them. Yamaha, though... wow.
  16. Gizmot


    Mar 22, 2009
    Nashville area
    I played a Fender for about 10 years and discovered that other basses fit me better - both ergonomically and sonically. If you've watched the market for a few years, you'll see a ton of J or P style basses with tweaks and upgrades. Just to name a few, there's Sadowsky, Dingwall, Lakland, Sandberg, Roscoe and others too. All of these are worth checking out if for nothing other to see if they could be what you're looking for. I regularly hear Nashville players who use Sadowsky and in my opinion sound quite a bit better than any Fender. Keep an open mind and listen to them.
  17. Snakeman1066

    Snakeman1066 Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Central Valley
    slobake...in the case of several of the "High end" builders (we won't mention any names) they actually used to work for Fender and actually approached the Fender brass about making some improvements to designs that basically haven't changed that much since 1951...and the brass basically laughed at them...

    so they started their own company made the tweaks to the original design and ended up with a better product....the funny things is Fender has now implemented some of those tweaks in recent years....

    Also in the case of one high end clone i prefer their neck profiles over any Fender I have ever played and that alone is enough for me to now own 5 of them....
    SteveCS and Holdsg like this.
  18. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    I like my Mexican Fenders:)
    nerkoids, rmcfee and nonohmic like this.
  19. "I would rather build my own bass"

    So I did. Rather, I DIY's a KIT of parts, but to my personal specs. So to me, it IS high end, regardless of cost!
    alaskaleftybass, Ghastly and molkoorn like this.
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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