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How can RI basses cost so much?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by markorbit, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. markorbit


    Apr 16, 2004
    OK, so I'm just browsing the web seeing what's available as I'm after a new Precision. I check out the American Standards, look at the specs and then look at something like a 57 RI relic or whatever, which is easily more than TWICE the cash. Yet there are no extra knobs of course, and it largely looks the same. Yes, the pickups are sometimes different but these can be bought relatively cheap.

    I check out the specs and they aren't exactly a million miles away from each other so WHY the much higher price?

    And surely, as for the merits of a re-issue, well it's a NEW bass just like the Standard!!! I thought people sought the old ones partly due to the influence of the aging of the wood.

    So, what is the big secret with these Re-issues? The real advantages over a Standard. I'd love to know.
  2. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    If that's you're thinking, why is a 1957 P bass or 1962 Jazz bass in excellent contition cost $7,000+?

  3. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    'Cause Fender can do whatever they want and people will still happily pay for it.

    So, the question could be, why not? :ninja:
  4. If it's a relic or closet classic etc, it's a custom shop Fender.
  5. I totally get you're saying though. A $2000 bass should have no less that 8 knobs and at least 3 switches. It should also be neck-through, cause everyone knows bolt-on sucks. It should probably have at least 2 pickups too. I'd say don't waste your time with this rip-off.

  6. wow. i know this phrase is WAY over used. but jamerson and pastorius didn't need neck throughs :D
  7. thats what i was going to say!
  8. darkside 88

    darkside 88

    Feb 23, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Sarcasm. Detect it.
  9. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Because they're made in much lower numbers, by a lower number of people who spend more time on each individual unit than a standard production model.

    What's the point of spending $5 - 7 on a really good burger when you can get one at McDonald's for a buck? It's all bread and meat anyway, right? ;)
  10. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Seems like you're looking at the Custom Shop reissues, which are not mass production instruments, and thus can be expected to command much higher prices. (Whether it's worth it resides in the eyes, hands, ears, and pocketbooks of the beholders.)

    The American Vintage reissue series, which includes Precision and Jazz models, sells for only a few hundred more than the American Series. I suspect this relatively minor gap exists mostly because some folks will happily pay it, but I suppose some of the finishing might cost more.
  11. Owned.
  12. markorbit


    Apr 16, 2004
    Ok... apart from cosmetics, is the only crucial part of the craftsmanship the shape of the neck? I mean, I can expect the neck to fit tight and all the hardware to be in the correct places right?

    If I bought an Alder/Maple RI Precision and an Alder/Maple Standard and removed the hardware from both so we're left with a neck and body - what is the significant difference? Even comparing to a closet classic - cosmetics??

    I genuinely wish to know why the RI is a better bass. To me, providing the bass can be set up to play well that's half the battle.

    But I'm after a new Precision and although I don't have a problem with the Standard I have no problem paying more for a better bass. But once the money starts getting into S/H Wal territory I have difficulty justifying paying that amount for a P bass with benefits that I do not find so obvious.
  13. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
  14. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    As someone said, because they can.
    The RI basses are far better than the MM, and Standard Fenders.
    Better wood, Hardware. pickups, ect.
    Custom Shop should be the quality that fender puts into all there instraments?
    I owned the Jaco Relic fender bass.
    How come fender can't make all there basses that good?
    The only new fender that felt, and played like an old 60's bass.
    But not worth $3300.00.
    Still a bolt on that cost them about $600.00 in parts.
  15. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    If they put all the QC into making the basses THAT good, they'd hardly sell the custom shop models.

    And they'd all be $1000 new. Ernie Balls are expensive BECAUSE of the QC.
  16. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    It isn't and you're right: A competent musician can get the job done with either. Some folks drive Fords, others drive Ferraris, they're both cars.

    I don't think your question is going to get a better explanation than the ones you already got...