How much does one "pay for a name"?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lewk, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. Lewk


    Oct 19, 2003
    Recently i've been looking at spector and musicman basses. It seems to me that a Spector Euro 4 is much better *value* than a musicman stingray 4, and cost similar amounts of money. I was just wondering if the musicman name adds on extra value to an otherwise possibly inferior guitar. I havn't actually compared the two guitars in sound yet, i have merely gone of my understanding of the specifications.

    Is this the case in general with "big names" like fenders, ibanez, etc.?

    I have played a musicman and i loved the sound extremely, i was merely wonering to myself how much extra is added on to the real worth of the bass just because it has a popular brand on it, much like everyday items like a pair of shoes, for example.
  2. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    well you this isn't fair to the basses and names..

    comparing a spector and music man is totally different.....and then the prices...they charge what they feel is right..they do have to pay people...then it has to go through a middle man...

    so it has to raise its prices through each process...labor is cheaper in chezch than in the usa...

    but agian the spectors and music man basses are two totally differnet basses...they sound un alike...built differntly diff materials everything.

    but ive had both..and i loved both but for different reasons...

  3. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Yea, the original post is a bit harsh. It is all about business. Each company needs to evaluate their cost and then price according to market factors. You as a consumer then have the option to buy the product that you feel is the best value. Remember that everyone has their own opinion and that there are people that both agree with you and feel that you are wrong in your analysis.

    All you can do is make your own choice and allow others to do the same.
  4. Lewk


    Oct 19, 2003
    I wasn't trying to accuse with my original post, just merely thinking if names did affect anything at all. naturally i understand that labour prices etc. etc. are different, just wondering if anything was in the name.
  5. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Name will always have some impact. A company with a good reputation can and often will charge more.
  6. Good question! I'd suggest you play both basses first so you can get a true comparison. I think there are at least a few overpriced items out there but for the most part you get what you pay for. Personally I think Musicman basses are a good value as they compare well to basses priced higher. The workmanship is very clean, signature tone, looks great, and the two I purchased new were both "players" right off the shelf. This impresses me because it's hard to really judge a bass that needs a set-up job.

    I think as you get in to the high dollar basses you have to ask your
    self if the difference between say a $800. Fender Jazz and a $3,500. Sadowsky is worth it to you. There's quite a bit of difference and If it's worth it because it suites your needs then it's not overpriced at all.

    Most sought after tones came from a Fender, Musicman, Ric,ect...We're very fortunate because these days most manufactures have different models in a wide varitey of price ranges. But I still fall back on ye olde "get the best gear you can afford"!
    Good luck!
  7. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    The price of an instrument has a lot to do with the efficiency of the company. If a company has 5 employees who screw up every 10th neck and they still want to make a profit they are going to have to charge more for their instrument to make the same amount of money. Since materials go up in price every year the only way to keep prices the same is to improve efficiency.

    People really have to shell out the money once options like fancy preamps and burled tops are added. Guitar builders are probably among the poorest people on earth (no offence, I'm good friends with a couple). If I were a builder I would definatly try to make as much as possible without becoming elitist.

    What I've said mostly pertains to small company's.

    Larger companies charge a lot due to the number of middlemen between the factory and the end user. Everyone has to make money. I'm betting that a mexican J-Bass costs a good 30 dollars for Fender to build.
  8. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    30 bucks? SO where do they get off charging 400? Is that much profit necesary?
  9. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    It's hard to compare a Euro Spector to a Music Man. As both are well built, both have strong reputations, they're two completely different animals.

    When you have names like Stuart Spector, who's putting his own name on a bass, you'd expect to pay more. Stuart is a master at what he does; after all, he taught Vinne Fodera a thing or two about building.

    The same thing goes with other master luthiers, such as George Furlanetto, Rob Elrick, Mike Tobias, Roger Sadowsky, Vinnie Fodera, Jerzy Drozd, Chris Stambaugh, and so on...

    What makes these luthiers' basses more expensive? IMO, a lot of it's in the name.
  10. I'd say if you are looking for a MM, try to get a clone.

    My TBC is the rough equivelent of a stingray, and I love it to death.

    It's been my numero uno bass for almost a year now.
  11. Capitalism, free-market economics, etc. Wanna know how much the shoe company makes on your shoes?