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I love/hate Fenders!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ii7-V7, Nov 5, 2005.

  1. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    I love the funky vibe and look of Fender basses. I love the solid tank like construction, and simple layout of controls. I like the solid and meaty necks on most Fender basses, particulalry the older ones. I love the fact that you can get maple boards without a lot of fuss. The fender tone is great and shows how much you can do with passive equipment. The tonal variety on a Jazz bass is incredible. For the price a MIM Jazz can't be beat.


    I hate those giant chuncky block heels. The 22 fret necks frustrate me. DEADSPOTS! For some strange reason fender necks feel like they have a longer scale to me. I know its not really true but I seem to feel like the notes are just farther apart. I've also never really played a Fender whose action blew me away. WEIGHT! Poor balance.

    Once you start getting into the upper end price range of the fender line I don't really want to have to deal with these issues. I don't want to pay $1500 to $2000 to have to contend with the bulky heel, and the chance that there will be a deadspot. So many luthiers are out there demonstrating that you can have a bolt on neck with out limiting access to the upper register, but Fender will never change their products to fit that trend.

    I have problems with repetetive motion injuries, and I have injuries that I sustained on each shoulder from playing sports. Playability and balance are crucial to me. Fender just doesn't seem to offer that.

    Fenders! I love em! I hate em!
  2. sadowsky?
  3. Stox


    Mar 18, 2005
    London UK
    Err..... a Sadowsky is not a Fender and vice versa. Each have their own attributes and if I had to own only one it would be my Sadowsky, but hell if you find a good Fender Jazz with no issues (and I'm lucky I have) it is a BRILLIANT sounding and versatile bass, it always feels like you are coming home with a Fender.
  4. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    I'm curious about how it deals with the neck join? Every Fender I've seen, USA or not, has the huge block heel.

  5. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    ... Fenders are pretty much the gold standard against which all others are compared. The original, 50 years of history, used on far and away more hit recordings that have shaped modern music than any other bass-- the Fenders are *the classic* electric bass guitar.
  6. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    Welcome to the core existential debate of every rational, thinking bass player.
  7. Well, then, I guess you won't be buying a Fender anytime soon...

    Gotta admit; you have a great point about paying upwards of over $1500 and have the crap like dead spots, etc to deal with! I've got a dead spot on mine but I got it for 1/2 that. I've learned that I'll just have to live with it. I've also heard that some set-up work might help a little. I'll look into that if it get's really "irritating"!

    Other than that; Are you just venting, or do you actually have a question in mind?..... :confused:
  8. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    While I'm still firmly in the "love" camp, I'm starting to understand the conflict, at least regarding the standard bearing American Series passive basses. I have two, a 2003 Jazz and 2004 Precision, and they're both excellent overall, with great construction, balance, and playbility. And now that I've swapped out the stock pickups, they have stellar tone.

    But the stock pickups should be outstanding for the price, and provide little incentive for serious players to go to the aftermarket. Plus, why stick with only 20 frets, when 21 or 22 can be accommodated easily? And why the chunky neck heel? On the current models, I don't see why Fender needs to adhere so closely to tradition. The vintage spec folks will buy the American Vintage reissues anyway. Basically, I think the passive U.S. built models should have some of the refinements of the American Deluxe series, which have even better playability and balance, and 22 relatively easily accessible frets.

    And I've started to think that if I ever spend in the neighborhood of $1,500 on a bass, it will probably have to be something else, partly for the reasons mentioned in the original post.
  9. Landyachtz


    Sep 5, 2005
    Tempe, AZ
    I love my American Deluxe Jazz V, the contoured heel gets rid of some 'chunkiness' at the heel. I was able to get my action really low as well with it, it play's perfect. Mine was given to me by Fender through my school, so obviously I'm not complaining, but I probably wouldn't spend the $1400-$1500 it would have cost, i'd just have Nino build me one if I had to pay for it. :)
  10. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    OH, OK. I know what heels you are talking about, but they are still an annoyance to me. Particularly annoying is the fact that they don't shape the neck up to the body join there is still about an inch of flat tenon before the join. That is the kind of detail that I would expect to be taken care of for the cost.

    gottawalk, I'm venting...seeing who agrees with me, who thinks I'm crazy, etc. Seeing if some one can tell me why Fender is so stubborn to stick to there 50 year old model, which despite its success has seen so many tiny improvements by independent builders that the end result of the Fender line should be a better instrument for the money.
  11. Yeah, it really is amazing, if you think of it, that a company that's been "saddled' with the idea of being the "standard" in basses, can't keep up with technology in some ways. (Sort of sounds like the U.S. Postal Service!!!!!!!!)

    Good point made!
  12. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    i may already know this, but whats a dead spot? I know its a certain spot (note) on the neck, but what makes it different?
  13. It's a spot that when the note is played, it dies off more quickly than the other notes on the neck. Less sustain.
  14. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    The reason I like Fender is that they haven't "caught up with technology." That's what makes them Fenders. They're still making basses similar to the ones they did in the 60s and 70s. That's the sound I like. I personally wouldn't buy a Fender with active pickups or other modern trappings.

    If someone's looking for a "modern" sounding bass with all the benefits of new technology and exotic woods, there are plenty of other places to look.
  15. Yeah. +1. But, don't you think that they could come up with a solution to the "dead spot" issue that (almost) every Fender Bass player can attest to? Wouldn't change the tech, or the sound, just improve the quality... :confused:

    I know; should be asking Fender this!
  16. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    I'm told that the extra frets on a 22 fret neck would be up in the higher register, so that really wouldn't make much difference to me, I guess.

  17. The Eristic

    The Eristic Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2005
    Cartersville, GA
    There's something about a good, broken-in P-bass that is very difficult to top. The first 5-7 frets are worth the price of admission.
  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Buy a used Fender for half the price of retail and then it's not such a bad deal. Me, I like real Fenders the best. There's a lot of great copies out there, but when they improve on the original design, they take it out of the Fender sound. Fenders aren't supposed to sound even up the neck. They're supposed to have deadspots. They're not supposed to have tons of sustain. I love Fenders for the same reasons that some people don't like them.
  19. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL

    Yeah. There is this certain character that a Fender bass has. My Squier is still a Fender, and I have done things to it, but inherently, it is still a fender. My jazz deluxe is still a fender as well. It just sits a certain way, and sounds a certain way that just works for me.