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Is Fender overpriced?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Malva kid, May 23, 2020.

  1. Malva kid

    Malva kid

    May 11, 2020
    Hey guys, just wanted to hear your opinion, is Fender overpriced when it comes to basses? With overpriced is, can you get the same specs and playability or whatever you may call it for less money from a different brand?

    Most if my life I've been a guitar player, and I stopped buying fender after I owned a MIM strat. Years after I tried some Fender guitars, they have decent and really good instruments, but the price always seemed way off. How is it for basses?

  2. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    Really? Why do we have to do this everyday?!?!?!?
  3. vid1900


    Dec 12, 2019
    Adjusted for inflation, Fender USA basses are the same price they have always been.

    In 1952 they cost $200 ($1,979 in 2020 dollars)

    So if anything, they are slightly less expensive today....

  4. squarepeg


    Dec 21, 2010
  5. FantasticFour


    Dec 14, 2013
    No way
    <--- see avatar
  6. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    My experience is similar to yours - love the designs, but routinely under-whelmed with what I get with the actual instruments. Too often I find a good bit less bang for my buck with Fender compared with other labels.

    Not saying that I'll never get another bass from them in the future, but if I'm in a shop or cruising ads on the web, I really don't even look at the Fenders.
  7. Swerve


    Nov 22, 2002
    Little Beirut
    New? Yeah a bit, but it’s all relative. Buy used if you can.

    The fiddle player in my band has a custom made viola that cost probably 15k. I’m more than happy with the 1.5k I spent on a new Fender P and it’ll last a lifetime.
  8. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Specifics? Which model? How much should it cost based on your calculations?
  9. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Fender makes some great products but I also think they are a great example of the law of diminishing returns. My Squier CV Telecaster is a fantastic, gig-worthy instrument. The MIM Baja Tele I played was a step up in terms of sound but not so much playability. The MIA Ultra Tele I tried was the nicest but I couldn’t justify the nearly 5x price over the CV.

    I also love my AmStd Jazz but it has issues. My CV Tele has a superior neck joint to the Jazz and that baffles me. I also don’t understand why US basses still have truss rod heels at the base of the neck instead of either wheel adjustment or access at the top of the neck.

    So to answer the question, it just depends. If Fender offers everything you’re looking for and you want the name then they are worth it. However, there are some other brands that aren’t as chic that do offer more for less and at a similar or even better quality. That in mind, my AmStd Jazz and Stratocaster are going nowhere. They are fantastic instruments that do the “classic” thing very well.
  10. Ace Of Bass

    Ace Of Bass A Rooster Illusion

    Jun 27, 2006
    If you don’t see the value in it some time after purchasing it, then no...
  11. MMiller28

    MMiller28 Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2003
    Here we go...
  12. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Why don't you go play some other basses and figure that out for yourself.
  13. They're worth what people will pay for them. Same with iPhones, Beats headphones, designer clothes, big brand sneakers..

    Are there cheaper options out there that can perform as well? Probably, yeah, in nearly every case. Doesn't matter if the brand carries enough name value, goodwill, or other aspect that people will pay a premium for.
  14. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Anything priced higher than a washtub, a broomstick and a piece of string is too overpriced for a bass instrument.

    Fight me.
  15. The Deep

    The Deep

    Jul 21, 2017
    Fender is “like a box of chocolates........you never know what you’re gonna get.”

    FMIC has been making Fender copies since 1965. A few are fantastic and a few more are ....meh.

    Not knocking Fender. I own several. Buy used.
    TN WOODMAN, 123Nil, wmhill and 7 others like this.
  16. FishDub

    FishDub Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    Yeah that response helped..Its obvious the person is new here. The question was simple to me, and for the others that actually gave a response.
    Relayer71, JRA, WxHerk and 14 others like this.
  17. I have bought 6 used Fender basses in the relatively short time I have been playing. Five of them I have sold after using them for a while for about what I paid for them. Two of them for slightly more. They were, for all practical purposes, free. I think used Fender basses are the best value out there. The 6th one, a road worn P bass, I still have, and is my main player.
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
    TN WOODMAN, WxHerk, trickyric and 3 others like this.
  18. 4andnomore


    Nov 14, 2008
    No, Fender is not over-priced.
    TN WOODMAN, WxHerk, FRoss6788 and 7 others like this.
  19. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    If you feel the price for Fender guitars is way off, then you’ll feel the same about the basses.

    Fender has a lot of different choices at different price points. IMO they are consistent with alternatives at those various price points. Quite a few folks disagree and think they have found a non-Fender bass blows away a Fender at the comparable price point. Those are opinions equally valid as my own.
  20. Allegrus


    Mar 13, 2019
    Ottawa, ON
    Instead of asking if overpriced, ask how the price breaks down in terms of hardware, materials, labour, overhead, margin ...

    I think it will be clear that $2000 is probably a more than reasonable amount. I'm not a Fender fan but the cache of holding probably the #1 position in bass sales (I'm assuming here) will fetch some mark up just for the brand as well.

    Honestly, it's about the value to the player, not if the "price is right". The price is whatever it is ... it's whether the market will buy at that price. I will admit that at around the $1200 and up price point, I start having a hard time identifying where that extra value is for me. I'm sure a more professional player will definitely be able to differentiate at higher prices.
    123Nil, Thegrandwazoo and jamro217 like this.

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