Leo Fender did it best....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gbonus Uralias, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. Gbonus Uralias

    Gbonus Uralias

    Sep 11, 2017
    In my humble opinion I feel that the jazz and precision body shapes that Leo Fender whittled and honed him self, are by far the most sexy and perfect shapes for the bass guitar - the Strat too body
    He just hit it out of the park with those perfect curves and perfect length horns and double cut away, and headstock shape, pick guard shapes accenting the body....NAILED IT!!

    And with all the different brands and models made since then, everything has fallen short (ok "fallen short" might be too harsh)....some to the point that they just give up on there own design and get in line and directly copy Leo like all the other's.

    The only other body style on that pedestal is the Les Paul....respect due there too.

    Just had to blurt my appreciation umungst peers.
    My wife and kids don't give two sh!ts one way or the other ;-)

    And if you disagree, who/what is your favorite body shape?
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  2. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    He didn't quit, either, until the very end he was making improvements.
  3. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    A couple of notes...
    1) The Stratocaster shape was derived from the original Precision body. The original P-basses had the double horn body but in a "slab" body shape - no arm or belly contouring. As a kid, I remember being somewhat bothered by the strat's blobby, asymmetrical shape. To my eye, symmetrical guitars like the SG and ES-335 look much better, but a stratocaster is much more comfortable to actually hold and play.

    2) The "Fender" headstock shape was actually copied from another guitar, machinist Paul Bigsby made a "one off" solid body electric for country guitarist Merle Travis.

    Ductapeman, Kice, Gaolee and 6 others like this.
  4. Gbonus Uralias

    Gbonus Uralias

    Sep 11, 2017
    Ooh some history on this stuff!
    Sweet I love that... and true credit where due on designs.
    More please
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Both are just variations on the silhouette of the head of an upright or violin turned to the side. Someone with modest Photoshop skills could do an overlay of the Fender head and a violin or URB head to show you. I don't think Fender copied the earlier guitar. I think they both copied the violin/URB head in different ways.
    1.jpg 2102533d89825f1b19ad08eb0f6305ec--cello-art-double-bass.jpg
  6. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    the Fender headstock looks more like a "standup" bass headstock and makes more sense if Leo was truly designing an electric Precision bass. so suffice to say that both guys copied that headstock.
    Gbonus Uralias likes this.
  7. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    two fingers likes this.
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    To quote someone from an earlier Off Topic thread I started "Great minds think alike, and so do we." :D
    pacojas likes this.
  9. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    I'll get into what will be a mess early:

    koa 5.jpg

    Nice curves. Very comfortable. Very light weight. Balances perfectly. By far my favorite headstock of all time.
    somegeezer, LM Bass, Veldar and 6 others like this.
  10. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    See the guitar on the left. Late 18th century.
  11. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Very true. However, a considerable number of players prefer his previous work, just like Corvette enthusiasts prefer the older models, even though they may be evolutionary not up to speed....
  12. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Different basses will feel best to different people. I think Mike Tobias made some improvements to the basic Fender design. But, yes, Leo got an amazing amount of it right.
  13. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    With Corvettes, I have to agree.
    Caca de Kick and Geri O like this.
  14. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    And a Ford model T offers the most comfortable transportation experience:roflmao:

    Fender did great, but so many basses have surpassed them in terms of comfort. They have that iconic look, like Les Paul, Rick, hofner, etc, and that cannot be taken!

    Ever hold/play an NS/Spector? Comfort....to me at least, ymmv.

    Never held a Ritter, but the word is his standard models are amongst the most ergonomic basses made. Form and function, fender does a great compromise though.
  15. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Central Ohio
    (Well intentioned) People keep trying to do something different. But, it is pretty amazing how enduring Leo's initial P shape has become for electric bass guitars; especially considering there were VERY few precedents at the time. Folks keep looking for something different; but, most successful templates end up being variations on a theme.
    Novarocker, Atshen, jd56hawk and 2 others like this.
  16. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I think part of it is it's just the shape(s) we are most used to seeing.
    You expose yourself to anything enough you start to develop a taste for it.
    KickingBass and Gbonus Uralias like this.
  17. Herrick


    Jul 21, 2010
    Munchkin Land
    Ps & Strats have nice shapes but I've never been a fan of the Jazz Bass shape.
    GlennRH, ThePresident777, GMC and 6 others like this.
  18. MotorCityMinion


    Jun 15, 2017
    While we are tossing opinions out there.... I can't stand the pick guards. Just a cosmetic to cover up poor routing and it can hide good wood. Truss rod adjustments screw still being located under the pick guard on some models, ***. 3 bolt necks with a tilt screw, I'm not buying that either. I'm not saying they're junk, I'm just saying. Modern G&L's are my first choice for a bass that Leo had anything to do with.
  19. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    The headstock on the Bigsby appears on stringed instruments from 100's of years ago on some Croatian instruments.

    Sorry but very little is new.

    Leo was working on new things until the end though.
    Tvrtko likes this.
  20. garciawork


    Mar 7, 2015
    Meridian, ID
    I tend to agree aesthetically, however I haven't played many other shapes as a lefty. But I can't get around how right P's, J's, Strat's, and Tele's look to me. I love some of the cool stuff I see, transparent finishes, etc, but I don't think I could ever buy one with Daphne blue as an option on a classic body shape (going custom to get Daphne, of course).
    Gbonus Uralias likes this.