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Major neck issue with Fender Custom Shop

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Yianni95, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. Yianni95


    Jan 7, 2011
    Hi all,

    So after having two different sets of professionals attempt to set up a 2011 Custom Shop 1960 jazz bass, I've had it brought to my attention that it has been horribly built. I was told that the weight in the neck was way too high (you couldn't play it without a strap if sitting, it would tilt until it fell), the fretwork from the 10th fret up made it unplayable, and that it would need significant repair work to be playable. I'm still shocked that a $4000 (in Australia) instrument that took 6 months to arrive could be so poorly built, and rather than pay for fret dressing and such, I have decided to get Fender to take it back and assess it.

    My main questions are: have any of you had similar issues and if so did Fender resolve whatever issue you had? I'm a little worried that when Fender assess it they'll be like "Oh that happens sometimes with relic finishing" or something equally as useless. If anyone has dealt with them for custom shop service, could you please share your experience?

    Thanks :)
  2. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I'm sure Fender will make it right it is there premier line sorry you had to go through that.
  3. BoomBoomOGTL

    BoomBoomOGTL Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2012
    York SC
    If you're the original owner, you'll have a lifetime warranty. Contact Fender and explain your issues and see what they'll do for you.
  4. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    You'll get responses that this couldn't, didn't, and wouldn't happen at the FCS, but it does. When I worked music retail, I sent back several FCS instruments that had serious build flaws that were basically never seen on low-end Ibanez, Squiers and Yamahas.

    The problems I saw with FCS guitars and basses were handled by Fender to varying degrees of success, in a fairly reasonable timeframe. You have to be very specific about what you want done and what you are dissatisfied with. I'm not sure the guys there know what the build standards of premium instruments are at times. Some of the instruments I handled were sent back more than once.

    There are stellar FCS instruments out there, but there are too many duds in numbers that go beyond the expected amount of random chance and pure bad luck.

    Not bashing or hating, just stating my experiences.
  5. TC5


    Aug 28, 2007
    Wow. Mind boggling!...
  6. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Note the horrible CS neck in another recent thread.

    There have been a lot of people here who have been underwhelmed by their CS instruments.

    I don't understand the source of the problem. There's enough money there to do stuff right. Why they're screwing up, I dunno.
  7. willsellout

    willsellout Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Fort Wayne, IN
    For what CS instruments cost, I don't see why people go with Fender at all. I'm sorry you are having issues with yours and I hope it gets resolved. I'm sure Fender will do the right thing.
  8. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    I'd give them a chance to fix it or replace it. Wood is wood and each piece is unique, and I guess, potentially flawed. You would think they'd have the means to weed out the lower quality stuff, especially on their premium instruments, but anything can happen. If it's warranted, they should take care of it. You should contact them and see what the next steps are. They should have an authorized service centre in your country that can assess it.
  9. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    i keep wanting to hate CS basses, but every time i play one... G.A.S.!!!:crying:
  10. dStar


    Mar 1, 2012
    Wood changes with climate, temperature and humidity. Perhaps the journey down under wasn't kind to this particular bass. I hope Fender makes it right with you.
  11. SherwoodGreen

    SherwoodGreen Inactive

    Dec 25, 2012
    1)Wood changes with climate, temperature and humidity. Perhaps the journey down under wasn't kind to this particular bass. I hope Fender makes it right with you.

    2)i keep wanting to hate CS basses, but every time i play one... G.A.S.!!!

    3)There are stellar FCS instruments out there, but there are too many duds in numbers that go beyond the expected amount of random chance and pure bad luck.
    Not bashing or hating, just stating my experiences.

    1) was my first reaction;
    and I agree with:
    2) Except the part about wanting to hate them.
    3) You would need to be able to post numbers of total FCS production vs. the flawed instruments to be able to make a statement such as that with credibility.
    I'm not bashing or hating, but a post like that has nothing to back it up- Your experiences, while they may be YOUR eperiences, do not reflect the overall ratio of good-to-bad.
    It would be my assumption that the VAST majority of FCS product is impeccable.

    OP, sorry that happened, it sucks. And no doubt it has happened with every single mfr. Even NASA has problems with their builds, and their standards are ridiculous!:D

    FCS will make it right, I have no doubt of that.
  12. Yianni95


    Jan 7, 2011
    Thanks everyone for your responses, and hopefully Fender do indeed rectify their issue. A shame really, the neck looked stunning! Just in terms of a few responses, it wasn't warped or anything like that due to heat, it seems more as though it was sanded and measured incorrectly; too heavy and thick towards the heel, and not sanded properly with regards to the frets.

    I also agree that, while they look great, there are some killer basses around at similar prices points. I'll admit I'm paying a premium for a shiny decal, but this experience will make me think twice before going with the CS again.

    Unfortunately (or fortunately) I am one week away from receiving another team build p bass 59 extreme relic in black that I ordered mid last year. I'm actually really worried that this too won't be up to scratch, but I'll see in a week or two.

    I've contacted Fender, and I guess it's up to them what happens from here.

    Thanks everyone! :)
  13. Yianni95


    Jan 7, 2011
    Also just going to throw it out there. In terms of tone, my 2010 cheap highway one jazz bass with ultra jazz pickups has a much nicer (IMO) and barkier tone! I either received a dud custom shop or a really good highway one! Just got it converted to fretless, I'm looking forward to getting that back more than getting the new custom shop!
  14. mr.mow


    Feb 11, 2009
    Endorsing Artist: BBE/G&L Basses
    Yianni, you're in Australia (me too).
    I'll assume you bought the bass through an authorised oz dealer.. So I'll step you through what will probably happen (it did for me).

    1. Run to the fender custom shop page and register your bass NOW.
    2. You contact fender oz.. They may make you jump through a whole lot of hoops, they may attempt a half arsed repair.. Or..
    3. Fender oz will tell you it's out of warranty (12 months in oz).

    Here's where it's time to arc up. Fender oz will argue and swear blind all fender products bought in Australia come with a 12 month warranty.

    You may even get to have a nice discussion with the CEO of fender oz.
    Explain to them that CS fenders have a lifetime worldwide warranty..

    They'll tell you they don't

    Ignore fender oz.. Contact the fender custom shop directly and they will (if its a serious issue) arrange to have your bass sent back to the factory at their expense and it will be fixed.

    This is what you pay the big bucks for, lifetime, worldwide warranty as long as you are the original owner.

    Don't let fender oz tell you no and DON'T let them do a half arsed repair.

    (I had a 59P that developed a crack in the fretboard, fender oz super glued it!, fender US went out of their way to make it right).
  15. smiked1


    Sep 23, 2008
    It sounds the like custom shop built you a perfect replica of a vintage Jazz Bass. Most of the good ones neck dive, the weight of the neck is not too high. The neck dive is the price you pay for actually having that nice wide neck at the nut. Every original stack knob J I've played had neck dive. It also sounds like you're dealing with the classic "rising tongue" above the tenth fret. I'm sure Fender will help you out. Don't give up on it yet. I bet it played great when it left the factory and it will again.

    You're dealing with a piece of wood. No one can exactly predict how it's going to behave. Humidity, combined with the tightness of the neck bolts, are usually what cause the issues high up on the neck...so I've been told.
  16. Yianni95


    Jan 7, 2011
    Hmm, when I played an old teacher's 1963 (or around there) original jazz, I was very surprised at how different both instruments sounded, and how much more comfortable his neck was. Also, I won't for a minute claim to be a pro regarding necks, and I am really only repeating what a bunch of professionals and luthiers have told me. Perhaps it is correct that 60s jazz basses neck dive, but I don't believe that Fender should let guitars leave their factory that are near unplayable, regardless of the historical context of the model.

    I definitely agree though that some of the features of these vintage basses that aren't exactly desirable are only kept due to keeping to the specifications from that year. That's why I didn't complain when I heard fuzz when panning pickups; yes there are noiseless pickups out there, but that's just not a 60s jazz bass.

    Anyway for anyone who is interested, here are some pics of the bass back in the shop.








    Please no hate about relic finishing!

    Thanks :)
  17. Yianni95


    Jan 7, 2011
    Exactly the response I was looking for, thanks! I have begun discussions with one of the Oz reps, and yes I bought from Camberwell Music Junction (sorry to name drop, but they have been impeccable with every point of correspondence) who are authorised dealers. That has eased any nerves I had, and am I correct in saying as long as I have signed up for the lifetime warranty (which I did only about a week ago) I am covered for, well, life?

    And wow, superglue on a 3-5 thousand dollar guitar, way to go Fender Oz. At least it seems as though the USA centre should address the issue properly, if they deem it is indeed an issue.

  18. mr.mow


    Feb 11, 2009
    Endorsing Artist: BBE/G&L Basses
    Cool, yeah the local dealers are rarely the problem, those guys have their hands tied!
    From what I understand as long as you have proof you are the original owner it's covered for life. Give your local guys a chance I guess, make sure you document everything. My local guys did everything they could but at the end of the day it's up to the importer.

    But, with CS in oz you can always go one higher (though fender oz don't seem to know about it!)
  19. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    One thing about neck dive while sitting- strap buttons were put on these so the instrument could be played while standing, not so it would hang the same way while sitting. The placement of the upper horn puts the button and therefore, the place where the strap supports the weight, at the 12th fret for a reason- it hangs better while standing. This is how most people play- standing, not sitting. How does it feel when you stand? If it has neck dive when you stand, THEN, I would be unhappy.

    BTW- if they hadn't removed so much of the finish, maybe it would hang better. :D:bag:
  20. I love fenders, but a big +1 to this

    when you consider people are 11 times more likely to be vocal about a bad experience than a good one this is a very important statement to consider.

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