philosophical question: When is a Fender not a (or no longer a) Fender?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sheepdog, Feb 19, 2010.


  1. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    I use that one just due to the prevelance of upgrades and parts...

    this was prompted by other threads discussing decals. At the risk of starting another gunfight at the TB Corral, here goes.

    I understand that a parts bass using non-Fender parts is not a Fender. I will leave the discussion of decal usage to each individual.

    But let's start with a 100% Fender bass. I have read that if you put a new neck on it (non-Fender) that you shouldn't put a decal on the neck since it is not correct. What if instead of switching necks, you switched bodies. The old body had a chunk broken off and you wanted a new one. Same Fender electronics, neck, tuners, and decal. No problem still calling it a Fender? Would it be necessary to remove the decal from a legit. Fender neck if the body was no longer a Fender? If that isn't required, how far could you go? New body, new bridge, new pickups, new pickguard, new tuner...same neck with the decal. Still a Fender when the only thing left is a decal?

    I promise I'm not trying to stir up something, I am just really interested in different viewpoints of when does a Fender (or any other bass) stop being a Fender.

    thank you

    :bag:
     
  2. i dont think there is any reason you can put a fender decal on any bass you want as long as you dont try to sell it as a fender. what about fender bumper stickers that come with their guitars? what about fender tshirts made by fruit of the loom? a logo is just a logo, but trying to pass of an sx as a fender is wrong.
     
  3. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    I guess this was more for the people who are against decals. If you are in favor of them, then it is a moot point. Put a Fender decal on the pointiest BC Rich you can find...it's all good. :D
     
  4. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I would argue it is the neck and the body. Replace either one and it is no longer a Fender in my view.
     
  5. i guess i would have to say that if yo change one part, then it is not the bass that was envisioned by the company and no longer a fender. but who gives a crap.
     
  6. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    so, just to clarify. if this were your bass, would you remove neck decal? even if it were a Fender authorized body (like Warmoth).

    not arguing...just clarifying.

    My personal opinion is probably in favor of decals, but something original. I thought a "french script" "f" looked cool (my last name initial), but I was worried people would think I was trying to make it look like an F Bass.
     
  7. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    May 20, 2005
    So...the knob falls off and you lose it, so you buy a replacement that is not a Fender made knob, and it is no longer a Fender?

    What if you install straplocks?
     
  8. what if you are born a man, but have your penis made into a vagina? same thing.
     
  9. Simo98

    Simo98

    Jun 18, 2009
    QLD, Australia
    If its a fender neck, i don't see a problem with it, even if you completely change the body. It is still a fender neck.

    If you sand back an SX and put a fender decal on the headstock, I think thats a little bit err.. 'tryhardish?'

    I've actually had this dilemma recently, im in the process of completely re-building a bass, the only thing original is the neck (hand made body, aftermarket parts)

    Its a squier neck, and i have painted the headstock so that it matches the rear of the body (black) however i am debating what to put on the headstock. The only decal I can find is a fender one, and it looks a little blank without anything, however i feel bad putting a fender decal on a squier neck.

    I might just stencil something original on there.. only im not very original xD
     
  10. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    To be honest, if I replaced the body on a Fender, I would not replace the decal.... I couldn't be bothered. But I would tell any buyer that the body was not a Fender. And if I never sold it... the decal would be there forever :p

    Thinking about it.... even if I did replace the body with a genuine Fender body I would probably tell a seller since it wasn't original.
     
  11. ehque

    ehque

    Jan 8, 2006
    Singapore
    "I've had this axe for fifty years. It's had three new heads and seven new handles."
     
  12. TortillaChip520

    TortillaChip520

    Jun 3, 2008
    AZ
    just write "Fender" in sharpy with your left hand ;)

    when i get an sx and new neck for it, i'm considering putting a fender decal on the headstock, because it'll give the illusion that i am a more "serious" bass player.
     
  13. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    exactly!

    :D
     
  14. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Thoroughly Nice Guy Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    I can't imagine why you'd have any responsibility whatsoever to remove a factory decal from a neck.

    Assuming a bolt-on neck, I think most people would consider a bass to be a Fender (or whatever brand) if both the body and neck were made by the same company. Whether that's logical or not really isn't the point because the body and neck are the two biggest parts of a bass and the neck is usually what carries the logo (Kubicki and Steinberger are exceptions). Some would go another step and argue that it's only a Fender if the body and neck left the factory attached to one another, and that basses built with, say a '72 Jazz body and a '68 Jazz neck are "Fender parts basses". Billy Sheehan's "Wife" and Jaco's Jazz with the maple P neck are examples.

    I once had a discussion with another TBer who wanted to make an exception for basses built with Fender parts if they were owned by someome that a lot of people knew :meh: I guess there's a bit of wannabe collector in all of us...
     
  15. Simo98

    Simo98

    Jun 18, 2009
    QLD, Australia
    I'll do that on my next build.. this one is supposed to look respectable. :p
     
  16. I don't think there's an objective answer to that question. Everybody will have their own opinion of whether a modded Fender can really still be called a Fender or not. When it comes to replacing hardware and electronics, I think as long as you are preserving something of the essence of the original instrument I would have no problem calling it a Fender.

    A stock Fender is not some holy relic, perfect in its unity. Fenders tend to have crappy hardware (their bridges are the worst I've ever seen) and mediocre electronics. If upgrading your bridge and tuners can lead to better sustain and attack, and upgrading your pickups can lead to better frequency response and a more even, natural tone, doesn't that have the effect of enhancing your instrument's essence? Doesn't that make it it some way more of a Fender?
     
  17. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    no....that makes it a G&L

    :D
     
  18. PZapdos

    PZapdos

    Jan 23, 2010
    New Hampshire
    [/thread]
     
  19. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Thoroughly Nice Guy Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Uh-oh...

    From the Book of Fender:

    Those bridges helped to create the sound that you hear on eleventy quillion records back when Fender was the biggest name of maybe four or five. Your Badass II, OTOH, ruins Leo's vision and makes producers want to spit on you.

    Sustain and attack are overrated. All the money (which is what really maters) is below the fifth fret, and those beautiful peaks and valleys in frequency response and string balance, those dead spots and that patented loosen/yank/tighten neck adjust system helped create the sound that you hear on eleventy quillion records back when Fender was the biggest name of maybe four or five. Your tight neck pocket ruins Leo's vision and makes producers want to spit on you.

    Those pickups that hum when you try to favor one over the other helped create the sound that you hear on eleventy quillion records back when Fender was the biggest name of maybe four or five. Your quiet pickups and active EQ ruin Leo's vision and make producers want to spit on you. But if you conceal them under stock knobs and black covers, the producers won't notice and they'll spit on the floor instead.

    No.

    EDIT: I should disclose that I've owned several Fender and Fender-y basses, love 'em. But I don't colclude that they're the greatest basses evah because they're the ones that made it onto those eleventy quillion records back before better instruments were available.
     
  20. its the neck and body , licensed by fender parts are NOT fender
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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