The epidemic of Fenders getting "blown out of the water" on TB

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kmon, Jul 20, 2021.

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  1. kmon

    kmon Supporting Member

    May 11, 2009
    Chocolate Disneyland
    It seems that virtually every non-Fender bass acquired here, particularly inexpensive ones, results in a Fender getting "blown out of the water". MIMs seem particularly susceptible to this epidemic, but MIAs are certainly not immune.

    I'm pretty sure the Fenders were just minding their business and never saw it coming. Is there anything we can do to stop the carnage?

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    maplebar, Mr Cheese, BigDrew and 72 others like this.
  2. Clank Plank

    Clank Plank Inactive

    Dec 26, 2020
    Some genuine product innovation, some consistency in quality control (Squier largely have that cracked, so Lord only knows why Fender struggle), and the clientele can ditch the idea that a USA made model is automatically better than one made anywhere else. No one owes Fender a thing simply because of the company's history and provenance.

    Sort out the issues, set some realistic expectation among the clientele, bingo! Then they'll consistently be blowing the opposition out of the water, instead of only doing so when they can be bothered.

    And yeah, in many ways my £60 used Ibanez blows my MIA Precision out out of the water, so I'm not surprised that it has become such a common turn of phrase hereabouts.
  3. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Fender really needs to improve their price-quality ratio. There is zero excuse for a passive MIA P bass to cost 50% more than a MIJ equivalent when the latter is just as well built.
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    many of us do for ourselves what fender can't do for us: build an FSO that blows the namesake "out of the water!" doing it more cheaply than fender is the easiest part. ;)

    but folks have been modifying the originals since day one = shouldn't be a surprise that players aim to get what they want vs. being stuck with what they're offered!
  5. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    How about much much higher labor cost that begins with the people cutting the trees down and ends at the people in Cali doing final inspection as an excuse for higher price? Seems logical to me.
  6. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I think it's a curve. There are those who have enthusiastically migrated away from Fender, almost with a chip on their collective shoulders. Then there are those who hold the new wave of Mexi Fender basses in the highest esteem, and jump at the chance to brag on them.

    Then there are those of us in the middle. (I count myself among them.) I frankly don't care. I own, and love, a couple of Fender basses. If I find another one that fits in my hands well and sounds like a dream, I will buy it and make no apologies. But if I find a non Fender that feels and/or sounds better, I will buy it and never look back.

    In other words, for most of us, Fender, as in the name on the headstock, isn't a factor. It just isn't an emotional thing.

    Those at both ends of the curve, however, will squawk the loudest, as with any other debatable topic on the planet.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2021
  7. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    ime ^^^this is (and has been for a long time) the biggest obstacle to Fender earning a reputation commensurate with their market share. I've been telling friends for over 20 years, if you want to buy a Fender make sure you try out a lot of different instruments, because you could pull two seemingly identical models off the rack, perhaps even with consecutive serial numbers, and one might be a dog and the other a gem.

    Fenders are really nice instruments. Your mission: Find them.
  8. ElectricBass72


    Aug 6, 2019
    I'm on the anything-but-Fender bandwagon... have 2 G&L Tributes and a Sire V5 Fretless Jazz on order, but I do have 2 totally decent Fenders that I'm very content with: 2018 MIM Fender Player P and 2004 MIM Fender Stratocaster... both purchased new.
    Garagiste likes this.
  9. Bikeguy57

    Bikeguy57 Supporting Member

    And so, the circle of life begins again on TB.
  10. Geri O

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

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS

    How have you missed all the “my squier/Sire/Harley blows my (insert more expensive Bass name here) completely out of the water” posts?
    This place is full of folks with the “my bass beats everything else out there” mentality. That’s their opinion, which is fine. Just don’t read so much into it.

    Fender will be just fine.
  11. luciens


    Feb 9, 2020
    My .02 before the battle begins and the mods come along and shut the thread down.... :p

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. The Fender bass was designed to a) be easy to construct and b) easy to repair. It's a utilitarian instrument designed in a very practical, unglamorous manner. That was intentional by Leo Fender, it was not an accident. What that means is, there's a hard upper limit on how "good" you can actually make the Fender P or J bass before it turns into something else that's not a Fender P or J bass anymore.

    That's pretty much the end of the story. Long story short, once you get to a certain level of "quality", the Fender basses are as good as they can get and it just doesn't make any measurable, detectable difference to the player. It only maybe looks better and costs more. But that's all.

    Fender achieves that quality level at, I'd say, around the $1000-$1500 mark. The "clone" manufacturers also reach that quality level easily (my guess being at about the same price point).

    There's no "blowing out of the water" of anything with the Fender P and J. It just wasn't designed that way. Once you hit that hard upper quality limit, any more just doesn't make any difference. And everyone making FSO P and J like basses hit that limit easily and they're all superb examples of the FSO P and J. Including Fender.

    I hate to burst that bubble, but there's just no way to not say that and still be telling the truth.

    Well, that's it.

  12. DoctorZee

    DoctorZee Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2018
    New York / New Jersey
    I have played or owned several of these Fender-killers you hear so much about on TB (Yamaha, Sire, SBMM, Ibanez…) I don’t get it. I’ve never found their QC to be any better. Maybe I’ve just had bad luck, but I think some people see what they want to see…
  13. Bassclef46

    Bassclef46 Inactive

    Feb 1, 2021
    Fender makes its living off the legacy of Leo Fender.
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  14. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician - Retired
    Labour costs in America are higher than most other places where Fender basses are made. As are the costs associated with environmental protection, and transportation, etc.etc.etc.
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  15. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Also, "epidemic" would imply that almost everybody is on that bandwagon. I don't see that at all.

    If you're emotional about the word "Fender", ANY increase in (perceived) "Fender bashing" will render a more emotional response from you.... such as the use of the word "epidemic". ;)

    I just don't think there has been any major bump anywhere in the curve I mentioned in my previous post in recent months.

    Short version: Status = quo
  16. 31HZ

    31HZ Glad to be here Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2006
    Central VA, USA
    So, Arizona blows California out of the water?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2021
  17. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    People will believe what they want to believe.
  18. People say what they want, people believe what they want, and keyboard warriors on a forum want everyone to come to their side.

    Play what you want, I'll do the same.
  19. Ulf Buck

    Ulf Buck Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2015
    South Florida
    I switched to Spectors about 18 months ago. Number one is an Euro LT with Barts and a Darkglass preamp. Number 2 is a euro lx with a us haz circuit. It works best for me for what I am doing now.

    Every time I pick up a fender p bass I am still enamored of "that tone" and the genius utility of the bolt on design, execution, and great sounding passive pickups. I recently played an American Professional II and it was wonderful in playability, tone, and finish. $1549 street price seems reasonable. I have also played some Squiers that sound amazing. If I had to get rid of the Spectors due to economic issues, I would happily play my 1980s MIJ Fender p bass until the end of my playing days.

    I do think it is telling that it is always "as good as a Fender", or "blows away a Fender". They are still the standard by which others are judged.
  20. beaglesandbass

    beaglesandbass Think first, then post? Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    When other brands stop making Jazz and Precision basses better than Fender, maybe it’ll stop.
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