Thinking about switching to Fenders...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pbass6811, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. pbass6811

    pbass6811 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Indy, IN
    Ok, I asked this question the other day and I didn't get much help, but that was my fault for wording it improperly, So, I'ma try again this way...

    I hold down the low end in a modern/party rock band. Pretty much since I started playing bass, I've always played "modern" basses. In fact, I've never, EVER, even owned a Fender. The closest I've come is the few MusicMan basses that I've owned. The last few years has been a parade of high end, modern, active, 2 octave, 5 string basses. You name it, I've owned it-MTDs, Roscoes, Pedullas, Warwicks. I'm currently wielding Spector & Modulus basses. All of them were great basses, but some clearly didn't work in my setting. So, I'm in a local music store and I'm perusing some of the crap they have hanging on the wall and suddenly I see, "IT"...a Fender American Deluxe Jazz Bass V, Natural Ash w/Maple neck. I could hear the choir of angels singing as I picked up the bass. The setup was bad and it was out of tune, but that didn't matter, it just felt good. I put it back on the wall, but I kept going back to it. I tried a few other Fenders, and I really liked them, not as much as that JBV, but they all felt really good. This got me thinking about why I've always been so anti-Fender? For one thing, I'm not a huge fan of pickguards, I just don't care for them, but I love the way that bass looks, pickguard and all. I'm also a huge fan of 24 fret necks, but even when I solo, I rarely use that part of the neck.

    I'm not unhappy with my current lineup of basses, but, truth be told, I'm not 100% satisfied either. I'm not sure how much of a shock to the system it'd be if I went into the store and traded my current stuff for new Fenders???

    So, anyone do anything similar? I haven't made any decisions, so I'm open to any and all opinions. The only thing I ask is that if you have an opinion, throw in some reason with it...Don't just chime in with "Go for it" or "Have you lost yo' mind", help a brotha' out and tell me why you feel the way you do...Thanks!
  2. Sartori

    Sartori Supporting Member

    I'm not a guy who plays modern basses, but I've still never owned a Fender. Not due to being anti-Fender or anything, just have never particularly desired one. Eventually I'll probably get a jazz bass, just to have one. Might be useful.
  3. Zoomie


    Jan 26, 2012
    East Tennessee
    I'll tell you what I went through.

    Hated Fenders for years. Didnt like them. Didn't want anything to do with them. Who needs to even mess with Fender when your playing a pre-gibson Tobias 5.

    In the 90s at some point, I was playing in a band with two female singers. They were singing popular stuff for that time (Alanis, etc) and I could not find the tone I was looking for. The Tobias and I would go round and round with me twisting knobs furiously while launching off on a Tourettes episode. An expensive bass is capable to playing every great bass tone known to man, correct?

    Finally bought an MIM Jazz just to play for a single set. I refused to spend any more money on a Fender than this. ANd trust me when I say that the MIM's of that time were horrifying at best to play.

    The thing was bad that I named it ...........FIREWOOD. But, and this is a big but, when it wasn't shape shifting its neck in to a pretzel, or humming and buzzing furiously in a capela, I managed to coax some surprisingly sweet tones out of it.

    About a year ago, I decided to get back in. I had kind of kept an eye on the equipment market. This go-round, I decided that I would play through a bunch of the production basses and keep one or two that I liked.

    Bought a Hwy One P on fire sale from Hello. Didn't like the pick ups but loved the feel of the bass. Swapped pick ups out and was shocked at how good it sounded.

    During that time I was auditioning for a lot of local bands and just trying to play with anyone and everyone that I could to improve my timing and feel. I was away from the band scene so long that I was really stressed out meeting and playing with new folks, especially those in unfamiliar genres. Interestingly, I noticed that every time I was walking in to an unfamiliar situation, I took a P with me. Every single time.

    No matter where you fire it up, if you have respectable amplification, you can very quickly find good tone. Maybe not the best tone that you have ever heard, but satisfactory tone regardless of the genre of music or crappy accoustics.

    In the end, I have come to really respect both P's and J's for what they do. They allow me to find a tone, set it, and forget about it, freeing me up to pay attention to the drummer and the pocket.

    I think that every bass player should own at least one P and one J. They are remarkable tools that have stood the test of time against all comers. They are comfortable to play, and seem to become part of me, no different than when you are working on a project swinging a hammer all day. You never think about the hammer.

    To be clear, Fender IS NOT the only bass to own. If I were you, I would keep those basses currently in your stable that speak to your soul.

    Everyone needs a crescent wrench in their tool box. For me, the P (and yes even the J) are cresent wrenches. You will find yourself reaching for them often.
  4. samtastic


    Jan 24, 2011
    I was in a similar boat, I play warwicks, custom made basses, etc. One day I was in gc and picked up a honey blond jazz bass and played it for a long time. I thought about buying it but I did not because I am not a fender guy. Well after a couple of days I decided to go and buy it and it was gone. I have picked up many a bass since then but I never found another fender that I liked. Moral of this story, if you find a bass you like buy it. Eventhough they are mass produced a gem will come out once in a while.
  5. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Just out of curiosity, if you've never owned a Fender, why did you choose "pbass6811" as your user name?
  6. If you've owned a lot of basses and haven't found your sound, perhaps it's not the basses.
  7. seang15


    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    This is nicely stated, thank you!!
  8. CBRXJ


    Jul 31, 2010
    Apple Valley Ca.
    Maybe just get one Fender and play it...I see no reason for you to trade all your current stuff.
  9. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    Well if it works for you, go for it. But, before selling your collection of basses you have now, just buy (if you have the money of course) the Fender American Deluxe Jazz Bass V and keep the other basses as a backup or if you want to have more frets, go back to their sound and such.

    About the part of being anti-Fender : Well, I'm anti-Fender cause I think they are overrated and overpriced. Same with Music Man :p But besides that, Fender sounds good and can handle any situation.

    But if you still keep thinking about the Fender American Deluxe Jazz Bass V, buy it. A sad musician is the worst kind of musician :p
  10. Catbuster


    Aug 25, 2010
    Louisville, KY.
    I'm pretty much playing one bass right now. My '09 American Standard P. I've yet to find a situation it didn't work in. It's the standard of which all other basses are judged by, and has been since 1951 (or 1957 for the split coil.) They (Fenders, especially P basses) just work. You can beat them up, play the crap out of them, and they'll continue to work. There's a beauty in the simplicity of them as well. A volume and a tone- that's it. Simplicity at its finest.

    The Jazz is very much the same in that it works, but you have more tonal options. I have one, but I very rarely use it. But it works too.

    Personally... I'd love to have the Am. St 5 string P bass. That would be killer
  11. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    Allentown, PA
    Indeed, something fishy is going on here...
  12. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    Allentown, PA
    Two things:

    1. Basses all sound and feel different
    2. Tastes change

    If you decide you want a different kind of bass then the one you have, you should get a different kind of bass than the one you have.
  13. basmicke


    May 31, 2008
    It's all a matter of taste of course but my personal opinion is, after 35y of playing all kinds of basses, that Fender basses generally supports the bands sound great, while some more expensive, complex instruments, sounds really good by themselves or in low volume combos.
    Once it starts getting loud and messy the frequencies you need to cut through and get a good groove with the drummer, a P-bass is a safe solution and most people are happy. A jazz bass is also fine, more rounded-full sounded and maybe a little smoother but it does the job.
    As far as 5 string basses go I love them at certain occasions but 75% of the time the 4-stringer does a better job with the tones available.
    But in the end it's all about what you feel when you play and diversity is a positive thing. I've heard players getting great sounds out of almost any kind of bass as long as they feel good about playing it.
  14. Morning Beer

    Morning Beer

    Oct 2, 2009
    1st thing I thought.
  15. pbass6811

    pbass6811 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Indy, IN
    Good question. My name is Phil, I play bass, I was born in '68, and when I picked my username, which I had before I joined TB, someone else already had pbass68, so I had to modify it. Adding "11" at the end was just easy...
  16. RadioRob

    RadioRob Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2012
    I can remember picking up a p bass a long time ago and saying whats the big deal. I have gone through the gambit of rock years. Now in my late 40's I now only play 60's 70's music and Country on the side. Now I am longing for one but need a 5 string. I thought getting a 5 string was not traditional for a Fender till I played one. Now I don't care I want one.
  17. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    His name is Phil, he plays bass, and maybe he was born in '68 with a kid born in '11.


    EDIT: haha I was writing this as you posted your reply.
  18. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    Probably not, he joined TB in 2008 and you can't change your name after you've become a member.
  19. kellyrojo


    Feb 16, 2011
    South Carolina
    Why not get the fender? But wait, sounds like you are right stuck between modern and traditional. Sounds like you need an L2000! and now youare even more confused! Good luck!
  20. pbass6811

    pbass6811 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Indy, IN
    That's possible, but for every bassist that has "their sound", there's probably a million that think they have a sound, but in reality, they just sound like a guy who play bass...

    As I said, I'm not unhappy with my current lineup. I could play this stuff for the rest of my life and be ok. I'm probably going thru that itch I get every once in a while to change basses(I also love trying new amps and now I'm actually putting together a pedalboard...I've never owned a pedalboard, but I'm having a blast trying to put cool stuff on it). The thing is, I've never wanted to play Fender basses until now.

    Am I still looking for "my sound"? I suppose, but to be quite honest, I'm happy to just "sound" like I know what the h#%l I'm doing, which I can do with any bass.