Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Frank Vozak, Jul 25, 2021.

  1. Frank Vozak

    Frank Vozak

    Mar 27, 2020
    Oak Park, IL
    No commercial affiliation
    A thread that recently ended talked about the reason why the initiator thought Fender was a dinosaur, I would like to start a thread on why Fender is here to stay.
    The big 3 basses for Fender are the Precision (b1952), the Jazz Bass, and the Mustang {born in the middle 60's)There are people who don't like the Fender Bass appearance, how it sits with a strap on their shoulder or the total weight. My counterpoint is that Fender has developed a number of basses after Leo Fender left the company that add alot to the line: the Jaguar, Precision Mini, Musicmaker, Coronado, etc. The entire Fender line is replicated at a lower price level in the Indonesian made Squier line. And Fender uses Squier to introduce new basses or modification of Fender designs into the family. The latest include the Squier Precision Mini, Stratocaster Mini, Affinity Jaguar with humbucking pickup and maple fretboard. In terms of amps Fender offer a full li9ne up of bass amps to match to an individual bassist's needs. And I will say as someone whose first bass was a brand new 67 Fender Mustang Bass (sold many years ago) the first brand I thought of when I started playing again at age 67 was Fender. Squier allowed me to re enter the field at a retiree's pension and a small Fender bass amp met my needs. And when I began to look for an acoustic bass guitar to join the local farmer's market weekly jam there was the new Fender CB-60 Acoustic and a series of other acoustics along with the top of the line which has a shortened Jazz Bass neck. Fender works with large music stores doing special runs including Chicago Music Exchange's series of pink guitars and basses as well as the special finishes offered by Sweetwater. And if you like a sub 34 inch neck Fender offers some of the best options on the market: 28.6 in, 30 in and 32 inch. And the Mustang in either Fender or Squier colors offers either Precision pickups (with the addition of a J pickup) or traditional Leo-designed Mustang pickups. Consider that Fender has multiple price points based on level of sophistication and country of manufacture: Squier and Fender basses built in Indonesia, Fender basses built in Mexico, Fender basses built in the US and Custom Shop. The same goes for amplifiers starting with15 watt/8" speaker going up in steps to a piggyback amp with 2 15 inch speakers and 800 watts. The Fender I describe now is so much more versatile and varied than the Fender I knew in 1967 when I had to buy an AMPEG amp because the Bassman Cabinet was larger than I could manage. Granted, Fe3nder has not gone into new and unique shapes or vastly different types of electronic to give the bassist more "sonic" choices but Fender has built a line of basses and amps that gives the bassist who likes the Fender Sound alot of alternatives. (and yes my P Bass is a Fender clone)I but I like having a Precision Mini, a Jaguar and an Acoustic with the Fender name on the headstock
  2. Thanks for the history lesson but it doesn't really explain anything. I have a '72 P. I like it.
  3. KohanMike

    KohanMike Gold Supporting Member

    The majority of basses I see on TV concerts and performances are Fenders. That says something too.
  4. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Chrome diners and juke boxes are here to stay also. Until they’re not.
    I love Fender and I love my Fenders and I will buy more Fenders and I prefer to play Fenders. But they need to compete just like any other brand. And they have serious consistency challenges. I hope they can overcome them and thrive.
    2pods, El_Charro, AudioTaper and 21 others like this.
  5. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Central Ohio
    It says a lot that the bass guitar was referred to as the Fender Bass for several decades; and those same designs remain mainstream models. And, then, there is the overwhelming number of popular music standards recorded with Fender basses. In short, there really is no discussion.

    At the same time, the current version of the company derives most of its income from non-bass instruments and gear; and has struggled with maintaining quality and consistency in their bass designs. Their 5 string basses have been through so many designs, that it is difficult to keep track of what’s out there. Hot mess generally summarizes their 5 string bass products, whatever they happen to be at the moment. It’s almost like they don’t really care about the bass guitar or bass players. And really, why should they, when they are selling more than an order of magnitude more guitars?

    It is what it is; and I can understand why many bass players look elsewhere. But, I will tell you this: when I go to auditions, I have Fender on the headstock.
  6. Geri O

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

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    These threads and the various opinions on Fender good or bad only serve as proof of the wildly-varying interpretations of all things Fender.

    I have no feelings either way to share about the matter, but it makes for entertaining reading.
    El_Charro, Mr_O'B, red_rhino and 13 others like this.
  7. SgtHulka

    SgtHulka Inactive

    Mar 29, 2019
  8. BrotherRay


    Nov 28, 2016
    Detroit, MI
    On a completely different note, how and why do you like those Delanos?
    How do they compare to the Suhr era pups?
    DJ Bebop and bucephylus like this.
  9. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    Didn't read the whole post (too long and undefined) so what's your problem whith Fender? I have a few of them (included my 34" acoustic BC100) and they are just fine, all of them.
    Here's my '08 am. std. jazz bass and it sounded gorgeous on the gig I had just a few days ago.
    And here is the CB100:
  10. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Central Ohio
    Oh man, good question.

    I “discovered” the Delano’s while I was gigging a Suhr era Jazz Bass and looking for something in that ballpark for my Sadowsky RV4. As it turned out, the Delano’s were actually far better for my purposes.

    In fact, the evening after swapping them out, I took the RV4 to Big Band rehearsal. We got about half way through the first tune, and the band director stops the whole 24 piece band, looks at me and asks what happened to my bass that it sounded so amazing. True story. I’ve been stuck on the Delano’s ever since.

    The Delano neck pickup can get REALLY close to a legit P vibe, while the bridge pickup still does all the traditional J vibes. It’s like having both a really great P and J in the same instrument. Oh, and they pair really well with the Sadowsky preamp.
  11. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    They day Fender is gone is the day humans no longer play electric guitars or basses
  12. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Oh, but they have gone into different electronics. Dual humbucker active jazz bass, active/passive Ps and Js, jazz bass with a stingray positioned MM humbucker, any sort of pickup configuration you could think of in strats and teles for both Squier and fender. They've done everything everyone else has, except for fanned frets. And maybe headless. I can't think of one headless fender bass. But, it might be out there too.

    The truth still stands though, that Fender got it right the first time. That's why they're still number one, with the "outdated and over rated" standards.
    Mickey666 and El_Charro like this.
  13. RandalPinkFloyd


    Jun 3, 2012
    There's a saying, If you're the toughest guy in the room you don't have to announce it.

    Meanwhile on TB, we get these "Fender is still the best" or "Fender is here to stay" threads on a weekly, almost daily basis. Desperation is a stinky cologne.
    2pods, El_Charro, AudioTaper and 21 others like this.
  14. A9X

    A9X Inactive

    Dec 27, 2003
    No, all it says is they were first to market with a newish type of product and to gain acceptance, and they became the generic name of that product type. It's no different to tissues being commonly called a Kleenex, or a vacuum cleaner being called a Hoover, or...

    If Gibson had gotten there a few years before Leo did, then the generic term would likely be Gibson bass today.
    2pods, timplog, detoxxx and 11 others like this.
  15. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    Man, I find myself wishing that Talkbass had an automatic query that filtered out all posts about Fender, P basses, and tort.
  16. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Inactive

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    So what's your point..:woot:
    J Gold, gebass6, JRA and 4 others like this.
  17. Mk90


    May 1, 2020
    While I definately appreciate and respect the history, having history adds nothing of value to the actual instrument. The bass (soind and looks) in my mind will always be along the lines of Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden, but that most definately is not for me. You don't have to fix what's not broken but that should not prevent innovation.
  18. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    Fender is here to stay mainly because of Strats and Teles.
    2pods, El_Charro, gorneyg and 3 others like this.
  19. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Inland Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    Fender will always be around because:
    There will always be Fender marketing for as long as FMIC continues to exist;
    There will always be money to be made by selling Fender products;
    There will always be people who have had amazing luck and success with Fender products;
    There will always be people for whom Fender is their comfort zone;
    There will always be people who think Leo got it right the first time and so everything is already settled;

    Personally, I don't see the appeal in looking & sounding like everyone else. I'd like to think that people could be more imaginative and creative than that. But as always, I speak only for myself. Everyone else is free to think and do as they please.
    timplog, El_Charro, gebass6 and 8 others like this.
  20. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    Fender is a business, not Leo revolutionalizing mass production. And we're at an age where Asian made instruments are way more consistent and noteworthy. And Fender, as a company, still capitalizes on its big name, history and iconic imagery. Couple that with the rampant nostalgia of these times and the fact that, unavoidably really, every single one of the bass icons played a Fender, well, there's your marketing campaign. Hell, you don't even have to market your products based on the above.

    However, with the advent of the internet and the fact that, on talkbass alone, you can have a pretty much spot on representation of an instrument you haven't even seen up close and also the fact that there are countless other "copies" and even better (for some), alternatives, guess what?
    Fender needs to COMPETE.

    Offering pretty run of the mill stuff (alder-maple etc.) on established (in the 50's and 60's) designs at high prices and with spotty QC to boot, betting on name and image recognition alone, isn't really gonna cut it, unless you only care to cater to die hards that still feel it's normal to have to shim and spot (at best) level a 1000 euro instrument out of the box. Haven't seen a Sandberg (random choice) that needed a shim...

    I can kinda sorta get it with American made instruments. I'm not completely justifying it and I think they're WAY overpriced but sure, ok. I feel that way for other MIA instruments, too. But MIM's? Is there an almost 400 euro difference between a Squier CV and a Player series MIM? Is a road worn or a vintera, based on what they objectively are, really worth 1000+?

    Hell, have you seen the cheapest five string precision from Fender? It's about 2000 euros. The next cheapest is a five string affinity jazz. That's it.

    Aaanyway, I don't hate Fender. I've said many times that I've always wanted (and never got) one. But still, as a conclusion, Fender now is just another business that needs to compete. And at the prices they choose to charge for their offerings, they better up their options and QC if they want a bigger piece of the pie.

    Then again, some people like carrots so what do I know.
    ROOTSnFIFTHS, 2pods, timplog and 12 others like this.