What is even THE POINT of the Fender mod shop?!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by H K, Feb 8, 2023.

  1. H K

    H K

    Jun 18, 2021
    Seriously! All you can do is pick your freakin color or get an all rosewood neck!?
    "OOoOOooO, I GoT To PIcK My PiCKuPs!"
    DUDE for 2000$ you get to choose among 3 pickups.
    NO bridge choice, NO tuner choice, NO fret choice, NO inlay choice.
    It's basically just a 800$ fee for letting you pick a color. AND YOU CANT EVEN GET A PAINTED HEADSTOCK!
    No contour choices, no body choices beyond modern P or Jazz.

    It's so frustrating that they call it a mod. It's not a mod, it's not "to your specifications", it's a trap!


    Ok rant over.
    I can pick my own color, great. I can do that with a 20$ can of dartfords too.

    Honestly, I cant be the only one appauled by the lack of options here?
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2023
    Crusher47, SwitchGear, MCF and 69 others like this.
  2. Katoosie

    Katoosie Mangoes! Tahiti! THE PLAN! Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2020
    SwitchGear, MCF, lomo and 37 others like this.
  3. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    It is ridiculous. Just a bunch of standard parts that could easily be swapped. I'd like to buy a new Am Pro Jazz with an Am Pro Precision neck. Can they do that? The service manager said "No, you have to do that on your own after purchase." They don't even allow a choice of Fender strings on the Jazz selection -- just a generic set of 4 string diameters (i.e. NO CHOICE). Fender could unlock a lot of revenue by ramping up the guy who moves parts from inventory to the bench. Or maybe he's on permanent break?
    Rezdog, ped, retslock and 5 others like this.
  4. FullumMusic

    FullumMusic Commercial User

    Oct 13, 2022
    Queens, NYC
    Audio/Music software developer, contracted with a company you've heard of and deving my own stuff.
    It seems like in the world of bass making there's a spectrum of what "Custom" means, (including "mod/modify" under the custom umbrella), ranging from Zero Customization through Full Customization. Along that spectrum you'll find makers selling basses as "Custom."

    Zero Custom is easy. The manufacturer makes modes the way they are and sells them. Like walking into a store and buying a can of soda. Coke is Coke. Pepsi is Pepsi. Mountain Dew is Mountain Dew. It is what it is and that's it.

    Full custom is easy. The buyer and builder start with a blank slate. Everything is on the table. Body shape. Neck shape. Wood choice. Electronics. Etc. If it is part of the bass, it can be decided beforehand. It's like like walking into the highest-end shoppe on Savile Row and having a full bespoke suit made. An original template is made to your measurements. Every aspect of the suit's design is discussed beforehand by the buyer and maker, and everything is on the table.

    Then there's the grey area which can be argued as Custom or Not Custom:

    Basses that have "custom shop" configurations. The maker has some designs, and then you can configure each of the aspects of the bass within reason. It's more like Made to Measure suits than True Bespoke. You're starting with a template and customizing it to your measurements. You can pick from the large options available and do some customizations that aren't explicitly in the options list. Still fairly "custom", imho.

    Then there's "custom shop" configs that are more like buying a car and selecting your options. "This body style, with this color, with these pickups, and leather seats, and the seat warmer." In the bass world it's a custom bass. I wouldn't consider options packages custom cars though. But that's me.

    Then there's stuff like the Fender "Mod Shop," which sounds like buying a suit off the rack and having it tailored to fit you better with your choice of color and pickups, but only from the limited list of options they have on hand. Which, to me doesn't sound custom at all. But for some people it's enough to think it's customized to their liking. To me it sounds like a Zero-Custom-But-More-Complicated.

    But hey, if they keep calling all these things mods/custom, and people keep buying it, they're not gonna stop using those words because the definitions aren't exactly precise linguistically. {shrug}
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2023
  5. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Rant understood. But to be fair, these are basically modified Am Pro basses which are retailing for 1750 now. I priced out a mod that came out to 1850 but some options take it up to 2k. So 100-250 upcharge depending on choices rather than 800.

    Im not interested in being a fender defender, but it is a “mod” shop, not custom. Sure they could do more but they aren’t because it would steer people away from the custom shop.

    If you can tolerate dealing with them, G&L has what you are looking for with their build to order thing. They are stripping out a lot of options in the near future though.
  6. pepj


    Mar 25, 2021
    My CS has standard parts and you argue that Hipshot make better tuners and bridge anyway.
    So basically its a block of wood, slick colour maybe, qtrsawn neck and blocks.
    I swapped out everything bar the pickups..
    I got it to work and can restore everything but its hard to reconcile where the money goes.
    It's the least Custom of my 4 customs but since it had Elite type parts, I'm not sure its anywhere near $1k more bass..
  7. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Bootlegger guitars : S.I.T. Strings Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Florida USA
    Sandberg does the “custom option “ production bass thing the right way.
    7ender is dum.
  8. I'm far more appalled at the Fender parts inventory that doesn't give any options for Mustang or Musicmaster necks and bridges.

    Doesn't diminish my enjoyment of my Fender and Squier basses, I won't be looking to replace them with something else. But it sure would be nice to go back to the source for things you might need.
  9. B-Mac

    B-Mac Happiness is a warm puppy and a great bass Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I own 122 basses of which 7 are Fenders. There’s a lot of other brands out there.
  10. blowinblue

    blowinblue Kind of not blue. Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2006
    SoCal USA
    Your rant is heard and appreciated. Maybe it's your time in life as a player to move on from Fender products. After my wife surprised me with a 'boutique' bass I sold my 'very good example' of a Fender Jazz and never looked back. As I've posted before, I would rather be forced to run naked through a Guitar Center swinging a dead cat above my head by the tail than ever own or play another Fender bass. Or possibly slapped repeatedly about the face and neck with a dead rabbit. You get the idea. ;)

    M. M.
  11. swink


    Jan 10, 2019
    It's $800 you pay for QC and a stamp :smug:
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  12. JuanB


    Feb 20, 2010
    Is this a joke? 122 basses?! Wow, that’s a heck of a collection! You’d need 3 bedrooms just for the basses and that wouldn’t leave much walking space.
    Sands and perfektspace6 like this.
  13. B-Mac

    B-Mac Happiness is a warm puppy and a great bass Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    No joke
    No kids
    4 bedroom house with full basement and full third floor attic
    Great career
  14. JC BASS 91

    JC BASS 91

    Oct 22, 2021
    SW Missouri
    I have been completely unimpressed with the Mod Shop since it launched.
    xsnrg27 and Levent like this.
  15. EatS1stBassist


    Apr 15, 2016
    So cal
    Because people who buy FSO FOR A LOT OF MONEY THE WHOLE COMPANY IS ON A BREAK. :rollno:
    B-Mac and JRA like this.
  16. jnuts1


    Nov 13, 2007
    i hear that. the only fender i own is because it was my first bass. and that is the only reason.
  17. 80jazz


    Jun 28, 2008
    Oddly enough, I thought Fender would have been more like G&L with that but it seems that the inverse has occurred.

    I can somewhat see the appeal of the mod shop, but if/when certain features drop off it loses its luster (I like having black pearl pickguards and rosewood necks along with blocks on one option, but miss gold anodized guards).
    Malak the Mad and EatS1stBassist like this.
  18. JuanB


    Feb 20, 2010
    All good, just amazed!
    B-Mac likes this.
  19. ClusterFlux


    Apr 11, 2018
    It's not a trap. They tell you exactly what they offer, and it's hardly outrageously expensive.

    My guess is that it's reducing the workload for the real Custom Shop, by offering a few variations that can easily be fulfilled with mass-produced parts.
  20. SulzerType2


    Jun 10, 2022
    It isn't a true custom service and shouldn't be seen as such. It basically empowers customers by getting them more involved in the process of spec'ing an instrument, but only allowing them to pick from a restricted range of parts they were making anyway. Fender aren't having to keep a stockpile of Delano and Nordstrand pickups next to a pile of Hipshot bridges for the one or two customers who want these options.

    Imagine McDonalds do a custom menu: You can pick the chicken from one burger with the sauce and bun type from another. Basically re-jig products already rolling off the production line. No option for a waygu patty or a slow-proved sourdough bun.

    In Fender terms it encourages customers to pay more for the same basic offerings while not impacting on the Custom Shop. Some folk also just want a purple Jazz Bass without wanting to sweat the details on fretboard radius, neck profile etc.