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What is it about Fender?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Holliwood, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. Holliwood


    Sep 13, 2011

    lotsa great basses out there, we all know that but.......

    why does everyone love Fender basses so much?
    what did Fender get right that no one else seems to have?
    why do Fenders seem to be the only basses that hold their value.

    I'm not disputing their greatness. Hell, I even want one.
    My 5 string will be a fender P bass.
  2. ecapdeville


    Mar 26, 2007
    Mexico City
    Fender invented the thing... :rolleyes:

  3. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Grosbeak, Yamaha, Fender, BSX. I’m Marc! Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    Leo Fender created the original electric bass guitar in 1951 (the P bass) with a vision in mind. The vision and hard work translated into the original tele-style P bass, which evolved over the next 6-10 years into the Precision we know and still use today. Although he's not TECHNICALLY the inventor of the first bass guitar (that goes to Audiovox, but that invention failed and Leo invented the P Bass independently of Audiovox's ideas), Leo did make a lot of very enduring design decisions, such as 34" scale neck, contoured body, the "P" pickup in the sweet spot to get the tone that's not too muddy or too bright. He also listened to musicians and improved his designs based on feedback from those players.

    Also, a lot of other regarded manufacturers like Lakland, Mike Lull and Sadowsky, have just based their instruments on Leo Fender's designs.
  4. I love Fender basses. I used to think they were all hype, until I finally got my hands on a USA Jazz bass. It was the first Fender that really spoke to me, and I started to understand. They have very playable necks, great sound and high quality components.

    It isn't that other bass makers haven't gotten it right, but Fender is the standard that all other makers have to compete with. They were here first, and they control a fair share of the instrument market.
  5. TheGreatSealof

    TheGreatSealof Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2010
    Deptford, NJ
    First of all, I am not a professional musician. That being said, I have fooled around with lots of guitars and basses.

    I have always found that Fender products have a sound that just rises above all other manufacturers. Maybe it is because of my age and the 60's and early 70's was my musical influence.

    Just my two cents worth.
  6. RickeyC


    Jan 17, 2011
    ^^^This. They are the professional standard. They have a good rep, too.
  7. People know them, know what they sound like, and know they can cop the tone of player X, who played a Fender Blah on albums Y and Z
  8. +1
  9. BassDaddy77


    Feb 12, 2010
    NE Ohio
    I think it's the balance of great ergonomics, playability, and a bass tone that most people associate with. Leo wasted nothing in his bass designs - form follows function.
  10. slaps76

    slaps76 Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2008
    Medford, MA
    What else would 1 in 5 new Talkbass threads be about? :D
  11. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I'm having a very bad fender moment and while I know I should stay away from this thread, I can't help myself because it keeps popping up.

    What it is about Fender is they have a reputation due to their history because they were the first around. That's it. Everyone played Fenders in the 60s and 70s, and everyone wanted to immitate their idols, and so it goes on....

    There are countless other better built and better sounding basses on the market. They just don't share the popularity because they don't haven't been around as long.

    Yeah, my new Modern Player Tele has issues popping up every week, and it's beginning to remind me of the endless issues I had with an American P deluxe. I only have issues with Fenders. And I buy lots of different basses. And I've had lots of Fenders.

    Sorry Fender fans but I'm pissed because my Tele bass is ungiggable at 1 month old and I now have to have to deal with warranty BS and hassles that I don't really have time for.
  12. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Always overcompensating Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    There's something about my MIM Jazz...I love my MM Bongo but the Jazz just has something about it..
  13. Bassmunnky


    Jul 3, 2004
    New York and Philadelphia
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball MusicMan Guitars
    Your Bongo is a distant cousin of Fender...very close cousin!
  14. waleross


    Nov 27, 2009
    South Florida
    I own :
    Fender P Amer V
    Fender P Bass Deluxe
    Fender P Bass Road.......:)
  15. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    Back in the '50s and early '60s, a bass player wasn't just referred to as a bass player, but a "Fender bass player". This was to differentiate them from an upright bassist.

    It's hard to fathom in our modern times just how much Leo's bass defined the instrument we now call the bass guitar. :cool:

  16. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    I'm 58 and for me, I think a lot of it had to do with seeing Fender guitars, amps and basses all over the place when I was a kid. In the early 60's (prior to the Beatles) seemed like a lot of the local "older" bands (kids in high school or just starting college) all had mostly Fender gear. I guess it left quite an impression on me.

    I went thru the trial and error years with other bass brands but once I bought my first Fender, that was that. I like the look, the feel and the sound. For me it works.

    Got a Squire Affintiy P bass, a mutt of a '73 Jazz bass, a Squire VM fretless Jazz and last month I bought an American Standard 5 string Jazz bass.
  17. VWbug


    Sep 11, 2010
    New Jersey
    They just work for me. They are not the fanciest, best or whatever...

    First REAL bass was a Fender Jazz.

    Then I wanted something different as I got older, wanted something other than a mass produced plain old, everybody has one Fender because I'm serious about bass and want to play well and get something fresh instead of the same old thing....

    After a nice Zon, beautiful Warwick Thumb basses ( Bolton and NT) I realized what I was looking for was just the basic tried and true simplistic Fender Jazz and Precisions. Nothing earth shattering. Just decent can do basses. I'm happier. You are free to like whatever you like. I'm home. :cool:
  18. tomyaubass


    Dec 5, 2011
    Fender basses have the tone that sits in the pocket of the music just right. Boutique tones sound nice soloed but the essence of bass is still groove or the bridge between rhythm and melody with harmony thrown in. You hear remakes of tunes like the Jackson 5 Who's loving you and tell me what bass sound had more impact to the song. It may not sound the best but it sounds righter than any other bass. Plus the variation of music you can play with is almost full spectrum. Some basses cover this or that well but the ones that cover a wide spectrum are variations of the Fender P or Jazz bass sounds. The bass for the most part is not a solo instrument so it is more important to sound right in the pocket and Fenders do that extremely well. You may pick up one that does not quite suit your taste but eventually you will find one that fits you just right. Early I avoided Fenders because everyone played one. I owned 2 Kawai basses that I regret selling and they sounded great. One was an Alembic copy and the other an active P/J. The Alembic copy wasn't great for all music and the P/J was modeled after a Fender and was ver versatile.

    Either way whether bass players prefer other instruments that tailor to their own voicing. There is too much music recorded that it's sound affected you positively. James Jamerson played a Fender and what bass player would deny his influence.
  19. jwj1701


    Nov 17, 2011
    Lexington KY
    ^^^ right on the head folks. If Leo hadn't gotten it right the first time this thread might be about Peavy, BC RICH, etc., It's impossible to re-invent the wheel. Think about it, 60 years is a lot of time for someone to do something better, or have a ground breaking improvement on the original, and it hasn't happened yet. They are the Beatles of the bass guitar.
  20. krstko


    Aug 29, 2011
    Cerknica, Slovenia
    I like my Fender j for its tonal exibility. I can play softest ballades or slap as hard as I want :D

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