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What makes a Fender, the body or the neck?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tightbidness, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. I've seen several re-necked Fender basses recently. One bass had a '58 Precision body and a Fender neck from the '80s. Another had a '60s or '70s Precision body and a replacement neck with a Fender decal.

    Then I saw a bass with a Warmoth body with a Fender Jazz neck from the '70s.

    So why were the first two basses advertised as vintage Fender basses and the third as a Warmoth bass with a vintage Fender neck? Why does the body determine authenticity and not the neck? Isn't the neck the most important element in determining feel and playability of an instrument?

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    I would think the trademark bodys that Fender created would be what makes it what it is.
  3. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    With Fenders(and most basses) the neck is the weakest link and sometimes needed to be replaced. At the time alot of necks were replaced players had no idea what the instruments would be worth later on, they were just keeping their basses playable the easiest and cheapest way they knew. I've seen Fender necks that were bowed so severely it would cost more to try to fix(and take alot of time)than replace. Necks can also snap-off..
    When it's all said and done, I'm sorry to say that these days a vintage Fender is judged on the sum of its total parts more so than it's playability. A bass that is totally original, regardless of it's playing status, will be worth more(to the collector) than a bass that is playable that has replaced parts..
  4. AFAIAC none of them are vintage Fenders, not that i really care about that vintage collectible stuff. The first two are Fenders, because they have all Fender parts, but they're not vintage (if by vintage you mean dating to the year of the body). I think advertising the first two as vintage, as if the first is really a '58 and the second is really a '60s or '70s, is kind of a scam.
  5. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Fender bodies are not trademarked. Only the headstock shapes are. Fender is currently trying to trademark the body shapes, case pending. Huge implications if they win.
  6. SirPoonga


    Jan 18, 2005
    No kidding, how many companies use the P body....
  7. I would say both, because Jazz Bass and P Bass neck were unique when they were created, as well as the bodies...

  8. Maybe I'm trying to make sense of something tha doesn't make sense. I guess the fact that I've seen several basses advertised that way led me to believe there is some kind of consensus that the body is more important to authenticity than the neck.

    I should point out that while the '60s/'70s P had a replacement neck with a Fender decal, the neck was not a Fender neck. Now that is a bit of a scam.
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Yeah, I hope that doesn't happen.

    Even worse is the Gibson company claiming ownership of the single-cutaway guitar design.
  10. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Huge profits for Fender, you mean. Manufacturers will never stop cloning the P and J shapes, not to mention the Tele and the Strat. The only difference is that if the patent is approved, Most manufacturers will have to Pay Fender a little kickback. No small hunk of change, btw.
  11. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    Funny the weakness of the neck is mention here,because in my 25+yrs of playing(mainly the 70's Fender Jazzes) I believe as far as tone was/is concern the neck was it's strength,because I had a precision bass and put the 70's Jazz neck on it,and I was truly amazed on how the tone changed,and vise versa
  12. Funny, I never realised in the whole of their 50+ years of production that Fender was the only company to receive bad wood stock for their necks... :rollno:

    No offense, how many companies out there have completely adopted Fender's neck building practices? I'd say way more than I can count on my and your fingers and toes... if it was such an unsound design, you wouldn't have companies like Allparts touting "100% vintage build" and all that crap.

    You would think it a bad idea....

    Wood is wood. You use a 1 piece neck with any maker and you run the risk of the neck going south. But people love them and they sell like mad, and not every neck out there goes bad.

    I do agree on the sentiments on vintage criteria, but oftentimes these buyer types aren't even concerned if it's playable. A player knows what is good...and doesn't buy otherwise. Collectors see an investment.
  13. I hope this thread isn't coming off as a rip on Fender quality or construction. Fender is being singled out simply because Fender is the subject of the thread. Notice that lowphatbass qualifies his statement by writing that the neck is the weakest link on "most basses." Heck, I've heard about problems with graphite reinforced and laminated necks. How many thousands of basses has Fender produced over the past 50 years? Even if only 1% of their basses developed neck problems, that would still be a decent number of basses.
  14. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    It's the whole package.
  15. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    It is all about marketing strategies. It has absolutely nothing to do with the truth. What it comes down to is that it is easier to sell with the Fender name on it than without. Calling it a Fender bass with a replacement neck will sell it better than calling it a parts bass with a Fender body.