What price will you pay for a Custom Shop bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ChainGang70, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. Midak


    Sep 4, 2011
    Athens, Greece
    All the coolness in the world. :cool::smug:

    Thank you very much, B-line! :)
    eigentone likes this.
  2. BIGEJ2

    BIGEJ2 Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    Sorry I missed the sarcasm. Like any bass, they aren't for everyone.

    My personal experience was just the opposite of yours. I've had several Fender CS basses (Custom Classic, Proto and '66 Relic) jazz including a Masterbuilt ('55 P). Going into a Sadowsky, I expected it to be marginally better then a CS. Figured I was paying for the name and proprietary electronics. Everything about this bass is heads and shoulders above even the Masterbuilt. Don't get me wrong, Fender makes a very nice bass. But my NYC Sadowsky is in a whole other league.
    Ace Of Bass likes this.
  3. Midak


    Sep 4, 2011
    Athens, Greece
    Personally, even though I haven't played one, I have great respect for Sadowsky basses. I do have the same respect for a lot of other boutique builders and I hope that one day I will have a higher-end, more modern bass.

    But as far as vintage and old-school goes, my Fender CS is the one. The organic and full of character sound, the top quality, the legacy, nostalgia, everything is in the package. Wouldn't mind if it was or if it will be my one and only bass, I would love it even more. :)
    Ace Of Bass and Mantis Tobaggan like this.
  4. Callused Finger

    Callused Finger

    Feb 22, 2007
    New York
    Used.. $1500-$2000.
    Son of Wobble likes this.
  5. Why even get an American Vintage or Std? SX basses are $11.
    MrRobert and Ace Of Bass like this.
  6. There are plenty of opportunities to buy FCS basses used. If it's not your thing, it's usually easy to resell without a loss. Buying any new instrument incurs that initial loss (roughly 30% below MAP for any common P Bass, J Bass, Tele, Strat -- then a little more when it is discontinued).

    That said, a lot of people with 2007 CS instruments are roughly breaking even on their instruments they originally bought new 10 years later because of Fender's price hikes over the past decade.

    In my case, my CS P Bass is a '57. Buying a vintage 57 would run about $7k-$13k (Reverb Price Guide). For the same price I spent on the CS, I have many options for Mid- and Late-70s P Basses. Honestly, I am not usually impressed when I have picked up those Mid-Late 70s instruments in shops. I've had much better luck when pulling CS instruments off the racks, compared to 70s Fenders. I'd also have some options in the early 70s, but really if I am going to go vintage I'd probably be looking at spending at least 2x-3x the CS for one I really wanted.

    Also, the vintage markets do drop. This typically happens when there are bubble bursts. Recently: 2008 Housing Bubble and following recession and 2001 Dot Com Bubble. Plus, there are a lot of fakes out there. The vintage markets have recovered since and probably always will at this point for 50s/60s Fenders, but it's worth noting that these classics were quite undesirable (and very affordable) for a good part of the 70s and 80s.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
    StrangerDanger likes this.
  7. Ace Of Bass

    Ace Of Bass A Rooster Illusion

    Jun 27, 2006
    No doubt Sadowskys are very nice, but they've tweaked their sound to the point where they're a whole 'nother animal...if I wanted a Fender-y sound, I'd probably check yet another one out...as Midak said above, when you want that organic true Fender tone, FCS delivers..for a more modern Jazz sound though, i wouldn't go Madterbuilt for sure,id probably go to Sadowsky or buy another Copollo......that sound is definitely what's happenin'....
    Midak likes this.
  8. Save your money, buy a moollon.
  9. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    i paid $1800 for my most expensive custom (pretty reasonable actually!). it was worth it, as it was intended as a life long keeper. however, as an investment, it was terrible. would not command near that price if I sold. my first custom, which was $1700 is a better bass. both will be with me til I am no longer breathing.
  10. fingerguy

    fingerguy Inactive

    Aug 2, 2016
    Depends on who you ask. The thing is too many people think that if they hang onto a guitar for x-amount of years it will be worth a lot and that isn't always the case. I seen/heard people buying and getting all excited over bass's and guitars from the 50's and 60's but I never ever hear the same reaction for same in the 80's & 90;s.

    Hell, I wanted a Steinberger and the ones worth buying were being redone and guy selling them for 3 to 4k just because they are hard to find. But in the end, IMHO they are not worth that. But if you have to have one, you will be willing to pay his prices.

    But here is my answer, IF I was having a guitar or bass full customized, then that means I have stupid money to spend, and in that case there is no limit.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
  11. BIGEJ2

    BIGEJ2 Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    Fender CS does nail the vintage tone and vibe. Before going with Sadowsky, I toyed around with the idea of a CS Jaguar. Spoke with the dealer and the CS about ordering one. There was just too much of an unknown to throw down that kind of cash for it. With Sadowsky, I already knew what to expect. It was just a matter of nailing down options.

    If I was in the market for a vintage Fender, I would certainly go with a new CS over paying vintage prices. I don't know much about Copollo but I understand he really excels at 5-stringers.
    Ace Of Bass and Midak like this.
  12. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    The only reason I would buy custom or boutique is to find the combination of options (35" Scale, "1.75 nut, etc) I want that aren't avaialble stock and I probably wouldn't be willing to pay the premium to have the "Fender" name on the headstock.

    So far I lucked out finding a used Carlo that met my prefferences for around $2k and I had a new Wendler made for around $1400.

    At this point it's hard to imagine spending more than $2k on any electric instrument but if I wanted to buy something vintage-styled and handmade and was willing to drop $3-4k, I'd probably go with Lakland or Carlo. They can nail the vintage thing and they're local and awesome. If I'm going to drop that kind of cash, it's great to be able to meet builders in person and know that if anything goes wrong I can drive strait to the factory and get it sorted out.
  13. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    Until Fender decides to give a broader range of options, nothing.
  14. BIGEJ2

    BIGEJ2 Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    What options would you need that they can't do?

    Ace Of Bass likes this.
  15. Mantis Tobaggan

    Mantis Tobaggan Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2015
    Tampa, FL
    Wow what are you getting?
  16. My point is that if you want to buy a cs jazz that will hold its' value it has to be basically an American Pro Jazz. The more you stray from the American Pro the more it will depreciate.
  17. Sure, they can do it, but that's a heck of a lot of dough for something most luthiers can easily do for about 1/3rd the FCS price tag.
    Caca de Kick likes this.
  18. That's not been my observation - taking the above as an absolute.

    As one example, vintage repros from a variety of years hold their value well. In fact, I'd say CS basses with these modernizations depreciate more quickly than the vintage repros. Look at CS basses from 10 and 20 years ago. Do you really want an active preamp or noiseless pickups that are 15 years old? Meanwhile, 63 Precisions and Teles haven't gone out of style in that time.

    Sure, many odd-spec'ed, odd-colored, or odd-ornamented basses and guitars will take a big hit because there is a much narrower market.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
  19. Ace Of Bass

    Ace Of Bass A Rooster Illusion

    Jun 27, 2006
    The ebony makes them sound too bright for me...
    eigentone likes this.
  20. It's a very personal matter how much one is willing to pay for an instrument. With guitars and basses we benefit from huge scales of economies that aren't afforded to some less popular instruments. As well, we don't have historical pedigree with the orchestral realm where it remains very common to look at an instrument as being a lifetime investment in your chosen art, as opposed to an opportunity to "save money", appreciate or retain resale values, and whatever other bullsh!t we tell ourselves about instruments that we purchase. Take a gander at the DB classifieds to get an idea of what I'm talking about. And don't worry so much about defining value of your instrument as if it is just another commodity good. The last time I checked you couldn't bring soundwave induced joy to a roomful of people with a package of toilet paper unless it were somehow incorporated into an epic fart joke.
    Son of Wobble likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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