The following was posted within the “Is Fender Aggressive?” thread, but is really an answer to a different question than the OP asked there. I thought that asking the question above in its own, separate, thread might generate some interesting discussion. In the “Is Fender Aggressive” thread @mattj1stc stated that he thought Fender “aren’t really doing much to move things forward around bass. They mostly rely on the long standing, traditional appeal of their Precision and Jazz models.” I am in general agreement and posted this: “So if Fender isn’t doing much to move the bass forward, who out there is? I think Mike Tobias’ MTD basses are a step in a different direction or at least an evolution, but they are what they are and have been now for some time (with all due respect), not a lot of “new” designs coming out of Kingston lately to my knowledge. Dingwall put multi-scale/fanned-fret basses into the mainstream. Alembic and Fodera basses are unique, but again not “new” anymore. I look back at BC Rich’s designs in from back in the day, they definitely took the “look” of bass design in a new direction. Weren’t my cup of tea back then (when I was in high school) and not my cup of tea now, but they were different. Steinberger moved the needle for a while with the body-less head-less design, but again, they tend to be an afterthought or at least a very “time-period” identifiable design vs. a “classic”, at least IMO. So who’s knocking it out of the park now? Who’s putting something out there that is revolutionary or at least evolutionary? I’m asking because I honestly don’t know. Status, Modulus and some others are/have been working with new materials (graphite) for a bass, but that is one of the few “new-ish” things I’ve seen lately, but I honestly haven’t been looking too hard. It appears to me that those who are recognized around here for putting out top-notch products are in many cases focused on “perfecting” well-worn, often Fender-based designs (@Sadowsky, Lull, @Nino Valenti, Nash, Sandberg, Lakin/Lakland, Olinto). No disrespect intended to any of those builders listed, they are producing exceptional instruments and all, IMO, are indeed an improvement over the “original” designs. Professional musicians, in my experience (especially those making a living exclusively from playing music) actually tend to be pretty conservative when it comes to the tools used to do their job (at least until they get to the point of not worrying about the next paycheck). There are tools out there (Precision & Jazz basses, Stratocaster & Les Paul guitars) that seem to do the job so well, it makes it tough to do a lot other than work around the margins to “perfect” an already great design.” I’ll note that both the Stingray and G&L MFD-equipped basses also “moved the needle”, IMO. The fact that Leo Fender had a hand in both doesn’t decrease their impact. A very long way of asking, if Fender isn’t being aggressive in moving the needle with bass design (and I think it’s pretty clear that they are not), who is right now?