Who REALLY makes your bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mbell75, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. mbell75


    May 23, 2016
    This was posted in another thread here but thought it deserved its own. Very informative video that had me thinking and just reinforcing my belief that you are mostly paying for the name on the headstock. Some of you may know this but there are a lot here who don't. Thoughts?

  2. B-Mac

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

    There’s another vid from Mr. McKnight that’s a follow up to this
    mbell75 likes this.
  3. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Doesn't make any difference to me who made mine, only who plays them.
    Same thing with strings.
  4. mikeoso

    mikeoso Acoustic Curmudgeon

    Feb 14, 2014
    eastern Iowa
    Six of my guitars and basses are Martins, built in a factory in PA by a company that's been 100% owned by the same family since it was founded in 1833. One is a Tacoma, built in their factory in Tacoma before Fender bought and closed it. My Mota was built by a guy named Jose Mota in his basement in Rhode Island. No mysteries here.
    Duder, Charlzm, Justinian and 18 others like this.
  5. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Building a guitar isn't very challenging technically. Manufacturers can do it well and will be able to build anything. Quality will vary on the amount of money you give to your builder.
    To use a food analogy, the same cook can prepare burgers and chateaubriand.
  6. Hundred proof

    Hundred proof

    Apr 22, 2018
    Interesting however I already knew most of this, my 2002 EBMM says it’s made in California and my 1983 Peavey from Meridian Mississippi, I’ll take them at their word.
  7. c10


    Apr 10, 2005
    Naperville, IL
    Is there a text summary of this? I couldn't get past the mouth noises.
  8. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    He may be totally right (or not), but when he can't even spell a number of the companies, there is a limit to how much stock you can put in his words.
  9. In a global(ist) economy where stuff is made literally all over the map, it goes way beyond basses/headstocks. Look up the manufacturer of your jeans, sneakers, A/C unit and run that name against the actual country where the goods were produced.

    Some people are happy about this and some are not. We all have our decisions to make and are free to vote with our wallet(s). I make every attempt to do so according to my own beliefs, but YMMV.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  10. GregC

    GregC Questlove, Black Thought, Hamilton Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    I watched the whole thing. Here are my thoughts.

    1. Is there truly any deception actually going on? "Duncan Designed" isn't a lie, the name makes it pretty clear that they're not the same as actual Seymour Duncan-made pickups. And the only basses I've seen those pickups on are sub-$500, so it's not as if you're really "paying for the name." He mentioned Grover tuners but didn't say whether the outsourced ones are labeled differently (there's a significant lack of detail throughout the video, by the way). I can't think of a bass that uses Grovers off the top of my head, anyway. Happy to be corrected, though.

    2. The other stuff he didn't seem to have a problem with, and for good reason. As he said himself, companies like Samick build for others, but it's to their particular specifications. Samick makes some inexpensive instruments under their own name, but that does not mean at ALL that they are on the same quality level as the instruments Samick makes for others. I think he said Gretsch Electromatics are made by Samick, and those models are pretty universally regarded as being great values.

    3. Back to the lack of detail--is it really damning when he says that Fender and Gibson use OEM-outsourced parts for "some" instruments? I mean, which ones? If it's something that's purported to be MIA and costs maybe $1500 or more, then yes, that's not cool. OTOH, if it's only on $600 MIM instruments, no big deal especially if the quality is there. Similar thought when it comes to the mention of Conklin and Elrick--those companies have high-dollar models, but is he saying specifically that those models have cheap bridges and tuners on them? No idea.

    Bottom line, I don't see how this reinforces your beliefs.
  11. Gibson does, on several models including the SG Bass.
  12. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    The only name I’m seeing at the moment is the Styx song “Too Much Time On My Hands”.
  13. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    I have 2 basses of relatively decent manufacture, and both are MIC, I believe at the Yako plant.
    I have 4 other basses which are all MIJ, and are all Fuji Gen Gakki.

    All were acquired used, so political concerns weren't concerns. Bought based purely on quality and price.
    Charlzm, StyleOverShow, EdO. and 2 others like this.
  14. mbell75


    May 23, 2016
    Well there are many people who see something like “Fender designed” pickups and assume they are actual Fender pickups. We’ve had that very discussion here in a Squier thread. Easy to see how someone not really aware of what these terms mean could be confused. As for his example of Grover, he covers guitars more than basses, so this really isn’t a video for bass players.

    Yes, it reinforces my belief that you are paying for the name on the headstock. Squier for instance, is able to charge more money because they can put Fender on their headstock and in the pickup description. Some even say “Fender designed” for the bridges and tuners too. Put the same parts on bass or guitar with a blank headstock and leave out the Fender designed descriptions and that’s probably a $150 instrument. Really similar to the cheap, no name basses using random Chinese parts that go for $70 online. Add all that Fender designed stuff in and all the sudden, it’s a $300-$500 instrument.
  15. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    I don't care who made it... as long as it was on a Monday, I'm good.
    JRA, Relayer71, Flaked Beans and 18 others like this.
  16. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    On Friday, the workers are drunk, on Monday, hungover.

    At least that was the joke about Fender in the mid-70s.
    Charlzm, smogg, MattZilla and 4 others like this.
  17. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Good thing I varied my arsenal. :D.
    Wisebass likes this.
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Couldn't care less, quite actually.
  19. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    hi guys :)


    No way! I can' t stand a headache! I am the Friday afternoon type! :wacky:

    Tuesday to Thursday they were stoned! :laugh:


  20. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    That was as indicative to 70’s autos too.