Bad boi Fender Inc

August 2019 is the first KVR Guitar Month so here's a new forum for discussion of all things guitar!
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telecode
KVRian
1114 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Post Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:05 pm

Jafo wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:33 pm
I think I am wrong. Sorry, all.

Although as far as the Mexican/American thing goes, while working at Guitar Center in my misspent youth I heard quite a few customers dissing anything Mexican on "principle" even though the MIM guitars were perfectly fine, and clearly a better deal, although the pups and switches were different. Their "principle" was nothing principled; and like all "Made in America" nonsense, profoundly racist. (But I repeat myself.)
I think things have changed with Fender corp and the image of its guitars in the last 20 or 25 years. If my memory is correct, 25 years ago only USA and Japan were on the radar for pro type buyers. I dont recall Mexican Fenders being talked about that much back then. Mexican came on the radar in last 10 or 15 years. I have 4 in my collection. 2 US made, 1 Japanese (but its stamped made in USA -- its a Frankenstein Strat) and a Mexican one. The Mexican is really good. On par with the US ones. The only thing it doesnt have is as good PUs -- and i cant be bothered to replace them -- but its setup and plays excellent right from the factory from day one. Priced about 1/3 of what a comparable US made one would go for up here.
Just a keep on a goin' a forward, without a single ounce of fear

Image

e-crooner
KVRist
143 posts since 22 Aug, 2019

Re: Bad boi Fender Inc

Post Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:25 pm

codec_spurt wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:11 pm
I had a Japanese 'Fender' Squier that was better (and cheaper) than what Fender were knocking out from the USA. While back now, but it all goes around in circles.
For some reason the excellent Marcus Miller Jazz Bass was also made in Japan, and many people say it was better than anything similar made by Fender in the US.

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The Noodlist
KVRian
1153 posts since 16 Aug, 2017 from UK

Re: Bad boi Fender Inc

Post Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:07 am

telecode wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:05 pm
I think things have changed with Fender corp and the image of its guitars in the last 20 or 25 years. If my memory is correct, 25 years ago only USA and Japan were on the radar for pro type buyers. I dont recall Mexican Fenders being talked about that much back then. Mexican came on the radar in last 10 or 15 years.
Tried a acquaintance's new MIM Strat in the mid 1990's, it was terrible to play, I have big hands and this maple neck and fretboard was like a 4X2 and super high action (which could have been tweaked), Circa £300 at the time.
The competition has since grown massively, cheaper quality instruments can now be produced with accuracy due to advancements in production technology.

Make a perfect neck and body, and use this as a template for a CNC machine. Same every time, dimensions and accuracy would be consistent, providing repeatable results. Of course, there would also be variations in materials.

Paying for the name?

I'd like to see Fender and Gibson on my guitars, but it ain't gonna happen. For the price of 1, I could buy 10 alternatives. With the current market I'd pay £170 -£200 tops for a guitar, for me at least.
Jack & Danny would be one of the brands I would choose, good spec and materials.

Like someone paying an extra £65 for having a logo on a t-shirt. I can see the reasoning for it, why not treat yourself to it, your worth it after all.

To me it means nothing, unless the product has super high standards that can't be had elsewhere.

Fender £700 - £1000 across the board for a standard.
Currently trying to turn noise into music. :neutral:

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vurt
addled muppet weed
51774 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Bad boi Fender Inc

Post Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:59 am

only fender i was tempted by was the ed obrian (radiohead) model. but it was only available in white and for a grand, id be terrified of dinking it :o
will throw a sustainiac on a 200 quid thing,no worries :hihi:

perhaps, if i was a better guitar player, id give a shit. but, i dont see the point in paying for a prestige instrument when i have mobility issues and even before that i wasnt great :lol:

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telecode
KVRian
1114 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Re: Bad boi Fender Inc

Post Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:27 pm

The Noodlist wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:07 am
telecode wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:05 pm
I think things have changed with Fender corp and the image of its guitars in the last 20 or 25 years. If my memory is correct, 25 years ago only USA and Japan were on the radar for pro type buyers. I dont recall Mexican Fenders being talked about that much back then. Mexican came on the radar in last 10 or 15 years.
Tried a acquaintance's new MIM Strat in the mid 1990's, it was terrible to play, I have big hands and this maple neck and fretboard was like a 4X2 and super high action (which could have been tweaked), Circa £300 at the time.
The competition has since grown massively, cheaper quality instruments can now be produced with accuracy due to advancements in production technology.

Make a perfect neck and body, and use this as a template for a CNC machine. Same every time, dimensions and accuracy would be consistent, providing repeatable results. Of course, there would also be variations in materials.

Paying for the name?

I'd like to see Fender and Gibson on my guitars, but it ain't gonna happen. For the price of 1, I could buy 10 alternatives. With the current market I'd pay £170 -£200 tops for a guitar, for me at least.
Jack & Danny would be one of the brands I would choose, good spec and materials.

Like someone paying an extra £65 for having a logo on a t-shirt. I can see the reasoning for it, why not treat yourself to it, your worth it after all.

To me it means nothing, unless the product has super high standards that can't be had elsewhere.

Fender £700 - £1000 across the board for a standard.
Hmm. Interesting perspective. I dont know. I can really feel and tell the difference in quality and playability of my higher end guitars compared to cheaper ones. But in a live setting with amps a thundering I just use the cheap dinged up ones.
Just a keep on a goin' a forward, without a single ounce of fear

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The Noodlist
KVRian
1153 posts since 16 Aug, 2017 from UK

Re: Bad boi Fender Inc

Post Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:09 pm

telecode wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:27 pm
Hmm. Interesting perspective. I dont know. I can really feel and tell the difference in quality and playability of my higher end guitars compared to cheaper ones. But in a live setting with amps a thundering I just use the cheap dinged up ones.
I've only played 1 American standard Stratocaster, the playability was top notch.
To be fair to Fender, they have expanded their products to cater for all budgets.
Currently trying to turn noise into music. :neutral:

User avatar
telecode
KVRian
1114 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Re: Bad boi Fender Inc

Post Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:01 am

The Noodlist wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:09 pm
telecode wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:27 pm
Hmm. Interesting perspective. I dont know. I can really feel and tell the difference in quality and playability of my higher end guitars compared to cheaper ones. But in a live setting with amps a thundering I just use the cheap dinged up ones.
I've only played 1 American standard Stratocaster, the playability was top notch.
To be fair to Fender, they have expanded their products to cater for all budgets.
I have three in my collection. a US 57 AVRI, a Frankenstein US (US parts, stamped made in USA but actually made in Japan -- during their transition phase in he 80s, a Mexican Tele, and used to own a US Tele which I regret getting rid of.

The AVRI is the most expensive in the collection and plays and feels the best but is useless live as I havent modified it. Great for studio. The Frenkenstein has been with me for 30 years and touring and all, it has been great and is heavily modified, the Mexi tele is amazing and when I try to recall how it stacks against the US tele I owned, I think they are similar.

All the squires I have ever tried I was always able to tell the different and never liked their feel. To me, the China made Fenders totally feel different and much poorer in quality. Maybe its a psychological think because I see the made in china printing -- who knows.
Just a keep on a goin' a forward, without a single ounce of fear

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codec_spurt
KVRAF
3736 posts since 21 Sep, 2005

Re: Bad boi Fender Inc

Post Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:27 pm

e-crooner wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:25 pm
codec_spurt wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:11 pm
I had a Japanese 'Fender' Squier that was better (and cheaper) than what Fender were knocking out from the USA. While back now, but it all goes around in circles.
For some reason the excellent Marcus Miller Jazz Bass was also made in Japan, and many people say it was better than anything similar made by Fender in the US.

Check out this guy if you want to buy a top quality Japanese Bass!

https://www.youtube.com/user/steweDbass/videos

He's legit with good communication. I haven't bought off him yet, but I probably will. He's happy to give a bit of time and help you find what you are looking for.

He exports all over the globe. A very good resource to know if you are in to Bass (and Japanese manufactured Bass especially). Shame he doesn't do guitar (I think he might sometimes).

And a very sick Bass player too!

He knows his provenance and the difference between Matsumoto and Matsumoku! He's also fairly reasonably priced, considering.

Check out Fujigen Gakki -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FujiGen

Building guitars from a long time back. Ghost building for Fender (et al) along the way. Now just knocking out top quality premium axes with all their acquired knowledge and tech.

Also based in Matsumoto (Japan). Just like the highly renowned Matsumoko (Aria Pro II et al).

They also made guitars for Hoshino Gakki (Ibanez) who aren't even a guitar maker, just a factory.

The Japanese are pretty much the top guitar builders in the world at this point. Certainly when it comes to higher runs. But again, with quality comes price. They don't use 'cheap labour' and a guitar from there will probably cost you more than one from the USA (including import duty). So it has all come full circle in a way.

I got a Japanese Super Strat but it was awful. Needed new nut, new set up, new action. But, it didn't take much to get that guitar going, all for a few bucks and a set up from someone that kind of (half-knew) what they were doing. A hundred bucks!

That guitar was probably practice for someone in Japan. A guitar from Indonesia (Samick) would have been better out the box. But still. Samick is a Korean company by the way. It's complex...

When you buy an Aria Pro II guitar today in the UK, you have no idea if it is made in Indonesia or Korea, or even Japan. Kind of. If you get to see the guitar in the shop and know your serial number designations, then you can kind of tell. But even then...

Does it matter? They are all low priced, high quality (for the most part). And you can't get much better for your money.

A Japanese Strat made in Fujigen Gakki today though will cost you about a thousand bucks (plus shipping). And worth it if you have the cash. It will be of absolutely outstanding quality though. You can pretty quickly get up to spending 4-5K on a guitar from Japan, especially from other boutique designers.

It's a very murky but endlessly fascinating world.
"you're all GUI whores." - banned KVR member 'snooky'.

tapper mike
KVRAF
5107 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: Bad boi Fender Inc

Post Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:43 am

Here's my take as I've own all three CIC,MIM,USA. And still own a pair of MIM's and a pair of CIC's (Tele's and Charvel/Jackson


The USA's are always impeccable and they have the highest quality of hardware. Hardware upgrades don't equate to the total value though. I had a Strat Plus since before it was called a strat plus. Did over 1000 gigs with it. Never needed as much as a neck adjustment after the 2nd year. The lace sensors while not being fully noise cancelling worked more than well enough for me. I know that the N4's are amazing.

The MIM's always have sharp frets and need a dressing. Yep I've got a Blacktop Modified Tele and a Charvel Pro Mod. They both have the compound radius neck and are solid pieces of wood. Though the finish on the tele has a little bit to be desired. The saddles on the tele have some serious mass to them and overall it's a fine guitar. The pro mod has the same issues with fret dressing has about the same neck the fit and finish are good but not like a USA.

The CIC's although they have the same nut width listed as the MIM's are actually slightly more narrow. The CIC has a flawless honey burst finish and a standard C profile 9.5 radius that I love to tears. That being said the CIC pups in it are for shite. I keep on saying to myself swap them out for some SD's but I never get around to it. The bridge on the tele is... fair and functional.

The CIC Jackson Dinky is stunning in it's trans red finish It's an eye catcher as opposed to the MIM with blood red trans that is impossible to see the flames unless you shine a cell phone on it and look hard. While the MIM Charvel has SD's front and back (TB4's) The CIC has "Jackson" branded pups which are a very cheap imitation of emgs. They are somewhat dark alnico5 and I think it's a compromise as the neck being thin and the body being light you need something to make the sound not too thin. The MIM charvel has a real real floyd rose with a heavy plate and a very solid block good saddles. I have a trem blocker system which prevents it from going up. On the other hand the CIC jackson has a jackson branded floyd rose type with a smaller block and thinner plate. It also has a little wobble between up and down. Nor can it lock into position very well. And still.... Love the CIC jackson less than enthusiastic about the MIM Charvel.

In order to sell more Fender products they have to tier them out at different price points and different features. Cadillac, Buick, Chevy. Saturn = USA, Mexico, China, Squier.

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
6953 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: Bad boi Fender Inc

Post Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:56 am

The Noodlist wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:07 am
telecode wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:05 pm
I think things have changed with Fender corp and the image of its guitars in the last 20 or 25 years. If my memory is correct, 25 years ago only USA and Japan were on the radar for pro type buyers. I dont recall Mexican Fenders being talked about that much back then. Mexican came on the radar in last 10 or 15 years.
Tried a acquaintance's new MIM Strat in the mid 1990's, it was terrible to play, I have big hands and this maple neck and fretboard was like a 4X2 and super high action (which could have been tweaked), Circa £300 at the time.
The competition has since grown massively, cheaper quality instruments can now be produced with accuracy due to advancements in production technology.
I have to disagree about the quality of MIMs back then. I shopped for and owned a couple MIMs in the mid 90's and they were quite good quality actually. Squiers were dogshit then but the mexicans were good. They perhaps didn't have the consistency of precision of the americans so you might have to try a few but they were excellent value and they were even cheaper comparatively than today to the americans. I'm not sure the build has improved that much but the pickups probably have. Squiers on the other hand have improved massively in all ways since then.
This is a block of text that can be added to posts you make. There is a 255 character limit. Once I have something clever, I will certainly fill it in.

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masterhiggins
KVRAF
2128 posts since 31 Dec, 2004 from People's Republic of Minnesota

Re: Bad boi Fender Inc

Post Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:56 am

I started out on a ‘94 MIM 5 string Fender jazz bass. The quality wasn’t really there. It wouldn’t stay in tune to save its life. And the passive single coils were always noisy and the jack cut out after awhile, but man did I love the sound and feel of it. Wish I never would’ve sold it.

e-crooner
KVRist
143 posts since 22 Aug, 2019

Re: Bad boi Fender Inc

Post Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:52 am

codec_spurt wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:27 pm
e-crooner wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:25 pm
codec_spurt wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:11 pm
I had a Japanese 'Fender' Squier that was better (and cheaper) than what Fender were knocking out from the USA. While back now, but it all goes around in circles.
For some reason the excellent Marcus Miller Jazz Bass was also made in Japan, and many people say it was better than anything similar made by Fender in the US.

Check out this guy if you want to buy a top quality Japanese Bass!

https://www.youtube.com/user/steweDbass/videos

He's legit with good communication. I haven't bought off him yet, but I probably will. He's happy to give a bit of time and help you find what you are looking for.

He exports all over the globe. A very good resource to know if you are in to Bass (and Japanese manufactured Bass especially). Shame he doesn't do guitar (I think he might sometimes).

And a very sick Bass player too!

He knows his provenance and the difference between Matsumoto and Matsumoku! He's also fairly reasonably priced, considering.

Check out Fujigen Gakki -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FujiGen

Building guitars from a long time back. Ghost building for Fender (et al) along the way. Now just knocking out top quality premium axes with all their acquired knowledge and tech.

Also based in Matsumoto (Japan). Just like the highly renowned Matsumoko (Aria Pro II et al).

They also made guitars for Hoshino Gakki (Ibanez) who aren't even a guitar maker, just a factory.

The Japanese are pretty much the top guitar builders in the world at this point. Certainly when it comes to higher runs. But again, with quality comes price. They don't use 'cheap labour' and a guitar from there will probably cost you more than one from the USA (including import duty). So it has all come full circle in a way.

I got a Japanese Super Strat but it was awful. Needed new nut, new set up, new action. But, it didn't take much to get that guitar going, all for a few bucks and a set up from someone that kind of (half-knew) what they were doing. A hundred bucks!

That guitar was probably practice for someone in Japan. A guitar from Indonesia (Samick) would have been better out the box. But still. Samick is a Korean company by the way. It's complex...

When you buy an Aria Pro II guitar today in the UK, you have no idea if it is made in Indonesia or Korea, or even Japan. Kind of. If you get to see the guitar in the shop and know your serial number designations, then you can kind of tell. But even then...

Does it matter? They are all low priced, high quality (for the most part). And you can't get much better for your money.

A Japanese Strat made in Fujigen Gakki today though will cost you about a thousand bucks (plus shipping). And worth it if you have the cash. It will be of absolutely outstanding quality though. You can pretty quickly get up to spending 4-5K on a guitar from Japan, especially from other boutique designers.

It's a very murky but endlessly fascinating world.
Thanks for the info.
Yes, I agree that the Japanese are the best manufacturers, not just of guitars. They don't like sloppiness and are proud of the work they do. And it shows.
Since you mention Samick, I used to have a Samick bass, it was very well made, perfect frets for instance. Perfectly machined wooden components. Perfect finish. Amazing quality for the price.

codec_spurt
KVRAF
3736 posts since 21 Sep, 2005

Re: Bad boi Fender Inc

Post Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:04 pm

e-crooner wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:52 am
codec_spurt wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:27 pm
e-crooner wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:25 pm
codec_spurt wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:11 pm
I had a Japanese 'Fender' Squier that was better (and cheaper) than what Fender were knocking out from the USA. While back now, but it all goes around in circles.
For some reason the excellent Marcus Miller Jazz Bass was also made in Japan, and many people say it was better than anything similar made by Fender in the US.

....

Thanks for the info.
Yes, I agree that the Japanese are the best manufacturers, not just of guitars. They don't like sloppiness and are proud of the work they do. And it shows.
Since you mention Samick, I used to have a Samick bass, it was very well made, perfect frets for instance. Perfectly machined wooden components. Perfect finish. Amazing quality for the price.

I ordered a standard Aria Pro II strat off of Amazon. It was a good price, and the last one in stock, so...

I ended up getting a totally different guitar. Still an Aria Pro II, but a much more expensive model. Let me find it...

Image


Image

This guitar was going for nearly twice the price. What a great mistake!

Then I plugged it in and tried to play it.

Debbie Downer! :roll:

The nut was cut totally wrong. The action was totally out of whack. The intonation was totally non-existent. It was unplayable.

But boy, it sure did look good with that lovely 'Jewel Blue' paint job that reminded my of my old Ibanez RG!

So I got to work. I took out my files and I hacked away. An hour later I had a very playable guitar. I re-cut the nut. I pulled the action down. I set the intonation. And fell in love :hug:


The thing is, with this guitar, it was made in Japan. Not only did it still have the shop sticker on it (in Japanese), it had the serial mark of guitars made in Japan. They obviously had not been able to sell it. How the hell it ended up here at the other end of the world I have no idea.

Then again, if you had played it, totally out of tune. Totally unable to be tuned. Action you could ride a bus under. Well, this was a red-headed step-child of a guitar alright. It was one step away from being burned in a heap. In fact, they even had to resort to subterfuge to even farm it out.

I called them up: So I ordered this guitar, you sent me another type.

Oh, we're sorry, we'll pick it up in 48 hours and send out the one we should have.

This is a guitar that no one could move. Made in Japan!

And there was nothing wrong with it! Nothing that a quick nut re-cut from a rank amateur like me couldn't solve anyway. Take the strings down. Re-intonate on the saddles. Pretty damn good!

This guitar is a joy to play. It really does play like a 200 dollar instrument rather than the 100 dollars I paid for it.

But no one, ever, novice or expert, would have ever entertained this guitar before this basic 'work'. It was out of whack in every way possible that a guitar can be out of whack in.

I love this guitar now, and it will never leave my side. The pups are a bit harsh, but that neck! Every fret is just about bang on as well. Needs very very minimal fretwork. Just about no buzz at all and I've taken it lower than I dare to on most of my other axes. It would be a shredder's delight...

90 quid off Amazon. UK. Made in Japan. Needed some serious hacking (literally). The weight, the balance, the neck, even the colour are absolutely top-notch.

So, how did this happen?

Obviously made in a Japanese factory (unless it was imported in to Japan from a nearby Asian country). The serial number says it was made in a Japanese factory. How did they get it so wrong?

I have no answer to that. Maybe someone was having a bad day. Maybe two guys were having a bad day and one of them tried to make it better but only made it worse. It's an anomaly.

But it's not a reject. The neck is straight and true. The frets are just about perfect. All the electronics work (even if the pups aren' the best ever).

The neck is very slim in fact. In fact, it does remind me a lot of my Ibanez RG in Jewel Blue that I got rid of years back. I think I'm going to put a serious trem system on this one. *

I even like the pups when all is said and done.

* Just not another Floyd-Rose from hell. Never again...
"you're all GUI whores." - banned KVR member 'snooky'.

e-crooner
KVRist
143 posts since 22 Aug, 2019

Re: Bad boi Fender Inc

Post Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:45 pm

I am no expert, but in my view Aria has never enjoyed the same great reputation as ESP, Yamaha and Ibanez.

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