I have owned three basses over the years, I’ve played with other people, and I’ve known other bass players and none of us ever used Fender. We were young and the price made it prohibitive. However, Fender always got all the hype.
I have played a Fender in a guitar store (not the best environment) and I was never really wowed by the sound. Good bass sound but expensive and other cheaper basses had ‘good’ bass sounds too.
I’m older now, have a little bit more money, and have a whole different set of expectations.
I went to my local Guitar Center to play around with as many basses as possible. I was trying to get an idea of what I really wanted and specifically, what felt good in my hands. To keep myself focused on that one aspect, I didn’t plug any of them in. That will be a different days experiment.
I had decide I wasn’t interested in Fender. They seem heavy, clunky, and I tend to doubt anything surrounded by that much hype. After 12 - 15 different basses I picked up a Made in Mexico Fender P Bass. I was completely ready to scoff at all the hype since this bass didn’t have anything I thought I wanted.
Now… I’m kind of embarrassed by how wrong I was and how quickly and completely I had written Fender off. I liked it. A lot. More than any other bass I picked up. I tried a MIM Fender Jazz Bass, it was great too. I tried the Fender Short Scale Mustang, still liked it. I was, and am still, a bit taken back by how much I liked these basses and how much they seemed to fit me better than any of the others.
I still haven’t decided to get it. What I thought I wanted was a TRBX 304. They don’t carry them. At least, not at this store. I found a different place near by that does have a used TRBX 304 in like new condition and I’m going to go try it out before I make any decision. I’m also going to go back to those Fenders, plug them in and give their sound another listen to with the TRBX in mind.
This brings me to my questions for the good people of BassBuzz.
What is it about Fender that makes it more than just the hype?
For those of you that can afford the Fenders why do you use anything else?
Feel free to geek out and give terribly in depth answers.