Guitar Quality Rant - Have you looked at a Fender lately? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-03-2001, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 101
Guitar Quality Rant - Have you looked at a Fender lately?

Let me start by saying I'm not a Fender man, I'm an Ibanez man; BUT, I know the joys of a good Strat too.
While at Mars Music earlier this week, I had some time to kill as a friend completed a deal with a salesperson. *I walked up to a Strat on display and the literature on display and stickers on the guitar were telling me that this was the NEW American Standard series. *I'm thinking that it means Fender has cleaned up their act and are making better quality guitars now, so I start my visual inspection. *Verdict:
JUNK. *I was very depressed to look at the guitar. *The fretwork was worse than any Korean guitar I've ever seen, let alone American. *The frets were not all seated well, were not beveled consistantly on the edge and, get this, the frets weren't crowned. *They had been leveld down, but someone had given the recrown about 2 minutes of their time not getting the job done and leaving file marks all over every fret.
The nut had so much material around the strings that I knew the first twang on the bar would send it in to out-of-tune land.
The fit and finish of the guitar and hardware was pretty good. *Some pickguard screws were not straight into the body, and two of the machine heads were had not been tightened all the way and were wabbling. *I didn't even play the guitar due to the sick fretwork.
I repair guitars as a hobby and the fretwork on this guitar was shamefull. *If I ever had anything leave my shop looking like that, you'ld better shoot me. *All this on a guitar that retails for over a grand?
As more and more guitar makers look to Korea to build the majority of their line, I am starting to understand why. *Americans (actually, I should say Fender,) take no pride in producing a good production guitar.
Any other horror stories or observations?
Kyle Odom is offline  
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-03-2001, 11:28 AM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 739
Guitar Quality Rant

I think the quality of most low-mid price guitars today is relatively inconsistent. Ibanez does pretty good with the Japanese RG's but I've seen some pretty ridiculous boners slip through. The Fender American Standard is not really a high-end guitar - it certainly isn't in the same league as a Prestige or Jem - so you have to expect to look around some to find a good one. And it's not just the neck finishing that's at issue - the quality of the woods used and the finish itself are other issues that must be looked at closely. About the only thing you can be sure of is that the hardware is the same across the board, but be sure to check the trem for proper alignment, and intonate the guitar before you leave the store...

I have three Fender's from 1997 & 1998 - a Nashville Tele, a California Strat, and a Jazzmaster RI. They were made in Mexico, Mexico-USA and Japan, respectively, but they could all have come from the same factory - in regards to fit and finish, each is excellent. I owned a US Standard Strat when I bought my California (which was painted in Mexico, but cut and assembled in the US plant with US hardware) and promptly sold the US guitar to pay for it and a pickup upgrade. With the benefit of the original Van Zandt Blues pickups I have in it now, my California Strat is superior in tone and playability to any non-Custom Shop strat I've ever seen (still would like to get a JJ Hellecasters sig strat, tho'!)
Jimi D is offline  

air guitar , custom shop , korean guitar , neck finish , pickguard screws

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