Fender quality control

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Buzz1ightyear, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. larsongs

    larsongs TDPRI Member

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    I'm talking about new Fender unbound Tele's of the past 2 years. Even at the last Winter NAMM Show every ne Tele I picked up had rough Fret edges. The Guitars traveled from Mexico or Corona, Ca. to Anaheim, Ca. & they were brand new. So the weather & humidity excuse doesn't fly.

    I've had Fender refuse to do Warranty work on a brand new Guitar that had a twisted Nevk out of the box. Luckily, I sent it back & got a refund.

    I've have several Gibsons & Epiphones. They have never refused to do Warranty work. In fact I send them directly to Gibson/Epiphone & the Warranty work is done at the Factory level. All came back perfect.

    Don't get me wrong I love my Fenders. But they're not the current crop that's coming out right now..
     
  2. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Holic

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    You must be the most unfortunate man on Earth -- to have to send several Gibson, Epiphone & a Fender back for warranty work??
     
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  3. bsman

    bsman Friend of Leo's

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    I currently have three MIM Fenders: A 2009 telecaster and a 2017 Duo Sonic, both of which have perfect necks in terms of smooth fret ends, and a 2017/18 Standard strat (picked up new-in-box for $399) that has a couple of fret ends on the treble side I've been thinking about filing. I figure for that price, I'm not going to quibble if it require a few minutes of work to make perfect. Interestingly, the neck profiles are all just a bit difference, with the Duo Sonic being the "fattest" the strat the "thinnest" and the tele the "just-rightest"!
     
  4. larsongs

    larsongs TDPRI Member

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    It's been 3-4 Guitars out of about 40 Guitars over several years. Not unfortunate. Stuff happens. Gibson was excellent to work with & I got them back better than new perfectly repaired & Set up from the Factory.

    Fender is mediocre at best when it comes to after Sale Service in my experience.
     
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  5. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Wow... 40 Guitars over several years.

    I’ve had several guitars over 40 years. I wouldn’t know what to do with 40 guitars or where to put them for that matter.
     
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  6. hellopike

    hellopike Tele-Afflicted

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    Once I had four guitars. I didn’t know what to do with so many. @larsongs
     
  7. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    This is a curious thing, because I don't know of any guitar that comes setup if the retail shop doesn't do it.

    A setup takes time, and minor corrections add to the cost of the guitar. I wouldn't pay extra to have someone do it. If the shop does it, that's fine, but I wouldn't pay extra for it, and the manufacturers likely know that's the case.

    If you look at the cost of old gibsons, especially things like banjos and hollowbodies, the prices of them were a very substantial fraction of wages for people, sometimes two months of a skilled laborer. I doubt they were set up.

    I'm assuming that Phil may have gotten the guitar assuming a setup is included (like what sweetwater says they do). I remember him doing a video where he compared a sweetwater guitar to one that came directly from fender and found that the sweetwater setup was good and the fender setup was, lacking a little. Sweetwater eats that cost, and a person not in the business writes that off as "well, it's just $20 of cost to the retailer". Most of the retailers operate at break even or in deficit assuming they'll grow and then be able to raise prices (presumably that's what guitar center's issue was). The indy retailers that continue to make it are usually in buildings they own and have for years, or in the case of my home town (hanover, pa), one retailer lives in the upstairs of his shop, and the other sells sheet music and band instruments. I doubt the latter would make it selling guitars.

    When ed roman started writing rants on his page, I used to read them. I recall him saying that some retailers would claim that they couldn't ship a guitar under tension, in his opinion only because they could use that as an excuse to avoid setting up guitars. He was probably right. The internet has made retailers much more uniform and honest.

    I remember buying an ibanez jem 10th in 1996 or 1998 or something at links music in hanover, pa, and it was $1999 brand new. When retailers started going online, some sold the guitars for as much as $2999. Same guitar. You'd never find that large of a difference these days.
     
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  8. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    I would! to both of those.

    I had a gibson that was so far beyond needing warranty work (but was young and didn't know what was wrong with it). Several years later, I learned with an "S" is in a neck when I finally took it to a good shop. The first couple just tried to set it up by finagling the truss rod and bridge. The last shop pointed out the S, and then pointed out Gibson's handy work to try to correct it before shipping. They filed the low side of the last four or five frets almost down to the fingerboard - flat - and I guess just gave up.

    I ate that one. 18 years old, the equivalent of $1800 today. I sold it for salvage - it hurt. The choice was to spend about $600 to have a repaired guitar, or sell it for $550 and just walk away from it. I chose the latter. I doubt it would've been worth $1150 repaired. Since it took me a while (as a college kid) to figure it out, and it was before the era of connected internet wisdom like we have now, gibson said "well, sad story that one, but you've had it too long, we can't help you out".

    Never bought a brand new fender, so never had to try fenders.

    I did get three deluxe teles in the last month. One mex, two americans. One of the americans is a little older and has a fat profile neck, and the second one is identical to the light blue one phil showed in the video above. The one with the fat neck, someone replaced the switch on it and said the fender switch was "flimsy". I'll bet that the guitar fell over and they didn't want to include that. It shows no sign of falling over, but I've received tokai LS guitars from japan with the switch broken off and all four plastic knobs broken into pieces with no visible sign of damage to the guitars (there's too much space in the case and they can bang around).

    At any rate, I LOVE the blue deluxe similar to the one shown in the video above. I got a hundred or two off of it used because the shop that had it said the nut was cut too low on a few strings. When I got it, it was one string. It took ten minutes to fix (I have a fret file set as a beginning maker, but I'd have managed without it if necessary) with baking soda, CA glue and a refiling. I'm ecstatic! I'm glad it had a problem, or it would've cost me more. That's a "quality problem" that probably started as new. The guitar is fantastic.

    110 years ago, if you bought a guitar, you kind of had to know how it worked so you could do basic repairs. The idea that all of these things will be perfect from the factory is not correct, and in my opinion, the true test is whether or not the guitar remains without manufacturing or wood selection or wiring defect after 10 years. Some do, some don't. If I didn't know how to fix a guitar, I'd send it back for warranty work and get stiff with the manufacturer if they didn't do it quick.

    Oh, I did have one other guitar that was dead as a doornail when I got it. $2700 acoustic guitar from Crafters of Tennessee. The owner of that now closed maker was a crook. it was an HD 28 style guitar with scalloped bracing, and is otherwise OK. It should've had the neck reset. What did the owner do for warranty service? He had one of his staff file the frets down hard to make up for a bad set neck.

    We've got it pretty good these days. That kind of stuff doesn't often happen, and the internet gives you the ability to literally record your experience with customer service and then post their bad behavior either by reading email or whatever else similar - on youtube. I wouldn't want to be the manufacturer these days.
     
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  9. psallo

    psallo Tele-Meister

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    A neck adjustment I expect to have to do on a guitar when I get it, and to periodically make minor adjustments thereafter.

    Things like poor fret work or nut work are harder to forgive, but they are nothing your friendly guitar tech can't fix.
     
  10. larsongs

    larsongs TDPRI Member

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    I love Guitars. What can I say.. I still have a good size Tool Box... I know exactly where to put them. In my Studio.. I'm still learning what to do with them though.......
     
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  11. Backbeat8

    Backbeat8 Tele-Holic

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    I have noticed this on a decent amount of the old MIM Standard Series actually, and on some American Specials, but tbh I've probably played about 50 ish Player Teles now and the craftsmanship has been very good, interestingly the MIM RoadWorn I just was looking at had very "squared off" fret edges, they couldve been alot more smoothed down, so there's that. Bad fret ends are plentiful on like the lowest end Epiphones I have seen, the frets are practically square, and on some of the Squiers also.
     
  12. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    No question the dealers play heavily into the equation. I've bought guitars from Elderly and they have been delivered perfectly set up and playable. Same with George Gruhn. I did buy a White Falcon from a "premier" Gretsch dealer that was less than perfect. I think more than ever you simply need to know how to evaluate guitars and correct them your self. Or at least be able to have an intelligent conversation with a repairman.
     
  13. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Afflicted

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    There are alwyas options to put them away safely.

    kastje.jpg
     
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  14. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    That’s a smart idea. If I could go back in time to when I lived with other musicians, I would build that.
     
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  15. LPTyler

    LPTyler Tele-Meister

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    I had the same problem with a screw in the control cavity on my very expensive custom made guitar. It took me 15 minutes to fix it while I changed the strings. No big deal in my opinion. Guitars are made by people who can make mistakes.
     
  16. Gmountain

    Gmountain Tele-Holic

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    I don't understand how Fender could decline to cover something under warranty? You bought it new. What you paid for it should not affect the warranty.
     
  17. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Repair, replace, or refund. At their discretion.

    Edit...

    If it was a custom shop I would have been really ticked off, but the repair turned out flawless, so I ended up getting a good deal on a nice guitar.

    Fwiw, I think people are too quick to come to Fender's defense, but they are also too quick to attack Fender when things don't go right.

    As others have said here in this thread, people are people, and people aren't perfect.

    Leo's designs, on the other hand... ;):cool:

    Well, except for the damn cup jack... Lol
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
  18. larsongs

    larsongs TDPRI Member

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    I agree, if you bought it new it came with a new Fender Warranty. They should honor their Warranty but in my experience they sometimes don't. As was the twisted Neck on a brand new VMJM...

    My most recent Fender Thinline Tele I bought used partly for that reason. Why pay new prices when it's questionable Fender will honor it.. I saved a lot of money & got a like new Guitar... With what I saved I can afford any repairs but doubt it will need any. It's a great Guitar from 2012..
     
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  19. teleplayr

    teleplayr Tele-Afflicted

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    Never have had an issue with my Fenders. But....My latest one is a 2009.
     
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