Prices..

Discussion in 'Fender Custom Shop Tele Forum' started by Orpingtons, Jul 28, 2019.

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  1. Orpingtons

    Orpingtons Tele-Meister

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    I've been looking at the Custom Shop for a very long time now, and every time I'm reminded that they're recreating the "classics".

    The original Fender icons from the 50's were designed with practicality in mind, and made mostly by people with a basic knowledge of power tools and woodworking, not by "master luthiers". They were also made with the musician in mind, not the collector as they are today. These days it's all about exotic woods, roasted maple and master builders (whoever those are).

    I always remind myself that Buddy Guy has a MIM as his backup guitar, so.... I find that asking somebody to pay $5,000 for a replica, that's what these CS instruments really aspire to be, of an old instrument that was built by ordinary people is just a little insane.

    Back in the day, Leo didn't hire master luthiers and builders, he hired street labor. For crying out loud, in the early days the guy used to eat at a roach coach just to save money. It's a little pretentious of Fender to pretend that only a master luthier can craft an instrument, when in reality these things were designed by a brilliant engineer who didn't even play guitar. And they want an arm and a leg for one.
     
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  2. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    There are people who can afford them, and want the fancy wood or the prestige of a replica. It's not my thing, but more power to them.

    I used to want a white Les Paul Custom; I'd probably pick one up if I had the disposable cash (although it's pretty far down on the priority list, like I really don't care anymore). Not that I need it - I've got a stable full of roadworthy guitars already. It would just be to fulfill a wish I had when I was young and dreamed of Les Pauls, Marshall Stacks, and screaming feedback.

    It's kinda like wondering why someone would buy a Ferrari when they could have a Honda that got them around just as well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
  3. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Right. I'll bet the CEO and corporate bigwigs want to make as much profit as they can, and I'm sure Leo Fender also wanted to make the most profit he could when he owned the company. They are going about it in the way that they think best suites the current market. I doubt Fender has ever been altruistic. It's a business.
     
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  4. Orpingtons

    Orpingtons Tele-Meister

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    If you care more about collectors than you care about the player then great, just call yourself something else than a musical instruments company.

    This has happened before, when the put some sort of business model before the end user of the product. It never ends well.
     
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  5. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    I suspect businesses pretty much care about making sufficient profit to stay in business, or else all those workers will be on unemployment. They aren't in the game to be philanthropic. But, that's cool, bro. You be you.
     
  6. Orpingtons

    Orpingtons Tele-Meister

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    I've no doubt their business is working, and that's great. But their focus is not on the player, that's more than obvious.
     
  7. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Yup, as long as people buy the stuff, Fender will be selling it.
     
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  8. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    in your opinion, what would be more "focused on the player" ? They have more models than you can commit to memory at every price point between $100 and $5000. They also sell all the accessories necessary to use the product. What do you think they are missing or what would you change?
     
  9. nocastermike

    nocastermike Tele-Meister

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    Speaking for myself. I agree they are starting to price custom shop stuff beyond working musicans. I own a few as well as an original 56. The custom shop models are a delight to play,see and hear. They do not sound like the real ones though. They play like butter. When they were under 3 grand new it wasn't out of reach. Now they are hovering towards 5 to 8 grand for masterbuilts.....thats way to high. Somebodys buying them though.
     
  10. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'd have a hard time justifying more than $500 for any guitar with a bolt on neck.
     
  11. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Tele-Afflicted

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    FMIC is concerned with one thing IMO... making $.
    Whether or not they care and/or cater to working musicians is a moot point IMB. Besides how many working musicians do you encounter these days?? They're are akin to NOS valves.... there's plenty out there but definitely a limited number.
    Re the Custom Shop, that's FMIC's way of trying to cash in on the vintage market and they seem to be doing quite well. Plenty of established folks with disposable income or at least that's what they're banking on.
    I prefer vintage instruments over new ones and those which over time will more likely than not increase in value. I don't see any CS stuff doing that anytime soon tho I suppose its possible.
    I would much rather invest my $ in a great playing player grade vintage guitar than buy some new 'master built' one... I too don't buy into the hype and IMB that's pretty much what it is. Having said that, more power to FMIC... as other have pointed out, there are folks out there buying these 'classics'.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
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  12. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    There's plenty of people buying them and plenty supporting the seemingly crazy prices so I don't think they will change their business plan any time soon. Like most things the push for increased profits will just drive the prices even higher if you want any human to put in extra time on your instrument. The workers wages need to be covered along with whatever margin those at the top decide to wack on top. You don't get to live a extravagant lifestyle with little effort by setting reasonable prices.
     
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  13. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's a free world, and capitalism at work. Fender would be foolish to not capitalise on a demand for 'something special'. If they don't, there's a ton of custom builders who will 'do a Keef' on Fender with their own legacy and heritage.



    I don't see anything wrong with Custom Shop. It actually gives Fender the chance to offer things that's never fly in a production run and dare a bit. I had a Nocaster Thinline I had to sell to pay vet bills - boy do I regret that. Bought it second hand, made my money back easy.

    Fender I think has lots of passionate people who enjoy bringing guitars to people - but the others are right, they have to make dough.

    Workers, dealers, employees and distribution all around the world needs to make a living.

    Given they can compete from Squiers up through things like Classic Vibes, MIMs standard player and classics, American standard, performer, vintage line and up to Custom I think they're doing well. I don't see them neglecting any price point, and they're not bad responding to trends for a massive company. The world's full of Monday morning quarterbacks and I'm no exception. Fender gets a lot right. Must do.

    In Leo Era, you got a choice of a couple models, rosewood or maple and a handful of colours - that was the times, not a slam on LF, today you're spoilt for choice.

    If you can't afford or don't want to pay CS prices - don't. I don't either. But I love models from every era including new.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
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  14. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Cool story bro.

    LOL :twisted::rolleyes::lol:
     
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  15. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    Leo also sought feedback from many guitarists of the day and incorporated some of their suggestions into his design. As often stated, the initial offerings of the Tele sold for the equivalent range of $1800-2000 adjusted for inflation. They were not amateur instruments. This is roughly the same price as the current American Orginal series.
    If you buy a Custom Shop instrument (team built) you are paying for something (specs, options, frills, materials) that are above the typical. If you special order then your paying for something that meets your exacts specs/wishes. When you buy a "Masterbuilt", you are typically working one on one with the builder and are frequently paying for their expertise at relicing an instrument.
    If that's not your deal, no harm-no foul.
    Either you find value in the Custom Shop or you don't. Obviously you don't.
    I have four custom shop instrument but none are "Masterbuilt". Two of them were special ordered to give me what I wanted. Two are special edition Wildwood 10s. I had the money and the inclination. I didn't buy them to show off. I bought them for me. I enjoy them.
    Could I have been happy with a the American Vintage series of the time? Yes, the AV's were (are) great guitars and more than sufficient for my needs. However, I wanted something a little more so I took the plunge.
     
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  16. Joe M

    Joe M Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Careful with this one, guys. Don't let it turn into a "I love/hate/don't understand relics"-type thread. Seems like trolling to me. We'll let it run for now, but if it turns into what I think it will, it'll get closed down.
     
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  17. Plumber

    Plumber Tele-Holic

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    I cant see any correlation between any era of Fender. Vastly different companies that happened to have the same name
     
  18. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Holic

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    That is basically what it all comes down to.
     
  19. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think they try to meet the needs of a broad range of buyers, from inexpensive guitars for beginners to people desiring some unique. Something for everyone. In fact, I think the range is too broad. I would think they would more efficient and profitable if they streamlined their offerings.

    There are core markets and niche markets. As long as you find something in one of those you should be satisfied.
     
  20. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    39117532-4877-4973-A170-8DAC4D72BCF1.jpeg Here’s one of my CS guitars. I’ve never regretted ordering it. I also once owned an AV64 which I dearly loved. It was nearly a coin toss when I decided I was only going to keep one of them. The CS won out because it had larger frets and a flatter fretboard radius. I had previously owned American Standards and had tried the Classic 60s (MIM). Neither the AS nor the Classic would have been satisfactory. Everyone has different benchmarks, tastes etc.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
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