What could Fender do?

Messages
625
I think John Suhr IS the new Leo Fender! Basically constantly improving bolt on guitars,amps,pedals as well!

Too bad his headstock design is the cheapest looking headstock I've ever seen (opinion). Also, no matter how great Suhr guitars are they'll always be copies of Strats and Teles (fact).
 

qblue

Member
Messages
1,053
Fender is still great. They've fixed the tremelo issue with pop-in arms and two point trems, in 1990. They may not have them in every instrument, but price points and sales figures determine what's included on each model. The quality of the North American stuff, including MIM and MIA , has not decreased, and I say it is better than in the nineties. Gibson needs help.....

Fender already offers menu guided guitar builds, though the exotic wood types are limited, and the ash/alder variations are primary.

This sounds like a solution in need of a problem. When they do offer complete customization they will be criticized for that, too.
 
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T92780

Member
Messages
8,311
Fender makes me happy, as most often the FCS stuff that comes out with a new look on a tried and tested ingredient....works for me. If you got the coin, its available. Enough for me.
 

Roxy

Member
Messages
206
Fender is great but always room for improvement...
I own a bunch.. My only complaint if ANY?
Use thinner poly or go to nitro to help them resonate better across the board..
 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
19,116
I think intrest in guitar is fading and todays kids aren't into it as much as we were...so, I think Fender has to scale back on the number of variations of their core models if they expect to survive. Back in the day, you basically had your choice of a few colors, and either a maple or rosewood fretboard...and we got by fine. We're too spoiled today. Bring out something special every once in a while but, beyond that, let their Custom shop do the rest.
 

Krausewitz

Member
Messages
4,071
I think Fender and other big production companies would improve if they offered their mainline guitars (American Standard, etc.) with 2 or even 3 neck variations, like Gibson initially did with the 339. Have Am Stds come in 'normal' and 'fat', same price...just preference. It wouldn't add too much to overall production (virtually nothing), but would mean satisfying more people with a more focused product line.

Other than that (and the wobbly trem arm!) I'm really happy with Fender as they are.
 

Lakeabilene

Member
Messages
107
Be more customer friendly by showing country of origin for all models on your website. It's often like you are trying to trick buyers into Chinese models. And please start leaving the webpages and info up for all the models that you discontinue so quickly or make special editions for MF. I can't find some of your guitars on your website that are still available for sale, because you pulled the page. Gibson leaves the old models up. Stop using ambiguous names, like you did with Performer guitar and cables too, messes up searches. And you did it with the GDec amps when you have a GDec 3 don't make the new models GDec 3 30 this caused confusion even now they are called GDec 3.0 30 on amazon lol. You used Modern Player for Chinese telecasters then you also use it on Mexican. Confusing, and modern is a poor name for guitars that will someday be old and not modern.
 

olgluefoot

Member
Messages
1,552
What could the Fender company do to be made great again? Or is that even possible? Heavy competition along with the results of changing times and musical formats?

For example, how much has the Louisville Slugger bat changed in 100 years? Is it still considered to be iconic baseball equipment?

Loaded question. You obviously have a brand preference or prefer vintage guitars, but last time I checked they still own half of the wall space at every guitar store I have ever been in. Sounds like they are doing just fine to me.
 

LaXu

Member
Messages
11,721
Their current problem is that like Gibson they have way too many different models. For someone who wants a Strat but is not familiar with the models it would be hard to figure out the differences.
 

jklotz

Member
Messages
3,918
Interesting topic, for sure.

IMHO, FMIC has made decisions, as all businesses have to do. They have chosen to produce a certain number of instruments at a certain price point. Given those parameters, and the materials available within that budget, they have produced a product that falls within those guidelines. It's a business decision. Nothing more. If you like, and buy the product the produce, then great. Both parties are happy. If not, you shop elsewhere.

Ultimately, it boils down to the consumer. The best way to force a change for any medium to large size corporation is to not buy their products. Fender has no interest in trying to make everybody happy. Only the board of directors, i.e. moving product.

Interestingly enough, in an interview with the director of marketing of FMIC that I saw a while back, he stated that the future of FMIC was not in the aging customer base, but rather to attract a new, younger audience. Make sense to me. If I ran the company, I'd be far more concerned with the kids that think a pair of turntables was cool than us aging "guitar nerds" arguing about weather or not the lacquer used today was as good as the one they used in 1959.

I'm just saying......
 

jads57

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,362
TGP memberBoring Postcards said "Too bad his headstock design is the cheapest looking headstock I've ever seen (opinion). Also, no matter how great Suhr guitars are they'll always be copies of Strats and Teles (fact)."

I don't own any Suhr products just as a point of reference to my earlier post. I do think however that John Suhr is taking designs originated under Leo Fender and further refining and improving on them in tangible ways. It could be also argued that Leo Fender did this himself at Music Man and G&L as well. The earlier Music Man guitars definitely were not the most beautiful guitars too look at either!
 

paulbearer

Member
Messages
5,648
For example, how much has the Louisville Slugger bat changed in 100 years? Is it still considered to be iconic baseball equipment?

Fender is still a great manufacturer, IMHO. A wide range of good, affordable products, and high-end beauties via Custom Shop, if that's your thing.
They keep a pretty positive perception while their set neck nemesis in Nashville needs a management spa day. It'll be interesting, as Fender's addition of Andy Mooney after a pit stop at Quiksilver as CEO is curious. He's an ex Disney and Nike guy who will be under the gun to produce for Fender's owners: Servco Pacific Inc. and TPG Growth are the majority owners of Fender Musical Instrument Corporation, following Fender's acquisition from CBS in 1985. Servco is a privately held, Hawaii-based corporation primarily focused on automotive distribution and sales as well as specialty insurance brokerage. TPG Growth is the middle market and growth equity investment platform of TPG, the global private investment firm.

As for Louisville Slugger, they're now number #2 to Marucci... http://www.forbes.com/sites/huntera...mes-iconic-as-mlbs-favorite-bat/#47a839313a71
 

AdmiralB

Member
Messages
3,060
Have Am Stds come in 'normal' and 'fat', same price...just preference. It wouldn't add too much to overall production (virtually nothing), but would mean satisfying more people with a more focused product line.

You're forgetting about the people who buy the stuff...not the end user, but the retailer. The more options you offer, the more SKUs a retailer has to consider WRT stocking. And the more complaints from people (here, for one place) about "I can't find the one I want in a store anywhere".

IMO they're already well past the tipping point there. I'm lucky to see maybe 20% of the USA line in stock at the box stores.
 
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Kmaz

Member
Messages
9,240
Alot of Fender products hang on the racks forever at my local dealer. They may as well be Lefties! :)
 
Messages
5,671
Would it be fair to say that the newer American Standards are more vintage-sounding than ever?
I doubt you could say that. Remember that Fender 'originals' from the 50s had pickups which varied quite a bit depending on who was winding them at the time, so there is no definitive vintage-sounding Fender and never was.
 

Kmaz

Member
Messages
9,240
I doubt you could say that. Remember that Fender 'originals' from the 50s had pickups which varied quite a bit depending on who was winding them at the time, so there is no definitive vintage-sounding Fender and never was.
Man, some of those vintage ones sure sound cool, though.
 

Whitecat

Member
Messages
1,929
You're forgetting about the people who buy the stuff...not the end user, but the retailer. The more options you offer, the more SKUs a retailer has to consider WRT stocking. And the more complaints from people (here, for one place) about "I can't find the one I want in a store anywhere".

IMO they're already well past the tipping point there. I'm lucky to see maybe 20% of the USA line in stock at the box stores.

The "American Design Experience" program (for better or for worse) omits the dealer from the equation completely. It's a direct sale from Fender to the end user.

That kind of bespoke thing is probably the future - I bet in 5-10 years we'll see most of the major guitar companies going direct and far fewer bricks & mortar resellers.
 




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