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CBS era Fender, the real story

Posted: 16 Apr 2018, 21:28
by BazzBass
Very interesting read

During the ‘80s, Fender’s poor reputation and dipping market share led the CBS management to hire several top guys from the American arm of Yamaha to try to resolve the problems. The job of overhauling Fender’s electric guitar lines fell to Dan Smith.
Dan was right in the thick of things when Fender began to make guitars in Japan and when CBS, which had owned the company since 1965, sold Fender to a group of employees that included Dan.

Dan: Anyway, we went out and pulled guitars out of the warehouse and re-inspected them, 800-and-something guitars, and out of those I think only about 15 passed the existing criteria. This after the chief of quality control had said everything was all right. I guess those 15 are the ones everybody on TB raves about lol Apologies to Steve :)

https://reverb.com/news/interview-fende ... itar-brand

Re: CBS era Fender, the real story

Posted: 16 Apr 2018, 21:54
by packrat
Phew. Everything was terrible in the 80s, so my 77 P and J are still okay! :D

Fascinating read, thanks for posting it.

B>

Re: CBS era Fender, the real story

Posted: 16 Apr 2018, 22:13
by blizzard
That was a good read. Late 80s and early 90s Japanese Fenders are probably my favourite in terms, they are starting to get expensive now too.

Re: CBS era Fender, the real story

Posted: 16 Apr 2018, 22:26
by BazzBass
blizzard wrote:
16 Apr 2018, 22:13
That was a good read. Late 80s and early 90s Japanese Fenders are probably my favourite in terms, they are starting to get expensive now too.
that's coz everybody keeps going on about how great they are SHHHHHH :cool:

Re: CBS era Fender, the real story

Posted: 17 Apr 2018, 02:22
by bigswifty
Very interesting, thanks for posting the link!

Re: CBS era Fender, the real story

Posted: 17 Apr 2018, 08:40
by aphekgreg
Great interview. Had heard a lot of that stuff over the years, but this fleshes it out more. Some great quote too. Like in reference to the Fujigen factory, "at that point in time their factory was pretty antiquated, except you could eat off the floor".

Re: CBS era Fender, the real story

Posted: 17 Apr 2018, 09:56
by Aussie Mark
Yep - "The ones that everyone thinks so finely of are the ones that survived because they were good instruments"

Re: CBS era Fender, the real story

Posted: 17 Apr 2018, 10:10
by Rocksolid
Apologies to me?

Re: CBS era Fender, the real story

Posted: 17 Apr 2018, 13:01
by BazzBass
Rocksolid wrote:
17 Apr 2018, 10:10
Apologies to me?
didn't you buy a 71 P ? that's CBS era innit? :cry

though I'm sure yours is a good one or you wouldn't have bought it

Re: CBS era Fender, the real story

Posted: 17 Apr 2018, 15:21
by ozrider
Aussie Mark wrote:
17 Apr 2018, 09:56
Yep - "The ones that everyone thinks so finely of are the ones that survived because they were good instruments"
I briefly owned an early 80s p that seemed to have survived in spite of it being its shortcomings...

Re: CBS era Fender, the real story

Posted: 17 Apr 2018, 15:33
by BazzBass
We need to also consider that a lot of the 'bad' ones would have been fixed after purchase with good setups and tweaks by techs over the decades

Re: CBS era Fender, the real story

Posted: 17 Apr 2018, 15:43
by Rocksolid
BazzBass wrote:
17 Apr 2018, 13:01
Rocksolid wrote:
17 Apr 2018, 10:10
Apologies to me?
didn't you buy a 71 P ? that's CBS era innit? :cry

though I'm sure yours is a good one or you wouldn't have bought it
Probably. I haven't read the article. I bought it because it felt good, same with my 89 MIJ P Bass. Don't know the politics, just know how it feels and sounds.

Re: CBS era Fender, the real story

Posted: 17 Apr 2018, 16:53
by Rocksolid
Bazz, I've now read the article.

The very next sentence that you didn't copy in gives it context:

So John Page and Troy Lane and I, we sat down and re-wrote the criteria. Because in some ways it was too strict.

Re: CBS era Fender, the real story

Posted: 18 Apr 2018, 09:25
by aphekgreg
Rocksolid wrote:
17 Apr 2018, 16:53
Bazz, I've now read the article.

The very next sentence that you didn't copy in gives it context:

So John Page and Troy Lane and I, we sat down and re-wrote the criteria. Because in some ways it was too strict.
Although the strict part was mainly in reference to the grain of the wood. Only ash with straight grain, was to be used for natural bodies.

Re: CBS era Fender, the real story

Posted: 18 Apr 2018, 09:27
by aphekgreg
My observation, is that the basses didn't suffer as much as the guitars. With the guitars, the pickups became weaker and thinner sounding and they went to the die cast bridges, that really sucked away the tone. I think it's no surprise that the market for replacement parts took off in the '70s.