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Pros that use non-pro basses...


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12 hours ago, Marty Forrer said:

Laura Lee of Khruangbin plays an SX Jazz. And, she has never changed strings, according to an interview with her recently. Sounds pretty darn good to me.

The neck and body is SX, all hardware, pickups and electrics have been upgraded by the guitarist irrc. 😃

Her strings are flats, don't really need changing, if ever.

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On 03/12/2020 at 22:09, hooky_lowdown said:

The neck and body is SX, all hardware, pickups and electrics have been upgraded by the guitarist irrc. 😃

Her strings are flats, don't really need changing, if ever.

And that's where the biggest difference between Pro and cheaper instruments really shows through these days. A body and neck constructed out of reasonable quality woods and cut on CNC machines can produce an instrument which will lasts for decades. The quality of the hardware and electrics are where the durability and the reliability steps up a level. (We're in "talking in generalizations" territory here of course.)

Back when I started building, repairing and setting up guitars and basses, an American Fender generally had a 2 or 3 piece body, not necessarily very well matched, (just look at old Fender non painted finishes and spot the joint lines) early Mexican bodies were usually 5 piece and sunburst bodies were often veneered front and back so they looked like one piece bodies. Asian bodies included some of non traditional woods and some of plywood. Hardware for non US instruments was cheaper as were pickups, pots etc.

It was all pretty much like everything else. Ryobi make perfectly acceptable tools for light use and last for decades at home, but you won't see many tradesmen on site with them. I have Japanese made Makita tools, my favorite router and a couple of sanders, that are over 30 years old and still going strong.

These days just about any price point above totals silly money levels gets you a decent base instrument which can be made up to reliable "Pro" level with some set up work and better hardware and electrics.

When it comes to the top price stuff there are justifications for paying for a Wal and the like, innovation, incredible attention to detail, customizing to a set of exact customer requirements etcetera, but back in the area between the top of the range Squier, the Mexican Fender and the US Fender, there's a lot smaller gap than there used to be.(Leaving aside Custom Shop special orders of course, though much of the difference there is about selection of parts and finish options.)

I did a re fret recently on a early model "black logo" Korean Squire Stratocaster. The guy who owns it has had it for decades and it has one of the nicest one piece maple necks I've ever handled. I've leveled the frets twice over the years, so they were decent quality to begin with and it's obviously had plenty of use over it's life. Sure it hasn't been on world tours, but the owner is a semi pro, so it's had plenty of use. It's stood the test of time and reasonable wear and tear, so I suppose it qualifies as "pro" level even if it didn't come out of a factory in the USA.

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