The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Why doesn't Fender bind their necks?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Why doesn't Fender bind their necks?

Question, why doesn't fender bind their necks. Also, why does their custom shop guitars focus on heavily aged and worn guitars ? Why not make a fancy beautiful custom shop with a beautiful burst finish with binding?
Just curious, because all of the custom shop fenders I've seen are pretty ugly.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Here for the gear
This is only my opinion, but I suspect it's because Fender's approach from the beginning has been a utilitarian one. Bolt-on neck, "plank" bodies (and later, contours), etc. They've never really done fancy carves, binding (there is the odd exception), excessive bling, etc.

They've left that to Gibson and other manufacturers with a non-utilitarian ethos.

Binding makes no difference to playability. It's purely cosmetic. Therefore, it offers nothing in terms of utility.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Because people that buy custom shop fender want something to hang in the glass case that looks like it’s been played
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Mikhael's Avatar
 

Because some of us don't *like* binding?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by earwicker View Post
Binding makes no difference to playability. It's purely cosmetic. Therefore, it offers nothing in terms of utility.
That depends entirely on how the binding is installed. I had what was in 1972 called a "54 Les Paul Standard Reissue" .It wasn't exactly authentic since it had a Sunburst finish which didn't exist in '54 but did have stopped tailpiece and p90s and are now called "Ultra Rare" (iirc around 300 of both finishes were made in '72) and sell for around $8,000.00 USD. I stupidly sold it in 1990 for $700. Hindsight, right?

Anyway it's binding had been installed overlapping the fret ends and then had been machined away to blend into the fret ends providing an extremely smooth transition from fingerboard to neck. It was and still is THE most comfortable neck I've ever played.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Pindrive's Avatar
Binding is another process. More labor. Bolt on neck is much easier & faster to produce. That was Leo's genius. Build a great instrument at a better price point. As far as modern units, Fender is going to produce what they feel is going to sell. You want different, place your order
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason kalman View Post
... why does their custom shop guitars focus on heavily aged and worn guitars ? Why not make a fancy beautiful custom shop with a beautiful burst finish with binding?
It was originally called the Custom Shop because they made bespoke instruments, and they still do.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
My custom built Telecaster 12 string has a 1969 Fender Shenandoah 12 string neck, it has block inlays and neck binding. So do Jazz bases from the 1970's.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Zoobiedood's Avatar
 

Yeah, they did make bound necks. But I suspect they don't because they stick with a formula that starts with 'this is how it was done in the 50s'. I think the Custom Shop just builds what sells to their fan base.

There are a lot of options out there if you want to go for the 'upscale Fender' thing, usually done better than Fender.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoobiedood View Post
Yeah, they did make bound necks. But I suspect they don't because they stick with a formula that starts with 'this is how it was done in the 50s'. I think the Custom Shop just builds what sells to their fan base.

There are a lot of options out there if you want to go for the 'upscale Fender' thing, usually done better than Fender.
Beat me to it. Yes, Fender did make a few models with bound necks in the '60s (maybe even the last year or so of the '50s) and probably the early '70s. However it does add significantly to the labor costs and I suspect that the bean counters don't regard it as worthwhile. They also may have the notion that most Fender customers don't care for binding.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post
That depends entirely on how the binding is installed. I had what was in 1972 called a "54 Les Paul Standard Reissue" .It wasn't exactly authentic since it had a Sunburst finish which didn't exist in '54 but did have stopped tailpiece and p90s and are now called "Ultra Rare" (iirc around 300 of both finishes were made in '72) and sell for around $8,000.00 USD. I stupidly sold it in 1990 for $700. Hindsight, right?

Anyway it's binding had been installed overlapping the fret ends and then had been machined away to blend into the fret ends providing an extremely smooth transition from fingerboard to neck. It was and still is THE most comfortable neck I've ever played.
Yes this is common on LP's even Epi's have it as I recall. I have to admit I don't find my hand rubbing against fret edges with any guitar I've ever played though so I never noticed a feel difference in that way.

Having said that I know that historically Gibson used to get some grief for their fret dressing pre-Plek machine days, so maybe if you have some really badly done fretwork or if your grip brings a lot of skin contact with the top edge of the fretboard then something like that would be very welcome.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Beat me to it. Yes, Fender did make a few models with bound necks in the '60s (maybe even the last year or so of the '50s) and probably the early '70s.
They make J Basses with them now.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by earwicker View Post
This is only my opinion, but I suspect it's because Fender's approach from the beginning has been a utilitarian one. Bolt-on neck, "plank" bodies (and later, contours), etc. They've never really done fancy carves, binding (there is the odd exception), excessive bling, etc.

They've left that to Gibson and other manufacturers with a non-utilitarian ethos.

Binding makes no difference to playability. It's purely cosmetic. Therefore, it offers nothing in terms of utility.
I get the fact that they were originally meant to be utilitarian. I love the approach and my fender telecaster elite is awesome. I just think that if you are going to pay thousands for a telecaster, adding binding isn't too much to ask, even if it is just cosmetic. At least offer the option on the telecaster.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
Because people that buy custom shop fender want something to hang in the glass case that looks like it’s been played
True. Most custom shop buyers aren't gigging musicians, even if they were, they wouldn't play out with a custom shop unless they were famous.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikhael View Post
Because some of us don't *like* binding?
Not sure I care either way, I like both. I just think a guitar looks better ascetically with binding.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post
That depends entirely on how the binding is installed. I had what was in 1972 called a "54 Les Paul Standard Reissue" .It wasn't exactly authentic since it had a Sunburst finish which didn't exist in '54 but did have stopped tailpiece and p90s and are now called "Ultra Rare" (iirc around 300 of both finishes were made in '72) and sell for around $8,000.00 USD. I stupidly sold it in 1990 for $700. Hindsight, right?

Anyway it's binding had been installed overlapping the fret ends and then had been machined away to blend into the fret ends providing an extremely smooth transition from fingerboard to neck. It was and still is THE most comfortable neck I've ever played.
Makes sense. Binding, if done overlapping the fret ends should make for extremely smooth playing.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pindrive View Post
Binding is another process. More labor. Bolt on neck is much easier & faster to produce. That was Leo's genius. Build a great instrument at a better price point. As far as modern units, Fender is going to produce what they feel is going to sell. You want different, place your order
For the price point of a custom shop they could easily add binding without impacting their profit much. Why not offer a blemish free binded custom telecaster. Not saying I would shell out thousands for one, but I could see a market for a brand new (non-relic) binded telecaster.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
My custom built Telecaster 12 string has a 1969 Fender Shenandoah 12 string neck, it has block inlays and neck binding. So do Jazz bases from the 1970's.
True, I should've been more specific by saying why aren't regular 6 string Telecasters and Strats Binded, especially the custom shop ones.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoobiedood View Post
Yeah, they did make bound necks. But I suspect they don't because they stick with a formula that starts with 'this is how it was done in the 50s'. I think the Custom Shop just builds what sells to their fan base.

There are a lot of options out there if you want to go for the 'upscale Fender' thing, usually done better than Fender.
Any recommendations on which companies make the best upscale telecasters?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Beat me to it. Yes, Fender did make a few models with bound necks in the '60s (maybe even the last year or so of the '50s) and probably the early '70s. However it does add significantly to the labor costs and I suspect that the bean counters don't regard it as worthwhile. They also may have the notion that most Fender customers don't care for binding.
That must be it. Customers don't care for binding. If they did fender would make them.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
They make J Basses with them now.
Thanks for the info, didn't know that.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
It was originally called the Custom Shop because they made bespoke instruments, and they still do.
Another thing I didn't know. Thanks. Not a fan of the relic treatment though. Something about paying thousands for a beat up guitar makes no sense to me. I also dislike the VOS aging treatment on the Gibsons. Thankfully they do make non VOS/aged versions.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #23
Gear Addict
 

I’ve seen some current Jags and Jazzmasters with binding. Probably the American Original series.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco1Disco2 View Post
I’ve seen some current Jags and Jazzmasters with binding. Probably the American Original series.
True, true. Just looking for a fender tele that is bound. You know the one unicorn in the fender lineup.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Pindrive's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason kalman View Post
For the price point of a custom shop they could easily add binding without impacting their profit much. Why not offer a blemish free binded custom telecaster. Not saying I would shell out thousands for one, but I could see a market for a brand new (non-relic) binded telecaster.
It's Custom Shop. Order it the way you want it. Sure, add another step to the CNC cut, glue in some cheap plastic binding & pre-cut the fret tangs. No, it's not a lot more work. Probably another hour of physical labor. Binding is cheap. In the scheme of things, custom shop really just means USA made. I've seen some nice guitars come out of custom shop but, there are limits to how far out of the norm they will go. Kind of silly, sometimes. When I was building, I would completely redesign bracing, carves, etc, (archtops) to fit the customers intended use. A lot of the big shops can do some amazing paintwork. But, the details of tone shaping are often lost, or left to just wood selection(for looks). Not really customs shop. More like makeup work.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #26
Lives for snowflakes
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason kalman View Post
Why doesn't Fender bind their necks?
For the same reason most Asian feminists don't bind their feet!
.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
For the same reason most Asian feminists don't bind their feet!
.
ouch
Old 3 weeks ago
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pindrive View Post
It's Custom Shop. Order it the way you want it. Sure, add another step to the CNC cut, glue in some cheap plastic binding & pre-cut the fret tangs. No, it's not a lot more work. Probably another hour of physical labor. Binding is cheap. In the scheme of things, custom shop really just means USA made. I've seen some nice guitars come out of custom shop but, there are limits to how far out of the norm they will go. Kind of silly, sometimes. When I was building, I would completely redesign bracing, carves, etc, (archtops) to fit the customers intended use. A lot of the big shops can do some amazing paintwork. But, the details of tone shaping are often lost, or left to just wood selection(for looks). Not really customs shop. More like makeup work.
You're right I could place a custom order, so that is a valid option. Maybe one day when I'm in the market to spend $$$$.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #29
Lives for gear
 
lame pseudonym's Avatar
 

Binding would prevent me from buying a guitar.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lame pseudonym View Post
Binding would prevent me from buying a guitar.
Interesting since most guitars are binded. I could understand preferring a non-binded guitar but to dislike them that much to where you wouldn't buy one?
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump