Opinions - can a bass be TOO lightweight?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Keith Guitars, Nov 14, 2012.


Can a bass be too light?

  1. No - the lighter, the better!

    44 vote(s)
    36.4%
  2. Yes - I need some weight for it to feel right!

    50 vote(s)
    41.3%
  3. I don't care. Light, heavy, whatever.

    27 vote(s)
    22.3%
  1. Keith Guitars

    Keith Guitars

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Location:
    Woodstock, NY
    Disclosures:
    Builder: Martin Keith Guitars, Veillette Guitars
    OK - here goes:

    Can a bass be too lightweight?

    Leaving aside questions of tone (PLEASE!), is there such a thing as a bass that goes too far with light weight?

    To narrow it down - let's keep opinions focused on the generally understood platform of normally-size 4/5/6-string, basically solidbody style instruments - not ABGs, mini-basses, or other fringe-style stuff.

    Also - why not post your idea of what's "heavy" for a bass, what's "light", and/or what's "Just Right". It would be interesting to see a sample of what people consider 'normal'.

    Fire away!

    Cheers,
    Martin
     
  2. MiJaKo

    MiJaKo

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    I need to feel the vibration in the body, so for my own reasons, yes, a bass can be too lightweight.
     
  3. ShirazBop

    ShirazBop I Love Wine and Jazz,.. Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    Lightest I've owned was just over 8 lbs and felt really great!.. Heaviest ~11, a bit imbalanced and bottom heavy,.. Prefer mid 8 lb range though my new 5 string is 9.2 and I can't put her down...great balance, and a good wide neoprene strap makes all the difference. I think too light might detract from the feel of the instrument having substance and making it feel maybe too toyish...being totally subjective...
     
  4. bass4worship

    bass4worship Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Location:
    Sebring, Florida
    I played some light weight basses but I didn't care for the overall tone of them. I like my basses around 8.5 to 9.5 lbs.
     
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  6. DeliriumTremens

    DeliriumTremens

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I prefer heavier basses generally
     
  7. darkstorm

    darkstorm

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    If the body is so light it neck dives even if front strap button is near the 12th fret, then Id say was to lightweight. Otherwise no. For me the most resonant easilly felt vibrations thru body and neck have been with lighter basses. Basswood and mahogany, & royal paowania? I prefer 8 and half pds or less for single neck bass.
     
  8. superjesus

    superjesus

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Lightest I've owned was a few ounces under 7 lbs. Lightest I own now is a few ounces under 8 lbs. Heaviest was nearly 12 lbs. It lasted less than 24 hours in my stable.

    I greatly prefer lighter weight basses. Just under 8 lbs is ideal.
     
  9. Kilometers

    Kilometers

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    I think a bass should be light enough to be comfortable for hours and hours but heavy enough to not be moved around too much by your personal playing technique. Find those extremes and then you've got a lot of middle area to work with.
     
  10. tuBass

    tuBass

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Location:
    Mesquite, Texas
    the lightest bass I even played was a kingston heir, i think it was between 6 and 7 pounds (basswood)

    I thought it was great. I've thought about doing a warmoth out of basswood, but I don't know what regular neck would do to the balance
     
  11. Catbuster

    Catbuster

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    Varied places around the world
    If the neck doesn't balance on a skinny strap, the body is too light. So is under 7 lbs
     
  12. PBnJBassist

    PBnJBassist

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Lightest bass I own was just over 7lbs. and it was fantastic. Used to practice and play standing up for 3hrs before feeling dragged down. Had a P-Bass that weighed 13.1lbs... Could barely stand up with it for more than 20 minutes before pain started to set in. So, yeah, the lighter, the better (for me).
     
  13. PDGood

    PDGood Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    As I get older I prefer lighter basses.
    There I said it, my dark secret is out now.
     
  14. Figjam

    Figjam

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Yes. I dont really like anything under 8 pounds. I think it balances better and just feels a certain way that influences me in my playing.
     
  15. RoeyHaviv

    RoeyHaviv

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    Charlotte NC
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Vigier guitars, Pigtronix Effects
    My 5 string Passion Bass it about 7.5, I like it light but more important is how its balanced.
    A bass can feel heavier if it doesn't balance right.
     
  16. johndough247

    johndough247 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Location:
    Florida & Br. Virgin Islands
    I think I really weakened my shoulder and lower back from playing a near 12 pound bass through half of college and a few years after that (I'm not a big guy at all)...went boutique and my current axe is 8.1 lbs...pretty light to be sure and is pretty well balanced, but even at that it hurts my shoulder after an hour? So yea, the lighter the better.

    On a side note: when you guys mention a good neoprene strap, which one(s) did you have in mind? I used the comfort strapp (wider bass version) on the 12 pounder for years...isn't that neoprene too?
     
  17. oniman7

    oniman7

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Location:
    Saint Augustine, Florida
    My favorite basses are really heavy. But lightweight basses are fun to play. My girlfriend's Jay Turser is the lightest bass I've ever felt. Must be 4 or 5 pounds. Feels like the body isn't even there. Because it feels like such a toy, it's a lot of fun to play when you're moving around a lot. Gives you much better control. But, my basses are all 8-10 lbs. or so.
     
  18. Turxile

    Turxile

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    As light as possible without neck dive. I prefer light basses but I'd rather have weight than neck dive.
     
  19. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    neck dive is indeed the limiting factor.
     
  20. Fuzzbassian

    Fuzzbassian

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    I need a bit of heft in my bass get a good feel really.I feel like I need that weight there to give me something really tangible to dig into,as my finger picking style is quite aggressive.
     
  21. nicopiano

    nicopiano Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Location:
    Levis, Quebec, Canada
    Really, It doesn't matter that much to me, as long as I like the feel and the balance of the bass.

    If your bass is too heavy, you just need a Neotech strap! ;)
     

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