Poll:Which is most important in a bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bassdude15, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. 1. Tone

    46 vote(s)
  2. 1.Playability

    81 vote(s)
  3. 1. Aesthetics

    6 vote(s)
  4. 2. Tone

    62 vote(s)
  5. 2. Playability

    36 vote(s)
  6. 2. Aesthetics

    14 vote(s)
  7. 3. Tone

    16 vote(s)
  8. 3. Playability

    7 vote(s)
  9. 3. Aesthetics

    86 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Bassdude15


    Feb 26, 2013
    *I am assuming in this poll that durability of an instrument is important to everyone.
  2. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
  3. Bassdude15


    Feb 26, 2013
    Not trying to be rude, but if a bass sound like crap (really thin/muddy, cheap wood, cheap pickups, etc.), but it played like butter, you're saying you'd buy it?
  4. Spent

    Spent Supporting Member

    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    Tone, playability, aesthetics.
  5. Sponsored by:

  6. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    You can improve the sound of any bass easily. Improving the playability isn't always possible.
  7. dudelove


    Apr 16, 2010
    Greenland, Nuuk
  8. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Tone, Playability, Aesthetics
  9. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I'm saying that if I used your criteria, one great player, one great sounding, and one great looking, that I would buy the one that played the best.
  10. Agree. It's a bit like motorcycles. It's easier to make a slow bike faster than it is to make a pig handle better.
  11. depends on the basses.

    most instrument (unless theres a severely warped neck..) can be setup to play like a fodera or whatever you like. it just may need a $300 fret grind/polish and full setup. even an SX can play perfectly if the proper amount of work is put into it.

    as far as sound, all you can change is pickups- which, of course can make a huge improvement- but if it's a junk bass, it can only sound so good.

    so, to me, there's more room for improvement on playability than there is on tone. but ideally you'd have an instrument that's okay with both- considering one more important than the other is crazy to me.
  12. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Way Out West
    +1. Playability / feel trumps tone for me too for this exact reason.
  13. I didn't know if you meant for purchasing a new bass or in general... I assumed buying a new bass, so I went with playability, aesthetics, tone.

    Tone is normally number 2 for me, but I can swap strings, pickups, and caps easier than I can swap wood grain.
  14. Agree,


    That said, I have only recently warmed to a P-bass, because the necks and right hand placement options always felt strange to me. After a couple of months, the feel is much better, and the tone was worth the wait/work.

    All the best,

  15. Gorn Captain

    Gorn Captain Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
  16. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I disagree. I have put money into basses that played like butter but sounded like poo only to get a ho- hum bass that still played great and money lost to boot.

    To me its tone. That's what the boys want to hear from me.
  17. Ironbar


    Aug 24, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
  18. bass4worship

    bass4worship Ready For Freddy Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Sebring, Florida
    Tone, playability, aesthetic. Not going to buy a bass that I have to spend another $300 to get it to sound right nor play. They all work together to make a fine bass.
  19. I won't buy a bass I genuinely don't like the look of. Overall, playability is more important, then tone (or how much I'd need to spend to get the tone to where I want it), but if I don't like looking at the bass, it's never going to be one I grab to play.
  20. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    "Playability" isn't just low action. It's the overall feel of the bass. If you don't like balance/neck profile/body shape of a bass, there really isn't anything practical you can do to improve that. Especially if the bass is neck-thru design.

    Improving the tone is a lot more than changing pickups. You can change the electronics, bridge, strings in an almost infinite number of combinations. Almost any "junk" bass can be made to sound good. But that same "junk" bass can't always be made playable.
  21. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Everyone loses money modding a bass, so that's not the issue. I've you couldn't make a great playing bass sound good, you should have brought it to someone who could. I'm very curious what bass you had that was like that.