Poll:Which is most important in a bass?

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


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Which is most important in a bass? (please rank)

  1. 1. Tone

    46 vote(s)
    37.1%
  2. 1.Playability

    81 vote(s)
    65.3%
  3. 1. Aesthetics

    6 vote(s)
    4.8%
  4. 2. Tone

    62 vote(s)
    50.0%
  5. 2. Playability

    36 vote(s)
    29.0%
  6. 2. Aesthetics

    14 vote(s)
    11.3%
  7. 3. Tone

    16 vote(s)
    12.9%
  8. 3. Playability

    7 vote(s)
    5.6%
  9. 3. Aesthetics

    86 vote(s)
    69.4%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Bassdude15

    Bassdude15

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

    zortation Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Playability
    Tone
    Aesthetics
  3. Bassdude15

    Bassdude15

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2013
    Location:
    Nashville
    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

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Tone, playability, aesthetics.
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  6. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

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

    dudelove

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Location:
    Greenland, Nuuk
  8. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

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

    zortation Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2011
    Location:
    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. David Jayne

    David Jayne

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Brookfield, CT
    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. groooooove

    groooooove

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    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 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Way Out West
    +1. Playability / feel trumps tone for me too for this exact reason.
  13. Matthew_84

    Matthew_84

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    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. Shanebo

    Shanebo

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Agree,

    Playability
    Tone
    Aesthetics

    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,

    Shane
  15. Gorn Captain

    Gorn Captain Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Location:
    Queens
    Chicks gotta dig it.
  16. bassbully

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

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    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

    Ironbar Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Exactly.
  18. bass4worship

    bass4worship Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Location:
    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. Hank Scorpio

    Hank Scorpio

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    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

    smcd Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Location:
    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

    smcd Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Location:
    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.

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