A bass you always wanted, until you played one...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by birminghambass, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    Before I knew what MY tone was and what felt right for me I owned or played several basses that were just all wrong.
    I remember 20 years ago lusting after a Les Paul bass in cherryburst. Played one in a store, couldn't have been more let down. No upper horn meant severe neck dive for me. So uncomfortable.
    As a Geddy fan I always wanted a Ric. Played an old model a friend had. Hated the feel and tone. Blech.
    Thumb 5, such growl, such tone! Actually bought this one on TB. Sooo heavy and the worst neck dive I'd ever encountered. Sold it a day later.
    Any fretless. I've actually owned a few hoping I'd find a "good one". Well, no fretless is good for me.
    Lakland 4402. Seemed like the perfect combination of basses. Didn't like the Barts, don't care for vintage frets.
    Pedulla Rapture. Looked so cool, played so.....average. The stock Barts are not my flavor.
    Anything vintage. Old is cool. Old is valuable. After owning MANY vintage basses I've decided old is just old. I'll take a new Fender, MM, or G&L any day.

    I'm not dissing any of these models, they just don't work for me. Owning and playing them helped me find what does work. I'd love to hear other's experiences.
    oaklandthumb, madjazzbass and Jack MN like this.
  2. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again??

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    Warrior.. Have played several but I've never been able to connect with any of them.
    Steinberger XM2 - Cool bass but TOO HEAVY!!!
    Fender Deluxe P5 - Floppy B string. No punch or definition.
  3. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again??

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    Now I'm curious. So what did you find that finally worked for you?

    Edit; Nevermind. Just looked at your profile. ;)
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  4. TrevorOfDoom


    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    When Bass Emporium (RIP) was around, i got the pleasure of playing a plethora of very nice basses. Ritter, Elrick, Turner-Renaissance, Rickenbacher, Roscoe, etc.
    Was never let down by any of them, but learned pretty quickly that a P bass with a baseball bat neck was the right bass for me.

    (Though i wouldn't say no to a Roscoe) ;)
    bking0217, ac11367 and Dec1975 like this.
  5. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    It happens to me regularly with acoustic basses. I keep wanting to love them, but then return them (or just leave the store without them).
  6. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    A Ric- love the sound but it's not comfortable for me to play on it. I know it's a personal thing- works for some and not for others as Geddy and Chris Squire evidently have no problem with it.
    I've been to the music store a few times with a specific bass in mind but walked out with something completely different. This is a good reason to always try a bass before you buy it- you never know how it's going to play for you until you get your hands on it.
    jwr and Doctor Hugocat like this.
  7. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member


    I have some regrets on all the money I've spent swapping gear over the years (decades!), because some purchases were truly impulse buys (not enough research)... and there have been impulse sales that I regretted later. However as you say, these transactions were largely positive because the best way for me to learn what works for me is by buying the gear and trying it out at the gig for an extended period.

    This is true for amps as well as basses. And I've learned that a set of strings that sounds great on one bass might not sound as good on another. So... yeah, it can be a complicated process for some of us!
    Quilbert likes this.
  8. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    Always loved SR5s until I got one, I think I put it up for sale the next day. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't good enough to keep.
    TMARK likes this.
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I've got decades worth of stories. Off the top of my head:

    Alembic -- Always loved the tones that Entwistle got out of 'em, but they tend to be heavy and neck-divey (Series, Exploiter). Also, the electronics are versatile, but also complex.

    Spector -- owned an old NS-2, loved the tone and feel, but a 24-fret neck on a short body makes for neck dive and weird ergonomics: feels like you have to reach way out to get to the lower frets. Sure, if this was my only bass I could get used to it, but I will always own Fender-style basses which have perfect ergonomics for me.

    Ric -- love the tones of the 4001, but it has no forearm contour, and the body binding is uncomfortable. I know, Ric makes some contoured-body basses, but all I wanted was a black 4001 like Geddy had.

    Modulus Quantum -- loved the modern piano tone of the 35" composite neck... but owning this bass made me realize that my right hand is incredibly uncomfortable on narrow bridge spacing. I'm uncomfortable with all narrow-spaced fivers: Music Man, most Ibanez, etc.

    Fender Jazz -- fantastic bass, but I'm a P-bass guy! I don't go for PJ basses either... I rarely used the bridge pickups. My current P-basses are P-only.
  10. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    I've always wanted to try a higher end Spector but was worried about the ergonomics.
    MaxJJK likes this.
  11. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
  12. Parzival

    Parzival Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2013
    Rick and Mockingbird. Both sound great but very
  13. Guinness20


    Jan 24, 2013
    Liverpool, UK
    Gibson SG & Ric 4003.
  14. BassDaddy77


    Feb 12, 2010
    NE Ohio
    Warwick. Looked great, build quality great, but super uncomfortable and sound was very meh.
  15. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    Hofner 500/1 and RIC.

    Ergonomically not for me.
  16. rhuddles241


    Jul 4, 2013
    This. All day.
  17. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Bongo 6. I REALLY wanted one (I wanted a stealth HH to put some green DR neons on it for a freaky look) and went to try a stealth at GC with cash in hand to buy it... until I played it, or better, tried to. I could not play the guitar at all. The string spacing felt so wide that I kept missing strings while fast plucking and the neck felt HUGE, my left hand was cramping from the reaches in minutes and I kept missing notes all over the thing. I grabbed an Ibby 6 off the rack and blazed through it easily. Still, I was determined to get the Bongo, so I thought, "Maybe it's just that one... I'll try another." I tried 4 different ones (two setup wonderfully) before finally, reluctantly and totally giving up. :(

    A Bongo is the only bass I ever REALLY wanted until I played it, and then I tried and tried and tried.

    Now, if I could have a specially modified Bongo 5 modified as a 6 with the thinner neck and narrower spacing, I might be interested... but.... nah... I bought a Yamaha RBXJM2 and am completely over the Bongo - modded 5 or straight up 6. They are nice guitars... for people other than me to play.
    jg42 likes this.
  18. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    SunnBass, DwaynieAD and SirMjac28 like this.
  19. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again??

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    I believe that's exactly what Myung had them do (6 string on a modified 5 string neck).
    Splods and rtav like this.
  20. Rapisme

    Rapisme Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    G&L, Modulus, Suhr.