Any bass makers to avoid?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AttackDonut, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. AttackDonut


    Jun 29, 2003

    Thank you for the helpful words in my other questions. I am listening and taking them to heart, but at the same time I am keeping an eye out and looking at what is available.

    In my searches at the local music stores, I have encounterd many bass makers, some I know (Washburn, Peavy, BC Rich, Fender) and many many others I've never heard of (Carlo Robelli, Austin, Wagner, even others more oddball)

    As with most anything manufactured, there are quality products and shoddy ones, any makers to stay away from?
  2. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    holy crap,

    this is a flame war just waitin' to happen... :meh:
  3. Fender :D

    No, really, it's hard to say. Unless you are talking custom luthiers, most bass makers have at least a survivable reputation otherwise they go out of buisness. As for custom instruments, a lot of people have trouble bad-mouthing these people even if they get a bad instrument. My opinion is you reap what you sough, but whatever.

    In any case, Rouge is the only one I can think of with a less then great reputation as far as building instruments, but the ones I have played haven't been that much worse or better on average then a Squire Affinity.

    One I really suggest you stear clear of is Hoffner. They should cost 10-20% of what they do (and that's generous), but I guess some people like them. Crap if you ask me.
  4. Alembic, they are total cheap pieces of crud :D

    BTW, that was a joke!
  5. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    ...and as such, will be watched VERY closely.

    BTW, I've run across a couple of Rogues that weren't so bad - but I don't think I'd want to order one sight unseen.
  6. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    I wish you all would avoid Sadowsky, Fodera, MTD, Zon, and Elrick.

    That way as demand went down, so would price - and I could buy more for cheaper! :D
  7. Killdar


    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    yah......uh......I don't think you should avoid anything by its name. Peavey?? Fender?? oy!. I know there are some happy BC rich owners on here too...and there are almost always some good and some bad examples of many basses.

    I'd rather not add fuel to the fire, but I've seen a good few negative things about DP custom.....but I'm not the authority, so ask an owner.
  8. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    The only basses I've ever come across that I've thought to avoid in the future were a bunch of low-level Samicks, and then not because of sound or playability, but rather because they felt "frail" to me, as if they would snap in half if I slapped too hard. Not poorly constructed, just the overall bass was "weak" if that makes any sense.

    Strangely enough, the only other basses I've come across that I've felt that way about? Fodera.

  9. Not to be a cynic, but every company or custom luthier out there has at one time or another either made a mistake (bad bass), or sold a nice piece to someone who has turned it into a disaster (cracked headstocks, overtightened or snapped trussrods etc.). There are a few pleasant exceptions, but the bad ones are also out there whether you are buying new or used. Of course, you're asking about the companies that make consistently bad basses...

    The advice that I've seen here most often is also what makes the most sense. Play everything that you can get your hands on until you find a special bass that connects to YOU. Ignore the name on the headstock. While it isn't always possible to play every bass before you buy it, these are the ones that often turn into expensive lessons. I think it would be safe to say that many of us (like me) have learned this the hard way.

    Remember, a bass that you think is terrible may be the one that somebody else is dreaming about. YMMV (your milage may vary)
  10. AttackDonut


    Jun 29, 2003
    I didn't mean to start a flame-war. In my experience in other fields (cars, car parts, computers, model kits) it's almost a no-brainer who to stick with and who to avoid, thought it might be that way in basses as well, I am wrong.

    I know that a music shop seller isn't going to tell me a straight answer when it comes to quality, so I wanted to get your reactions here.

    Sorry about the "trollish" nature of the post.
  11. Not your fault at all. You weren't trolling and you had no intentions of starting a flamewar. Its just that someone might bad-mouth a company and someone might get angry and start flaming. Thats how these threads usually end up, but I think that this thread will stay civil.
  12. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    took the words right outta my mouth... ;)
  13. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    You might want to avoid the bass Im building considering its my first. Other than that play as many as you can.

    A turd can be made made by any maker or builder along with some real gems.
  14. Killdar


    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    I have a guitar that is made of plywood....and to all of the guitarists who play it, they say it sounds relatively good. Sometimes plywood can be decent sounding too. it's just....multiple laminations....similar in structure to say, alembic? eh...
  15. THe Austins are pretty good, my store carries them. 180 bucks and solid wood, not too shabby....
  16. Wishnevsky...

    Man, I'm surprised no one jumped on this one before me. :D
  17. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    Looks like someone jumped on the one I've got right now, repeatedly.
  18. I'd say that it's not so much as the brand itself but in the product... but as most things go, for the most part, you get what you pay for.

    Sure, theres alot of really decent sounding basses out there for cheap, but id just say what most other do... Rogue and a few Squiers (and quite a few more of the lower end korean manufacturers). Plywood plays like plywood and sounds like @#$%^, so avoid that. But i think your best bet would be to just sit down and play each instrument separately, then let your ears decide before your eyes (and your wallet) do. It's amazing how much difference there can be from each bass to the next, even if it has a bad OR good rep. Hope that helps a little.

  19. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    To avoid? Hmmmm...I try to stay away from BC Rich. Though liking the appearance is completely subjective, I haven't found a single person who thought they were comfortable. They also seem very shoddily-made and cheap when I play them, even though the price tag is around $800. Also, their sound is pretty narrow -- hardcore metal or nothing. I apologize to anyone who's offended by this statement, but frankly, they sound like complete crap.

    Other stuff like Fernandes and Rogue aren't exactly high up on my reccomended list, but they make for a decent beater with which to experiment on. Considering installing some new pickups, but never done it before? Try it on the beater, first. Defretting? Might as well do it on the beater to get the hang of it.
  20. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    basses i don't even bother trying anymore, after playing a few and being severely disappointed:

    BC Rich
    Jay Turser