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Are Boutique basses overhyped?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by waytoodeep03, Apr 10, 2009.

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  1. waytoodeep03

    waytoodeep03 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Frisco, Texas
    Listen to this. The guy took a brice and added an OBP-3 with Smith pickups and it sounds just like a Smith to me.

    Why do people pay $4000+ when you can get the exact same sound for $500?

  2. Zombbg4


    Jul 15, 2008
    Other than tone- craftsmanship, woods,feel, appearance.
  3. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Can't fault the tone or the playing there. Impressive.
  4. I am FAR from qualified (as far as experience playing boutique basses goes), but I think I can cover the basics of the answer... First, playability. Attention to detail on things like fretwork can make the difference in a boutique vs. stock production bass, even if tone was the same. Second, tone. It may sound the same to you, but to someone else's possibly more discerning ears (or at least, different ears), they may pick up on nuances that you don't... Not to mention that's a YouTube video... great for showcasing to the masses, but I wouldn't count on it to make a straight comparison between two basses. Lastly, options. Some people don't want an alder or ash bass with a maple or rosewood fretboard... And Fender (or Brice or any other production company, pretty much) just don't offer much in the way of spalted maple, Macassar ebony, wenge, buckeye burl, etc.

  5. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Boutique basses are only overhyped if you believe they are. Those who think they are will always believe they are, those who think that they're worth every penny will always believe they are worth every penny. It's a discussion with no "right" answer.
  6. xaxxat

    xaxxat Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    Bragging rights...
  7. waytoodeep03

    waytoodeep03 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Frisco, Texas
    Yea I figured that. :D

    That tone still sounds impressive.
  8. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Why do people buy $60,000+ cars when you can go just as fast in one that costs $1000?

    Why do people eat at 5 star restaurants when you can get just as full on Ramens?

    I've personally NEVER played any basses at any price that come close to my current basses in features, tone or playability.
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I think there are few things to take into consideration. First, higher end Brices are really well made basses. If they were made in Japan instead of China, they would run $1,500. Add top that an Aguilar preamp and Ken Smith pickups, yo have a bass that is in the neighborhood of a AtelierZ, Sadowsky Metro, or STR.

    Remember, the guy who put them in is pretty handy with tools, and was neat. If you mess on a project like that, you will have one ugly bass!:eek:

    Some project basses are worth it, but it also great to simply buy a bass that was put together by someone who is already great at doing it.:bassist:
  10. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    I will be burned at the stake for this, but quite frankly, I didn't like the tone all that much.
  11. sps500

    sps500 In Memoriam

    May 19, 2008
    Sorry I have to disagree with that statement. The choice of a bass is so personal. To take a quote from the Cadillac commercial does your car turn you on when you turn it on?

    It doesn't matter what it cost, if a $50 bass does it for you great and if a $8000 does it for another guy so be it.

    After all we all have heard great sounding players who use Squier's and others who use Fodera's. Who care's...:)
  12. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    you know, that's a great question there, mr. OP. but an even greater question is "how many times is the "are boutique instruments overhyped" going to be asked?"

    cuz, i've lost count, at like 74 trillion. and that's a neat trick considering there's only around a half million threads here at tb to start with.

    :) all kidding aside. the search function is your friend. use it.

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