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Are you happier owning only one bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by black.rose1402, May 23, 2018.

  1. black.rose1402


    Jan 10, 2007
    Not to start a flame war here.
    It's just about getting some opinions and thoughts.

    I am blessed to have owned some of the best instruments, and I owned 15 basses at the same time at some point in my life.

    Now I'm the lucky owner of a Sadowsky NYC Will Lee 4, a Sadowsky metro MV5, and a Fender Precision bass CS Pino Palladino, so 3 amazing instruments.

    Except for a band where I'm really asked to bring the 5 string, most of the time I find myself Asking myself which bass to take, knowing that owning the gear I own , whatever bass I take will be ok ( unless they don't want the flatwounds vibe...)

    But I remember when I only owned one bass ( those days are pre TB) and doing everything with that bass , finding ways to get the tone I want from one bass...

    I often ask myself if I wouldn't be happier just owning one bass and just do everything I need with one, ok it's cool to have loads of instruments to choose from, but at the same time it's great not to have to think about anything and just grab what you got when you only have one bass, and just play the role of the bass player.

    I say to myself that owning a great 5 string is all a bass player would need ( of course it's not a 4 and somebody could tell me what about the flatwound tone etc...)

    I'm a pro bass player, I earn my income playing bass, and of course a pro needs some tools, but sometime, just a great sounding bass is enough, for example, I always have compliments about my tone when I bring one of my Sadowsky basses, or people love the "velvet" tone of my pbass, so whatever bass I bring, I always have a good tone.

    It's just that sometime, I miss those days where it was simpler, just owning a bass and doing everything with it.

    If you guys only had to own one bass, would you get a passive bass, active bass? 4 or 5 string? Jbass or Pbass oriented ( or maybe something else like a Musicman or whatever?)

    for the ones that went back to owning one bass, are you happier?
  2. Bass Man Dan

    Bass Man Dan Endorsing Artist: Ned Flanders' Bass-a-Reeno

    Oct 20, 2017
    I recently read a short article about the grocery store chain Aldis, and the article cited one reason for their success was actually their lack of options. They carry one brand of ketchup. The article said people given fewer choices were generally more satisfied with their product choice. I'd call it "What if effect." There's definitely something to it.

    I owned only a EBMM Stingray for a long time and never longed for anything else until I joined this site. Up to 9 now.
  3. I currently own 7 basses - three fretless, and four fretted (one of which is a five-string), and as far as I remember I've always had more than one bass - a headless bass and a bass with a headstock (in the late 80's/early 90's I had a used Steinberger Spirit and a Hohner Jack alongside a no-name PJ), a four-string and a five-string, or a fretted and a fretless, a Jazz and a Precision, active and passive basses, single coils / humbuckers etc. I like the variety of options I have at my disposal. Plus - GAS! :)
  4. FilTurd


    Dec 13, 2015
    Pacific Northwest
    Well I can tell you for years I owned a Guild Pilot and it was my only bass. It was great. I sold it and purchased a Gamma Alpha P bass. It is as great in my opinion as the Pilot. I recently purchased a DeArmond Pilot Plus, have my Gamma Alpha P and built a P/J with a Guild Pilot and a K-neck. I am moving to Louisiana and had to sell 2 of the 3 basses. I chose to sell the Gamma and DeArmond. The bass I built has everything I want in a bass as did the Gamma.But since I built the bass I haven't used the DeArmond or Gamma.

    It reminds me exactly of the old Pilot I had except I put passive EMG rather then the active like the Guild Pilots originally had.
    So, I would say I don't mind having 1 bass as long as it's the 4 string Pilot body, high mads bridge, with EMG pickups P/J set up and Cleartone Heavy gauge strings..
    Basstigator likes this.
  5. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    I could do with just one bass and have so for 20 years, but now have a total of 8, well....because I can. I would say 3 gets the most use. So 3 seems to be my sweet spot - a P/J, a Musicman and a fretless - and that's in order, so if I had to keep only one, it would be a passive P/J.
    ShirazBop, rollo, Mili and 1 other person like this.
  6. eastcoasteddie


    Mar 24, 2006
    One of each...
    4 string
    5 string
  7. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    Having one bass as my MAIN player makes sense for me. However my appreciation for the instrument itself won’t let my desire to enjoy different tonal options be satisfied with just one bass.
    Sometimes I want to hear that Pbass with flats vibe. Other times it’s a Jazz bass. My MusicMan Caprice does its own special thing that makes it my main player .

    I enjoy different styles of music and that requires more options. Sometimes that low B string and added flexibility of an onboard preamp .
    I tried the one bass routine for a while. Just couldn’t do everything I wanted with one or 2 basses. 3 basses seems to be the sweet spot for me.
    Anything else is just icing on the cake .
    I wouldn’t want to go through life using only 1 color in the crayon box.
    I’d really like to have an upright and maybe a fretless and some type of key bass setup. But then I’m getting into do I need the 24 count or 64 count box of crayons territory.

    I’ll probably continue to make due with my current lineup.
    Relsom, stingray69, Yammybass and 8 others like this.
  8. A perfectly happy one-bass owner for 39 years. It is an excellent bass.
    wmmj, LBS-bass, BassBuzzRS and 15 others like this.
  9. MD Stingray

    MD Stingray Guest

    Jan 17, 2008
    My 2018 Bass-challenge: Sell all my basses expect one, before summer-holiday.

  10. IPA


    May 5, 2010
    I think 2 is the perfect number. I've had up to maybe 7 at once which is a waste.

    2 gives you some tonal/string options and a little wiggle room if you want to quench GAS or mess with mods and upgrading.
    danesdad, MD Stingray, exidor and 7 others like this.
  11. black.rose1402


    Jan 10, 2007
    HAHA so it's because of Talkbass :)

    The Aldi thing is quite interesting, that shows that the less options we have and the more creative we can get then, and we don't have to think to much about gear and focus more on what is important!
  12. I had 1 PJ bass for about 12 years, then got a five string "modern" bass. Now, I bought another 4 string PJ to sort of replace the other one. So I have 3, but only play two of them. And really, I only play the one 4. Unless circumstances call for the 5. Which isn't often. Happy as a clam.
  13. pjbassist


    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Wayne, IN
    <-<-<- The bass in my avatar is a Warmoth P Bass with Double P Active EMGs, had it since 1988. I have played this bass almost exclusively for 30 years! I have wanted/needed a backup for about 20 years (just in case). Just built the closest thing I could to use as my backup. Guess what...its a Warmoth P Bass with Double P Active EMGs, the ONLY difference is that the bridge pickup is reversed. I am set for another 30 years. It looks like this:
  14. dmt


    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    Not counting acoustics, I only had my P bass for 12 years and I was pretty happy — but I frequently had a mild-to-moderate longing for my old Jazz that I’d sold off soon after I’d gotten the P. Meanwhile, as I’ve had periodic trouble with my hands, wrists, arms, and back, I also had a need, which I didn’t quite comprehend at the time, for a short scale. When I finally did get a short scale, it was like, "Man, what the heck took me so long."

    I’d say having 3 electrics plus also an acoustic bass makes me happy (so, 4 total). More than that does start to feel like a lot of stuff; less than that would certainly be survivable but also kinda suck. Precision is my favorite, Mustang (short scale) is my other favorite and sometimes a necessity (due to my crappy body), I definitely like having a Jazz for a change o’ pace, and I definitely like having an acoustic to go with acoustic guitars and for just messing around and figuring stuff out on in my apartment...

    I do have a couple of others, but they are unnecessary and actually weigh on my mind a bit
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
    black.rose1402 likes this.
  15. b_carville


    Jun 26, 2008
    One always needs a backup( string break,someone throws a drink & shorts out the pickup,forgot the battery if you play active,falls or get knocked off the stand,etc)
    Gotta have at least 2!
    pappabass, lfmn16, wmmj and 3 others like this.
  16. FishDub

    FishDub Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    I guess I could get by with one bass only especially since I don’t gig anymore. However, the problem is that I have 3 that I play the most and it would be a nauseating experience to sell 2 out of 3. Every time I think about having one bass, I play each of them and realize I don’t want to sell any lol..
  17. black.rose1402


    Jan 10, 2007
    Damn! and you've never been tempted to get another one, you were always satisfied with the one you got? Damn , I m jealous!!!
    pappabass and MycooLeeyun like this.
  18. I would have been perfectly happy with owning one bass (Fender J) if it weren't for TalkBass telling me any serious bass player should own at least a J and a P. So, two passive 4-string's for the last few years.

    I would have been perfectly happy with the two Fenders if it weren't for the little voice in my head suggesting I should own at least one active 5-string. So, here I am with three basses as of two weeks ago. (And I don't even do this professionally.)

    Would I be happy if I had to go back to owning one bass now? Probably not.
    Would I be happy if the three I have right now are the only three I'll ever play for the rest of my life? I would say yes.
    taught and black.rose1402 like this.
  19. black.rose1402


    Jan 10, 2007

    The 3 basses I got are to me some kind of the ultimate basses, and I don't think I'm capable of selling any of them, I love them 3 to death, but, sometimes when for example, I take the Sadowsky WL, I think that would be the only bass I need ( it has a D tuner, I can try to find a way to go to a 5 string territory if I detune), then at another Gig, I play the Pbass, and think to myself : Simplicity, it's all you need..., then a gig on the 5 and here I am thinking that this bass can cover all the bass needs because it sounds great, and it's like a jazz, so can't be wrong with that...

    I hear the point about having a back up, but I'm really careful with my instruments... and the sadowskys can go passive...

    Maybe I just like the idea of having a tool to do it all, which I believe is possible because in the past I did so
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
    Bioflava, FishDub and dmt like this.
  20. _sky_


    Jan 8, 2012
    I only have the need for have two. A freted Jazz and a fretless Jazz. I say Jazz bass because even if I get another bass with another pickup configuration, I always return for a jazz bass.

    I recently got a HB Beatbass for a bang (35 euros) in second hand just because I like the looks.

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