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Auditioning Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rickbass, Jul 1, 2004.


  1. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Today, "me was so hawnnie" I hit some stores to try out basses for grins.

    Being in the Midwest, we don't have a plethora of high-end music stores, (Guitar Centers are pretty much the "currency of the realm"), so I was pretty much limited to Fenders.

    The point is - I tried out a load of new and used Fenders, more than any other brands, and must have gone through more than I can recall now to find "the one"........a worthy keeper. Some of the salespeople in the stores just gave up on me. But, to their credit, if I said the action stunk up the joint, they adjusted the bass for me, in most cases.

    I want to ask - what other brands have you found where all the available basses "are not created equal".......where some are just right and others seem like lemons ??? Some I tried seem like they were made on Friday afternoon just before quitting time.
     
  2. Squire :D
     
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I believe it. I have a friend who bought the first Squier on the rack for his son, just because he knew it was a Fender.

    Now the kid's in his high school jazz band and needs a better playing guitar to make the grade.
     
  4. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    The only brand i can really say i've seen inconsistant quality control in is Fender and Squier. Ibanez ive seen to be consistantly BAD so i guess that still says they're consistant. My local music store mainly carries Fenders, Ibanez, Warwick, Spector, Epiphone, Dean, and a Stingray or two. So they all seem to be consistant except Fenders/Squiers.
     
  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Fig - Does that include "real" Fenders and Mexican Fenders????.........I don't know.

    I had to borrow a Mexican Precis once for a couple of weeks and it was way better than a sloppy-playing `71 Precis I also used.
    Then again, a couple of basses is hardly a basis for coming to a conclusion.
     
  6. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I find that squiers are the most inconsistant and the worst basses.
    I find that mexican fenders are more consistant and of higher quality, and fluctuate quite a bit. Ive played MIM fenders that rival MIA Fenders, and ive played MIM fenders that rival squiers..
    MIA Fenders are pretty consistant once they get a good setup. It can make all the difference.
    Made in Japan fenders i think are the most consistant. They are consistantly good basses that definitely rival MIA Fenders.
     
  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Yep......they sure cleaned up their act from the "Teisco Del Ray/Lindell" days when they used green, poorly dried wood, (if it was dried at all), and you practically see "Budweiser" through the chrome.

    I haven't played a modern Japanese Fender bass but their legendary attention to consistency, these days, leads me to believe I would love one.

    I just wonder if China will get a killer rep as time goes on.
     
  8. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I've found Dean basses to be this way. I've tried some of the "should be nicer" neck-thru models with Bartolin pups that had poorly cut nuts with so much open string rattle that I didn't even bother to plug them in to hear the Bart electronics :meh:. I've also tried the lower priced bolt-ons that seemed to be put together flawlessly :).

    IME, Deans are definately a try-before-you-buy brand of bass.

    FWIW, I was really surprised by how good a Dean Edge Hammer looked, played, and sounded!

    http://www.deanguitars.com/edge_hammer.htm
     
  9. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Open string buzz usually is fixed with a good setup.
     
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Unless the nut slots are cut too low, or too large.
     
  11. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Spot on! ;)
     
  12. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    True. But a nut is replaceable, if the rest of the bass is nice.
     
  13. BucketButt

    BucketButt

    Sep 10, 2003
    Medina, TN USA
    A poor setup can spoil the playability (and sound, in some cases) of an otherwise nice bass. A good music store will check the "as-shipped" factory setup on every instrument it receives and correct as necessary. This doesn't mean the setup can't be improved further, but at least the bass will be playable when you take it off the wall.

    When I bought my MIM Precision last year it had been setup to Fender specs. When I began taking lessons a month later at a different store I took advantage of a strings-and-setup special to replace the original (and somewhat dead) strings with Rotosounds; I was pleasantly surprised to find that the bass was even more playable after the store's bass technician (who is also my bass instructor) made slight adjustments to both neck and bridge. I've been trying other basses lately, planning on getting a Jazz to go with my P; Chris' setups beat those done at the first store so much, I have trouble comparing the two stores' instruments.