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Bass companies that have been around for the last 10 years. Contributions?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Blackbird, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I think it's fair to say things are going pretty well for us bassists as far as attention from manufacturers, etc. There are more bass dedicated publications than ever and more advertising dollars are being allocated to reach us. Also, a fair number of new companies have shown up.

    My question is: have any of these new companies made a significant contribution? The way I see it, the biggest innovation from a new company was Lakland's use of the J + MM pickup configuration, which have spawned copycats everywhere.

    The Peavey B-Quad 4 and Cyberbass, as well as the Conklin 7 string also come to mind, but they've been around for a longer time (and Peavey's huge, of course)

  2. You're saying that taking a stock Bart replacement Jazz pick up, putting it in the Fender Jazz neck position AND taking a stock Bart replacement MusicMan pickup and putting it in the spot Leo chose for that one too is that biggest innovation in a decade???

    I've seen a constant "Raising of the Bar" by the elite bass builders of the world... not innovation though
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    What would you choose?
  4. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Some innovations from the last ten years:

    Fanned frets;
    Lightwave pickups;
    Increasingly accurate bass MIDI systems;
    Digital bass amplifiers;
    Neo speaker cabinets;
    Quality bass multi-fx;
    Amp/bass modelling technology
    Singlecut designs (may be more than 10 years old now though?)
  5. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    Behind you!
    David- great list. The first things that came to my mind were fanned frets and the Lightwave system.

    For a more specific bass company, check out the innovations offered by http://www.dammannbasses.com/
  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Thanks for the list Dave. Those things didn't cross my mind at the time. I guess that's why I posted.
  7. I never even thought about it for my basses in consideration. A Lakland with an MM and a J pickup would be perfect. Too bad i dont like how those basses lookl. :crying: I would like a J or a P bass style bass for next guitar, and none of the Laklands that have the pickup config are in that type of style body.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Roger Sadowsky in his work with Active Electronics and use of figured tops on vintage style instruments. :bassist:
  9. not less then 10 years...

    Blackbird: I don't have one... everything is improving and expanding on existing ideas IMHO.

    Maybe I'm missing something or being too strict on my definition of "innovation"
  10. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I think Brubaker's removable preamp module could become a major innovation if he sells the idea to other makers.
  11. bgartist

    bgartist Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    "My question is: have any of these new companies made a significant contribution? The way I see it, the biggest innovation from a new company was Lakland's use of the J + MM pickup configuration, which have spawned copycats everywhere."

    The Warwick Dolphin came out with the jazz/MM pickup combination before Lakland. They were just so ugly!
  12. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    While I doubt that this qualifies as innovation, I have been totally impressed with the amazing increase in quality of the very low end imports, such as SX, Rogue, Galveston, etc. The overall technological improvements in the mass production market have provided a greatly improved instrument for those without the cash reserves required for a higher end purchase. Think about the quality of a bass you can buy today for $100-$150, then think back (those who are old enough to think back, that is) to the old days when Silvertone basses were in that same price range. No comparison ..........

    Not to suggest that these basses can compete with Conklin, Peavey, Warwick, et.al., ..... I just think that as the bass market has grown, mass manufacturers have realized that there is a buck to be made in the low end world and they have invested in the equipment to do it. And we all, as players, benefit from it.
  13. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    There were active electronics before Roger Sadowsky, and he certainly wouldn't take credit for being the first to put figured tops on vintage style instruments.

    And, I'm not really sure using curly maple on a Jazz body would constitute an innovation, anyway.

    Greg Curbow was using Rockwood (Dymondwood) before Zon, Roscoe, or anyone else. I'd say that was pretty innovative.

    And, the Bongo's 4 band EQ is pretty innovative for a production bass.
  14. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Sheldon Dingwall has actually made a few different innovations that I feel are noteworthy. In addition to the well known fact that he uses fanned frets in his basses, he has taken it a step further in stretching out those scale lengths. Not many people making fanned fret instruments have such a large fan if you will.

    He also has a very innovative non angled headstock design for his AB's. Using short, countersunk tuning pegs, he was able to use a flat headstock and save on costs, without having to use string trees to get the proper downforce at the nut.

    As far as I know, he is also the pioneer of the 4-way rotary pickup selector switch, which is also now used by JP and Skjold to name a few.

    And one more innovation, which I dont know who to credit, is possible the zero fret. Im not sure how long thats been around either though and if it fits into this 10 year category.
  15. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    IMO, the biggest change I've seen in basses over the past decade *or so* is the increased overall quality. If I were to point to one single biggest outcome is the fact that many luthiers have mastered the low B. Prior to the past decade or so, few luthiers were able to make a bass with a great low B.
  16. That was the one thing that popped into my head when I saw the thread, but I was pretty sure I read about it much earlier

    You mean like the rotory switches made popular in the 70's by Alembic, Gibson, Smith, Etc?

    way older then 10 years
  17. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    Well I'm sure there were companies doing it before the 90's, but the use of stiffening materials such as graphite rods has definetly started to become mainstream during the last 10 years. I think that as far as long term impact, that has been one of the greatest innovations.
  18. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    neuser's fretless sounding bridge.
    10+ stringed basses
    villex passive pup system
    PBC/Bunker's tension free neck system
  19. I think the Bolt-on Singlecut is a cool innovation. i don;t really remember seeing many, if any, about 10 years ago..
  20. IMHO, the major contribution, is that there are a lot more bass brands in the market, bringing their own sounds, feelings and so on...
    That's the major improvement!
    You have a real wide choice! Just my 2cents


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