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Bass Players: Too Fickle?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Marlat, Feb 18, 2003.

  1. Agree

    6 vote(s)
  2. Disagree

    25 vote(s)
  1. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Okay, im not trying to start a flame war, but I was thinking today that (possibly) bass players are no different from the kids listening to MTV waiting and acting on the next big thing.

    It seems every 6 months or so, a new "toy" comes along, whether its a bass, an amp or a cabinet that is "the next hot thing". For example, it seems that Bevantne (sp?) and Brubaker basses are the hot ticket items at the moment. A while back, no one could get enough of Zons.

    Before that there was Euphonic Audio and Epifani cabinets, before that ACME cabs, before that Eden amps and cabs. - Im not saying this is necessarily a bad thing, but does it make us any different from the kid who listens to Britney - Linkin Park etc? It seems there is often criticism of "fashionable" things, but to me it seems that a lot of bass players are no different?

    Any thoughts?
  2. Chriss62


    Jul 24, 2000
    Austin, Texas
    I think equipment keeps improving. Pop music just keeps getting worse.:D
  3. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    I suppose with any group of people that are "fans" of something there will be those who follow "trends." But I don't think new great basses are trendy really...now if everyone started running out and buying BassLabs basses because of how "cool they looked" then maybe we would have a problem. I think most people here seem to be pretty darn level headed about what they want/buy. Everyone wants that perfect combination of looks, sound and playability. I get excited when I find something new and great that I didnt heretofore know about, just like everyone else...
  4. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Whilst I agree that bass purchases are generally not spur of the moment things - it seems to me that fashion trends in the bass world seem to be just as common as any other area of life - and we act on them.

    How many people are buying ACME cabinets know and raving about it? A year and a half ago they were the best thing since sliced bread!

    How many people owned a Bevetne two years ago? Now Chris is backlogged with orders? Whats changed?

    To quote the limo driver in Spinal Tap, "its a fad"! :)
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Guitarists are much, much worse, although they're more conservative in their choices.
  6. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Really? I thought guitarists mainly stuck with the Les Paul / Strat / PRS thing... Do you mean in terms of effects?
  7. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Just to bring this back on topic... what do people think are the bigger bass fads over the last few years?

    My thoughts are (not that any of these are necessarily bad basses):

    Sadowsky / Lulls (two years ago?)
    Zons (1.5 years ago)
    Laklands (1yr?)
    Lakland Skylines (6 months?)
    Single Cuts (now?)
  8. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    It's hard to generalise about bass players. Some do give the impression that their hobby is more about buying, selling and owning gear than about playing per se but I guess these are the people who keep the market alive and ensure that there continue to be an increasing range of great choices from a wide range of equipment manufacturers.

    Mind you, it's also pretty hard to generalise about kids watching MTV (although I'd agree that 'individualism' seems to be treated as a mass market commodity in many places! :) ).

  9. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Mark, the guitarists I know buy amps and guitars all the time. They also have higher numbers of different guitars and amps than the bassists I know.

    The only real fad I noticed was that (vintage) J bass fad of the late 90s.
    A lot of luthiers told me this greatly affected their work.
  10. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Hmmm, this fits better in "Misc".

    I don't know if bassists are more fickle than guitarists, but I do think the bass players you see in places like TB are much more gear-orientated that the average bear.

    I think the "average" player has two or three basses, a rig, and is as happy as a clam - at least until he discovers the Internet and GAS.
  11. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    Nobody is more fickle than tuba players. 20 yearrs ago, you couldn't give away a horn with piston valves, now, they are in style, and everyone is dumping their $6000 rotary horns and buying $8000 piston horns. Someday, it will swing back the other way.
    I thing bass players are very traditional. How many people here still love the old fenders and stingrays. If they were that flickle, you couldn't give them away.
  12. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Well, why should a bass player be any different than the average person? We are formed by the culture we live in, and by our genes... ;)
  13. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i think it's just the opposite, ime. but then again, i've been playing the same basses now for around a decade with no changes. i haven't changed my rig significantly in more than 5 years either. shoot, in almost 20 years of playing i've only sold one instrument, one cabinet and one head.
  14. camoe


    Sep 7, 2001
    Lafayette, CO
    I don't think that I would be far off by saying that you J.T. are the exception to the rule when it comes to basses and equipment...:D . I wouldn't get rid of your basses either...;)

  15. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
  16. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Nor would I. But only because I would never have bought them in the first place.

    :D :D :D
  17. fivestringdan

    fivestringdan Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    God I am!!! You don't even want to know how many basses I have bought and sold over the past two years. I have held on to my main bass durring that period. I was really wanting to find a fretless and a 4 string that fit my tastes. Still haven't found the fretless. A big reason that I do the B n' S thing is there is not a good music store around for 200 miles. I hardly ever get to play on basses I am interested in. I end up buying them to see if I like it. Usually end up selling too. It sucks but I never get to leave town. And GC just don't cut it with the instrument selection.
  18. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Yes, I think bassists are incredibly fickle. The current fads seem to be singlecuts and spalt/burl tops (but I'm definitely not saying these will go the way of the Steinberger).

    I think there's a certain price level above which quality is consistent, so you never get anything noticeably better, you just get different. And really, very few people aside from other musicians (other bassists, most likely) are going to notice that difference. There are differences that nobody else would or should notice, such as playability, but IMO there are lots of choices even for those (such as me) who can be picky about playability ("wide" fives).

    That said: I don't think there's anything wrong with being trendy (unless the wife and kids are going shoeless because of it). I'm sure I qualify... I don't go through gear nearly as often as some of us do, but still, I've picked up some trendy items in my recent gear upgrades. And I think there are legitimate reasons to be trendy: image can be important for pros and those who want to break into the pro circuit.
  19. camoe


    Sep 7, 2001
    Lafayette, CO
    That is one good signature Fuzzbass!
    I'll remember that one.

  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    I've always said we as a group are fickle, especially in respect to speaker cabs and amplification.

    As far as instruments go we can be just as fickle.

    I like looking for gear. I like nice basses. I like innovation. Improvements are still being made across the board.

    Too fickle? Not sure what that means. I've been using the same amp for ten years. I've had some of my basses for twenty.