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Bass weight, really?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Salicete, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. OK, I get it, a bass as heavy as a millstone is a drag to hang over your shoulder for a couple of hours a night, but folks quibbling over 8.8 vs. 9.6 pounds......come on.

    I think people put way too much emphasis on the weight of a bass, and I think the weight to sound quality ratio is vastly exaggerated. It is almost getting to be a "Emperor's New Clothes" scenario.

    I've owned and played hundreds of guitars over the years, and weight among standardized models (Fenders in this case) has never been an issue or made a noticeable difference to what comes out of the amps.

  2. Dominic DeCosa

    Dominic DeCosa Habitual Line-Stepper Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 9, 2008
    Vero Beach, Florida
    DiCosimo Audio
    A few ounces can make a big difference to someone with back problems.
  3. Ok, and I understand and agree with you there, but I was addressing the sound quality more than the physical demands of strapping on a heavy bass.
    [skyraider] likes this.
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Not only that, it adds up by the end of a 4 hour gig no matter how healthy your back is.
    obimark, R Upsomegrub, R&B and 24 others like this.
  5. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    I've heard people suggest that "heavy bass equals better tone" around here but not many.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
    BlueAliceOasis likes this.
  6. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
    I'm young enough to not care yet. One day it may come into play
  7. I have two extruded discs in my lower neck. Bass weight is kind of a big deal for me. That being said- no effect on tone...
    Bruce_M, [skyraider], noahw1 and 3 others like this.
  8. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    you know, you CAN go back and edit your original post and clarify.? @Salicete
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
    Bruce_M, OOD, Fat Steve and 10 others like this.
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yeah I think it is more about the thing hanging around your neck rather than tone. In fact, usually "light" and "resonant" tend to go together in bass descriptions.

    I thought I didn't care about weight until recently. Then I just happened to get a couple of really nice lightweight basses. Now I care. They are a joy to play.

    As much as I lived the Fender Roscoe Beck 5 I used to own, that suckered was over 11 pounds. Once I got my <8 pound P bass 5, the RBV became a backup.
  10. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    I used to favor heavier basses and thought they had a "tighter" low end sound. However, I had to retire my 77 Jazz, at 12-ish lbs it was destroying my back and shoulder. My newer P bass is 8 lbs and change..:)
  11. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I havent seen much conclusive evidence that weight means much in terms of tone.
  12. Now as we all know (and has been said over and over and over and over here on TB)..tone is all in the fingers....nudge nudge poke poke.....;):smug:

    So there's no need to pack a boat anchor around all night long.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
    BlueAliceOasis and NJSouth like this.
  13. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    Weight, as the only factor being examined, as an effect on tone?
    Strings, setup, and pickup type have more effect.

    *have* to say it "the tone is in the..."

    my basses range from 7.5 - 11lbs and they are all keepers, i flip what i don't dig.
  14. CentralCoastBass

    CentralCoastBass Guest

    Feb 4, 2004

    It's just one of many attributes that some folks consider when buying a bass. Brand, color, number of strings, and electronics are a few others.
  15. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    whether heavier woods mean better tone or not, one i had torn my rotator cuffs, light weight meant being able to play.

    if you play lighter basses BEFORE you're old enough to care, when you're old enough you won't need to care. if that makes any sense.
  16. CatSquare


    Mar 7, 2014
    Eight ounces shouldn't weigh very heavily in a bass purchase decision, but once the weight gap gets to be over a few pounds, where you can really feel it, weight is most definitely worth considering. My Squier P feels like a boat anchor compared to my Dano. Weight was part of why I got that bass.
    But an 8oz difference between two awesome basses? I'd choose the one that was awesomer for other reasons.
    BlueAliceOasis likes this.
  17. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    M-60 2. I humped one of these around for about 20 years - on an assault sling, like this one has - and trust me; it weighed a lot more than any electric bass you'll ever own (even without the ammo). So, until recently, I never cared how much a bass weighed. Lately, though, as I get within spitting distance of becoming an Official Old Person, I'm becoming more... aware, shall we say?... of how much they weigh. But, if I want a **** bass, then it weighs what it weighs. Which is why I probably haven't ever given much thought to the "weight vs. tone" squabble, either....:)
    Tupac, Rio Haride, Dgl44 and 14 others like this.
  18. Logic_11


    Nov 22, 2015
    Atlantic Ocean
    My bass weighs 12 pounds i think and after two thirty minute sets my feet hurt. Im 20 years old
  19. EMoneySC2

    EMoneySC2 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Minneapolis, MN
    I was recently shopping for a new jazz bass body on warmoth, and ended up purposefully buying one of the heavier ones just to spite all the old fogies here on TB

  20. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    I haven't really heard that tone is dependent upon weight. Is that one of those old myths that no one really believes anymore?
    Jughead6, GregC, hintz and 3 others like this.

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