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Bass weight. What accuracy do you expect?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by aproud1, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. I expect it to be less than an ounce off

    27 vote(s)
  2. A few ounces don't bother me

    63 vote(s)
  3. Half Pound?

    19 vote(s)
  4. Eat more carrots and don't be a weight wimp!

    31 vote(s)
  1. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    When I buy a bass one of the main considerations is weight. A perfectly balanced bass is comfortable up to around 9.5 lb's but I usually hope for under 9(my current 5 string is a hair over 8lbs).

    I've found that most basses I receive are either spot on or slightly over the advertised weight. Which is fine. A few ounces can be method or calibration error. Every once in awhile I get one that is far over. Received a new bass today that was advertised as 9 lbs but weighs 9 lbs 13oz. And it made me wonder what other peoples expectations are. If it's a few ounces I don't care but where do you draw the line?
    mikecd1, Spidey2112 and Pbassmanca like this.
  2. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I guess it depends on the accuracy of the scales used to weigh it.
    PWRL, Pbassmanca and john m like this.
  3. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    It's never come up for me, buying or selling. I've only ever bought one bass without playing it first though, and very rarely have had occasion to sell one. A ten percent deviation wouldn't really surprise me, I guess. In any case, I totally get why it matters to you and so many others. If it ever did come up I'd take it to someone with a certified calibrated scale.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  4. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    If someone lists a precise weight with pounds and ounces, it should weigh that much. Maybe +/- an ounce or two. If it's not in that range than it's a lie, intentional or not. When I regularly sold basses I never had an accurate scale so I'd say what I guessed it was and would specify it was a guess.
  5. 10 Grams
    Yes, weighing in Grams is more precise!

    edit: accurate to precise
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
  6. Not been an issue for me either, but it will obviously depend on the scale used, honesty of the seller, and knowledge of pounds and ounces. Is that 8.5lb bass 8lbs 8oz (correct, there are 16 ounces in a pound), or 8lbs 5oz? Not a huge deal most of the time, but something to bear in mind.
    Ghastly and dmt like this.
  7. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I have a postal scale that cost me $30 in my shop. I also have a kitchen scale that my wife bought me - about $50. A few times I've compared the two scales, and they will sometimes disagree by a gram, but usually give the exact same answer - to the gram. So, weighing a bass accurately isn't an issue - it can be done with good precision for a very reasonable cost.

    There is, however, the issue of the wood's weight, which is a bit less in the winter (dry air). A few times I've had a bass unmodified with the same strings on it for half a year, and gotten a weight difference due to this. 20 or 30 grams seems to be the uncertainty here - about an ounce from heaviest to lightest. So, I'd expect that you can't nail it down any finer than that, but 13 ounces off is just inexcusable - that person had no actual idea what the thing weighed; they were just guessing. If you want to know what your bass weighs and don't have a scale, take it to the mail room in your company - they'll weigh it for you.
  8. hypercarrots


    Jan 28, 2009
    los angeles
    why does it say “what do you do abou” above the poll?
    i’m losing faith in other people’s abilities to do things like operate a scale. i would like to believe but i can’t count on it. i noticed sweetwater seems to round everything to the nearest 3, 6, 10 or 13th ounce.
    Kubicki Fan and pellomoco14 like this.
  9. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    No idea. I must have forgotten how to use Talkbass! :help:

    I guess this thread was written when I was a little angry/disappointed.
    Kubicki Fan likes this.
  10. Mark76


    Dec 1, 2015
    Maybe he's asking @abou?
    ThinCrappyTone and Waltsdog like this.
  11. nnnnnn


    Oct 27, 2018
    What's an ounce?
  12. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    In your case, the weight is much closer to ten pounds than it is 9. It was misrepresented.
    B-Lo, P. Aaron and dmt like this.
  13. I'm fine with a few ounces. The closer to 9 lbs the better.
  14. dmt


    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    I’d like it to be within a tenth of a pound. 2 or 3 tenths at worst. At that point, the weight is already noticeably different if you’re talking about an instrument at or near the max weight you’re comfortable with. Can I tell the difference between an 8.8 lb instrument and a 9.1 lb instrument? After a while, yep.

    Of course, fractions of a pound are traditionally measured in ounces, not tenths of a pound, so, within 2 to 5 ounces at worst.

    Really I’d like the weight to be spot on, but I’ll admit that both of the two digital bathroom scales I use give varying weights within a few tenths so that I have to do multiple weightings to see where an instrument most consistently reads at. Accordingly, I could unfortunately see a well intentioned person still getting it wrong by a few tenths of a pound.

    13 ounces though, no way! I mean, at 8 oz. you’re already at the next pound when rounding off to the nearest pound. That’s just wrong info then, and grounds for returning the instrument and getting your money back (unless other factors make you want to keep it anyway)
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
  15. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    Humidity can add an ounce or so, as can the string gauge. Compared to my postal scale, my bathroom scale can be off by as much as 7 or 8 ounces
  16. 2F/2F


    May 26, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    It's more precise, not more accurate.

    Precision is about how small the smallest demarcated units of measurement on a scale are. In another word, it means "fineness."

    Accuracy is about how true to actual weight a scale reads. In another word, it means "correctness."

    A scale can be quite precise (e.g. allows you to read weight down to a milligram), yet wildly inaccurate (i.e. simply gives you the wrong weight). Accuracy is usually more important than precision...and the units of measurement used have nothing to do with accuracy.

    In the OP's case, unless it is a damned fine instrument that you can't bear to part with, it should go back for having been sold with a false description of the weight.
    OogieWaWa and themarshall like this.
  17. dab12ax7ef


    Sep 25, 2011
    And “scale calibration” issues are so often measuring instruments curiously lighter than actual weight, where as it very rarely is off in the other direction. Seems like people round down weight for marketing purposes at times.

    A few tenth of a pound is reasonable, not s half pound through, with today’s attention to weight. Some might think it’s over emphasized, but that’s what it is these days.
    Kubicki Fan likes this.
  18. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    When buying a bass, this is what I like to see:
    (incidentally, this 7 pound, 3 ounce bass guitar is a 1994 Fender Urge...) :D
    pellomoco14 likes this.
  19. Ekulati

    Ekulati Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2016
    Richmond, VA
    Also make sure you use light strings.
    Kubicki Fan and mikewalker like this.
  20. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    It depends.

    Weight statements from manufacturers are by necessity generalizations, and I take them with a grain of salt, as it’s very difficult to be consistent with a natural material like wood, which will vary a good deal in density and weight.

    If it’s a used instrument, I expect more accuracy, as the seller has the opportunity to weigh that particular instrument, and not rely on manufacturer’s specs. However, there is also the question of the weighing method and what scales are used. A bathroom scale can easily be off by a pound, so I would ask the seller if he’s weighed it himself, and on what type of scale.

    There really is no substitute for handling the instrument yourself if you want to be sure. Then you can also bring a small digital luggage scale to confirm the actual weight of the bass. If the seller is too far away for you to do that, you’ll just have to take your chances, but if weight is that critical, I would only buy basses that I could actually try out in person.

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