Basses with 'Mojo' Rant!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by faulknersj, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. Must be 'minty'

    9 vote(s)
  2. Normal dings and nicks and other wear are ok.

    33 vote(s)
  3. If i like it, i don't care about the cosmetics one bit!

    56 vote(s)
  1. faulknersj

    faulknersj Inactive

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    Maybe not a rant, but we love when old basses are beat up a little and have some 'Mojo' means they got played...and the good ones 'got played!'...right? But, if a not so vintage bass 'gets played' and has the scars to prove it, some of us find that undesirable...more 'imperfections' than 'Mojo'.. Is this a double standard? I kinda think so. Thoughts?"
  2. Showdown


    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I think there is a difference between worn from many years of playing and beat up from not being taken care of properly. Any bass is going to get a few dings here and there, but a newish bass with a poly finish is really hard to make look like a well used vintage bass with a worn nitro finish just from normal wear and tear.
  3. Tonegasm


    Mar 22, 2010
    I've recently learned that the only basses I really feel comfortable playing on are beat up, vintage Fenders. They make me feel at home like no other.
  4. D.M.N.

    D.M.N. (O))))

    Oct 6, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    I don't know, my Fenders aren't vintage, but I've played the snot out of them and they have the wear to show it, and I don't think that's undesirable. I think a lot of the issue comes...well, I know it's a touchy subject, but...relics. I won't state my opinions either way, but I think that might be part of the reason newer basses that are beat up might not be seen as having he same credible "mojo", because one doesn't know if that's real wear from being played hard and regularly, or just the work of a luthier making it look like it has "mojo". YMMV, of course, but those are my thoughts on he matter, not looking to start any relic arguments.
  5. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I have an idea of how different basses and playing styles wear on a bass. IMO, it's pretty easy to tell "mojo" from "nojo", but we all have different tastes and tolerances.
  6. I think there's truth to that. I have three poly finished instruments, and they are all played, but not abused, and the finishes have barely a mark. My strat was brand new in 2008(with me the sole owner) and still mostly looks it. My Jazz bass(also a 2008 model) is a former rental instrument and still fairly clean, but for some wear above the neck pickup from where I play. My Precision is a 2000, and spotless. But it was donated to a local second hand store and Iknow nothing of its history. For all I know, it could have been played very little, before me.

    And maybe relicing has created some bias. It certainly is a polarizing topic. So many people seem to either really love it, or really hate it. I say to each their own, but my personal preference is to have spotless instruments and maintain them well, but if honest wear happens, it happens.
  7. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Inactive Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales. Tech 21, NBE Corp, Sonosphere.
    Mojo normally means played often, played a Long time and played with respect for the instrument. So 10 year old bass with some buckle rash, a chip here and there and a groove worn in the body near where your thumb rested on the pickup over the thousands of gigs you played is mojo.

    A three year old bass hanging in the pawn shop scratched to hell, chipped, stickers all over it and maybe some rust in spots is not mojo it's abuse. So not hypocritical at all. Damage and lack of care is not mojo. I got to play Jerry Jemmotts highly modified 1964 J bass this week. No abuse evident. Signs of a bass being played for 50 years? You bet! But there were no huge scratches, no chunks of wood missing no signs of terminal beating. Just a lot of wear where u would expect from a legend playing it.
  8. faulknersj

    faulknersj Inactive

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    There are people on here who will pass on a killer 'player bass' because it has a couple blemishes..are there not?
  9. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable

    Apr 15, 2013
    What difference does it make? You like it you buy it. You and I don't have to like the same things.

    Having said that, to me wood = Mojo. it's hard for me to get excited about anything with a thick solid paint job. Seeing wood grain, feeling the bass "breath" as I play, that's Mojo (to me).
  10. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Inactive Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales. Tech 21, NBE Corp, Sonosphere.
    Faulkner people pass on buying basses for many reasons. I will buy a mojo covered bass for the right price. I personally wouldnt pay more then $200 for a relatively new but clearly beat on Ibanez (the choice of bass terrorists) but I would pay a grand for a well played but loved Ibanez Musician from the '80s. Could have the same exact defects.

    Also what some consider a player bass is trash to another.
  11. Name brands on the one hand, and character marks on the other hand. There's a tension here.

    I'll leave us to ponder this and let everyone decide if and how to apply it as they see fit:

    "If your momma raised you on manure, you'd develop a taste for it."
  12. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Like Tom, there's a world of difference to me whether a bass shows the cosmetic scars from years of making music, or whether someone's tried to fake that look.

    I mean no offense to folks who like the relic thing. I'm just saying it ain't my thing.
  13. I agree with the honest wear vs. abuse comments. I've played hundreds of gigs on my 1995 Fender Am Standard P-Bass, and has only a couple of minor sings due to the poly finish and reasonable care. Same with my other main player, a Lakland Skyline Duck Dunn.
    I personally don't mind buying a newer bass with some normal wear, but not with signs of abuse.
  14. I tend to be just the opposite. I really like nice, solid color paint jobs. But the great thing is there's so much out there that I can have what I like, everyone else can have what they like, and it's all good IMO.

    On that note, I'd have no problem buying honest wear myself. To me, it just means someone else cared for it, but actually played it too. But I wouldn't buy a badly abused instrument unless the price was cheap and I wanted a platform for a complete rebuild.
  15. lyla1953


    Jul 18, 2012
    +1 - although there is something about buckle rash that makes me crazy.....
  16. Nobody

    Nobody Inactive

    Jul 14, 2004
    I like to pour lots of coffee on my bass for mojo.....
  17. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Mojo, to me, is something that cannot really be seen on an instrument. It's the way an old instrument feels really smooth and broke-in with regards to playability.

    Usually, the edge of the fingerboard has sections that seem to have shrunk or worn in between the frets. The frets themselves have been dressed a few times are are kind of flattened out. The finish gone in all the right places behind the neck. It's things like that that you might think it would hinder playability, but just enhances it instead.

    Not every old instrument has it, nor does every well-worn one.
  18. faulknersj

    faulknersj Inactive

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    Let me be a little more specific; the majority of high end basses (Sadowsky, Custom Shop Fenders, etc) that are for sale here on talkbass are 'mint' or close to it. I am sure some of them have been played, but, in my experience, it is next to impossible to keep a bass that really gets played 'mint' or close to mint. I'm sure there are guys that can play a bass a ton and accomplish this feat (tips welcome ;)) but i can't do it. My basses see about 260 gigs per year...and not one of them is 'mint'. Most of the dings and chips on my basses are on the bottom and for some reason, placing my basses on stands during set breaks beats them up more than any thing else (usually 3 set breaks a about 780 set breaks a year). My main players are 2 Custom Shop Fenders, a 73' Jazz, and a Musicman Sterling. They are all 'good ones', exceptional playing and sounding basses imo. The only one of these that wont lose substantial value from being 'played' is my 73'...and that already has enough mojo for any basses lifetime. But, my point is, and i am speaking mainly about the 'high end' used bass market, imo, if someone passed on one of my Fender CS basses (which aren't currently for for one that was more 'minty' because it didn't get played as much, they might be passing on the better bass (subjective, i know). I have owned high end basses that i got rid of relatively fast me...they weren't the type of 'players' i want. does this make more sense? So, in conclusion, my post was really about what i see as a double standard based on a basses age....the old ones that are mint are often mint because they weren't one of 'the good ones'....because the 'good ones' usually 'got played'. We often do not apply this same standard to basses that are 'newer'. Does that make sense?
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Hey, that's how it go. Old yuck > new yuck.
  20. faulknersj

    faulknersj Inactive

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    lol...the hierarchy of Yuck!!!