Basses With The Best Playability

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by neptune, May 5, 2001.

  1. neptune


    Feb 2, 2001
    Any opinions on currently produced basses that stand above the rest as far as "feel" goes? So far, the best playing bass I ever picked up was a early-mid 70's Jazz, natural ash body, maple neck with the big block inlays (not my favorite look...), but it was hard to put down. It was just one of those rare Fenders that came together just right at the factory. It played much better than my 62 Jazz. I've heard (never had the pleasure of trying one) Sadowsky consistently turns out this special quality. Any opinions?
  2. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I like the Laklands, though I wouldn't buy one. I wasn't thrilled with the body shape and it sounded too electric for me. Then again, I have a Thumb and the neck feels like a louisville slugger.
  3. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    The best bass to play is my Fender P-bass. I got it, you can't have it! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...
  4. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    If I had to name 5 that I've played & love, it's be in this order:

    1-Spector NS-5 USA (mine)
    2-Sadowsky 24 fret 5 (@ Sadowsky's shop)
    3-Spector NS-4 USA (mine)
    4-Warmoth Sadowsky clone (I built it)
    5-Pedulla Rapture J2 5 (@ 2 different stores)

    The countour on the Spectors make it so comfortable to strap on. The USA neck are so much eaiser to play than the Czech's. I like the natural oil finish on my NS-5. Very fast to play.
  5. jbass27


    May 4, 2001
    St. Louis, MO
    Sadowsky's are very nice, although I wonder if I would be able to justify the money. Fenders are very inconsistent from what I have seen. You can find some really good ones, and you will find some bad ones. F Basses seemed pretty nice when I played them at the NAMM show last summer. Reverend makes a pretty cool bass. Although a bit different, as far as very good jazz bass-like basses, try the Genesis Jazz by Modulus, and they are not even THAT pricey.
  6. neptune


    Feb 2, 2001
    I've been thinking hard about Lakland. It's a drive for me just to check one out though. Genesis Jazz sounds interesting.... Some graphites play "like buttah"!!
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    My 78 Tobias 4
    My 78 Ash/Maple Jazz
    A Linc Luthier 4 that was at a local store
  8. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    My Peavey Cirrus 5 is the most comfortable, best playing bass I have ever played. I have tried a lot of basses, and in my opinion none of them play as nice as the Cirrus (for me anyway).

    Ranking right up there though would be a Pedulla Rapture. I have played a couple of these now and am really starting to have a serious case of GAS.

    I also like Warwicks, but the necks take a little bit to get used to.
  9. Hanewinckel basses play like warm butter. They just feel and sound great.

    My 7-string Hanewinckel plays easier than many 4 and 5 strings I've tried. Much easier than a Conklin 7-string. Just tried one out again today. I suppose it's a matter of taste though.


    There's like a 14 week wait on custom instruments but they're worth it.

    - Dave
  10. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I find Pedulla T-Bolts are awsome. in particular the 5ers with 19mm string spacing. Like greased lightning! Man, I've played six or seven, and all of them make me wish I had the dough. They are to me, all that a fiver bass sould be. I mean, these things blow everything out of the water in my realm. Flip on the Thunderguts switch, and back up! loaded with some Barts, these are THE five string bass. Not to mention they look killer. I'm gonna end up endorsing them, I swear.

    They make me drool just thinking about it!
  11. madsky


    Apr 21, 2001
    Bangkok, Thailand
    About all of the posts I posted today are about StingRay 5. YEAH ! I'm reccomending them... *drool* How about some old Ampegs for a change. An older Gibson Thunderbird would be nice too. The epiphone one could be nice too. Go with Warwick if you want. :) I'm confused.
  12. The nicest feeling and sounding bass I ever came across was a friends 61 Jazz, followed by another friends 64 Jazz.
  13. neptune


    Feb 2, 2001
    That Hanewinckel is one gorgeous piece of bass! How much did that one run? 14 week wait? I waited 4 months for my Stingray 5.
  14. For me, playability is about balance, action, how the controls are arranged, how the neck is designed and how it all works together for a great tone. That said, my favorites are:

    Sadowsky Vintage 5 (mine)
    Zon Lightwave 5 (mine)
    Jerzy Drozd Mastery (played 3 in Chicago last year)
    Hanewinckel 5 (played in LA last year)
    '72 Jazz (mine)

    The fact that I have short stubby fingers has nothing to do with the above list... :)

  15. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    For me, Carvin, hands down. The sound may not be everyone's cup of tea, but man, they feel great.
  16. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Playability is a very subjective thing, some people say that baseball bat necks like P basses and Warwick Thumbs & Corvettes are more playable, some say that thin necks like Jazz basses and Ibanez are more playable.

    I'm in the thin neck camp.

    Ibanez Soundgears(don't like the basses but they have the fastest necks around), Zon's, Pedulla's, and the Fender Geddy Lee Jazz have the most comfortable necks to me, followed closely by Sadowsky and Lakland.
  17. Edgar


    Nov 4, 2000
    Montreal, QC, CA
    I once had a Rickenbaker 4003 with incredible low action, thin neck, very fast. The only probleme was the tone, I never really figure out if I love it or hate it. Anyway, I sold it!
  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Nothing plays better than a Lakland. I've said it before, the neck plays itself. My Pedulla T-bolt is close, though. It has the narrow string spacing, and it's a real joy to play.
  19. Edgar


    Nov 4, 2000
    Montreal, QC, CA
    Munjibunga, have you ever tried a Sadowsky?
    I have a Vintage 4 (swamp ash body, maple fingerboard) and I was planning to buy a Lakland's Bob Glaub pretty soon. Only problem is that lately I'm starting to wonder if I should'nt stick to Sadowsky only (Roger is coming out with a P-Bass in less than a month). I've never tried out a Lakland (nor the V4 before receiving it Fedex) because I live in a galaxy far far away (Montreal, QC,CA). Any comments, "even steven" in quality/feel?
  20. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    The most playable neck I ever found was the Rockwood neck on my old Curbow Petite 5. It was wide and flat, perfect fretwork, solid feeling like graphite but satiny smooth and warmer.

    The bass with the best balance, and the most comfortable to play, is by far and away my David King headless 5. It hangs effortlessly at the right angle, and the body kind of wraps around you in an almost sensual way.

    Maybe I can get David to make me a bass with a Curbow Rockwood neck, and then it'd be perfect all around, wouldn't it?