Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Figjam, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I would love to start a discussion about beauty, focused on the bass world. What makes a bass beautiful? How does one define beauty, with regard to basses?

  2. snyderz

    snyderz Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    I honestly can't take my eyes off of that P.
  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
  4. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    I dig natural wear, not to dis any sander fans. To me it shows where the bass has been and has/not been loved.

    Certain body styles or headstock lines are more appealing, kinda like cars.

    This looks nice to me
  5. esa372

    esa372 Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Asymmetric symmetry, like everything else.
  6. blowinblue

    blowinblue Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2006
    SoCal USA
    The eye that is beholding it.

    M. M.
  7. car_man65


    Nov 14, 2013
    Subscribed for sure. Can't wait to hear/see all the opinions and examples
  8. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Pacifica CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    That is a beautiful bass expressed in a beautiful shot. Your topic/theme is very deep (seriously) mainly because there are so many ways anything can be seen as beautiful. Beautiful design, beautiful craftsmanship, beautiful finish quality (including your example), beautiful in the lack of any of the above (the beautiful ugly duckling) and the beautiful instrument that a player can express through regardless of the way it looks. All good - I'm in.
  9. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    You guns on the Basses Forum are mostly putzes. You all go searching for some kind of Holy Grail of basses, and almost every times one of you posts a photo of your bass, I think it's just a fantastic looking instrument.

    That bass in the first post is excellent, but so are most of the basses most of you post. I don't get what anybody's deal is. My main bass is a Frankenfender Jazz bass, with the Squier body, Fender Authorized Maple Neck, with some faked out decal on it, Badass II bridge, EMG Select pickups, and it plays, looks and sounds as nice as American Made Fender Jazz basses I have tried at Sweetwater, costing well over a grand.

    I see these nice boutique basses, Fender Custom Shop basses, Lakland, and other such models, as well as the obvious Gibsons, Rickenbackers, etc, and all I can ever say is, "wow! Nice instrument!"

    My Squier Affinity V and my Squire Bronco are BOTH really nicely crafted bodies, and both have a little cheaper electronics, and some nasty frets. I heard I could crown and dress those frets, and they would be lovely, and if I had the inclination, I could upgrade the electronics.

    But are they beautiful? HELL YES they are!


    And my wife's Ibanez SR700 is beautiful, as well:


    Yeah, the Mothman bass is a monstrosity, and every now and again I see a bass I'm not too fond of, but 90% or more of the basses posted on this forum are absolutely gorgeous, and I would take any one of them, and be happy about it.

    Like I said, you guys are a bunch of putzes.
  10. car_man65


    Nov 14, 2013
    Mellowinman , I am lovin that frankenfender! Its not about how much the instrument costs ,its about how well an instrument clicks with its owner. Lovin' your arsenal man.
  11. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    I used to think Traben basses were beautiful with all that chrome, until I bought one and would constantly get my finger snagged on that &*(&#$ torture device!
    I now see beauty in the simplicity of the bass- the P-bass, the Stingray - anything that has that empty space between the neck and the pickup (probably due to my experience with the Traben). As the post above mentions, most of the basses are beautiful in their own way- have seen much more of basses I wouldn't mind having than ones I would pass on. Tb'ers have taste after all.
  12. I think a lot of beauty is about conditioning. If you look at male and female models and how their looks and body-shape changed through the 20th Century, beauty is a fickle thing and it changes with fashion.

    My appreciation of art started maybe in my teens. I never really liked classic art and so I started with the Impressionists. Once you've made that leap away from traditional art then anything goes. This for me led to cubism, which is still my favourite art period.

    On basses, I think your early days are crucial here. If as a teenager you lust after a certain bass, quite often a Fender, then that sets the pattern.

    Then there's design and function. A headless bass will never have neck dive, but your hand can disappear off the end and it feels odd. Plus to me it looks ugly/wrong. Can I explain it? No Sir I can't.

    There is balance and colour about which we can probably make a judgement with reasonable agreement. But on something as simple as bridge design we can't agree. Large bridges look wrong to me. They put me off owning that bass. Logical - no, they just don't look balanced to me. And finally, I looked at a few 60's Precisions in the mid-70's when I was buying my first proper bass. I ended up buying a new '76, without of course realising what I know now about 60's and pre-CBS Fenders! The 60's Fenders looked a bit scratched and played-in, which lacked appeal to me then. Now they look fabulous, so my view on beauty has changed.

    Great subject - good post.

  13. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    I saw a near mint 1952 all original P-Bass on the Fender forum yesterday that was really a thing of beauty. One owner, barely any wear, and the only thing that wasn't original were the strings. Sorry, I can't find the link.
  14. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Also the ears and hands.
  15. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    The subject of the thread, that bass, is remarkable because it's so worn and yet it's so basic. Non-modified, and just played.

    Many here buy basses and then personalize them in search of tone. Many trade off what they've bought in search of tone because what they owned didn't deliver.

    There's something to be said for sticking with the right tool. Many boutique basses are built upon the subject photo's parts & what they produce.

    That subject only produces a Precision tone. Yet it's enough and has been more than adequate for popular music for a very long time.
  16. Dug2

    Dug2 Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2011
  17. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    Everyone has their own idea of what they like. I don't like the bass pictured by the OP but I'm sure other people love it.
  18. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Perspective, lighting, angle, action....

  19. MarTONEbass


    Jun 19, 2009
    Norton, MA
    Everyone has their own definition of beauty. The bass in the OP does nothing for me, and most of MellowinMan's basses I'd pass on as well. To me, beauty in a bass is a combination of aesthetic qualities I like combined with playability, functionality and versatility, which some don't include in their personal definition of beauty.

    That said, I dig nice figured wood, trans burst finishes, active electronics, maple or ebony boards and shiny frets.
  20. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    To me beauty of an instrument comes from experiencing it and living with it for some time.
    Not from looking at it.