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Best Build Quality in your opinion

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GeorgeBassPlay, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. GeorgeBassPlay

    GeorgeBassPlay Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2013
    Been playing for a long time…have had Squiers (3), Fenders American and Mex (4), Nash (1), Ricks (4), Gibson (1) and a couple of assorted Basses long ago and far away.

    For me the Ricks have been the built built Basses I've had.

    Hoping to try Sadowsky some day .. but haven't owned one yet.

    I am interested in hearing from the men and women of Bassdom.. what brand of Bass has the best build quality in your opinion ? I am talking about fit and finish, how they resonate / feel in your hands, how they stay in tune, and how they sound to you.

    Thank you - Happy weekend.
    mark beem, plav1959, Bigbri and 4 others like this.
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Late 80s Japanese Fenders.

    That's based on my experiences. I'm sure the multi thousand dollar fancy shmancy basses are generally objectively better built but of what I've owned, the 80s Fenders were the best.
  3. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    I could biasedly say the upper level Matsumoku's early 1980's, but there are too many exquisitely built basses to say any particular one is the "best". For that, it comes down to being very subjective and actually only what any particular player has actually played--which then forms a bias as to "best". So any answer is essentially meaningless except to the guy who says, "That's my take on the subject and I'm sticking to it." Even tho he more than likely has not played every quality bass ever built.
  4. Burwabit

    Burwabit Likes guitars that tune good and firm feelin women Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Lubbock, TX
    I love my Ric, but I don’t associate it with the highest build quality per se.

    For me, it’s Sadowsky hands down. Metros and NYC made are equally well made. The first time I played one it was obviously a level of quality I had never before seen.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  5. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    My experience isn't very wide, but given that I've sampled Fender, Gibson, Gretsch, Univox, Squier, Kay, Danelectro, Hagstrom, Epiphone, Rogue, Schecter, Dearmond and Turser...

    I'd give the top marks for build quality to Gretsch in their professional bass line, and Schecter close behind.
  6. Super surprised to see rickenbacker anywhere near a best build quality list
  7. I’d have to say Modulus. But I haven’t played many high-end basses, so I have a rather small sample size. I’ve played multiple Ibanez and own 2, multiple Fenders, and own a MIM Jazz, briefly owned a used EBMM Stingray 4H 30th, and have tried a Warwick $$.

    My Modulus just feels like a tank. Feels rather heavy when I first pick it up, but it balances so well that I barely notice it on my shoulder.

    It is the loudest bass I own unplugged. Very clear and resonate and easy to practice on even without an amp.

    The neck is extremely stable. I can leave it for more than a month, and when I come back, it’s still in tune. Pretty much every time I go to tune it, I feel like an idiot, because it’s already tuned.

    It has a bit of a bright sound, but it’s grown on me the more I’ve played it. I typically enjoy warmer sounding basses, but everything else about the bass was so nice, that I had to get it.

    The neck shape just feels nice, too. I don’t know if I really have much of a preference for certain types of necks, just haven’t played enough to find what I do and don’t like, but it’s a nice shape. I can’t really think of a way to compare it to other neck shapes, but I’ve learned that it’s a D-shaped neck.

    The finish is very vibrant, and I can tell it’s very high quality. The only complaint I have is that it’s a bit too flashy for my taste. A bit too “in-your-face”, but still very nice. And that complaint is more of a personal preference thing than a quality thing.
  8. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    The people who put these two together, the folks at G&L and Reverend, should be damned proud of their work.
    This is what quality is all about.
  9. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
  10. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    +1 on Japanese Fenders.

    +1 on Modulus being built like tanks... heavy tanks.

    +1 on G&L

    +1 on Sadowsky

    I'll add Valenti. Superbly constructed instruments.
  11. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    Owned, but no longer own- Alembics. As close to perfect as can be made.
    Own right now- My G&L is spectacularly made.
  12. gully_jones

    gully_jones Stone cold groovy man Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2012
    Every German built Warwick I've played has been rock solid
    Big +1's for Japanese Fenders and G&L's
  13. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    I would say there are far too many quality bass builds out there today to narrow it down to a few. Whether it be Alembic, Modulus, Sadowsky, Fender, Mike Lull, Lakland (all brands I currently own), etc., they are all superb builds. I'm also sure I would be more than impressed with many other brands.

  14. saabfender


    Jan 10, 2018
    Whoever in Vietnam made this for Peavey Grind. They got all of this one. Plays like... a really good-playing bass (OK, better than a Fender). Stock passives are sound good, distinct and solid through the whole range. Action is very low and neck has been stable the 8 years I've owned it. I actually marvel at the craftsmanship that went into this bass every time I pick it up. I can't imagine better execution. Paid $125.


    mikewalker, mjm0, TrustRod and 19 others like this.
  15. ptensioned

    ptensioned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2013
    Vancouver, BC
    To me, it's unfair to compare hand-built boutique basses with even higher-end mass produced instruments. Of course Sadowsky, Dingwall, Fodera, etc. have impeccable build quality; they have price tags to match.

    For mass-produced, I'd dispute Ric. I love the basses, and even love the, um, idiosyncratic corporate philosophy, but I've seen a lot of questionable 4003's, including the one I used to have which had peeling lacquer around the top three frets. Gibson is even worse lately, with all sorts of QC issues on any instrument, regardless of cost.

    For me, right now, I'd add:

    - Fender (I know!) - I've picked up a whole bunch of American Professional basses, and they all seem to be bang on. I was the first to sneer at the rebranding of Standard to Pro, but they really seem to have upped their game.
    - G&L - Purely on reputation around here for the US instruments. I've only touched a handful.
    - Yamaha - regardless of price, these seem to be consistently good.
  16. Best Build quality in my opinion:
    Lunar module.
  17. ELG60

    ELG60 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    I'm only going to speak of instruments which I own, or have owned in the past. My masterbuilt Sadowsky is #1 and my Devon is #1a.

    The Sadowsky is just a notch higher regarding the neck, finish, and perhaps the natural materials. And I rate the electronics as about dead even, although I believe that Sadowsky has an in-house tone circuit, but the Devon has Nordies, each with a series/parallel/single coil switch.

    Also, the Devon gives huge features for the money...matching wood magnetic control cover, zero fret, and a the rear deflected headstock which negates the need for a string tree. It also has counter-sunk control knobs, all signs of an attention to detail not found in many more costly instruments.

    I've owned an early Steinberger L2 which was precisely built, and an early 70's Rickenbacker which was not, in some aspects, but it was nearly 40 years ago and I can't recall the specifics of why I didn't bond with them whereas my 2 60's and 1 '71 Fender basses I kept.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
    bassmike2010 and GeorgeBassPlay like this.
  18. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Cary, Il
    For the common man, doesn’t get any better than EBMM.
  19. Hounddog

    Hounddog Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2004
    Southern, Illinois
    Sadowsky Featured Artist
    Hands down my Sadowsky Basses.
  20. Jimruth

    Jimruth Supporting Member

    I have a Ric 4001 (1980) that has amazing build quality — NOW — after I got rid of the crap stock bridge. That was its only flaw (albeit a big one).

    OTOH I have an EBMM Sterling (1994) that impresses me every time I play it. All stock. The attention to detail is amazing, for example, the recessed neck plate and battery cover. (I understand, however, EBMM basses no longer have this feature.) I find myself loving the oiled/waxed neck.

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