Body styles - what you like and don't like

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Marlat, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I don't think this has been done before, at least not recently and I know its completely subjective, but lets hear what manufacturers body styles people like and don't like and (preferably) the reasons for it.

    Please be mature to avoid this becoming a mud slinging match ... but art is a subjective topic!

    For me, I like:

    JP & Benavente singlecuts - they are probably the two most graceful looking single cut instruments I have ever seen.

    MTD Basses - These took a while to grow on me but the body shape is fantastic. They look so balanced!

    Fender Jazz Bodies - whether regular or dinky I think they look great, with or without a pickguard.

    I dislike:

    Modulus & Pbasses - I can't bring myself to like bodies that are not at least slightly offset!

    Fodera bodies - with the exception of the Emperor, I have not seen a single Fodera body style that calls to me - the woods and craftsmanship are amazing, but they just dont do it for me.

    Conklin basses - The upper horn makes it look a little to 80's metal for my liking. I would like to see the upper horn on JT's doubleneck (which looks great) become an option as I think the sidewinder shape is a little unflattering.

    I think overall I like offset bodies that look "balanced" and have a classic shape to them - ie one that will not date. I have also never found the countoured back to be particuarly usefull on basses - even though I have a beer gut!

    What are peoples thoughts?
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    -Godin SD's (which is partially why i just bought an SD Pro)
    -Warwick corvettes .. .mm m mm good
    -Musicman Stingray .. nice and simple
    - Modulus basses

    -Fender Jazz bass .. too big
    -JP & Benavente singlecuts ..not my style
    -Ibanez Soundgears .. .***?
  3. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Interesting that you say you like Benavente singlecuts but not Fodera...

    Anyway, when it comes to body shapes, I like class. Doesn't matter who makes it.
  4. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    So tell us what you think makes a bass classy! :D Who makes classy body styles? I agree that, for example, it would be pointless to say you liked a Sadowsky style bass but hated a Jazz bass - but I think it is easy to compare manufacturers with different body styles.

    In relation to the Foderas, I quite like the Emperor, but the SC model, the Emperor II's asethic just doesnt do it for me, I think the upper half of the body changes the dynamic of the bottom half and throws it out of whack IMO. I find the Benavente looks a lot more balanced as a SC. - It doesnt take much to step over that line between beauty and ugly :)
  5. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    The best-lookin' body shape I have come across is the Schecter Diamond Series Stiletto. Check my gear list, I own one and I am selling it. I took some pics today and I can probably post some in a day or two. It also has a gorgeous quilt. What I am saying here is not affected by me selling the bass or any other such bias, it's my honest opinion.

    -See above
    -Jazz Basses


    -All other Warwicks except for the Thumb
    -All headless basses
    -All singlecut basses I find especially hard to look at.
  6. I like:
    most Warwicks (Streamers, corvettes, and thumbs)
    Jerzy Drozd
    Among Ibanez basses I like Soundgears, BTB's and EDA's a lot.
    Darrin Huff's
    also LEfay, especially for the singlecuts.

    I don't like traditional looking basses like jazzes and precisions.. I don't like sharp edges neither.
  7. Sad but true that spending a lot of money on a bass won't necessarily buy you better looks. One of the best body shapes for my money is the Dean Edge. I'm not GASSING that model but I do admire its shape.

    I prefer basses with a body style that lets it be leaned against the wall w/o tipping over. For that reason, I don't like bass styles that have Alembic-type points on the bottom (Ken Smith, Conklin, Surine). Serves no useful purpose AFAIK.
  8. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I think the headstock is equally to blame with that design fault! A straight topped headstock greatly improves your chances of leaving your bass up against an amp without it tumbling!
  9. I don't care for fender/MM style bodies, what with their flat backs and ginormous bodies.

    I like warwick thumb basses, tiny and contoured.

    The balance better than fenders/mm's too.
    Fender P and similar shapes (MM etc.)
    Alembic triple omega

    Fender Jazz
    All warwick bodies
    Any singlecut
  11. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Hmmmmmmmmmm...I was going to say that I didn't dislike any quality bass. Then it hit me that I am a cranky curmudgeon and that being opinionated was okay. So...


    lots of types, My main bass is a fretless Jazz.I think it is near perfect. My current fretted bass is a Spector NS2a. It's a great design too. I like lots of basses that are similar to those two.

    But strangely I am bothered by some that are also similar.

    Warwicks: Love the Dolphin, love the NT Thumb. Hate all the rest, even the Streamers that are so obviously derivative of the same design as my NS.

    Singlecuts: Love the Marleaux,love most of the ones were the upper horn curves back toward the body like the upper horn on a telecaster. generally neutral on the ones were it joins the neck perpendicularly, Usually (almost always) hate the ones were it curves toward the headstock to rejoin the neck. I've liked maybe four or five of these, even from luthiers whose other stuff I loved.

    Hate the Stingray body, love the Lakland body. Yes I know it's basically the same freaking body, but what can I say?

    Graphite: I loved every Zon I ever picked up. I loved every Status I ever picked up. I loved the one graphite necked Alembic I ever played. ( I probably would have traded one of my kids for it.) In theory I should love Modulus too. I've never found a Modulus I really could like. I don't know why.

    Hate Carl Thompson and Jerzy Drozd (sp?) basses. It's just the scrolled horns. They don't work for me. And while I'm at it, the people at Alembic are capable of the most beautiful basses in existence and yet they make triple omegas? The mind boggles.

    Wow. I am an opinionated curmudgeon.
  12. The jazz body is large for my taste
  13. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I like the Sei Flamboyant shape - here's the one I own:


    I consider it assymetrical but balanced, almost angular yet still sleek and graceful.

  14. i love the kubicki bodies...and stingrays....basically anything heavey....the fender dinky bodies suck and so do the basic pbass bodies.....

    to to sum it up...i love the wierd 80's designs and stingrays...and fender sucks :p

    may as well show off some more

  15. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    based on shape of body, eh?

    Love it:
    -Dinky Js
    -Thunderbird, Mockingbird, basically the not-so-pointy explorer derivatives
    -Sterling with roundy round pickguard - dont really like that basic traditional shape except on a Sterling.
    -Bee Basses, either style
    -FBB's Lupis
    -Carl Thompson is hit or miss, I love the scrolled upper horn but sometimes the "belly" where the knobs are gets squirted way out there. That one he made for make-a-wish was about perfect.
    -Curbow XT33 / Cort Curbow
    -BassLab STD
    -JP and Nordstrand SCs

    Hate it:
    -fullsized Js
    -most BC Rich
    -most Alembic
    -Parker Fly Bass - what did they do? The guitar's shape was perfection, and I'd own one right now if they had simply translated it to the bass.
    -BassLab L-Bow
    -FBB Bean

    Somewhere in between:
    -Bongo - love it, but the shape sucks to play seated (imho)
    -Warwicks - I don't like the Thumb shape, really, but it's lighter in weight than the Corvette, so it may grow on me. I like weird looking basses anyways.
    -Ritters - love to look at pics, probably wouldn't buy one

    i could go on and on and on....
  16. Oliver


    Jun 21, 2003
    Perth, Australia
    i like:

    Fender J's and P's
    Ibanez SR and BTB
    I like most styles

    I HATE

    Single cut-away Basses!
  17. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    I agree with this shapes.
    I`d like to add FBB Custom.

    I think I`m the only one here that doesn`t like SC models. It`s not for me.
  18. av_rockstar


    Oct 4, 2003
    So. Cali.
    Explorer's and Birds are the greatest "IMO" Sleek and balanced very well...Plus they give u Here's a couple o mine..

    Nough said....

  19. bovinehost


    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man

    - Jazz basses
    - Lakland 4-94s and 55-94s
    - Musicman basses, all of 'em
    - Modulus Fleas
    - almost anything with racing stripes or flames
    <IMG SRC="">

    Don't like:

    - single cut anything (sperm whale with open mouth designs are especially heinous)
    - furniture basses
    - Kubicki
    - anything with a scroll
    - those Yamaha RBX cheapy things
    - Wish
    - Warwicks
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Leaning a bass against an amp or wall is just begging for trouble IME.

    I couldn't come up with a list of what I like and dislike, it depends on too many things.