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Booteek basses: worth it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mook, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. Mook


    Jun 19, 2002
    Fedora? F Bass? Alembic? etc, etc......

    So, I have lots of basses....mostly Fender, Carvin, and EBMM. I even have a Ric.

    I like all my basses, but If I had to choose just 1 at this point, it would be my Carvin SB5000.

    All my basses sound good, to a certain point, but the Carvin just has something *extra* in terms of playability.....that is, all my other basses have action issues (to a certain degree) and the Carvin(s) do/does not. All my Carvins are spot on, playability-wise.....

    So.....I wonder.....is that what a Booteeky bass offers for the extra $$$. I wonder if I sold all my other basses and got me a Fodera, I'd have the finest playing bass around? My Carvin plays great....but can u get a bass that plays BETTER? And sometimes I want more than just what a J bass offers......if I went Boo-teek, I guess I'd have more tonal controls?

    Problem is.....I don't have a place to go play a Fodera.....or any other Booteek bass.

    Just wanted some opinions from TalkBassers to justify if I should sell all/most of my basses to get one bass that covers more ground and plays as if it were made by the Gods......

  2. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    If I owned a Mazda 6, a Ford F150, a Harley, a Honda Odyssey, and a Lincoln Navigator and asked you if I should sell all of them to buy a Bentley, what would you say?
  3. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Banned

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    Feel is feel. My Ken Smith SOUNDS totally unique! I have a Fender clone that is my go-to axe, but theres nothing quite like Smith #41.
  4. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    Totally depends on the player. There is no single answer. Some people can't tell the difference, some people don't think the difference is significant enough to pay for it, and others would rather own a bunch of instruments rather than one or two expensive ones. No right or wrong.

    I'm a recent convert to Fodera but owned plenty of other boutiques over the past two decades. I think it is worth it, but I've been playing a long time and I'm really particular about how I want an instrument to look/sound/feel. I also am particular about the company and people that make the instrument. ymmv.
  5. When I'm playing a gig I don't want to think about my bass..I want to focus on the music..My Sadowsky NYC 5 allows me to do that. So for me this boutique bass is worth the money..If you have a cheaper bass that allows you to get to that point then you probably don't need a boutique bass..I haven't had the opportunity to play a SB 5000 but from what I've heard about them I bet I could replace my Sadowsky with one or two of them and be just as happy.
  6. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    My two main fretted 4-string electric basses are my Sadowsky NYC P/J and my Fender Roadworn Jazz. One is active and does many many things perfectly. The other is passive, and while way less versatile, is a terrific Jazz and can't sound bad. Yet, if I had to have just one, it would be the Sadowsky. The perfection of the frets, the action, the beauty of every note on the neck, the great punch AND warmth of the chambered Alder body and Brazilian rosewood fingerboard—just YUM!
  7. Ditto. If you mean *boutique* I'm still a bit fuzzy as to the definition, which I'm guessing will vary. I have a Stambaugh 6- perhaps BOO-teak(let's see how many variations in spelling we can get in one thread :)); I play my MIM P far more as it fits my current gig(classic/covers). The sixer was commisioned when I played in a large, multicultural church(contemporary Christian to urban gospel)and got played a LOT back then.

    Edit: To answer the OP: The Stammie was well worth the comparatively low price paid. I also had three others built- they didn't work out but were also very much worth the price I paid.
  8. Richard_P_Harve


    May 19, 2011
    I would have said a Bugati Veyron but beyond that I'm a solid +1 on this comment.

  9. sricks3


    Dec 6, 2007
    Duluth, GA
    I totally agree with this way of thinking. I want to get on stage and just play music, without having to think about the instrument I'm holding. I believe that is a good metric for determining the value of any instrument you own (or plan to own), be it boutique or not.

    In my case, I think I'd be more distracted by having a super fancy instrument in my hands than I am when I just pull out my Peavey's or my (somewhat fancy) Spector. Then again, maybe some of that comfort is the result of sheer familiarity with the instruments. Either way, I'm comfortable with the three I've got right now, and I count myself lucky in that regard.
  10. pringlw


    Nov 22, 2008
    Seattle Area
    This is the thing for me as well. I have a Fodera Monarch - which I bought after having many different (great) mass brand basses. I still have a few, but I also have a second Fodera on order which I will pick up shortly.

    The key difference for me is that while on other basses I may say that I like the neck, or it has a comfortable neck..

    With my Fodera, its like there's no neck. The neck so perfectly fits my hand that its almost as though it disappears. I never feel like I'm pushing against anything, or reaching around anything. The action is so low that all I have to do is tap the strings to get a note. For the right hand, same thing - everything is so comfortable that the instrument simply disappears and all that's left is my playing.

    To me its worth it but YMMV.
  11. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    Boutique bass ...

    Well if you only play rock, pop or other radio style of music and/or cover ... I don't think you will like a boutique bass at all.

    I see more people with boutique bass in R'N'B, Praise music, Jazz and extrem type of metal.

    Also +1 to Nostalic
  12. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    +1 for vintage vibe/nostalgia!

    My Road Worn is used for only Rock gigs these days. :cool:
  13. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I've owned Fenders, Gibsons and Rickenbackers. Currently I'm 100% Carvin, and am very satisfied with them. They're beautiful, well-constructed, comfortable, balanced - and with the electronics upgrades I've given to most of them, they sound great as well. So I think I've found my favorite make of bass guitar.

    That said, I'm not ruling out the possibility of picking up a Spector Euro, a Warwick Thumb, and/or a Peavey Cirrrus at some point in the future. But that's about as far up the value chain as I think I could justify. What I now own works for me, and I'm happy with it.

    For me, the ultimate boutique bass guitar would probably be an Alembic Series I or Series II, long scale, with all the bells & whistles. But those things are selling for $10,000+. No way would I want to spend that kind of money - even for an Alembic.

  14. wideload


    Apr 15, 2004
    Salinas, CA
    My Alembic is a beautiful bass, plays well and sounds just like I want a bass to sound. But the darned thing keeps making mistakes during gigs. You'd think for that kind of money...
  15. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Worth it - maybe.
    Nice if you want/can swing it - yes.
    Necessary - no.
  16. 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
    I have Laklands, Sadowskys, F Basses, a Drozd, a high-end Yamaha, and a Fodera. I like 'em, so they're worth it to me. Now I'm going to go eat some keesh.
  17. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    What a lot of "boutique" owners won't tell you is that, in addition to having an instrument that plays well, they really enjoy owning an instrument that puts them in an "elite" club of sorts and/or that they really enjoy owning something that they consider beautiful and (comparatively) rare.

    Edit: well, maybe "club" is the wrong word. Let's just say "elite standing".
  18. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Yes. Worth it to me.

    And Munji, I made a delicious 'Keesh' yesterday...it's all in making a great pie crust.
  19. Moe Monsarrat

    Moe Monsarrat Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Austin, Tx.
    Endorsing artist:Regenerate Guitar Works Carvin, Micheal Kelly Guitars
    I make my living with my basses. I want the best instruments tone wise & comfort wise that I can afford. So it becomes a question of which one sounds and feels best, not how much they cost. If you have one made to order or buy one used, a custom bass will be different than an off the shelf model. I would try some used ones & start thinking about what you love (and hate) about your basses you already own. Make a pros & cons list to explain to a custom luthier what you're talking about. That's how you go about designing your dream bass.
  20. Yes, they are so worth it. Once you're playing them, you won't want to play anything less than a top class instrument.

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