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Buyer's Guides?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by edfriedland, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. edfriedland


    Sep 14, 2003
    Austin, TX
    What would you like to see in a Buyer's Guide for bass gear? What do you think is essential, and what is your wish list?
  2. iggy


    Jan 3, 2006
    'The' Ed Friedland, Damn, what an honor. It's cool to know your on T.B. Your reputation as a players' player proceeds you. I'd personally like to see more precision and jazz type basses. Also, the most important effects that bass players should be using for the different genres of music out there. Last, I'd love to see all the new bass combos, especially with tube pre-amps. Thanx for listening.
  3. echo008

    echo008 Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2004
    Long Island, NY
    A small section dedicated to "Up and Coming Builders" maybe.

    - Tom
  4. britrit


    Jan 22, 2006
    maybe if you can get people on the forums to review the bass(es) that they have (if they haven't already reviewed it,) and give some tips for buying and stuff.
  5. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    These are obvious, but I'll type them anyway.

    New (retail/street) and used prices
    Availability/Production numbers
    First introduced/changes from previous model
    Width at nut and bridge (where applicable)
    Wattage & Efficiency (where applicable)
    Contact & Waranty information
    Woods & Hardware info (where applicable)
    Options offered (if any)

  6. Zachass

    Zachass Peavey Partizan

    Definately a guide to used basses and their prices and the differences between them sorted by manufacturer. Some stuff about "off the beaten path" basses. Gear lists for some famous players/tunes. Maybe a cd with some recordings from a whole bunch of basses?
  7. * String Spacing at nut and bridge (Crucial!)
    * Pickup dimensions (In case upgrading pups is on one's agenda.)
    * Weight (I know it's been mentioned but it's worth saying again. )
    * Scale length (Obvious)
  8. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    I honestly think in this day and age with the availability of far more information online and the ability to update it immediately, the printing of a buyer's guide such as Bass Player's and what Ed is doing at "Bass Guitar" is somewhat of an anachronism. The last one I personally purchased was 1999, and you're looking at someone who waited with bated breath for them each year - the method of transferring information has simply changed with the times.

    I'd love to see the printed pages be split up equally among the regular issues throughout the year (an extra 20 per issue would be a nice boost) but I know that printing schedules and advertiser dollars don't work that way, so I won't be holding my breath. :p Ed, I would like to thank you, however, for coming directly to the core audience and asking us what we think is needed. Much like your counterpart Bill Leigh who has done the same, it's warming to know the faces behind the page. Your site is looking great, and the sound samples make me extremely jealous in terms of both gear as well as ability. :D
  9. edfriedland


    Sep 14, 2003
    Austin, TX
    No, thank YOU. So far, lots of great ideas. I can't make any promises about what will or will not show up, but this is exactly what we need—lots of ideas.

    It's true that a printed buyer's guide is the horse and carriage to the internet's Ferrari (or was it a Yugo?), but there are still advantages to print format. For one; the ability to have all the information in one place makes comparisions a little easier.

    With the advent of WiFi-ing laptops, people no longer need a buyer's guide to accompany them to the bathroom, so... why bother?

    Well, that's a big part of why I'm asking. One thing we are always considering at BG is how we can find new ways to do things. Let's face it, all three of the editors came from BP, so copying them would seem natural. (Did you all know by the way that Terry Buddingh is now Technical Editor at BG?) We're looking at ways to make the buyer's guide a valuable thing for consumers and builders. I haven't read one myself since 1999, not sure why... they just got dull. We'll also be asking advertisers what they want, and between both camps—I'm sure we'll have a much better sense of what to do.

    Thanks, keep those cards and letters coming.
  10. Hey, I know when I'm looking at buyers guides, I like to look at all the pretty pictures, but I also really have no idea what the basses do. I think that sounds clips (as mentioned above) would be great, and also, it there was a little portion that gave a bit of an explenation of the sound (ie. what this bass' sound is suited for, roadworthiness, etc) I know it'll be hard, because all the manufacturers will want to say that their bass is best for everything, but maybe if there can be some 3rd party quick-reviews, that would help a lot. It would be a cool thing, maybe to send basses out to regular 9-5 guys, (the ones who go out to the bar after work to play, because it's what they love) and have them send a review back. It would make it feel more "grassroots" and interesting. Just my opinion...
  11. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    Im sorry this might seem a little stupid but what do you mean by "buyers guide"? Is it simply a catologue of bass gear or is it advice on how to go out and buy bass gear and not end up with a big pile of crap thats better off used as fire wood?
  12. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    A sidebar on strings and setup, and how much they can effect your impressions of a bass you're trying out.
  13. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    The problem with buyers guides is that they try to have too much stuff in too little space, so you don't really get much of anything in the end.

    I'd much prefer something like say, a extra large NAMM bass isssue, where the new stuff could be represented in decent pictures, and also interviews with the companies and builders...and players. I like to hear how and why stuff is designed and built the way it is from the people who did the work, and I'd like to hear the feedback of real players.

    It really has been years since I picked up a regular music magazine, be it bass or guitar...but I still buy a ton of gear...I base my decisions on real world feedback of other players and the words of the builder (either amp, or instrument). I want to know why they've chosen that shape, that type of wood or that design feature.
  14. Forget the specs, etc. You need to teach people how to shop for equipment. Teach/explain the following:

    1.) How to determine your needs.
    2.) How to ensure a bass fits you, and if you can play it without causing you harm (repetative stress, etc).
    3.) How to determine what amplification needs you have.
    4.) How to audition gear.
    5.) How to find the best prices.
    6.) What questions to ask.

    etc etc etc etc.

    Let me be your co-author!
  15. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    If you have a strings section, indicate usable string lenght (i.e. string lenght minus silkwindings and such)
    I used to like buyer's guides to look at the pics of basses. I'td be cool if you could at least get one pic from each builder. 17 pics of jazzes and precisions aren't that useful, but one from Elrick or Ritter is.
  16. Vintage Guitar Magazine's Price Guide, is a nice reference tool.
    perhaps something along those lines, for bass, and associated equipment. thank you for asking. :cool:
  17. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    Ok I think I get it....

    I think that you should never describe and always demonstrate.

    For example how does a maple neck fret board compare to a rosewood fret board in terms of sound. People say that maple is brighter. But at what frequency does bright begin? So Im going back to the posts that say have a CD with sound clips. Have a clip of a neck with rosewood being played and a neck with maple being played, everything else being equal.

    Use diagrams to show what a twist in the neck would look like instead of only describing how to diagnose it and so on also real world images and not exagerated diagrams would be better probably

    When buying a floor model what are the things to look out for. Problems that arise from the instrument being mistreated by people coming in and playing it. Of these which can be detremental and which are negligable. (For example I remeber someone complaining about fretless fretboard damage because people played slap on the bass whilst it was strung with round wounds)

    How to negotiate a price with a dealer.

    How to efficiently asses different aspects of a bass when purchasing it.

    Things to play on it that will help demonstrate the instruments properties.

    Other general consumer advice. Like don't buy that day. Try it out and then come back another day try it out again and if your still happy purchase it.

    In terms of amps the basics should be covered like impedance and wattage.

    The ideas behind why people like to have amps rated twice the wattage of their speakers.The ideas of why its not necesseraly a bad thing to underpower your speakers.Explaination of clipping and what it can do.

    Tell tale signs of damaged speakers.

    There really is no end to the amount of stuff you could talk about Im not even scratching the surface here.


    I think a myth buster would be great. Like 3 billion euro cables improving sound - MYTH
    Good technique improves sound - FACT

    Also on the wish list would be clips of the same bass made with different woods so theres some sort of sonic reference to the different wood instead of simply relying on words like creamy and buttery. Those words make my mouth water but do little for my ears.

    Another thing for the wish list would be a test done on amp wattage for popluar models so that we could have independant results which would give a true comparison between amps not the half made up figures published manufacturers. Same goes for speaker SPL and sensitivity

    A guide to buying on E-bay its merits and pitfalls

    Is there much need to publish prices and specs since e mail and the internet is so common place?
  18. Hi Ed,

    This type of internet bass community possesses some of the best untapped resources (and talent pools) which will ultimately allow you to decisively gather GREAT advice, WELL-INFORMED "E-pinions", and CREATIVE "out of the box" methodologies pertaining to the development and launch of your Buyers Guide for Bass Guitar Magazine.

    Right off the bat, my advice would be to let the bass-centric aficionados do the work for you!! I would establish a simple web-based interface residing on your primary http://www.bassguitarmagazine.com/ website, whose sole purpose is to capture as much important gear specifications (your key Buyer's Guide data set) as possible (again, you guys set up the parameters and choices through a simple yet sticky pull-down menu or flash interface). Business-wise, the functional requirements of this data gathering page should efficiently allows luthiers and manufacturers (as well as knowledgeable consumers/players, etc.) to submit their own gear specs/product type according to your own pre-determined criteria.

    If you kept this kind of information pooling site up for six months, word of mouth would ensure that your back-end database will be swamped with legitimate submissions. You could also run simple banner ads on other bass gear-related websites where luthiers and "gear whores" frequently travel to obtain additional attention from within the marketplace.

    This is what I used to do at Sony Corporation Of America, News Corporation, and a few dotbombs that went public. Oh the joy of it all!!! ;)

    Dude, speaking of Bass Guitar Magazine, I just got off the phone with my bass pal Mike Visceglia. The V Man is ecstatic to be contributing to your magazine alongside yourself and Elton Bradman!!! Kudos!! He shoots, he scores!!!

    You guys RULE!



  19. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Hey Ed,
    I just recently received my complimentary copy of the Buyer's Guide this year and was EXTREMELY disappointed. For the first time since the first Bass Player Buyer's Guide came out, I questioned the usefulness of the publication. When the guide first came out, it was a tremendous resource for not only learning about gear from the large companies, but it was also instrumental in bringing boutiques, one-man-shops, and newcomers to the forefront. The fact that a lot of photos were included was fantastic, and listing contact information for the manufactureres made it that much easier for one to continue his/her research beyond the guide.
    However, as some have already alluded to, I seriously question whether a Buyer's Guide is even necessary. The proliferation of the internet, combined with the fact that most music manufacturers now have at least a formidable persence on the web, has made a guide irrelevant. Given the fact that there was so little information in this year's guide, and the guide did very little to bring new gear and new companies to the forefront, made it of little value to many players. In other words, most of us already know that Ampeg makes a B15 combo and that Gibson makes a Les Paul with a flamed maple top. ;) :)
    At this point, if I had to choose, I would rather the Music Player crew invest more resources (both dollar and hours) into other projects....expand the magazines, develop niche publications, special issues, etc. Just a few thoughts....
  20. bassksun

    bassksun Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2004
    Las Vegas,NV
    Amplification. New,Used,Price,Quality,Boutiques...etc

    I don't need RMS vs. Whatever.

    I get lost in the morass of amplification. I'll accept ANY legitimate buying guide.