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By how much does your bass rig surpass your needs?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Tom, Oct 22, 2005.

  1. Tom


    Sep 7, 2005
    Davis, CA
    Be honest here: when you look at that Sadowsky in your lap, ask yourself why you chose it over a Fender. Was it for your own pleasure or do you truly need it? What about your Eden rig?

    At the pub I played last night, there was another bassist who was playing an Ibanez BTB (which is by no means extravagant yet by all means a solid bass) through a huge Mesa Boogie stack. He had a 210 on top of two 115's, if I remember correctly. That's a damn expensive rig and altogether unnecessary considering that I had no trouble whatsoever with a single 15" speaker.

    As far as basses go, all I need is something with decent playability, good sound, and reliability. I can get that in a Mexican-made Fender for about $400 new. Plenty of other instruments fit the bill in that price range, too. And I bet no one could tell the difference in sound between a high-end bass and a low-end bass either. My own girlfriend had to look at my hands to see what part I was playing during our set! :eek: So it seems like our needs aren't so hard to fufill...

    If only it were so simple, right? ;)

    Spoiling myself with excellent equipment would give me greater impetus to practice and create. I know that if I had a Sadowsky and that Mesa Boogie rig, I'd jump at the chance to play it everyday.

    From a professional perspective, if I were paid well for my performance, I would want to provide the best service possible which means the best equipment for the job. And if the job pays for the rig, then so much the better, right? :D

    Also, this is our beloved activity. Plenty of men and women put countless hours and dollars into their cars without any practical payoff. It's purely for the pleasure and accomplishment (though buying expensive gear isn't really an accomplishment... unless I bought it entirely with funds I earned with my playing).

    To give a personal example, I do not ever forsee needing anything other than my Jazz, but I'd still like to get a fretless in the near future if for nothing more than personal amusement and enrichment.

    What do you think?
  2. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    somewhere around there.
  3. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    It's pretty subjective. Although I agree. I think many "hobby" players have more than they really need. But who cares. If you can/want to pay for it, why not.

    I've had a lot of expensive gear over teh years. My current bass is a realatively inexpensive Yamaha BB605 with a Bartolini preamp and pups. Total cost about $700. I liek it every bit as much as my Smith or Modulus or Warwicks of the past. I'm not recording or touring. No one in my audience would know any difference. I am perfectly happy with it.

    My amp is an Eden WT-550. My cab is a Bergantino HT112. I could probably get by with a WM 12 or something like that, but I splurged a bit.

    Who am I to tell someone what they need to do their thing. Likewise, don't tell me my bass sucks. It works great for my needs. I'll put it up against anything out there in a blind test. Way to much listening with eyes going on out there.

    I'm not sure if I got on a tangent or not...
  4. My two main basses: Stambaugh 6($2,600+)& Fender Jazz 5($425, used). There's very little I can do w/the 6 that I can't w/the 5 & the 5 slaps easier. :rolleyes: My amp: Eden CXC-110+CX-110. I have gotten away w/a Hartke Kickback 12, my backup. The previous amp setuo was an Ampeg SVT-3pro+Pro 4x10hlf- very much overkill for church, pretty much my only gig. Add to all this the fact that the sound man(& lots of non-musically aware people)prefer the sound(& often looks :eek: )of the Fender, & I get: My rig is WAY beyond what I need. In truth, I'm very excited about the amp; I thought it would magnify my sloppiness, & it does, but in a way that helps me to correct it. It also does DB VERY nicely, something I would gladly pay more for.
  5. I use SX basses that don't surpass, but perfeclty meet my needs. My rig is a Hartke 410VX and a GK700RB-II. It's a bit much for playing in my room, but when jamming it is perfect.
  6. My basses can cover any ground so I figure I'm up to par with that.

    I am vastly underpowered in the amp area, as I only have a Peavey Microbass, and a power/pre rig with no cab.
  7. Tom


    Sep 7, 2005
    Davis, CA
    Since there aren't many firm assertions in the original post to disagree with, just thoughts meant to stir up a discussion, I'll just chalk this assinine post up to rudeness and move on.
  8. I think it's nice to have something at least a little nicer than 'neccesary', so it doesn't limit you. Of course a good player can make a cheap bass sound great, & vice-versa, but good tools seem to make the work go smoothly. I guess I'm just rationalizing the fact that my stuff is much closer to pro-level than my abilities might warrant, but I put a lot of love into it. :bassist: <---Love, love, LOVE!!!
  9. I agree, that a great bass player can make a poo-bass sound okay, but its so much easier for me (a mediocre player) to take a good bass and sound better than on a poo-bass - if that makes sense. I had a Godin BG4 - which sounded great, but played a little less than stellar and traded it in for a MM Sterling - which also sounds great, but plays like butter. I found that my ability to move around the board multiplied. Also, the Bridge on the Godin was okay, but the action could not be lowered any more then it was. It was a little too high for my taste. Moving to the Sterling enabled me to play a good bass with a set-up that matches my style of playing.

    So... spending all that money to upgrade... was it worth it? The sound of both guitars are great. What did I pay for then? I paid for the instruments flexibility and ability to match my style. I rarely play gigs anymore so the Sterling was overkill, but was it still worth it to trade in my Godin and fork out a bunch of money? Absolutely. I would do it again.

    I'm in the process of purchasing a bass cabinet and I plan on buying the best one I can afford rather then something that will "get my by". Why? Because I plan on playing gigs in the future. The sound that my rig makes is what inspires me to a large extent. A poor craftsman blames his tools because he doesn't know how to use them, but a good craftsman is not limited by his tools.

    - Andrew
  10. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I am sure that I could get by with less than what I have, bass and amp wise. I don't need a Modulus or an F Bass. And I really don't need them to be 6 strings. Also, I could get by with much less amp than what I have (SVT4Pro+410HLF).

    But, to me, it all boils down to what gets me the sound that is in my head, and what I feel the most comfortable playing. If I were to ever get into a financial bind bad enough that I needed to put food on the table by selling my more expensive gear, I guarentee you that my basses would be gone and I would probably be playing an SX or an MIM Fender (not that those are bad instruments, just cheaper). But, as long as I can afford to have the basses/rigs that I want, I will continue to play them. When it comes down to it, though, as long as I am playing music, it really doesn't matter if I am playing a gig with a $2000+ bass, or a $300 bass. They both make music. And that is what it is all about.
  11. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I need to have my bass be near flawless bc im a perfectionist.

    Amp wise my rig is perfect for wat i need.
  12. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    By -135 percent. I wish I had it better, but I don't. I have what I have, and I'm glad I have it.
  13. My needs are surpassed by about 2400 watts.
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    My main rig is 100% in line with exactly what I need, no more, no less. SWR SM-500, Tube Works 4 x 10".
  15. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    I have a used Fender MIM fretless and a Roland combo. I'm happy with what I have. Besides, I don't have the money to buy expensive gear, so why gas for it anyway? A bass has to sound good and be reliable. Other than that it's all your own choice. If you really want to lay down +$4000 on a bass with a spalted something something top that's up to you to decide. Just remember, a $4000 bass won't make you a better player.
  16. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    *adds Tom to the "Can not take a joke/no sense of humor" list*

    Damn, I guess I have to elaborate... or I'll be rude.

    I own a Dean bass... and a Crate Amp, and a bunch of effects. I play in a Doom (Sabbath Inspired) band. My tone is.... smooth... not cool. It clashes with the style for sure. I tweak it out with some distortion, but it doesn't have a big thuddy sound, I almost sound like another guitar. Basically I don't have tone to match the band... not that anyone would notice.

    Attached Files:

  17. KSDbass


    Mar 25, 2005
    yeah, my rig surpasses my needs by about -340 watts.... and my old SX100B surpassde my needs by about -1,000,000 bass... surpassing... units.......
  18. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Rouge... if you want to change your name, you have to PM Paul, the main mod/guy who runs Talkbass. You can't just put it in your sig. ;)
  19. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    I like wretched in excess with all my toys.



    I'm a -10000000
  20. If your rig is not as good as you want it the GAS comes.

    I wish I had some cash to get a lot of cool things.