Characteristics of different bass brands

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by NewWaveBasser, Aug 13, 2001.

  1. It probably has been discussed before, but I'll ask because down the road I must move beyond my MIM J-bass.

    Already I've heard and seen opinions on different brands. Fender and Rickenbacker intereset me. I've been told the Rics are trebly and somewhat thin but comfortable to play. Fenders have this supersolid deep tone, and it shows on records I have that indeed the Fenders have a lot of punch.

    I have no idea about the Spector...or any of the Gibson basses. Also, I'd love to get feedback on graphite sound and feel and about the legendary's XL-2 sound. I know a couple of you have played those classics.

    Basically I look for feedback on sound, tone, reliability, and genres of music where the basses shine out the most...
  2. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    ola espana! qui parla italia! come va?

    your question is a little bit too generic. the only good suggestio i could give you is is to try everything to make your own idea. do not to be afraid to enter a shop and ask them to try a couple of basses. do the same with your friend's basses. back to your question i am a very sure guy about the fact that the first wa to have a good sound is a bass with a trademark sound.
    it's true, rickenbacker are very particular in sound thay lack of attack but they have a tone unique and not comparable to others. it'a love hate thing!
    fender are the standard sound. when you think to electric bass sound you think to fender sound. yoou can't go wrong.
    gibson are strange beasts. i have a thunderbird and it's wild, wild and wild again. a lot of sound, infinite sustain HOT pickups and a lovely dirt rock'roll tone.
    the first aspect you have to consider is how do you play, finger or pick or slap, which kind of music do you play. then you could have a first idea of the sound you need and like. and you'll choose between neck thru or bolt on body, woods pickup electronics ans last cosmetic.
    if you have more focused question, i'll do my best to help you.
    claro que si
  3. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I think some people could write books on the subject. What complicates things even more is that no bass sounds exactly the same in two different sets of hands or to two different sets of ears.

    Furthermore, no two basses that are otherwise identical will be exactly the same. The two basses will have slightly different resonant peaks and the overtones and harmonic content of each note may come out slightly different from one another.
  4. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Stingrays are for those wild young slap-happy guys... they have an infinitely bright sound that really cuts through the mix, but the downside is that they lack the tonal versatility to function in any genres other than funk or rock, and are stupidly over-priced IMHO :)

    Spectors are my chosen muse, and i only mention them since you seemed inquisitive about them yourself. they dont have the warmest sound, but they are BRUTALLY punchy and growly, excellent qualities for heavy music, alternative and punk. the slap tone is unique and kind of "wirery", but i'm steadily getting used to it. i find my Spector is best utilised in a hard rock setting, but i play jazz and blues with it as well - although its hard to get appropriate tones out of it for those kind of styles.

    personally, i dislike Fenders - particularly P-Basses. they're nice and warm sounding, but they just don't CUT ! :mad: i've found that using Fenders in a garage band or whatever means that you will most likely go unheard ... the only bass i like by Fender is the Jazz bass - love the massive scope for tonal tweakage :D
  5. I went to GC and i played a few basses and i thought Rickenbacker was the most uncomfortable bass i ever played. I didn't like the feel and i couldn't find a good place to rest my thumb for fingerpicking. :mad:

    I have a fender and i love the feel of it. I have no complaints about it. ;)

    Also i played a stingray while i was there. I loved that too. That is going to be my next bass. I guess because it was designed by leo fender (I think) and it feels more like my fender. :D

    just thought i'd put my 2 cents in :)
  6. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    i have a rick 4001 and it's a premium quality bass. i rest my thumb on the bridge pickup after removing the chrome pickup cover. sometimes the solution is SOOO easy!:p
  7. pike66


    Apr 28, 2001
    Long Island NY
    mostly, it's about luck, trial and error, and personal taste.
    we could go on and on about our fave bass brands, but it's all up to the bass player him(her)self.

    personally, I have high respect for fender basses.
    But that doesn't always mean that I'll buy a fender bass.
    strange huh?
    what you have in your wallet, plus a certain sound, plus the looks of a particular bass are all a factor.
    Sorry to be so general.
  8. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I agree with the general comments, you will have to try a load of basses preferably with your amp if the shop doesn’t have the same model. Even then the bass might not cut it (for you) in a live situation.

    When anyone asks "What bass?" I tend to give this answer…

    Work out your budget. Try loads of basses within that budget. Consider second hand bought from a shop. The reasons are that they are cheaper but normally have some sort of limited warranty (CHECK, my local shop gives 1-month and it saved me £80 on an amp power transformer). Select a shortlist and post that list here. Ask for reliability issues as well as anything else. This site provides access to bass players who gig with the stuff you will be trying. Asking a general 'what bass' question results in a million answers. Asking Spector or Warwick? may start a semi-flame war but the information is easier to assimilate (resistance is futile?).


    As you are upgrading, the next question is why? The Mim Jazz bass is (ignoring odd lemons) a good bass. My experience of mass production is that sometimes an exceptional instrument is produced. I have played Mim instruments that have slaughtered Mia ones in every department. Please don’t misinterpret this, the Mim series is designed to be 'not as good' as Mia but as stated accidents happen. So, consider keeping the Mim and waiting a bit more for a 'better' bass.

    The next thing to consider is what you are familiar with. First, the Jazz bass is very versatile and very easy to play. The best replacement might be another jazz. The only thing that I would 'improve' is the addition of actives but Fender make versions with this option and there are the custom makers like (Mr)Sadowski (who has posted here a couple of times). There are retro systems available. The last thing to consider is that the Mim series instruments are made from poplar (or poplar with maple caps for the sunburst) both woods are bright and therefore you may find other basses 'dull' in comparison. I won't get into a tone-wood argument, I have instruments made from maple, and poplar, ovangkol, spruce and plastic, they all sound great to me. Carbon fibre necks are incredibly rigid and have more (false) harmonics. I like the Status and Zon basses. I found the Modulus a tad bright (but a mighty fine bass) and the Musicman Cutlass was a disappointment (all personal opinion so no flames)

    If you are going to buy a 2nd bass you might want to consider a fretless or a multi-stringer or a lightwave or an upright/double bass. This last point is that the last thing anyone should be is closed-minded. You already have an excellent conventional bass (whatever that means) How about something exotic to give you a unique sound/style/perspective? After all this you could buy Mia Jazz but at least you looked.
  9. Thanx CS!!!! Thank you all for the feedback. I wish I could have been more specific but...

    Anyway CS... if MIM's are OK, why do people on this site constantly dismiss it as mediocre??

    Come to think of it, my MIM on a Peavey 150 watt amp (TN150???) can easily choke my guitarist's Les Paul :eek: :D

    I guess I could get say a Fender PJ P-bass MIA later on and keep the MIM as a back-up.

    Bet your behind that if I win the lottery :rolleyes: I'm getting the whole bass store!!!!:D
  10. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    You are welcome

    Every instrument has fans and detractors.

    I get your lottery comment but as I have gradually got more dispoable income (Mrs CS went back to work when the kids got older) and 'upgraded' I am just as careful as I was when I earnt £45 a week as an apprentice and bought an Ibanez Blazer (oh the shame of it) for £125.
  11. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    CS, I believe you forgot one thing (only) that I must emphasise. In my humble experiance, it is verrrry important. As you may at times be on a multihour gig.


    Make sure to try that out. A good bass fits your body and hands, and makes it a breeze to play for hours. One that doesn't makes you regretful....

    Look for: balance (in the position and angle you like), weight, neck type, string spacing, et al.

    Good hunting!