1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Cliff Bordwell vs Chris Stambaugh basses - which do you prefer?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Colonel_Claypoo, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. Cliff Bordwell

    45 vote(s)
  2. Chris Stambaugh

    31 vote(s)
  1. Colonel_Claypoo

    Colonel_Claypoo Steve Harris nut

    Oct 24, 2007
    just looking for your honest opinions.
    which do you prefer, cliff bordwell or chris stambaugh basses?
    i know both their instruments are amongst the highest quality money can buy but who do you think does a better job?

    those of you who own one of these basses could maybe post about the time of waiting?

    no ranting please;)

  2. BigBassBob


    Jul 17, 2005
    Wales, UK
    I'm gonna stay out of this one, but I'll say that while I like the look of both builders, I'd personally choose a Bordwell over a Stambaugh purely based on aesthetics.

    BRB, gonna grab a bucket of popcorn....
  3. namraj


    Feb 7, 2008
    good job staying out
  4. Colonel_Claypoo

    Colonel_Claypoo Steve Harris nut

    Oct 24, 2007
    haha yeah, i thought people might do that but why?
  5. 82Daion


    Nov 14, 2006
    Having played neither, I like Cliff's stock aesthetics better, but I know that Chris does custom shapes, so it's kind of a tossup, really.

    I've seen basses that I really like from both builders.
  6. cmewhinney


    Jul 11, 2008
    Concord, NH
    I have no experience with Bordwell basses, but every Stambaugh I've played has been tremendous- I mean every bass. As for aesthetic appeal, don't judge Chris' basses by the photos on his website- those are really old and not indicative of what he's building now.
  7. jordanm


    Feb 24, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    I like both. I do like Cliff's body shapes and the way he coordinates wood layers etc with the design of the bass. Lots of cool stuff with the chambered bass and, nice headstock too.

    I prefer Chris right now because of his flexibleness. You can pretty much get any shape, any inlay etc etc and thats just the norm. I'm sure Cliff can do this as well and I've seen a custom shape from his. Just with my experience from Chris he is fun to work with on that type of stuff.

    But "standard" bass to "standard" bass I'd go with Cliff.
  8. Buskman


    Apr 13, 2007
    Jersey Shore, USA
    This thread won't end well... :bag:
  9. Alienation


    Jul 29, 2008
    Never played a Stambaugh, or a Bordwell for that matter but I have an order in for the Bordwell. :bag:
  10. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    I voted CB. I have not played a Stammy but have seen/heard them. Frankly the choice here is between great and great; either way it's great :) On a personal note CB has built 2 1-offs for me that were off the charts in all respects, and his customer service is unbeatable. Emails answered in detail the same day, open to all possibilities and helpful to a fault. I dropped the fanned concept, though (best tone, but not my ergonomic favorite) and sold both basses (very quickly and easily). There'll likely be another CB in my future. He is truly exceptional to deal with.
  11. King V

    King V

    Dec 13, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    I would have to say Stambaugh....just because I have one. I ordered a 9 string from Chris when had built just one previous one and he knocked it out of the park.

    I waited almost 11 months on that one....but I think he's up to 14-16 month wait now. Unliess you want something custom or out of the park just wait for one to show up on TB for sale. You'll save a grand or so and about 14 months of waiting.
  12. I have a CB and plan on ordering another one by next Spring. I also have a Stambaugh in the works. Thus I can't make a comparison.

    Probably hard to compare them since it doesn't sound like anyone has played both.

    I think both are very capable luthiers and really know how to make stuff. If you have to pick between the two, you'll get a good bass no matter who makes it. Based on the stellar results from the Stambaugh and CB tribe, I don't think you'll have a problem.
  13. Antti


    Oct 26, 2007
    Here is my CB: http://www.flickr.com/photos/27641282@N06/2611418874/
    I am very happy with the sound and it looks good too. When I saw this D-bass body, I knew I wouldn't need any custom shape. I have never had a change to try any Stambaugh but they look good. I believe you wouldn't go wrong if you take one of these. I still vote CB because I know you get what you want and the price is very right. :bassist:
  14. rockosocko


    Sep 14, 2008
    I've played both, I know own 2 Stamabugh basses, a fretless six string and a fretted 5. They're both amazing both in terms of tone and looks. Chris does mind blowing inlay and really knows his stuff. As such, I'd have to say go with the Stambaugh, you won't be sorry!
  15. mark roberts

    mark roberts Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    +1. And that previous (barely previous) 9'er was mine. Now it belongs to another CA TB'er who was very happy to buy it. I'm enjoying my 10'er, which was a 1st for Chris.

    King V didn't say the grabber though...it's the neck. He builds great, stable necks (speaking from neck-thru experience). Add that to the fact that he will build a total custom for you...and no matter what...you will get THE BEST quality at the lowest price.

    Yes, for builds that have unique requirements, the time may be pushed out. My 10'er took a year from deposit to in-hand...but, I knew that I was in a late Fall build schedule when I sent my deposit.

    Also, the woods...I can't say enough about how he picks and crafts woods. That and he is is straight-up with you. He may mis-calculate on time towards the end of the build...but, he will let you know where he is on the build and what needs to be done.

    He has built 4 basses for me. Should I be lucky enough to have others made...Chris will get the call.
  16. Tslicebass

    Tslicebass Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2007
    only played one stambaugh but gotta love CB
    Here is mine

    Great customer service and definitely the nicest bass I have ever played. Can't recommend him enough.
  17. So......
    the takehome point is that nobody has played them both (yet ;)) but owners of both highly recommend them. Not very useful, eh?
  18. I've had 3 Stammies built & bought one 2nd hand. All were/are awesome; build quality, playability, sound, finish, EVERYTHING was top-notch. Compares very well w/Ken Smith(the nicest non-Stambaugh bass I have experience with). Have not played a CB, but I've gotten a very good vibe from the few words I've exchanged w/Cliff. In particular I've caught him complimenting oter builder's work, & he was entirely cool w/my decision to go w/Stambaugh. I wish I could do a few of each. :D
    ursusaltered likes this.
  19. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Bump for relevance. I'm seriously considering one of these two builders and since it's been over 3 years I'm sure somebody has played both and can compare.
  20. Moe Monsarrat

    Moe Monsarrat Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Austin, Tx.
    Endorsing artist:Regenerate Guitar Works Carvin, Micheal Kelly Guitars
    I own one of each. Both were acquired used on TB classifieds. Both are amazing instruments and I won't be selling either one. My Stambaugh is a SC/NT active 5 string & near the top of the line. My CB bass is a discontinued Performance passive 5 string model which was supposed to be an economy (bolt on) version. So comparing them is a bit unfair. That being said, there are things to compare anyway. Workmanship on both basses is absolutely flawless....no difference in quality that I can tell. The tone is certainly different on both basses because of electronics, wood and other things. They both sound amazing though & it would be very hard to pick one over the other. The passive Delano pups (on the CB) are some of the best ones I've ever heard & I've been trying to get them installed in a few more of my basses. Very growly but with immense bottom & surprisingly high output. On the Stammie there are Aeros and a Mike Pope active preamp. Wow! I can't find anything negative to say about it. I wish I could give you a definitive answer but until I try a high end CB I'd just be bullsh*%tting. The low end CB Performance 5 string is right there with anything you can name tone wise. His high end basses must be a real MoFo.
    ursusaltered likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.