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Contentious poll....luxury, necessary or just fashion statement?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Andy Daventry, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. Grade AAAAA maple tops

    181 vote(s)
  2. Exotic cocktails of exotic tonewoods a la Conklin

    136 vote(s)
  3. More than 6 strings

    98 vote(s)
  4. Three octave necks

    75 vote(s)
  5. Really, really curly upper horns

    236 vote(s)
  6. Realy really long and emphatically not cutaway upper bouts

    155 vote(s)
  7. death's head straplocks

    189 vote(s)
  8. Both 1/4" jack and XLR sockets on the same bass.

    53 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. This was prompted by some of the pics of basses I have seen recently...

    Oh, I have enabled multiple voting...
  2. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Well, some of those have their uses (dual outputs, more than 6 strings, over 3 octaves) - while some of them I don't like myself (bois melangé - that is, many kinds of woods cut together, which can be nice sometimes, but can also be ugly when overdone)
  3. jja412

    jja412 Fine Gear Enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    nothing wrong with a fashion statement now and again...

    EDIT: I accidentally voted "yes" for more than six strings...Disregard one of those. :rolleyes:
  4. Isn't it supposed to be about the music? Art n stuff?
  5. jja412

    jja412 Fine Gear Enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    There are plenty of guys who make wondrous music on "fashion statement" basses.
  6. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    1. Maple tops look nice to some. It's not necessarily a fashion statement. Cars don't need paintjobs, hubcaps, or even back doors to run, but they look nice. For me it's necessary to have an instrument I enjoy looking at as well as playing. And since guitars have been using them for decades now, I'd hardly call it a fashion statement.
    2. Same as above- they look nice, but many believe these different woods add different tones to the instruments. Again, they've been around for decades.
    3. If anyone thinks having more than six strings is only a fashion statement, they've obviously not paid attention to the plethora of beautiful music that's been created and played on them.
    4. Listen to Michael Manring if you have any doubt of their use and potential.
    5. See #1. Uprights have had really curvy headstocks for centuries.
    6. See #1. Les Pauls have had singlecuts for decades. Some believe the extended singlecut adds stability to the neck. I love the way they look AND feel.
    7. Straplocks are one of the best investments you can make for your bass.
    8. I don't know that I've seen XLR outs, but I have seen MIDI outs, which are necessary if you're running your bass through MIDI. Lots of great music have been made with these as well.

    You could slap some strings on a 2x4, drill a pickup and jack in there, and have a functioning bass. A simple P bass would look like a luxury compared to that. Usefulness is determined by the individual, and people should keep an open-mindedness about this rather than wanting to slag off other people's choices as fashion statements.
  7. I disagree. Slagging off can be cathartic...
  8. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I hope you're being sarcastic.

    It is all about the art. And like nearly all other artists, musicians have their particulars about what they like to use to create their art. You can make a watercolor with a two dollar paint and brush set, or you can use Kolinsky hair brushes that are close to a thousand dollars each. What you choose to use to create your art is not something other people should be worried about. I, like most people I imagine, play better when I'm using a bass I like. I paint better when I'm using brushes and paints that I prefer. I could use 50 cent brushes, but I prefer the look and feel of more expensive ones. If I'm making a better product because I enjoy the look, feel, etc. of whatever materials I'm using, then it's a good thing. A luxury to some will be a necessity to create the kind of work they do to others.

    The listener should judge the music by the music, and not what its creator used to make it.
  9. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    Yeah, but slagging off really can be cathartic. :)
  10. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    They're all fashion statements, except death's head straplocks...those are an absolute must for any real bass player... :)
  11. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    Behind you!
    I don't go for the death's head straplocks. Give me a dragon's head or better yet straplocks that look like cat's eyes and I'm there, dude. Or maybe ones that look like pretty tropical flowers. Tropical flowers are sooooo metal, since many of them smell like rotting carcasses to attract insects who go for the smell of rotting flesh over that of sweet stuff.
  12. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Be aware this one is going to draw intense moderator scrutiny...
  13. Good...good. Keep it up.
  14. Sorry for the extra work...but we can't all be serious all the time or we'll go stark raving mad!
  15. I said yes to all of them. Does that mean I am not human?
  16. It means you are a Fender player..warm, intelligent, considerate, in touch with life, the universe and groovy things. Yup, You blew it. Not human.
  17. dude, chill out. you're takin this a little too seriously, dont get so excited. you're gonna have to unsprawl a bit.
  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Too much controversy or too much trivia?
  19. RLT


    Jul 10, 2004
    South Central OH
    OK I'll step into the fire. Functional adds to the utility of the object. Fashionable up grade, adds eye candy or other asthetic appeal.

    So if it sounds the same with a painted top as with a AAAAAAAAA exotic top the exotic top is a fashion upgrade.

    Really since I would be totally lost trying to play more then 5 strings for me a 6 or above would be a fashion upgrade. For others it would be a necessity.

    Which basically says this entire poll is subjective like every other aspect of Bass playing so one persons fashion is anothers have to have.
  20. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Or maybe the mods all have "fashion basses"...

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