Disappointing experiences with basses you thought you'd love

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gothic, Jul 30, 2021.

  1. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    Anyone ever had one of those?

    I'll kick things off with one of mine.

    I always liked the look of Stingrays. I'd played a few OLP's in the past but never an original MM. I quite enjoyed the tone and, from things I'd read in fora, I'd thought it would be just fantastic. Fast forward some time and I get to play a beautiful stealth black Stingray 5 HH.

    Aaaaaand... nah. Disappointment. The neck was nicely chunky, it was finished semi-glossy which I don't like but it was set up great and despite that, it felt extremely uncomfortable for some reason and the tone... Well, it was a bit "meh", really and I played it through a very nice amp and a kemper!

    Now ok, it wasn't BAD by any means but I just didn't quite see me spending that much money on... that. Really put me off MM basses.

    So how about you?
  2. 31HZ

    31HZ Glad to be here Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2006
    Central VA, USA
    Stingray 5 :(

    I really wanted to love it -- it was a stunner! -- especially since I put hundreds of gigs on an FNA, but the G-string being right up against the edge of the board didn't work for me, and the tone wasn't an immediate winner.

    I had no trouble finding a good home for it, though. [edit: I'm having trouble attaching the image from my phone]

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  3. A9X

    A9X Inactive

    Dec 27, 2003
    Recently, the new Fender Jag I got. Compared to the Samick CR1-3 I had, it had poor balance, an oversize flipper of a headstock, sounded meh and the FnF wasn't as good, not bad, just not as good. And the Samick cost 1/4 the price as a mint S/H purchase, so the Jag went. I got it at least in part, hoping to finally find something from the big F I liked. I traded it for another bass.
    tindrum and Gothic like this.
  4. dalkowski

    dalkowski It's "rout," not "route." Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    EBMM Bongo 4HH. Wouldn't say it was a disappointment; more like way too much bass for my ability level (still is).

    On the plus side, the guy I bought it from turned me on to TB. Where some years later I ended up selling the Bongo.
    tindrum, kodiakblair and Gothic like this.
  5. WG Plum

    WG Plum Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2021
    Fretless Modulus Jazz - utterly lifeless sounding. It was very surprising, and totally disappointing.
    Rob Allen Mouse - it was stunningly beautiful, but I just couldn't get past the piezo tone when it arrived and I played it in person.

    On a positive tip, my far cheaper Vintera P Bass sounded exactly like I expected it to. I know, I know... but I'm a mediocre bassist and I think mediocre basses seem to suit me. ;)
  6. salmon256


    Jul 10, 2021
    So funny had the same thoughts with a Stingray. I tried some and didn't really like the H pickups position for my thumb, felt good with a pick. Didn't like the neck, felt odd to me and just wasn't my bass. I love the sound and the looks of them but I just couldn't dig it. I would still like to add one to my collection one day but I am glad I went with a J-bass for my first bass. I still always wanted to get more into the Stingray since it's consider very versatile but I just couldn't like it as a main.
  7. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    For me, disappointment almost always happens in the store.
    I'm racking my brain trying to think of a purchase that truly disappointed me...I mean, I've sold twenty or thirty basses over the course of eight years...but it wasn't because I was unsatisfied with the tone or playability, simply because I was seeking perfection.
    Might seem shallow but I usually get rid of a bass because of something cosmetic...an unfinished headstock, for instance, that I just couldn't deal with.
    Outtaseezun, mikewalker and Gothic like this.
  8. getbent


    Aug 20, 2010
    Chicago, IL
    I also fell out of love with a MM Stingray once I actually got my hands on one. Found a beautiful natural finish late 70's Stingray in Boston many years ago, loved the neck and overall feel, but could never adapt to the lack of a neck/middle pickup. The punchy sound wasn't what I needed, and after playing a Jazz bass for 7 years, where resting my plucking thumb on the neck pickup was a foundation of my technique (and pivoting my shoulder to rest my thumb on the MM's bridge pickup caused me all sorts of physical problems), I had to let it go. I'm sure it would be worth a fortune now, but oh well.
    Ks68jazz, tindrum, SC Bassboy and 2 others like this.
  9. About 10 years ago I traded in my beloved 90's Warwick Thumb against a Status Stealth 5 string.

    It was a beautifully built bass & stunning to look at but it took me only a few weeks to realise that it's "voice" wasn't for me.

    I went back to try and trade again for the Warwick but it had gone ( no surprise ).
    Ggaa and Gothic like this.
  10. Rib 13

    Rib 13 Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    Alembic Spoiler in the early 00s......it was just this particular bass and the only time I've ever used the words "crappy" and "Alembic" in the same sentence
  11. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    Stingray - could not get the tone I wanted out of it. Never got to try one again.

    Ric - simply not my thing, in the slightest. Love the look of it though.

    chadwick folding bass - got this upright bass to travel. Great concept and idea but unfortunately an upright bass with so many open, loose and movable parts is bound to have problems. Had constant setups trying to fix buzzes, rattles and wolf tones. Gave up and sold it. It plays great if you only play it through a pickup, but any sort of acoustic recording with a mic was a constant battle with the instrument.
  12. Jebberz

    Jebberz Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Quebec city
    Epi Jack Cassady. I'd love to love that bass, but unfortunately, each time I Tried it I did not find a comfortable playing position.

    Might try again if I enconter on though, since I lost some weight and what used to fit my body and I fin confortable has changed drastically.
  13. RattleSnack


    Sep 22, 2011
    Fender P-Bass 70's reissue MIJ - beautifull white body with black pickguard, and maple neck with black inlays. It just never sounded full, warm, big. It was thin and nasal... I played it for couple of years until a good friend and great singer open my eyes and said it doesn't give her intonation and has no body. So I traded it for:

    Fender Jazz Standard MIM - lovely sunburst with black pickguard (later tort) and rosewood fingerboard. I had one earlier and it was great, so I took this one without checking it twice. But it was muffled and undefined. Looked classic but sounded bad. So I traded it.

    Fender Precision '51 Reissue CIJ - I had to check why this bass guitars are so cool, so I got one. Slab body and fat neck that, amazingly, didn't cause me problems. But sound... lots of character, but wrong character. Raw in all the wrong places. So i gave it up.
  14. Jason Schulhz

    Jason Schulhz

    May 1, 2020
    I was sorely disappointed when I tried out a Stingray. I wanted to like it, but it just was not happening. But, many people get a great tone out of them so it could have just been me.
    leftybass54 and Gothic like this.
  15. Ricky Rioli

    Ricky Rioli

    Sep 29, 2020
    My TRBX604 was beautifully-made and its redburst flame maple top was beautiful and the electronics worked impeccably and it can make a wide range of sounds.... just not the one I wanted. Lived, learnt.
    ImprecisionBass and Gothic like this.
  16. EatS1stBassist

    EatS1stBassist In Memoriam

    Apr 15, 2016
    So cal
    I ordered a new Ric in the Walnut. What a piece of Crap! The worst frets I’ve seen on any bass! The body was filled with wood repair filler. Action was absolutely the worst. I know that’s adjustable. It looked like B or C stock. I was so disappointed! I owned a beautiful 4001 in 73. I had to return it to the Place I bought it from.
    TJH3113, tindrum, johnnynitro and 6 others like this.
  17. Allen Woody Rumblekat.

    Found it on CL, loved the color and looks, and the price. I just found that it never "fit" me well. I know I've mentioned it to @dalkowski but I swear that bass made me feel like I had a trapezoidal shaped torso! It always wanted to hang way off center to what I consider the sweet spot, very far, and I always found my left hand pulling it into position while playing. That and combined with the weight just proved it wasn't for me.

    I really wanted it to work, great tone and very solid bass. :(

    The upside was I got more for it on a trade in at GC than I paid.
    tindrum, leftybass54, nixdad and 2 others like this.
  18. Billyzoom

    Billyzoom Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2011
    Bay Area
    Bought a used Zon online many years back. Absolutely the worst bass I’ve ever owned..couldn’t get any tone out if it that was remotely useful, or even basslike. Crazy thin tone. But it sure was pretty. I must’ve just had a bad one though, because I’ve heard incredible things about them. But I still wake up screaming every once in a while flashing back to that Zon.
  19. Billyzoom

    Billyzoom Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2011
    Bay Area
    Oh, Yeah….and Jazz basses. I probably owned six of them over the years most of them very good quality including the last one I had which was a US Geddy Lee I just recently sold. For some reason I love the tone in other players hands but something about the feel and tone in my hands is just not for me and I want to love it so badly.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  20. LadyLoveStingRay5


    Jul 17, 2004
    Every since I was a young girl , I wanted 2 basses. A 70’s style Fender Jazz and a MusicMan StingRay.
    It took many many years to find a Jazz that I liked. Even more for the StringRay. I went through 6 Jazz basses & 4 Stingrays . They are not all created equal .

    Up until about 2 weeks ago , I was convinced I’d never own another Stingray. I had sworn off if them .
    Now I’m happily eating my words and enjoying it!!
    Keep trying them . You might find the one.