Do heavier Fender basses actually sound worse or is weight irrelevant?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cyberprimate, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. cyberprimate


    Mar 6, 2010
    With the exact same pickups, will a heavier Fender Precision for instance sound worse than a light one (once amplified) or will it just be heavier to hold?
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Depends entirely on whether the pickguard is 3 or 4 ply.
  3. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    And here I was thinking it was how torqued the strap button screws were. Silly me.

    As to the pickguard, obviously 4 ply ones are heavier.
  4. ^ to add to the pickguard, it depends on whether or not it's tortoise-shell or not.
  5. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    You probably won't notice a difference in sound.
  6. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    It'll probably sound a little different due to the wood's density. But it will feel different to'll notice that it will respond to your input differently.

    Whether or not that difference is better or worse is purely subjective. The differences between a light and a heavy bass are important mostly to the player.
  7. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    Have you tried making sure your belly fully filled the tummy contour? You need complete coupling.
    I'd suggest trying them out shirtless, to be sure.
  8. HomesickBob

    HomesickBob Do da Boogie! ;-)

    Jan 15, 2013
    Basel, Switzerland
    This is very personal, some like chunks and others light weights (as me).
    Sounding better or worse can't be defined by words neither by opinions.
    The one that sounds right to you is best*, better think twice before modding** it.
    And influencing gear's sound is about 70-80% in the fingers imho...

    *don't get twisted by a 100 opinions, this is always a lonely decision!

    **modding is mostly wasted bucks, the base remains...
    ...though crap sounds only like expensive crap then! :rollno:
  9. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Some prefer the feel of a heavy or lighter bass, but there is absolutely no correlation between tone and weight.
  10. Dragan


    Oct 5, 2009
    hmmm...depends what music you are going to play. heavier basses are great for heavy metal while lighter ones are for smooth jazz.:rollno::help::D
  11. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    Make a list of the top 30 albums which you love the bass sound on. Then, filter out the ones which aren't Fenders. Then, write to the bassists involved asking if the bass was heavy or light. Then, publish the results.
  12. The same thing happends if it is a light colour it will have a more opened up tone, and if it´s a dark colour it will tend to sound...well...darker.

    If it´s paintless, it will have a natural tone
  13. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    This also applies to fretboard wood. Good catch :D
  14. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Jeez... everyone's a comedian. :rollno:
    (Except for a couple of serious replies.)

    Weight affects tone and the responsiveness that you'll feel. But it's only one factor. You mentioned pickups, but don't forget the type of strings, the particular piece of wood (and its species), your attack, the type of bridge, the type of amp, etc.

    Anyway, what's "worse"? Every individual player has preferences regarding brightness, sustain, etc.

    As someone wisely said, it's a lonely decision. But the search is part of the fun.
  15. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    IME, the weight has no bearing on the tone of a bass. It's more in how well the bass is made along with it's components and setup. Plus, I've heard plywood basses that sounded great!
  16. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    This is not a topic that you will likely get a general consensus on. I've heard knowledgable people say lighter bodies resonate to a frequency that makes for better bass tone. I've heard others insist that for a good low end, a heavy bass beats a lighter one. There are a number of Sadowsky owners who feel the lighter, chambered bodies of the NY Sads have a slightly better tone than the solid body Metros. Others insist that they hear no real difference. In other words, this is not a topic that you will likely get a general consensus on. :)
  17. eban3

    eban3 Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2007
    Palm Bay FL
    All depends on how strong the electromagnetic field generated from the earths core at any given location in time on the planet ,but if the bass is too heavy i suggest you take it to the moon it will be much lighter there..... though it may not sound any better
  18. bassdude51

    bassdude51 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
  19. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    A heavy bass doesn't sound as "much" because you will play it less.
    Other than that they sound the same.
  20. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    it really depends on the tides and phases of the moon