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Do looks/aesthetics of the instrument matter to you?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gigglingbuns, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Yes

    545 vote(s)
  2. Yes, only when we talking about value

    7 vote(s)
  3. No

    18 vote(s)
  1. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member


    not yet! :laugh:
  2. Gigglingbuns


    Aug 26, 2017
    How much is the plek (includes a full setup right) with them, when buying new.
  3. Lava


    Jul 14, 2014
    El Paso, TX
    Yes. Why would I pay hard earned money for something that I don't like. In this day and age, you can usually find the model of instrument in so many different finishes and styles that would fit your tastes. I have bought instruments that weren't exactly the finish that I wanted, but I've never bought something that I didn't like the looks of just because it played well.
  4. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly. Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    I like maple necks and I cannot lie.
    fender jazz.
  5. Looks and aesthetics dont mean much to me, but...

    Strangers come up and compliment my bass when I have my Thumb 5 or T Bird

    Ii got yelled at for bringing a Beatle bass to a jazz gig (not famous enuff to pull that off)
    Slinger likes this.
  6. beatlebass64

    beatlebass64 Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2011
    New Hampshire
    Yes, probably more than it should.

    When I had my Birdsong CBass made (the companies take on the P bass formula, the C comes from the Cortobass which is the model that launched the company) I wanted to mimic the early 50's Fender P's with the blonde finish and black hardware, so choosing a body wood that would fit that was very important to me. Scott had cypress and the result was the bass pictured in my profile. It has aged naturally quite a bit since then and looks even more like the early Fender's. It lacks the glossy finish so it is only about 90% of the way there, but I love it!
    Bunk McNulty likes this.
  7. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    $199 with full setup last I heard, although there might be a discount if it’s for a new purchase from them.

    $200-$250 seems to be the going market rate for PLEKing. There’s not that many places that offer it so they can easily monitor each other’s pricing. And they all seem busy enough that they haven’t needed to compete on price yet to keep their queues filled. I’ve seen a few places that threw PLEKing in on instruments over $2500. But their average prices were higher too so IMO it isn’t really a “free” service. More like they were being strictly pro about things and doing it on all their premium priced instruments.

    But like polymath scientist and sci-fi writer Jerry Pournelle so famously said: “TANSTAAFL!!!”
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 10:19 AM
  8. I think that quite often it's the "look" of a bass that makes you want to find out what it sounds like. Nobody(?) buys a bass that looks great and sounds awful but if it looks great AND sounds great - result!
    Example - I wanted a fretless. There was no great urgency involved and I used to skim eBay daily anyway, but when I saw my Hudson I knew it was the one for me. There's not a great deal of information on them on the net, but there was enough for me to buy it (the price was great, which helped) and we're very happy together.

    walking Bass and SoCal80s like this.
  9. I find that for me, the excitement over having a particular color or appearance wears off after a time, sort of like with a new car or any other new object. However the feel/sound of a bass is a gift that keeps giving. I went out and got my "perfect" color scheme bass a while ago so I think I sort of demystified that idea. About a year later it doesn't seem so visually remarkable. Now i'm much more focused neck feel weight and sound. Buying online is a big factor in making people so visual when buying instruments. Personally, i'm going to try to play before buying from here on out. Local music shops with used offerings are the way to go.
    Gigglingbuns and juggahnaught like this.
  10. Gigglingbuns


    Aug 26, 2017
    The only reasonably noticed company that pleks with a new purchase is Bass Mods, talking around $1100 for a new 5 string, it's convenient. Since a lot of manufacturers at that price range don't plek.
  11. wncBass


    Jan 2, 2015
    North Carolina
    And strangely enough, those members have beautiful basses in their avatars. :eyebrow:
    jd56hawk likes this.
  12. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    To me looks no longer matters near as much as it used to decades ago. I guess I grew out of it.
    Holdsg likes this.
  13. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    Sort of in the middle. There are enough nice basses out there that I wouldn't play an ugly one just because it sounded good and played well (there are plenty of good looking basses that do to). Conversely, I wouldn't buy an attractive bass that sounded or played bad.
  14. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    I would have paid an extra hundy for the Forte-X #019 because it had a nicer pattern of flame maple on top, but I walked out with #016 (see profile pic) because it felt nearly 2# lighter. They were both on consignment at the same store at the same time.

    Yes, looks are worth the extra $100 when it comes to such a drastic difference in finish, as in your case
    Holdsg likes this.
  15. Holdsg

    Holdsg I should be practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Alta Loma, CA
    Based on the hundreds of basses that have passed thru my collection, I just like basses, period.
    But, I am more likely to hold on to ones that sound great, play great, and look great. Why not have it all?
    That's kinda why I've gravitated to Spectors and Sadowskys. They check all the boxes for me.
  16. skaine


    Dec 11, 2014
    The looks is important if the bass is definitely a keeper for life, because than it is not just "a bass", it is "the bass". Priority is how it feels and sounds, a bass with a comfortable neck without significant fret buzz and with a body that resonates well.
  17. p12bassnut

    p12bassnut Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2009
    DFW Metroplex
    Of course it matters. Not the highest priority but it does matter.
  18. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Some argue the opposite because they know it to be true.

    I always love those assertions (they don’t rate as actual arguments) that begin with “everybody does” and “everybody knows.” It’s one of the most common and frequently encountered of all the logical fallacies. That’s where you attempt to prove a point by arguing that the very point you’re arguing to establish is already established as being true. Or the proof of the argument is the argument itself.

    Everybody buys just for looks because looks are just what everybody buys for.

    Wait! What?

    Gotta love that ol’ circular logic. :laugh:
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 1:24 PM
    jd56hawk likes this.
  19. mojomike001

    mojomike001 Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2013
    South Florida
    Esthetics matter just as much as what you wear on stage. While it doesn’t actually make the music any better, it has an effect on stage presence.
  20. MichelD


    May 19, 2014
    I realize that the sound is the only thing that matters, but playing classic honky tonk country, I'd feel like a goof playing a pink Ibanez.
    Ekulati likes this.
  21. mattj1stc

    mattj1stc Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2009
    Dallas, TX USA
    2.0. I voted yes, but based on value. I've been playing a long time and I've owned lots of basses. I ultimately locked in on "the one" which happened to be a Lakland Skyline 55-64. When they were made, I believe that they only came in 1 color (burst) and had one pickguard (white). The only options, to my knowledge, were maple fingerboard or rosewood. I chose maple.

    This is an amazing bass that became my one and only. However, I'm not a huge fan of burst - it's not bad, but it's not usually my first choice. The overall vibe of my instrument kind of reminded me of a Fender MIJ 51 reissue that I had owned. Again, nothing terrible, but not my favorite either in terms of aesthetics. Basically, I would have preferred another color scheme for the body and pickguard, but I'm unwilling to spend the extra money on a USA model to get everything just the way I would like it.

    Also, the burst itself is well done and I didn't want to lose the original Lakland finish, which is quite strong and robust. Therefore, I decided to swap out the pickguard. Now I'm much happier with this relatively minor cosmetic change. To me, I went from the 50's to the 70's, which is when I started playing, so I guess it fits me.
    Holdsg likes this.

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