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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. micgtr71


    Dec 4, 2012
    Comfort, sound, and balance....
    Then looks. I’ve passed on basses that I think looked wonderful, but didn’t meet those first three needs. That being said, looks may make me pass on something that does fit those factors...pun not intended...well, maybe.
  2. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I had a woman once come up to me and compliment my bass "Wow, that's a really nice looking bass". I kinda got the sense that he was using that verbiage to ...start conversation with me, that maybe it wasn't the bass she was really interested in. While looks count some to me, if I were single, they'd probably count a bit more.
  3. JPaulGeddy


    Sep 19, 2007
    South Carolina
    There is not a unique enough bass in the world to where I couldn't find a more attractive version of it, if I didn't like the original look. Find the sound & feel you want, then pick your aesthetic after. It's ridiculously easy these days.
  4. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
  5. 2strings2frets

    2strings2frets Supporting Member

    Oct 30, 2017
    I prefer black for a bass, however I own several that are not black. Appearance matters but is not a complete deal breaker. That said if you feel like you have to sneak up on it because it is so ugly you are not going to play it much. Depending if you own others that you like to play in may impact your practice time or skill level
  6. Nebula24


    Nov 23, 2017
    Norman, OK
    Visually like mm/soapbar or single coil to split pickups.
    Prefer dark necks with 2x2 heads.
    Lots of chrome/silver hardware.
    Dont like oversized horns even if means neckdive.
    And its got to be a shorty.

    Im picky. Lucky i like my epi eb0 and the jr jets ive tried.
  7. BergerHead

    BergerHead plastic phantastic Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2018
    Basel, Switzerland
    Well, the headless compile a species of their very own; to me it was the second revolution after Leo Fender's genius impact in musicians needs and esthetic demands. What i really like is the things kept simple, so i don't get gear with plenty a knobs & switches, when experiencing that tone comes 90%+ outta the player's hands ... Keith Richard is the living prove, even on a Reso he's got his typical twang.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 2:12 PM
  8. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    When i was younger i couldn’t afford much and spent a lot of time with used Peaveys and such. I couldn’t afford to worry about looks as long as it was playable i was happy. These days i’m still mostly concerned about how they play, but i like a clean bass as well. I don’t pass based in looks but the price has to reflect the overall condition. From closet queens to basses that looked like they were used to chop wood or served as a canoe paddle, if they play well and the price is right, i’m interested.
  9. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    I care about neck shape and fretboard. Useable pickups and hardware. Body shape only important inasmuch as its pleasing to me. I can get along with most shapes.

    Body woods for me are a personal preference versus what the manufacturer was trying to accomplish. If they are going for lightness in weight, mahogany is a great choice.

    Finishes.........how the hardware compliments the wood color or the finish. I don't like thick polyesters but have been known to to flatten the shine with 3000 grit wet paper. It takes the frictional stickiness away as well.

    For me, simplistic controls. I have owned several instruments that used switches for splitting coils, in/out of phase, etc. Problem is, I like having just a switch to go back and forth between pickups. Too many switch and poor lighting when playing can lead to disastorous results. Blend controls fine.

    The day I can change programming presets on my rig on board will be welcomed with open arms and wallet.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 3:26 PM
  10. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    Nostalgia drove a couple purchases.
    $ drove a couple utility items.

    Mostly I'm about how it feels in my hands.
    If it has the feel of an instrument with a clear voice then I buy it.
    I can always change electronics to suit, but you can't fix dead.
  11. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    Do looks matter?


    For years I had to settle for painted basses when I really wanted a dark natural wood basses.
    But the makers weren't making them as much back in the 80's
    Now they are.

    If it doesn't have gold or black nickel hardware,I will switch it out to one or the other.
    No chrome.
    No paint or pickguard.

    As for tone,I don't chase tones.
    I let each bass have it's own tone.
    If it has a dark tone.Good!
    If it has a bright tone.Equally as good!
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 4:56 PM
    Shanannigan likes this.
  12. lavmonga


    Jul 27, 2007
    New York, NY
    everyone who says the look doesn't matter is lying.
  13. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
  14. I think there are a LOT of spaces between those two choices but I voted no because in the end, for me, function and sound trump all else. OTOH I thing some basses look really stoopid and some look really cool but for the other 90 percent of basses out there, it's a bass and I care about it just a little more than I care about my nice set of Craftsman sockets out in the garage.
  15. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Not going to lie, the look of an instrument is a big factor for me.
    My instruments are an extension of my style, especially when they are on stage and ALL of my instruments get played out.

    That I'm of the opinion that I can have it all: looks, sound, ergonomics/playability and weight. There's such a fantastic selection of basses available to today's buyers that no matter your price point there's almost no reason to settle for an instrument that doesn't feel good, sound great and make you want to play every time you look at it.

    I've also said before that as long as it's not a complete POS or ergonomically unsuitable for the player, beginners should pick a first bass that primarily appeals to them visually. Your second bass can be chosen for specific preferences and such, but your first bass needs to look so appealing that when you look at it you have no choice but to pick it up and play.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 7:58 PM
    Nebula24 likes this.
  16. beatdatthang


    Aug 29, 2011
    Of course looks matter. Everyone has their own personal taste in everything from body style, to fretboard wood, to finishes. If it didn’t matter, everyone would own a black bass of a generic design.

    Looks aren’t the only thing, but nobody GAS’s for a crappy looking (to them) bass.
    gebass6 likes this.
  17. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Richmond , Va
    I buy tools, not art. You can buy the fanciest hammer in the world, but if you can’t drive a nail straight, what good is it.

    My criteria is: Is it made from quality components, and will stand the test of time; Secondly, is it the right voice for my musical projects; Finally, is it a good value, and for me that means when I’m done with it, I can recoup my investment less wear and tear.
  18. I agree with Mastodon2, particularly the part about affording that luxury!
  19. Depends on how much more. Hundred bucks is a no-brainer. Unless you’re super strapped for cash, get what you like. Now, if it’s thousands more...maybe not as worth it.

    Could also look used. I got a basically brand new BTB846 for about half the cost of a new one. Love it.
  20. BobDeRosa

    BobDeRosa Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 16, 2012
    Penfield, NY
    Owner, Tritone Jazz Fantasy Camps
    I have no idea what the looks of the bass have to do with the desire to practice. That makes absolutely no sense to me. Doesn't seem to bother Bobby Vega, either, and his career seems to be going pretty damn well.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 10:58 AM

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