Do you Think Signature Basses are really worth it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sultan Of Swing, Jun 1, 2002.

  1. Sultan Of Swing

    Sultan Of Swing

    May 31, 2002
    Do you think Signature instruments are really worth it, other than just being a nice addition to yourmusical arsenal.

    After all your not gonna sound like Steve Harris or Sting just because your playing there instrument are you.

    It's just like with the guitars. Just because you own a Slash,Sambora,Hendrix,Hammett,Clapton or May signature Guitar doesn't mean that if your a poor player you can just pick it up and hey presto the perfect Queen emulation.

    I sometimes think that these signature instruments are more of a hinderance and can lead to frustration.

    Imagine a new inexperienced and uninformed youngester new to the Bass and desperate to start playing. he wants to be like Steve Harris, he saves all his pennies buys one and is then totally dismayed and put off when he picks it up and can't play 'Run To The Hills' instantly.
  2. lazybassass


    Jan 23, 2002
    Yes but many people dont buy signature instruments thinking since i have this im gunna be awsome! and usually signature instruments cost alot more money than most beginers would think about shelling out for there first bass.
  3. Some sig. basses are good because they include some nice pups, electronics or woods that you wouldn't find in stock models. Of course, not all sig basses are worth the money, some are just hyped up instruments with a name on the neck plate and a couple more hundred dollars (Gibson and Fender are notorious for guitars like this). I don't think beginning bassists would go right for a sig bass, they might later though. But, still, that's the whole idea behind signature basses, if you put someone's name on it, all his fans will want it.
  4. Stupidnick


    Mar 22, 2002 room...
    Ive played alot of basses...(not a sadowsky yet though).. but so far the steve harris tops em all for me.. as far as the sound goes.. I played a modulus and it couldn't top the steve harris..its not the total sound in my head.. then again it might be.. i haven't just totally chopped up on it.. im mostly a blues typa guy.. i play alot of memphis style blues and groove bass stuff.. and alot of older Punk.. but it might be that sound but besides that..
    i guess it depends on the person if a signature bass is worth it.. i mean theres really nothing wrong with it..
    if it sounds good to you.. and plays good.. who cares whats on the head stock.. it really doesn't matter... I rather own a Good playing Mexican made Fender Jazz.. than a poorly made stingray.....(if there is one)
  5. I think it depends on what motivates you. Hopefully no one really thinks that just by buying a "Insert Name Here" signature instrument that one will sound like that person. However, if it inspires you to have a signature version and you practive and play more, then that's great.

    OTOH, I've found that some signature models are simply better constructed. My Fender JP Relic Jazz is one of the best fretless basses I have ever played. If Fender made all their basses with that much mojo, they would have less competition. I didn't buy it because it is a Jaco Pastorius Relic, I bought it because it sounds and plays wonderfully. I think it's a shame that it looks beat to hell.

  6. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Depends on whose signature it is.

    My two basses are a Fender Roscoe Beck V and a Marcus Miller. IMO, the tweaks these guys have made to the stock model have been improvements.

    I wouldn't shell out for flashy costume jewelry just because someone famous likes it. I also don't see the point of excessive reductivism (the Hoppus and Sting models being cases in point).
  7. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    I suspect that there are hardcore fans (as well as those with more money than brains) who will buy an instrument just because their hero's signature is on it. OTOH I think that a lot of these basses are sold because the artists whose names they bear are players just like the rest of us. As such they have the same demands and concerns that the rest of us do (tone, playability etc.). Therefore a lot of sig. models incorporate useful upgrades and modifications. These include:
    Upgraded pickups (Steve Harris, Geddy Lee)
    Unique tone controls (Marcus Miller, Roscoe Beck)
    Fancy Hardware (Geddy Lee, Steve Harris)
    Fretboard Radius changes (Geddy Lee)

    I'm not a big Rush fan, but the Geddy Lee bass is a really nice instrument. I wouldn't buy it for it's Geddy-ness or to sound like Rush, I would buy it 'cause it's a nice bass. Same goes for Sting and his bass. There are other reasons than wannabe-ism (althought that's a factor for some folks) for buying these instruments.
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I am a big Rush fan, but that's not the primary reason that I bought the GLS Jazz. I had been all over Dallas looking for a Jazz bass that had 'it'. I had played dozens of MIA's and MIM's, and none of them had done it for me.

    I walked into Murphy's Music in Irving, and saw this gorgeous tuxedo finish Jazz. I pulled it off the wall, plugged it in, and BAM! There it was! Sounded just like the sound in my head, and played like a dream. And it had that 70's retro look that I have had GAS for since I was a teenager.

    I asked the salesman how much it was, and he said, 'Oh, that Geddy Lee model?' I was like 'HUH?!?!?'

    He showed me the signature on the back of the headstock, and I was blown away!

    But I was going to buy the bass before I knew it was a Geddy Lee(I didn't even know there was a signature model!) and that was just icing on the cake.
  9. I would buy that Fender Sting model if it didn't have Stings signature embedded in the fingerboard... I don't even think Sting would want one of these???? Personaly I don't like signature models but sometimes they offer goodies like better pickups, pickguard, bridge and stuff.. I guess there is a need them or else they wouldn't be making them. Jeezz, I hope kids arn't going out and buying these and thinking that their going to automatically sound like there hero:eek:
  10. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Well, I recently got a Bill Dickens signature model, but when I purchased it, I certainly had no belief that I would ever sound like him when I played it. I've found a lot of signature models fill in the gap between the lower and higher end instruments companies offer.

    Say you're an Ibanez fan and you want a step up from the eight bazillion low-cost models they have, but you don't have the dough for one of their better models, the Fieldy model might be for you (disclaimer: this post does not promote nor discredit Fieldy in any fashion; theere's already too many posts like that). That's why I got my bass; it's better than the GT-7 but doesn't start at $3000 like the handmade Conklins. It's just a matter of preference.
  11. I think the Roscoe Beck signature is the best 5-string that Fender makes. IMO.
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    2nd best IMHO. Have you play the FMT Jazz Deluxe 5?