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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jpeachbass, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. What do Y'all think? I have both very expensive and very cheap and with a little TLC the cheap ones have just a good of sound as the others.:bag:
  2. I bought a $100 fiddle never could get the cats out of my fiddle. Then I heard of a guy that would take a $100 fiddle and shave wood from the inside and tune it. My $100 fiddle never got to the tuning guy. They just put it in a box and shipped it to the store.

    I bought a clarinet from an Internet source. Not all the keys would work. Sent it back to the factory and they worked on it and it now plays great.

    IMHO entrance level instruments come off the assembly line and are put into a box and shipped. Some time you get a good one that does not need tweaking, some time you do not.

    I believe the expensive instruments do spend some time in quality control before being shipped.
  3. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. Buy a Sadowsky or something like that and you get a high-quality instrument with fine craftsmanship.

    But, can you find a great-sounding bass for relatively cheap? Absolutely. Play whatever makes you happy and sounds good to you.
  4. Does the price reflect the increase proportionally? I don’t believe so. Is a MIM fender Jazz about twice as good as a classic vibe squire and is the squire 3 times better then a SX, not unless you’re getting major lemons.
  5. I played a Fender jaco fretless back to back with a squire fretless that looks like the Jaco. And the Squire played better and sounded more like the Fender should have. And for $200. And unrelated to that purchase, I bought a Rogue 6 string. aghhhhhh. But when it got here it wasn't that bad. I bought it for a cheap fretless for a audition since all i had was 4 strings. I jerked the frets and cleaned up the finger board. And holly crap. Its not that bad.

    THORRR Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    Parker, Colorado
    There are a lot of people with more dollars than sense.

    Some high-end basses are beautifully built, no doubt,
    but it is not necessary to spend 4 or $5,000 to
    get a bass that's even 100% better than a $500.

    In theory, it should be 10 times better for 10 times the
    price. But they're not. They are good, and usually more
    consistent in quality, which definitely has value, however
    I bought a pristine MIM Fender Active Deluxe Jazz off Craigslist
    for only $260, had a $100 fret levelling done, and adjusted
    the neck to perfection. It came with noiseless pickups which
    are fine for the music we play. And I got a molded Fender
    case for it for $75. Still under $500 and I've got a great
    playing and great sounding Fender Bass.

    Would I rather invest $5,000 to get a bass that was 10%
    better? or 20% better? I don't think so. But obviously there
    are people who feel otherwise. and I'm fine with that.
    It's their money.

    Chocolate, Vanilla & Strawberry - there's something for

  7. Sure it does, a higher price means you pay more for it.
  8. Gizmot


    Mar 22, 2009
    Nashville area
    I agree that you don't have to have the most expensive instruments to get something perfectly acceptable. However, something with the elusive "cool guy factor" usually costs more.
  9. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    What theory? Nothing works this way aside from Laplace's law. :D
    The law of diminishing returns comes more into effect, where you need to keep sinking more and more money for less and less of an increase in quality. To some people it's worthwhile. To others, it's not. Why own a Bentley if a Hyundai can get you where you're going? is an argument that follows the same logic.
  10. puddin tame

    puddin tame

    Aug 14, 2010
    youve got to play what you find comfortable. comfort in terms of sound, and the feel of the instrument. for some people that just means an expensive instrument.

    also I feel it depends on how long you've been playing. If you've only been playing a year or 2 you're not really going to notice the difference between a MIM and an MIA, or a rock bass and a german warwick, and to unlock the positive differences youve really got to have your technique nailed.

    edit: it's like giving someone on their learners permit a porsche
  11. IntrepidCellist


    Sep 10, 2009
    I will say that my Dingwall ABI, while on the pricier end of things, is more balanced tonally and feels better to play than anything I've pulled off the rack at any bass store, cheap, expensive, or otherwise.

    It's all about what you want and what you feel. If you can get your tone from a $100 SX, more power to you. I can, but I prefer something that feels a little different.
  12. Truth! The Law of diminishing returns rules the price vs. quality curve. I think most would agree that a really fine quality instrument can be had for $1000 -$1500. I would guess that this would be the mid-point of the S-curve of price vs. quality. And this is the minimum point where you would would want to be if you you are concerned about resale value (for example, opting for a MIA vs. MIM). The increase in quality from that point on will be smaller and require more money but you usually get much more hand work, exotic wood, customization, and perhaps decoration.

    If you are a pro and have a really good sense of what you want in an instrument, the high end approach may be worth it to you. So yeah, OP, price can make a difference.

    I also think it's nice to get a bargain or a cheapo but playable quality bass (or guitar) if it's not my main instrument. For example, I am looking for a fretless Jazz and am debating the MIM-Squire-MIA-used-SXnew conundrum right now.
  13. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    I bought a Ibanez SR400 back in 97 And as far as build quality it was better than the 2 USA Fenders i've had. I got rid of the Fenders and still have the Ibanez. It's been de-fretted and beat to hell, but I just cant seem to kill it:) I have since bought a Fender USA 62 RI that is tops and a real keeper.
  14. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    Way to generalize folks who spent a bit of money on their basses as lacking in sense. :rollno:
  15. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    To avoid confrontation, I'd like to word my response like this (the givens are NEW instrument, non-sale priced):

    It costs more to have detailed work done by hand. To make sure something is working at its best, someone skilled must make it so... and that costs money.

    Will you pay more for an instrument that has been put together by hand and inspected, setup, and presented by a professional?

    Will you like that instrument more?
    Maybe, that's a true judgment call of the person playing it.

    I have seen a lot of budget instruments that were amazing for the price... once they were setup properly.
    I have seen a lot of high-end instruments that needed a setup so badly that I couldn't even fathom playing them.
  16. ezstep


    Nov 25, 2004
    north Louisiana
    Just my two cents.

    I read here all the time about Brand X basses have neck problems, and Brand Y basses had electronics problems, and Brand Z basses have neck dive, fret issues, f/b problems, QC problems, etc. Will a cheap bass have some of these problems? Possibly. Will an expensive bass have some of these problems? Again, possibly but less likely.

    I don't want a bass that I must adjust the truss rod two or three times a year because of humidity or temperature. I don't want a bass that I have to re-cover the cavity. Or replace the pickups. Or get the frets leveled. Or ....fill in the blank. Will an expensive bass NOT have any of these? No, certainly no one can guarantee. But the chance of buying a lemon certainly drops when the price get over a few hundred dollars. But, seriously, IMHO, there is not THAT much difference between a $700 bass and a $1700 bass. But, you are likely not to have many of the problems that guys around here complain about frequently. And I honestly believe you will see more of those problems with cheaper basses. (And I set my personal parameter above.)
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    you will see those problems more frequently in cheaper basses, no doubt. both of my sx basses required me to do some fret leveling. but now that i've done it, they aren't bad basses at all. they're actually quite usable. they stay in tune and they sound like fenders to me. still, i can feel a difference between them and a good fender.
  18. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    Some people have tin ears and the deft touch of a 5lb sledgehammer. Others can discern a gnat fart at 40 paces and determine that it threw his G-string 0.238 cents sharp (less due to diffusion). Some people rationalize being broke, some rationalize being cheap, others rationalize spending (wasting) money on instruments they will mostly just look at.

    Screw rationalization. I know what I want (at least today) so i get it...

    The other personal truth is that I'd rather have one phenomenal bass than a dozen good-to-so-so basses. Other people mileage may vary. I've seen people complain about boutique bass prices but they have a dozen "cheap" instruments, some of them modded to the hilt. And that's...ok. Just not for me.
  19. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    If you want it bad enough, you pay for it, otherwise you make do with less.
    After years of 'getting by' however, many folks like to save and get the really nice (expensive) piece of gear.
    Pretty simple, really.
    Some people never get past the sticker shock, and some don't think another thing about it after the deal is done.

    Vintage and collectable (rare) gear is another matter, the deals are usually few and far between.

    Once I buy something, I no lomger keep reminding myself how much I paid, it's done and I can just enjoy a nice bass, amp, etc...
  20. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I think that confidence in your instrument, be it cheap or whatever makes a difference in the way you play and sound.

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