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Durable basses. Those basses that can take a beating and still kick booty.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dincrest, Oct 2, 2004.


  1. Dincrest

    Dincrest

    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    This topic was inspired by a thread about a fellow member's first ding and another thread where a member told me about a very durable pedal he used.

    So my question to you all is this (and I apologize if something like this was done already, but I couldn't really find one on a search but I was probably using crummy terms.)

    In your experiences, what basses have you played that have really been able to take a whallop and still pack a whallop on stage? Those basses that are built like tanks. Those really durable basses that can handle beer being spilled on them, rotten fruit or cheesy nachos being flung at them, can handle being slammed into something if, say, an overexcited fan decides to jump on your back while you're playing. (I'm sure such things happen at punk, hardcore, metal, or general heavy music shows, right? Or even at not-so-heavy music shows.)

    Like Timex, that can take a lickin' and keep on tickin'. Any stories to share as well?

    I had said in an earlier thread that durability is quite important to me in just about any product. I remember back when I was 12 (I'm 26 now), some kid spilled a 6 oz. cup of cola on my Sega Genesis (1st gen.). Despite that, that console still works and a heck of lot better than some of my newer consoles which have been babied like crazy and cr*p out at the slightest hint of dust. I highly doubt my Playstation, my Gamecube, or my Dreamcast could handle a cola spill. I'm surprised at that since kids (and grown-ups who act like kids) usually aren't too kind with their toys, especially when frustrated.

    But back to the main question...what basses, in your experience, can really take the abuse and still rock? While I myself baby my stuff (bass or otherwise) chances are, the average bar crowd won't during a gig. So a bass that cr*ps out when some beer is spilled on it is not exactly a bass I'd want to have in my stable. While I've never experienced a gig where my bass got abused, it's bound to happen at some point.

    Or for those abuse-prone gigs, do folks just break out a cheapie bass, so that even if it gets f'd up, it's not much money lost? On the contrary, I'm sure there are plenty people who can't afford multiple throwaway basses like that, so are there measures you use to protect your existing basses?

    EDITS: mostly smoothing out typos and such. Me am no rite 2 gud 2 day.
     
  2. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    Rickenbacker, MusicMan, old Fenders,
     

  3. Exactamundo.
    3 basses that have already proven through their long history they stand up.

    Personally i would say the new Fenders are pretty decent too...mine feel as solid as any vintage ones i tried.
     
  4. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Add Spector to that list, and you've got pretty much the road dogs. Music Men in particular, I hear, just refuse to quit.
     
  5. lbanks

    lbanks

    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    SD Curlee. And is an effective weapon.
     
  6. Fenders, Rickenbackers, and Musicmans would be my choices as well. All built really tough. And I have to say that new Fenders, American ones at least, are very solid.
     
  7. I have a Gibson Ripper, that has had one pick up replacement, one neck adjustment, and 75+ sets of strings, in the 31 yrs I have owned it. It was until recently my main axe, but a much lighter Jazz Bass has taken over, for the considerable difference in weight.

    John
     
  8. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    I have a 79 P-Bass that was, in my analysis, used for target practice with a pellet-gun. It, simply, is near indestructable and, without a doubt, one of the finest basses ever made. It will survive the next apocalypse and rise out of the ashes to conquer the world.
     
  9. Don't forget the Modulus basses and other graphite-necked basses. I had a Modulus Quantum 5 that fell from 6 feet onto a concrete floor--it made a nice gash in the end of the body, but was able to keep playing. The necks on other basses likely would have snapped in two from such an impact. I also know of another touring modulus player who would use his bass as a golf club to bat empty beer cans around stage after gigs.
     
  10. Dincrest

    Dincrest

    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Wow General, for a 6 foot fall, that's a surprisingly small scar. Yeah, I would think a composite instrument would survive certain abuse better than a wood one.
     
  11. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Don't forget Steinies.
    Steinberger stick basses are pretty much nuclear war ready.
    I don't know if somebody still plays bass in Mad Max's world but if they do, it's probably on a Steinie.
     
  12. Anti_Wish

    Anti_Wish

    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma
    didnt jaco drop his bass out of a second story window? in a related story, my ric got thrown out of a moving car by an ex girlfriend and it survived the 25 mph slide across the street. i always wanted a steinberger with a whole graphite body and a trans trem and seriously go to war with it. anyone heard anything about the new spirit basses? i wanna get an older steinberger but at the price BC is selling them for it is proposterous. then again there always is Ebay.
     
  13. FUNKonthewall

    FUNKonthewall Nailing The Groove

    Sep 29, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Endorsing: Fodera Guitars, Aguilar Amps, Dunlop/MXR Accessories
    Out of the Ric, Fender, and Music Man, I've only owned (and still own) a Music Man Stingray and I think I've got a good story on durability. About a year ago I bought a white pickguard to replace my black one. One of the drummers I used to play with wanted to have a closer look at it so he held the body up closer to his face, not realizing that he was about to shove the headstock into his ceiling fan (which we always kept on it's highest setting, as it got hot when we practiced). The fan caught the headstock, ripped the bass out of his hands, and flung it into the side of his marble fireplace. He was like, "OH MY GOD! I'M SO SORRY!" I said, "Don't worry. You didn't hurt it. Trust me." After retrieving it from the floor, I plugged it into my tuner to tune it back up. BUT NO. It was still in tune. Quality is a beautiful thing. I love this bass.
     
  14. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Spirit basses are decent but nothing compared to original Steinies.
     
  15. kearney

    kearney

    Jul 5, 2004
    my '92-'93 jazz stands up to my paul simonon/pete townshend style jumpin around.


    my ibanez TR-50 handled itself nicely as a companion on my trip to canada
     

  16. Yeah, I've heard some crazy crap about them.

    At a music camp I went to, some guy kept getting made fun of by having a stein(guitar), so he took it, and placed it between two chairs, and started jumping on the neck, after a couple minutes of that, he picked it up and played a still in tune G maj.
     
  17. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    P Bass! They're built to last!
     
  18. kearney

    kearney

    Jul 5, 2004

    WHAAAAAAAAA!?!?!?!??!?!
     
  19. Dincrest

    Dincrest

    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Wow, those are some great stories you all are sharing. Thank you for humoring my topic. Is it me or is it pretty much the ol' mainstays that people keep mentioning regarding durability over, say, the more boutique basses? Okay, yeah, I can kinda see why (or at least I think I can) and maybe it's just me, but I'm not sure I'd pay $2500 plus for a bass that can't take a little abuse at a gig. To me it seems like buying an expensive car that falls apart with the slightest fender bender. Granted, yeah, I don't plan to abuse a boutique bass or an exotic car, but sometimes s**t happens. (Pardon my "sailor-iffic" language.)

    I'm curious how Matt Pulcinella basses stack up here. On his website, he says his basses have taken abuse (i.e. having beer spilled on them and such) so I'm curious as to what other owners have to say about their durability.
     
  20. Anti_Wish

    Anti_Wish

    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma
    no way that is the sickest story i have ever heard. is carbon fiber/ graphite(whatever it is) that strong? my ric's neck would snap like a toothpick. actually i think roundwounds would make it snap like a toothpick. lol