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Expensive Basses - Are they worth it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kyral210, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. kyral210


    Sep 14, 2007
    Ok, I have an Epiphone Thunderbird Goth and a Schecter C5 bass. Both have been haviliy modified to make them the best possible. However these are pretty low-mid range instruments and im thinking about buying a £1000 - £1500 bass. Is this actually worth it? Other than "Yay! I own an expensive bass", is there any noticable difference or advantage? Is it worth shelling out?

    If I got a Fender MIM p-bass and modded it, would that be as good as a Fender American bass?

  2. Linkert

    Linkert Guest

    Oct 24, 2006
    So you are actually thinking of buying a bass based on it's price?

    Some things might be better yes. Like setup and electronics. But when it comes to playability for you the price does not matter.

    Just try every bass you can get your hands on, buy the one you like.
    BaltoNealio likes this.
  3. They're only status symbols. Most collect dust. They'll never sound good in the mix. Jaco only needed 4.....and another cliche or two that I'm forgetting.
  4. If I don't play the stingray for a while and only play my other basses and basses in shops, I come back to the ray and I can INSTANTLY feel the build quality and because of said build quality it was able to be set up very nice.

    That is if you class a ray as an expensive bass.
  5. I can only speak for myself when I say my custom is everythng I have ever wanted in a bass, which makes every penny spent worth it. So yes.
  6. Linkert

    Linkert Guest

    Oct 24, 2006
    Thats because its a custom, fit for you :p That does not mean an expensive bass in general will be great.

    Example: Rickenbacker, expensive as a mother something, does not do it for me in anyway but looks.
    BaltoNealio likes this.
  7. the yeti

    the yeti

    Nov 6, 2007
    raleigh, nc
    the answer is: is it worth that to you? i liked the sound of your t-bird on you tube. if you're looking for a bass just go around playing them til you find one you really have to buy. you get some credibility with an expensive bass so maybe that's worth something.

    the mexican should be fine. since you like to mod maybe warmoth? they have some killer looking stuff.
  8. Eh... What's expensive?

    It's pretty subjective... I used to think a $1500 bass was pricey. Now... not so much. Since I got my Vadim, My custom fender doesnt even seem too expensive anymore, and when I bought that Fender, I was breaking my bank.
  9. D Rokk

    D Rokk Banned

    Feb 19, 2009
    Delta Quadrant
    are we ever going to get a concrete answer to a subjective question?
  10. toomanybasses


    Feb 20, 2009
    Don't buy price...

    For example; I have a Warwick Corvette Fretless and a Fender Squire Fretless and I play the Warwick about 90% of the time because it sounds better, in this example price matters.

    I also have a Fender MIA Standard P-Bass and J-Bass both relativily new as well 3 Rics, a 4001S, 4003 and a NEW 4004cii. The Ric's are twice the price of the Fenders, but I play the Fenders a lot more then the Ric's and I am a huge Ric Fan. In this case price is not the factor, one is not any better than the other to me.

    Basiclly, more money does equal a better bass to a point, but there is a point where price is not the main factor....

    IMHO for what it worth!
  11. I've got two HH EB MM Stingrays. They are around about the £1500 mark.

    Not only do they sound amazing, but there is a level of quality and feel to them that none of my other basses are close to. They really make playing bass a pleasure and it's hard to put them down!
  12. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    Yes and no.

    They are worth it if you have the money AND aren't going to go into debt or blow the kids' college fund AND you dig the tone, feel and look AND you want it.

    You don't NEED an expensive bass, but they are nice.
  13. RobertPaulson


    Dec 11, 2008
    Des Moines
    Depends on the bass...
  14. gregwatts2008

    gregwatts2008 Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Jupiter, Florida
    Do not buy a bass because of its price. Buy the bass you love regardless of it's price. You can spend up to $6K on a Ken Smith, but if you don't love the bass then it is not worth it. Mike Tobias is building me a custom MTD 534. It is absolutely worth every penny to me, regardless of what it costs. I still own and play 2 Tobias basses from 1988 and 1991. Worth every penny! In general, you get what you pay for. Try every bass you can get your hands on, and the one that fits every need you have, buy it and don't worry about the price.
  15. dakpluto


    Oct 14, 2006
    Orlando, FL
    It's an easy answer.

    Do you feel like you got your money's worth? Then yes, it was worth it.
  16. mike1762


    Oct 26, 2008
    My basses run the gamut from my $400 MIM Jazz to my Alembic Series I. I'm not "ashamed" to play any of them, but I don't consider them interchangeable for all situations. I have 3 "expensive" basses (Alembic Spoiler, SC, and Series I) that have a tonal palette unobtainable by any other bass I've ever played. My Music Mans are my favorite mass produced instruments and are what gives me my "signature" live tone. My Carvin LB76 is used for ERB stuff. My "cheap" instruments are the aforementioned MIM Jazz and a Schecter Fretless. I actually use the Jazz on a lot of my recording projects since it is passive and has a tone that "sits" in the mix really well. The Schecter surprised me... it sounds really good. If you are so inclined, listen to some of my tunes at


    They were all recorded with the Jazz except:
    Kilimanjaro - Schecter fretless
    Goodtime Man - Alembic SC
    King of the Night - Alembic Series I
  17. Darknut


    Apr 4, 2009
    I was in guitar center the other day & I picked up a black Sterling 5 string & I absolutely hated it! ... This surprised Me because I've played several Musicman basses over the years & I always thought they were great.

    Is an expensive bass worth it? I say yes up to a point but a high price does not guarantee that it will play good or that you will like the neck even if its technically perfect.

    The Sterling was a couple grand .. definitely not custom shop expensive but I wouldn't call a $2000.00 bass cheap.

    Some basses are so over priced it just stupid.
  18. dog1


    Dec 30, 2008
    This is almost an impossible question to answer. Of my 5 basses, my two favorites are my 4003 and a Chinese made Ibanez Artcore semi-hollow. Go figure. Even though the Ibanez cost 1/4 the price of the Ric, the quality of the build is excellent. But, due to vast differences in tone, one can not replace the other. So, both of these fine basses go to every gig. ;)
  19. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    It's about the bass more than the price. You can find inexpensive to mid level basses that play and sound great, but you can also find very expensive basses that play poorly and sound poor.

    It just all depends on your preferences, needs and expectations for the instrument.

  20. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Big +1 There is no real answer to this question. It's all relative to what you consider expensive, and what you can comfortably afford, and what you feel is adequet vs. luxury. I wouldn't be happy without my Rics, but I wouldn't feel comfortable spending over $2500 on one bass. We're all different.

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