Familiar with this?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JohnArnson, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    I got a bass I am really happy with, fantastic to play, and after I installed a P/J pair of EMG Geezer Butler pickups in it have close to near my ideal tone as well.

    An Ibanez Mikro bass that I was lucky had perfectly leveled frets from stock and possible the most stable neck I ever had on any guitar or bass.

    It sounds amazing through my tube preamp and an 8 band graphic EQ that I use to adjust the tone slightly, going through my old transistor amp and a 2 X 10" cab with tweeter.

    I don't know how it could possibly sound any better really, very close to ideal for me.

    Yet I can't help but keep feeling the urge to look for alternative basses, pickups, preamps and amps.

    Don't really know what it is I am hoping will improve, as I, as said, am really happy with the playability and tone of my bass and rig, and never sounded better.

    But apparently that doesn't help my GAS.

    I guess I am lucky to be relatively poor, which prevents me from acquiring a lot of gear I would likely find wouldn't be any improvement at all, probably ending up in a drawer or a corner of my apartment unused, and forced to really think things through before I buy anything new.

    Anyone familiar with this irrational affliction?

    I could understand it if I wasn't actually perfectly happy with the tone and playability of my bass and rig, but as it is it just doesn't seem to make any sense to me.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  2. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    It’s this forum. It plays with your mind.
    BK bassist, gebass6, Spectrum and 6 others like this.
  3. Sounds like you have GAS my friend.
  4. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    it's a common affliction, embrace it, it's a bass. being poor shouldn't stop you from buying more.
  5. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Why wouldn't you want another bass?
    That's the only question.
    Despite all the talk about how good entry-level Ibanez and Squier basses are, I have to think that quite a few people who own them want something better.

    I learned to play on a Squier CV Jazz and it was perfect for what I wanted at that time, but I was constantly looking for something better, trying between fifty to sixty basses a year, and I eventually found one. Then, I found two more.

    I must've posted a dozen or more times about how good that Squier was, how much I liked the tone, the neck, etc, but guess what...it's gone.
    If i saw the exact same one, I might buy it for sentimental reasons, but it could never replace my number two or three bass, and it doesn't even come close to my number one.

    Are you sure your bass is the best bass for you or do you think there's something better?
    Nothing wrong with how you feel either way, but I bet that you'll eventually find something that will make you forget all about your current bass.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
    ed morgan and MCF like this.
  6. Kro


    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    The trick is to redirect your bass enthusiasm away from new gear.

    I find that creating/recording does it for me. I either wind up with good recordings and want to share them/make more, or I realize that something I'm doing needs work, and end up woodshedding (or tweaking parts and settings). Both take the focus off purchasing new gear and help you become even more proficient with the gear you have.

    Good luck!
  7. oZZma


    Sep 13, 2018
    Lucky you. I have never come "close to perfection", not even nearly. I wish I had the chance to try stuff before I buy things I end up not liking at all. Or I wish I had friends with the knowledge to give me good advice or have the chance to try some gear without actually buying it
    jd56hawk likes this.
  8. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Well, one good thing about this place is that people will be happy to point you in the right direction.
    They did for me.
    If not, I'd still be playing one of the many good but not perfect basses I've sold.
    Hachimitsu Pie and oZZma like this.
  9. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Look at your gear, realize that the only way you will improve your sound is play more.

    Then go play more.
    BazzaBass, Mili, HardNHeavy and 2 others like this.
  10. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I can totally relate. I spend a crazy amount of time E-window shopping and goofing on TB. time that could be spent practicing.

    I'm not really interested in versatility (P bass player, reporting for duty!) But my hang up is quality. I keep dreaming about upgrading my squiers to a Fender (or GL or Lakland or....)

    I imagine it will make me a better player. Or finally inspire me to practice more. Or open doors to new gigs. Or earn respect of my peers.

    But in my heart, i think its hogwash.
    Practice time > gear time.

    (My same response from a similar thread! I guess theres some GAS in the air....):roflmao:
    When GAS gets in the way
    BazzaBass likes this.
  11. oZZma


    Sep 13, 2018
    Yes it has been of help, a lot! It would be cool tho if I could just go at talkbassers' place and try their amps and pedals! :roflmao:
    jd56hawk likes this.
  12. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    Thing is I own and have owned basses that costed over a 1000$, and no doubt they were great basses, still the Mikro suits my personal preferences better, and with the stock pickups swapped out for a set of P/J Geezer Butler ones it came to sound exactly like I want my bass to sound as well.

    Buying a budget bass is definitely a bit of a crap shoot, since quality is usually very inconsistent from instrument to instrument, a few will be pure crap, by far most will to more or lesser degree fit into the decent to good category, but a few will be truly great instruments, and if you are lucky and get one of the great ones that was made from great pieces of wood, with perfectly leveled frets e.c.t, there is really only the cheap hardware and electronics to differ them from more expensive basses, and that can easily and relatively cheap be updated.

    It's really fairly limited how much you can improve on a relatively simple design as the electrical bass before it just becoming extra whistles and bells that doesn't really effect playability and tone much.

    You are free to believe otherwise, but I will still say it will be mostly an illusion.

    If you are into pretty hi-fi tones there might be some truth to it though, but while such tones does have their place in music I personally think they lack character.

    As for your question, yes, I can imagine a better bass for me, it's just that it's not currently in production, or ever was, so I would have to have it custom made, and I don't have that kind of money.

    Meanwhile the Ibanez Mikro that I got gets me close enough.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
    EatS1stBassist and TrustRod like this.
  13. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    You should probably get a telecaster with some Danny Gatton pickups in it and a Blues Jr to run it through.
  14. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Sure, I can understand that.
    I only pointed it out because you said "close to near my ideal tone" and "very close to ideal" so I thought maybe you wanted to find something better than close, maybe something perfect.
  15. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    Perfection is an ideal that is not really actually obtainable (it's really included in the definition of the word ideal).

    Which might explain why so many are still on a never ending goose chase for the perfect tone.

    Also I edited the post you quote, to answer the question you asked:

    As for your question, yes, I can imagine a better bass for me, it's just that it's not currently in production, or ever was, so I would have to have it custom made, and I don't have that kind of money.

    Meanwhile the Ibanez Mikro that I got gets me close enough.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
    TrustRod and jd56hawk like this.
  16. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    In that case, there's nothing wrong with wanting something that sounds and feels as good but looks different.
    Actually, there's nothing wrong with wanting something that sounds and feels as good that looks the same...maybe just another color.
    As for perfection...nothing but semantics.
    Plenty of people here claim they've found the perfect bass and I don't want to tell them they haven't, because I have.
    Likewise, plenty of others are always searching for something better.
    I'm not...but I would definitely buy something just as good as what I have, even though I can't really afford to, something in just the right color, knowing already that I'd only have to change the strings.
    Nothing wrong with gas.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
    JohnArnson likes this.
  17. DavC


    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    chasing the Holy Grail never ends ..!!
    MynameisMe likes this.
  18. Williethump


    Sep 10, 2017
    You can fight the bass GAS by learning new songs, scales, chords, etc. Always a good thing.
    AND, you can give in to the urge and buy another bass or three-another good thing.
    I recommend you do both. You can feel righteous with all that practice and also feel the glow of the new in your hand (even if it's a used ax it is new to you).
    I'd suggest you buy a good used MIM or Japanese real P-bass: play lots of them at GC or a local music shop before you decide. Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby. Otherwise you'd just blow the dough on food or rent or something.
    Then you will never feel the need to sell it to get a better feeling and sounding instrument because it will make your sound better even without all that practice you just did.
    It won't kill the bGAS but it will tamp it down for a while. Enjoy.
    MynameisMe likes this.
  19. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    I imagine my perfect bass would be an 28,6" scale bass with a P and J pickup configuration, a 38mm (1.5") nut, mahogany body and maple neck, medium frets, a 2x2 headstock, 12" fretboard radius, and, if possible with my upper fret reach wishes, a bolt on neck, but that's about where the similarities with the Mikro stops.

    I would like an additional Rickenbacker style neck pickup in the far neck position, individual on/off switches for each pickup, no volume or tone knobs, a 17mm (0.67") string spacing with a more narrow neck that doesn't expand as much as it goes up, and full access to the upper frets of a 24 fret neck with ebony fretboard, also I have something slightly pointy and non traditional in mind for the body shape and a Devil horns B.C Rich style headstock.
  20. My solution... send me your bass as a gift. Then you'll be craving perfection once again
    EatS1stBassist likes this.