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Gigging with a cheap bass... what fun.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by David Cardoza, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. David Cardoza

    David Cardoza

    Apr 16, 2004
    I am loving this. I am a long-time player, currently gigging
    with a 7 piece Blues and R&B horn band.

    Although I own several fine players (Steinberger, Fender, Les Paul), I've recently been out with the modded SX (LTD with
    EMG actives added). This bass sounds awesome... one of
    the best for how it sits in the live mix.

    What I'm really enjoying is some of the reactions I get from
    other players. there seem to be 2 distinct camps, those that
    judge by what they hear, and those that judge by the brands
    they see.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm really not out there to please anyone
    but myself, but I really do enjoy torturing the "posers" out there.
    You can literally see the confused looks on thier faces as they
    try to justify thier reaction to the brand.

    Am I the only one out there that enjoys playing with thier
    heads this way?

    Reminds me of an old Chet Atkins (true) story. He'd just
    finished playing a set when a fan came up and said "man,
    that guitar sounds great". He then put the guitar down on
    it's stand, looked at it and said "so how's it sound now?"

    says it all, doesn't it? It's in the hands, not the brands.

  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis

    That Chet Atkins quote has got to be the coolest one I have ever heard! Man, enjoy your bass! You know what works for you. Opinions are all over the place on gear. There are great people, I respect who swear by very high end gear. There are others who I respect, who play inexpensive used gear or mid-priced new gear. If it works for you, nothing else matters.
  3. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006

    I've been gigging a lightly modded SX as my no.1 "workhorse" for about 3 1/2 years now, and used it as a backup for about 6 months before that.
    My "workhorse" before that was a 64 Precision, which is now semi-retired.

    My experience has been nothing but positive. Only once was I ever asked, "Is that one of those Rondo basses?", followed by "that thing sounds great".

    No one has a clue how little it costs unless I tell them.

    One of my favorite stories is of a kid , probably about 16ish at an "all ages" show, that came up to me and said.. "I play a P bass too, but I only have the cheap Mexican one, not a good one like you have".
    to which I replied..
    "those Mexican Fenders are nice basses, and cost 4 times what mine cost". :)

    The only gear snobbery I've encountered with the SX is here on Talkbass. Out in the real world, where the "rubber meets the road", it's nothing but compliments.

    I've played that bass on countless shows, played it in front of thousands of people, and never heard a negative word.

    Funny thing is, on a couple of occations where I dragged the old Fender out, people asked me "why are you playing that? Why aren't you using the Blue one (SX)?" LOL!!

    Too funny.
  4. Sure. Really, it's a couple pieces of wood, some magnets, and some wire. That's all it is. The rest is up to you.
    I believe Atkins is also supposed to have said, "It takes a really great drummer to be better than no drummer." Funny guy.
  5. ZonGuy


    Sep 2, 2007
    I once administered a bass spanking to indiscrete youths in a music store. My weapon of choice was a pink and yellow Dolly(?) bass in the shape of a dandelion.

    Its 98% player, and 2% balance on your credit card.
  6. SabreChris


    Mar 19, 2009
    Of all the things going on in a live set, how can you tell they are "reacting" to the brand of your bass?

    98% of people dont know anything about music gear. OTH, If you are watching a known bass geek while on stage, I think you've got a problem.

    Really, this is in your head.
  7. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006
    I prefer to be scoping out the ladies, instead of looking for bass geeks. :D
  8. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    I have lots of high end basses but never judge a player by their gear and could care less if anyone is impressed that my bass says Roscoe, MTD, Fender, Musicman, etc. on the headstock.

    One of my best friends blows me away on bass and has used ONLY cheap Squiers for years. His thinking is that a bass is a tool. He says "If I dug ditches, why would I buy a $2000 shovel when a $200 one does almost the same thing?" One of my favorite quotes.
  9. Bassman316


    May 27, 2008
    Longs, SC
    Man, how true that quote is. I think it's a very good way of approaching bass, or music in general. Yeah, I'd like to have a Ric or a MusicMan, but I think in the right hands, an SX can lay down the bass just as well as one of the higher end basses.
  10. zachbass02

    zachbass02 One Hairy....squatch.

    Jan 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    but if you could afford a backhoe over a shovel, would you get it? :bag:
  11. nickbear


    Jun 12, 2007
    surrey, uk
    cheap basses rock for gigging! i own a ric and a stingray but i have used old squiers and an going to get a used mim p bass for gigging as im going to be doing a lot of touring and i want a bass that i can shove in a van or a plane and not worry too much about it getting ruined!
  12. I've got a Ric (two actually) and several high end American Fenders, but have and will continue to gig with SX basses and my Squier VM fretless. They're good basses, play well, sound good and I like them. End of story. I don't care what anyone says. I had one guy comment about my fretless being "just a Squier" but after he heard the tone I got out of it that was the last negative thing he said.
  13. ac11367


    Apr 26, 2007
    Flushing, NY
    If a player takes his time to shop around, putting his hands on as many Squires and SX's as possible at the stores, chances are good that he'll find one that meets his expectations. I think cheap brands got its reputation because chances are good that you'd pick one up with suspect built quality.
  14. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I play all my gigs with a "cheap" bass. I paid $350 for it, and put $300 worth of Bartolini stuff in it and it's stayed in my house while the Ken Smith's, Lakland's, Warwick's, Rickembacker's, Modulus' and many others have come and gone.
  15. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006

    Cheap basses got their bad reputation from the garbage that was put out on the market in the 60's , 70's and to some extent in the 80's and 90's.

    The budget gear of today, due to modern build techniches has narrowed the gap considerably between budget and pro level gear.

    Gone are the plywood , pretzel neck junk of my youth, replaced by decent quality inexpensive gear, that have the basics down fairly solid, and are quite giggable out of the box.
  16. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    Some people only have money for a relatively cheap bass, and that money's hard earned, too. No amp, no pedals, no nothing, and have to gig with it, without a backup. Every gig, they have to deal with that gear snobbery that's become a plague to musicians. "Is that a Squier?", "a behringer amp? pfft!" and all that crap that fly around. Still, I've met a great deal of such players who can play circles around those snobs. Hell, most times those meatbags :)ninja:) ain't even musicians! This kinda crap goes on for everything. Snobs against picks, against brands, against colours, against number of strings, and in the end, noone actually listens to the music.

    I've been through that crap myself, while I was gigging with a (stock) VMJ, which sounded friggin' awesome, and still, I was getting some attitude from a bunch of bass players who couldn't stay in the pocket even with a gun to their hollow heads (everyone knows everyone around here). :scowl:

    Stop looking at headstocks, start listening to the music. Meatheads. :scowl:
  17. I've even had decent fret leveling from my SX basses. Only one of the five I've owned had a real problem. The others just needed new strings and a set up and they were good to go.
  18. i play a squier jazz and almost at every gig there are people asking me what "fender" was i playing! :eek:
  19. zagnut


    Jan 4, 2009
    Back in Detroit
    Hater :crying:
  20. Bassman316


    May 27, 2008
    Longs, SC
    There you go, man. The most expensive bass I own is my MIM Jazz. The rest of my basses are in the $109-$299 range. To me, for the kind of music I play and for my situation (occasional recording session with my guitar playing buddy and the more frequen jam sessions), they serve well.

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