Good Basses, Bad Design Ideas...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Blackbird, Mar 7, 2002.

  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I was wondering what design characteristics turn you off when you're considering buying a new bass. One thing I never understood is why some 24 fret basses only give you decent access up to fret 22, if that. Sure, it's not a range we use often, but if they're not easily accessible, why bother?

    On with the motley.
  2. membranophone


    Mar 19, 2000
    Madison, WI
    one of the things that tends to tick me off about my main bass is that the body edge is not rounded where i tend to rest my right arm.. everywhere else, it is rounded. :confused:
  3. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I really really really really like Alembic basses (news to all I'm sure) but I really really really really don't like the fact that I have to remove 4 teeny tiny screws to change out my batteries.

    Hanewinckel got it right with the swing out battery compartment.


    James L. Martin
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Like Big Wheel said, insufficient access to the higher positions.

    - Narrow string spacing (<19 mm) on fivers and sixers

    - Fender-style (straight) headstocks. String trees are a hassle.

    - Fender-style bridges. I want a 3D bridge. ETS Tuning Fork preferred, but ABM is ok too.

    - Ugly headstocks, If you don't have any decent ideas, make it headless. I like headless.

    - unbalanced-looking body shape designs

    - Full-colored bodies, I want to see the wood.

    That's it I guess, venting is cool. :D
  5. Freakapotamus9


    Jun 20, 2001

    i hate that.. the back of the neck.... why would you paint the back of the neck!?!?! :mad:

    ahh... venting... :D
  6. Gloss finishes on the BACK of the neck! Not only is there nasty gloss all over the body they gotta slap the greezy stuff on the back of the neck
  7. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Acrylic bodies: Ick. Just that one word. Ick
    Making small bodies/heavy necks: *cough*thumb*cough*
    Another vote for inline tuners
    Fender/standard briges: what's up with that?
    Angled headstocks w/o volute or scarf joint. Stupid, Stupid, stupid!

    Not more people using Novax! It's so good, with so many beni's why NOT?
  8. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    My pet design niggles:

    Bridges with no quick-release channels;
    Dunlop straplock buttons (useless without the locks);
    Trussrod covers that attach with more than one screw;
    Knobs that pull right off the post of the pot;
    Hidden trimpots in control cavities (why not make the controls fully accessible?);
    Unshielded electronics;

    and last, but not least,

    Active basses that don't feature passive bypass!!!
  9. Yes I agree! And I wouldn't dare to change anything original on my alembic. It's just too precious.
  10. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    - Knobs positioned parallel to the either pickup which I will certainly keep hitting
    - Headstocks that don't look much bigger than the tuning keys
    - Plastic cavity covers and knobs (often have to be overlooked on good basses)
    - Wooden cavity covers that don't match the body wood or grain
    - Jumbo-giganto fret wire
    - Pickguards (scratched wood looks better than scratched plastic, IMO)
    - Fat, deep, necks
    - Fretboard wood with large pores
    - Small horns
    - No upper body bevel for comfort
    - No waist bevel on the body
    - Tuning gears that aren't enclosed and self-lubricating
    - Plastic nut
    - No metal screw sleeves
    - bodies that depict Dale Earnhardt or his car!
  11. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Short or non-existent upper horn which causes terrible balance and neckdive

    Narrow string spacing

    Skinny slim necks that bend in the breeze

    IMO Schaller straplocks are even worse than Dunlop (dual-design) for holding an unlocked strap

    Weeny fretwire

    Treble knob closer to the jack than the bass knob

    Bridge pickup too close to the bridge (honk! boing!)

    Teeny weeny tuning keys

    5+0 tuning key configuration
  12. good call! i rather like 4+0, but 5+0 just starts to look like a danged gee-tar.
  13. Fender's HMT A/E P-Bass had a couple of bad design things--a piezo pickup with a preamp that wasn't very good and made the piezo section sound horrible, and a hockey stick headstock that said "Fender" in some kind of weird scribble.
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Holding? I have a bass with those teeny little things and I have dropped it many times. Nice of manufacturers to put those buttons on and not include the locks.:rolleyes:

    At least the Dunlop dual design will hold as strap as well as other standard buttons.
  15. I agree!!! It's the only negative thing I could say about my Spector - it came with Schaller strap lock buttons, but no locks!!!!

    Fortuantely I used Schaller strap locks and had several straps so equipped!!
  16. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Yes, I love the traditional 4+0 as well.

    I notice that Fender has changed the Precision V from 5+0 to 4+1! :)

  17. Manufacturers that refuse to do solid color finishes. The only time I want to see wood grain is if it's finished butterscotch blonde.

    Quilted/burled/figured/flamed/spalted tops.

    Knobs that turn too easily.

    Toggle switches placed where I can adjust them accidentally.

    Paint/gloss finish on the back of the neck.

    Huge frets.

    Necks with less than 24 frets. I don't play up there very much, but when I'm playing drone melodies with my D and G strings, I want a full two ocatve range.

    Wimpy pickups.
  18. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    my biggest complaint is "nice" bass guitars that are too heavy. i know that some of the heavier woods sound great, but their hast to be some kind of limit. if you play 2-4 hours with one of these things strapped to you every night, you'd end up in a wheelchair.
  19. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    A lot of my pet peeves have already been mentioned:

    -Good basses without swing out battery compartments
    -Unbalanced body designs that restrict access
    -Painted necks, I prefer a satin-like finish
    -Non-shielded control cavities
    -SUPER HEAVY bodies
    -Sub stanbdard tuners
    -Sub standard bridge
    -Insufficient backbow, ineffective truss, etc.
    -Non-secured (free floating) bridge saddles, they can just fall out when you are changing strings if the side screw isn't tight
  20. EString


    Nov 20, 2000
    Los Altos, CA
    I dislike:

    -Teensy, light, bodies
    -Tiny headstocks
    -Yucky brown woods
    -Light tuners
    -Pencil necks
    -Small frets
    -Low output pickups
    -Boring fronts (no pickguards, no control plate, etc.)
    -Wierdly shaped bodies
    -Schaller straplocks

    I like my basses loud, heavy, and big.