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Has anyone gone from playing high end/boutique basses to non-high end basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by glocke1, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. glocke1


    Apr 30, 2002
    I've owned a variety of basses throughout the years, but I'd say most of my playing can be broken down into two "eras". Jazz bass era and Alembic era.

    For about a solid ten year period all I played were jazz basses. I had a 72 jazz and a 64 jazz. Eventually I was able to afford the instrument I always wanted, which was an Alembic, and I ended up with several Alembics..all bought used.

    Long story short, jazz basses got sold because I thought i was done with them, and being vintage instruments they had issues I got tired of dealing with, and the various Alembics got sold also so in the end i was left with one, a signature deluxe.

    I love that bass, but looking at its replacement cost these days, Im realizing I probably wouldn't be able to afford another one should something happen, so have spent the past year or so thinking about getting a new bass to play out with.

    I Ended up going the Jazz bass route again...could have bought anything I guess, but I didn't want to deal with purchasing something sight unseen that I've never played before so stuck with the choices that were at the local music store. It's an American Elite, so while not cheap, it's still not a 10,000 dollar bass that Id be taking out. (10k appears to be the replacement cost..I got mine for under 6k back in 2007).
  2. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Nothing near the 10K or even 5K range but I've owned a couple of what my wallet considered higher end basses (Sukop, first edition Lakland). Now I gig only with basses that cost me from $50 (yardsale EPI EB0) - $400 (used Hofner 500/5).
    Billyzoom likes this.
  3. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I own a variety and play whatever I feel like at a given time.
  4. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I go from the $1500 range to the $400 range all the time. I own lots of basses. It doesn't really make much difference to me any more. They're all starting to seem the same.
  5. Old Blastard

    Old Blastard

    Aug 18, 2013
    A lot of basses with costs and quality all
    Over the map, $30 to $3k. I gig all of them based on whim.
    shodan, Marikk and bonruiz like this.
  6. The Terror

    The Terror

    Jun 29, 2017
    Nicest and most expensive bass that was fortunate enough to own was a EBMM Sterling...not super expensive, but pretty spendy for my meager bank account. Unfortunately, it got liquidated along with my 4-Pro/Eden rig, my LP and my Custom Shop Strat.

    Sad times, but now I have a used Peavey and a combo, and it's okay...my playing is as uneven as it has always been, and I don't obsess about every scratch and ding!

    While many instruments are works of art, at the end of the day, they are supposed to be functional ...

    As long as you have at least one that you enjoy...

    I remain,
    Your Obedient Servant,

    The Terror
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  7. mikeoso

    mikeoso Acoustic Curmudgeon

    Feb 14, 2014
    eastern Iowa
    I play only acoustic bass. My first bass was a Martin B-1e, which has enough volume for a small acoustic jam (yes, it does, and if you haven't played a Martin abg, you do not know) and has very nice tone amped. Perfect for the gigs I was playing at the time, but Martins don't come cheap. In fact, unless you get into serious boutique makers, they cost as much as any other high end abg.

    So, I wanted another bass...didn't need one with a pup, since the Martin handles that nicely. I saw an abg on eBay that looked possible, very large dimensions. Had a BIN of only $650, or make an offer. I took a shot and offered $450, landed it. It has monster volume and great uprightish tone. Hand built by a guy in his basement, really.

    Those two fill all my needs. two_basses.
    gip111, HolmeBass, mikewalker and 2 others like this.
  8. blubass


    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    The phrase high end is vague, but I've moved from a $1700 bass to a $300 dollar bass and loved every aspect of the change. We're fortunate enough to live in a time where quality in basses has climbed dramatically.
  9. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    The only way I could get approval for a $10K bass, is if it got better gas mileage than the Civic...
    obimark, Old Blastard, Marikk and 5 others like this.
  10. twc1313

    twc1313 Practice is the cure for GAS...or so I've heard. Supporting Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    I wasn't in the 10k range, but back in my Bay Area and LA days when I was trying to make it in a "cool" band, I had a few custom shop relics that were all around the 4k mark a piece. Adulthood and home ownership has since kicked in and I sold all the pricey stuff, now I only play my Talmans and Sire and couldn't be happier.

    I think if I fall into some spending money I'd consider an EBMM Ray or Caprice, to me that $1500 will get me as well-built of a bass as I could ever need.
  11. I went from 2000$ active 5-strings to 750$ passive fours and found my voice there.
  12. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Expensive for me is the 5 string I bought soon after I got my first grown-up job. Paid about $2k for it, because I thought I needed one to be a working bass player.
    20 years and many hundreds of gigs later I still have it, but I've never played it out. Only on a few recordings.

    Since then I've grown to like weird looking, inexpensive basses for most gigs. And a couple of nicer fretless instruments for jazz jobs.
    El Pelusa, Max Blasto, 40Hz and 2 others like this.
  13. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Banned

    May 26, 2010
    Guess high end/expensive, and even "boutique" is a little subjective, but I guess I sort of fall into that category. Used to have a bunch of vintage gear including vintage Fender amps, and old 70's Fender P bass and some other really nice older stuff. I capitalized on it and sold most of it and now have some "less expensive gear including a Classic 50's P, G&L Tribute JB-2 and a NOS '15 American Standard Jazz bass going through a Fender Rumble 500 V3. My guitars are a 2012 SG Standard, Classic 50's Tele (replaced my 52AVRI Tele) and a Partscaster with a Highway 1 body, Classic 50's neck. My only "higher end" stuff are my acoustics; Gibson Advanced Jumbo, Gibson J45 True Vintage and a Waterloo WL-14, which is kind of a boutique, but "more affordable" line from Collings.

    It obviously is different for everyone, but I'm totally fine on lower end and what I'd consider "working man's" instruments, but do like and can appreciate slightly nicer acoustics. But what I think are "nicer" acoustics, might be cheap feathers to someone else!
  14. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    Yes, I had 4 super high end basses.
    They were all very heavy. I was always afraid they could get stolen. It would take a long time to get any service done and it would cost a lot of money.
    Now I'm back to playing Jazz basses.
    I can do 95% of the work when i need to set them up and/or switch components. They play like a dream, they have that super cool Fender jazz bass sound!
    They can be easily replaced if something happens.
    Pain free basses.
    I'm done with messing with basses and now I am much more focused on the music than on gear.
  15. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    Recently I've gone back to playing my Fender Fiesta Red Road Worn P Bass more
    often. I'd swear that changing the pick guard from the anodized gold to tort made
    it a better bass in all ways possible!
  16. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    For me it's not "High End or ...." it's "High End AND ..."

    My inventory includes
    • 2 Alembics, one of which gets played out a lot
    • 2 vintage Music Man basses ('78 Stingray, '79 Sabre) both of which get played out a lot
    • A 2005 Fender Precision Deluxe 5 which gets played out a lot
    • A Marchlewski custom 5 string which doesn't get played out all that much because of the basses listed above
    • A Hanewinckel 5 string that is starting to get some decent playing time.
    I'm sure others probably approach this differently, but that's all good.
  17. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    I'm heading towards not really playing bass at all.
    pomegranesis and StrangerBasses like this.
  18. Twocan

    Twocan Living the Dream

    Oct 5, 2009
    My suggested solution here would be to insure it, and play it. I found a new sense of happiness and freedom when I decided that I would not own a bass that I wasn't going to gig. Yes, I've got a few dings here and there on some expensive instruments, but I'm enjoying them and I can't take them with me when I'm gone.
  19. dfoehr

    dfoehr Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    I have owned 5 Foderas, 2 MTDs, 3 NYC Sadowskys, 4 early USA Laklands, 1 Mike Lull, 2 NYBWs, and probably more that I can't recall at the moment. Currently, my main bass is a 1983 Fender "Fullerton" 57 Reissue Precision. It is my favorite bass out of them all. I should note that about 12 years ago I discovered the beauty of the Precision and have not looked back. Currently, I own 6 Fender precision basses and have never been happier.
    sneha1965, franklindayala and SteveC like this.
  20. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    High end for me were several $1000+ basses (mostly Laklands). My main player is a Frankenjazz with high quality components I put together for about $500.
    Lvjoebass, malthumb and lowdownthump like this.

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