High quality...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Finn, Mar 5, 2002.

  1. Finn


    Nov 20, 2001
    How do you really know is your bass high quality or just cheap junk. Does the prize really matter and what are criterions for top grade bass?
  2. Quality is in the eye of the beholder!!!! There was a thread on this in miscellaneous recently - have a look for it!!!
  3. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    i close my eyes, i don't look at the name at the headstock and i start to play. and i listen to what i play.
  4. name means **** to me.. but i prefer Warwick, Yamaha and Pedulla nevertheless :D
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Quality to me is too things: good basic tone and reliability.

    I own three basses built in the early 1960s, a Danelectro, a Supro and a Fender. Surviving 35-40 years of playing attests to their reliability. Sure, the Dano and Supro are cheesy but unlike the other cheap basses of their day, these are still around and gigging which says the designers paid attention to the basics instead of the fluff.

    Too many mid-priced basses get into active electronics, figured tops, gold plated hardware when the money should have gone into better wood and pickups instead.

    As far as knowing the quality of your own bass, you just need to go out and play others and compare them. If you're close to a GC or Mars, go down and play a bunch of their $1000+ basses and compare them to their $200-500 basses. You should notice a difference right away.

    Even if you're not in the market it's always educational to try out gear just to see what's possible.
  6. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    I absolutely agree! :)
  7. Blackbird

    Blackbird Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    If it sounds good and doesn't fall apart, it's probably of good quality.

    Of course, if that were the sole criterion, Peavey would be the best brand on the planet...
  8. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I identify quality fairly objectively. I look at things like the finish: are there any checks in the finish? Is it a smooth finish?

    I look at things like the neck: are the frets even? Is the neck bowed in a weird way?

    I like to "feel" the tone unplugged: how well does it resonate? Also, if you can hear the instrument, how does it sound unplugged?

    Then, I like to plug it in: is each string consistent in output?

    I check things like control pots: are there any "scratchy" noises when I turn them?

    Then, and only then do I make subjective judgements, such as do I like the feel or tone, is there good headroom in the electronics (do they do what I want them to) etc.

    After that, at the very end, I look at the aesthetics.

    To me, there are several different components of quality. But, there's no denying that a crappy fretjob or a twisted neck or a bad finish is a good indicator of poor quality.
  9. Zirc


    May 13, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Poor quality basses don't cost $1500. You usually get what you pay for. That and tone.
  10. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Go play a Gibson bass & you'll change your mind.
  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Amen to that one!!!:D
  12. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    It's all in the "ear" of the beholder. :)
  13. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    There have been some pretty nice Gibson basses, IMO, but go play one of the new PRS basses, and you'll know what $2000 worth of crap feels like!
  14. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    So true. And speaking of Gibsons, the Thunderbird is a quality instrument all the way. Whether or not you like the tone is purely subjective. Ebony board, beautifully finished and worth every penny, IMO.
  15. LowEndRider

    LowEndRider Guest

    Mar 4, 2002
    Two criterea for determining a good bass when recording....1./Does it stay in tune..2./Does it sound good for this song...I've used a bunch of cheap and nasty instruments foregoing my Quality basses simply because the particular song demanded it....go figure.
  16. It's so true, I expected it to be an awesome bass, but the minute I put it in my hands it played and sounded awfull. I spent 15 minutes with it and couldn't get a tone worth using.
  17. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    There are a lot of basses that cost more than the basses i have (a MIM fretless jazz, and a MIA p-bass.) Mainly because i just don't like their tone or their tone just doesn't fit me.
  18. Once again - everyone's perspective on 'quality' is different.

    Everyone always tries hard to objectively quantify quality. But it's the elusiveness of the subjective parts that really make 'quality' and individual thing!!

    The commonest definiton for quality is 'fit for purpose intended', also cost and lead time/delivery play a major role in 'quality'. (BTW I've been in quality assurance for about 13 years now and am a Quality Manager with an American company - I'm not saying that I'm the world's leading authority on quality, I've just spent a long time leraning it and I'm still learning!!)

    'Fit for purpose' - equates to fit for the purpose you intend!!! To some that's a P-bass, to others a J -bass, Alembic, Rickenbacker etc. Cost - how much would you pay for the intrument that is fit for your purposes??? Delivery - can you pay your money and take it away today??? Do you need it today?? Are you willing to wait for something at the right price that meets your requirements!!

    I found my initial statement - 'in the eye of the beholder' being added to , 'it's in the ear of the beholder'. I'll add it's in the hands of the beholder - how else do you get the 'feel' of a bass or it's playability??? The eye of the beholder bit is really something to think about - about 40% of the cost of your bass can be in the finish!!!!!

    Right - off my soapbox!!!!
  19. red-hot-bassist


    Sep 18, 2001
    whatever flicks your switch;)
  20. But there's another point. With experience you develop a feel for quality. You have a broader and deeper understanding of what to expect and of how the full potential of a bass can be realised. You know what to look for.

    If, as a novice, you buy a Rob Allen MB2 over an Ibanez Ergodyne to play alternative, you will come away from the encounter thinking that the MB2 is lower quality than the Ergodyne...
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Sep 17, 2021

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