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How important are looks to you?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jive1, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I used to be really uninterested in the looks of a bass, as long as they play well and sound good. But as I started getting into more expensive basses, I cared more. I guess the more I pay for a bass, the more I want from it.

    But when I got a chance to get a Lakland 4-94 that played like buttah, I bought it even though I don't care much for cherryburst finishes. So, there goes that theory.

    So how important are the looks of a bass to you?
    If a bass played and sounded good, would you still pass on it because of the color/finish/hardware/etc.?
  2. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    right now, i'll will take anything that doesn't neck dive (6 string lefty)
  3. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Yes I would pass on a bass solely on looks...but, only if I could not do something about the looks.

    I've completely refinished many basses. I've built bodies for basses that had great necks and visa versa. I've bought basses that played and looked great, but I wanted it in a fretless, but it wasn't available so I stripped the frets out.

    I wouldn't say looks are the most important thing to me, but I like the whole package...how it feels, plays, sounds AND looks.

    If it's got everything but the looks, it depends on whether I can alter it to my satisfaction enough for me to get it.

    There are so many choices available to us today that there really is no reason to not get a bass that has it ALL, including looks.


    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    Have you ever sat your bass down after a set, but couldn't help looking at it from time to time? Yeah, me too. No sound, just physical beauty. :hyper:

    I'm from the school of thought that a quality bass is an investment, and as such, I want as much ROI as I can get

    I don't have a huge ego, but I want my gear to sound and look PHAT! Shelling out a G or more for a musical reflection of myself means it needs to represent...even if it's sitting on it's stand between sets, besides we're all showmen (and women)to some extent, so there's your personality in a four, five, or more stringed body.
  5. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    While I found it fun to own a perfect condition Sadowsky, it carried with it a degree of stress to keep it so that was kind of a bummer.

    Over time now that it is less than perfect, it kind of annoys me but at the same time I kind of enjoy it more now that I don't have to worry about it so much all the time.

    I guess I like my stuff to look VERY good, but not perfect.

    The Zen thought for today:
    At what point does the pleasure of perfection become the curse of perfection?

    Or are we talking about having a girlfriend with big boobs but she can't cook?
  6. Thunder_Fingers


    Jun 24, 2004
    Painting and such can be refinished/changed..

    personaly i dont realy like basses with shapes that goes far away from the two classical Fender shapes...
  7. Mob


    Jan 12, 2005
    Call me shallow but looks are pretty importent
    when your bass looks good i find it feels good.
  8. mike sancho

    mike sancho SANCH

    Feb 10, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Looks are important to me but the bottom line is tone. I've had a couple of beauty's but I couldn't comfortably play 1 of them and the other one just didn't live up to my expectations soundwise. They're both gone now and I have a natural Sadowsky Metro and have really come to appreciate it's simple beauty. More importantly it has killer tone across the board. When I want really pretty I have my tiger maple Smith with much killer tone as well and she is a beauty!!
  9. I don't specifically go looking at basses for their appearance, but there has to be something to make me want to pick it up off the shelf initially and play it. That means to me either a classic / industry standard bass (Jazz, Precision, 'Ray), or perhaps a lesser known brand with a beautiful finish.

    Once the bass is in my hands, the number one thing I'll look for is feel and playability that I like. Nice looks certainly help to get it in my hands though.
  10. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I give it somewhat importatn - the reason I bought one of the photo flame SX's instead of well, the cheaper ones - but it waSnt that big a difference
  11. I'll take a used sunburst bass with a few dings over a black one in mint condition for the same price, so when we talk about looks, I'm referring to the color.

    If I'm buying a used bass, and I really don't like the color, I'll wait until one comes along that's more to my liking.

    If I'm buying new, it's going to be as close as possible to my preference as far as looks and features go.

    The more money I spend, the closer to being exactly what I want it will be.

    I have patience. ;)

    To each their own. :cool:

  12. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I don't care what it looks like, as long as it sounds and feels good.
  13. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Lets put it this way. I'd never buy a bongo

  14. raycer


    Mar 22, 2004
    Orange County, NY
    The look many times is what attracts me to a bass, but the sound is what makes me love it
  15. Look good, feel good, play good.
  16. RandallFlagg

    RandallFlagg Guest

    Aug 18, 2003
    Kansas City
    Looks are pretty important to me. When I decided on an American Deluxe Jazz I specifically wanted the QMT in tobacco sunburst. Why? Looks. So yeah...looks are a great part of my decision to buy or not to buy...
  17. tomd03


    Oct 8, 2004
    Alberta Canada
    Well, i like my basses to have a little class, but thats all i ask :)

    thats why i have a stingray and a geddy bass :)
  18. tekhna


    Nov 7, 2004
    I am usually fine with any bass as long as there is no quilted maple. Gold hardware is a huge turnoff, but that is replaceable.
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    It's surprising how much of a non-issue neck dive becomes with a good strap;)

    Back on topic... looks aren't important to me. That's based on the enormous number of great looking basses I've played over the years that didn't measure up where it really counts... sound and playability. Because of that I'm not easily impressed.
  20. bass-shy


    Jan 11, 2005
    I think looks are important because whatever bass you play, it makes a statement about who you are and what you are willing to tolerate. Luckily, everyone has different tastes. I have seen totally beat up P Basses in the hands of equally beat up looking people, and they looked great together. Conversely, highly maintained boutique basses look great with some people too. The bottom line for me is versatility. I want to look good with my bass in as many situations as possible. I want to sound better than I look in all situations.