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How important are looks

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Stachio, Feb 6, 2002.

  1. Stachio

    Stachio Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2002
    Just curious on how high you rate a bass's appearance when purchasing one.
    Would you turn down a bass with a lovely sound/feel if it looked...not as lovely?
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    I know this may sound silly, but looks are very important to me. Of course I wouldn't compromise tone or feel for looks, but the bass has to look nice. Yes, if it sounded and felt great, but was ugly, I wouldn't buy it. Of course, I would never know that, because I don't even pickup ugly guitars in the music stores.

    First of all, I appreciate a visually appealing instrument. And secondly, 8 out of 10 people out there that see me play don't know the difference between a bass and guitar. At least for them, they can look at my bass and say, "Wow. That's pretty."

  3. Very important - but then again, nice looking basses usually sound nice, and vice-versa ...
  4. Si-bob


    Jun 30, 2001
    Hemel Hempstead, UK
    Focusrite / Novation
    looks are fairly important to me, like mr person said above, i wouldn't compromise feel and tone for looks, but u gotta WANT to pick up your instrument and play it. if you'v got an ugly instrument, then your not gonna feel very enthused to play it!

  5. Did I read on here that someone once said that he'd play something that sounded good like a Rick' in the studio but something that looked cool on stage? I think I also read that Les Claypool though that those basses he's uses that even though they are ugly as hell he couldnt resist them as they sound so good to him. I personally will never buy a rick cos i think they look hideous. I think if you find a bass you love the sound of more than any other but if you hate the look of it buy it. But otherwise stay away.

    I dont know if i have bought my basses on looks only. I bought them on how they play and feel, and how much money im willing to spend.

    but then again, i think all my basses are beautiful

  6. DeepBlueBass


    Apr 28, 2000
    Dallas TX

    When I'm looking for a bass to play, besides the ones I have, I never look at the wood. I slap it so to speak while it's on the wall or on a stand. If it has the punchy/bright tone I like to hear (unplugged) then I give it a shot. One of the best basses I NEVER bought was a old beat up p-bass. It sounded great, even with the terribly old strings, of which no two were alike. I could kick myself for not trying to get it. It just felt great. On the other spectrum I have grabbed a bass or two that looked great only to find that the ugly four string sounds a hell of a lot better. My current all purpose bass is my Cirrus six string, and it happens to look good, but the sound quality is why I got it. It simply plays right for my style. It's a simple fact that some basses jsut feel like home.

    On the flip side of that argument I have noticed that the higher quality the wood is, the better the "CHANCES" are that the bass will sound good. Some one who is so concerned with the appearance had better put some effort into making a good sounding Axe. But they don't always do that. Back to my Peavey Cirrus, I don't really like PEAVEY all that much but the cirus series has never let me down, but I wouldn't pay $150.00 for the new Millennium series. They sound alright but I just don't like the way it plays. and it happens to be more expensive than my Cirrus 6.

    All in all I feel that the look of a bass is secondary to the sound and feel. If you find an old used axe that feels nice and broken in, great. But if you find a new bass that has great tone and feels like home, AND looks good, then just be thankful for the extra gravy...

  7. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    It's important, but not the most important feature. I care more about what's inside:D

    Actually, I don't think it's hard to find a bass that's visually appealing. It's harder to find one that just feels "right" in your hands, and sounds the way you'd like to sound. If you can't match all those criterion, I'd keep searching.
  8. DeepBlueBass


    Apr 28, 2000
    Dallas TX

    looks are fairly important to me, like mr person said above, i wouldn't compromise feel and tone for looks, but u gotta WANT to pick up your instrument and play it. if you'v got an ugly instrument, then your not gonna feel very enthused to play it!


    I have to dissagree completely. If I walk in and the food look terrible but smells good, I'm still gonna eat it. And with a bass, if I know it sounds good than bolloks the looks. I don't think Jaco worried tha his "Bass Of Doom" looked beat up, or if Victor wooten is worried becasue his "Butterfly Bass" has wear written all over it. I still play my firs bass on stage simply becase I know I can trust it to sound good, even if it looks ugly to most people.

    I don't discriminate on looks on a bass, just women....
  9. DeepBlueBass


    Apr 28, 2000
    Dallas TX
    if I know it sounds great THAT is what makes me want to play it, not that it looks good sitting there, I say if it looks so good sitting there in your room than don't pick it up and spoil the room.
  10. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Looks aren't THE most important thing, but it plays a major part. I think looks make you pick up the bass to begin with.
  11. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I like a nice looking bass, but it doesn't make or break it. But, I think Woodchuck is right, looks are more the drawing in than the closing of the deal.
  12. Si-bob


    Jun 30, 2001
    Hemel Hempstead, UK
    Focusrite / Novation
    i think people are confusing 'wear' with 'ugly'.
    i think fenders are ok looking, nothing special, but certianly not ugly, scratches or not. |But i'd never buy a ric cos i think they are ugly as, i don't care about the tone, i could probly get another bass that looks better and sounds the same, at a cheaper price to.
    so yeah....wear doesn't = ugly


    this isn't a war against ricks, just an example :)
  13. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    i will never own a rickenbacker. nuff said.
  14. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    Chas,I can see that you like appearance,that Modulus is sexy!:D
  15. SoggyTrousers

    SoggyTrousers Guest

    Jan 9, 2002
    Wayne, New Jersey
    Claypool's basses are ugly, huh? his thompsons are unexlainable and awesome..just like his music. i wont leave out the 'rainbow bass' either..thats a piece of work.
  16. razorbakc


    Feb 3, 2002
    If you get an ugly bass you dont have to worry about it getting stolen.
  17. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    San Francisco
    Claypool said that he thought CT's where ugly when he first started off but once he picked up the bass, played his "testing" song (roundabout) it sounded so good he had to get it.
    I think looks are important but they are not the most important. They are a plus. I would never buy a sweet looking bass that sounded like crap unless it was cheap and I could do some seriouse modding to it.
  18. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    I think looks are important.... but I know my basses are eventually going to have wear on them.. and even though they may not be beautiful to some people who don't know an electric bass from a guitar, I will still be able to produce good tone from my worn out beauty..
  19. Looks are important but a bass has still gotta stand up in all of the other important areas. I'm not gonna buy a bass that looks great, but plays and sounds crappy. Beside I usually buy used and beatup used basses are most often bad news.
  20. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    To me, "looks" are an indication of the luthier's skill at attention to detail. Southwest Airlines will tell you that customers make a judgement on how well the company maintains the engines by the cleanliness of the fold-down trays.

    So, although not the only determining factor, to me it is an important one. I can't imagine a successful luthier with a high attention to detail not being concerned about every aspect of the instrument. And, that includes "looks". Of course the level of detail also correlates with pricepoint.

  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.

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