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How Important Is The Look of a Bass To You?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by john nam, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. john nam

    john nam Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2000
    Orange County, CA
    For me, it’s very important. What initially draws me to one bass and away from another is how the bass looks; the body, headstock, logo design, and then I consider playability, sound, etc. I don’t care how amazing a Ritter plays, I wouldn’t be able to pull it off at church. I think many who don’t like Fenders don’t like them because of the way their headstocks look. When I was looking into a boutique J, I liked the “Sadowsky” logo/font, headstock, and undersized body better than Nordstrand’s, Valenti’s, LowEnd’s, and Callowhill’s. Look at how likable the Fodera headstock shape and the butterfly logo is. They are certainly great basses, but there are other equivalent builders, yet they’re the only ones that can command such high prices (okay, Victor Wooten had something to do with it too). I’m not saying that these bass companies have become successful only due to looks and I also realize beauty is in the eye of the beholder; all I’m saying is that I think there are many basses out there that don’t get respect or do get respect because of aesthetic reasons.
  2. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Depends on how much I'm paying, to be quite honest.

    I mean, if I pick up a Squire Affinity that I like the feel and tone of, I'm not gonna be bothered, even though I don't like rosewooboards on painted bodies with non-matching headstocks.
  3. Martin89


    Nov 8, 2010
    Glendale, AZ
    Unofficial Endorser: Ibanez, D'Addario, Zoom
    I think most people like Fenders for that classic look, as well as gibson/most epiphones etc. I'm very detail oriented and can quickly become fascinated with a bass because of certain colorways/finishes, inlays(or lack of), body/headstock/neck shapes, pickups, electronics/controls, you name it. But I will almost always pick a bass on neck shape/string spacing, pickups/electronics, and fit first, not looks. I'm even more detail oriented w/ sound.

    Function > Fashion.
  4. ...unfortunately, a lot. If a bass has my tone but looks like butt, I would not play/buy it. I would rather keep looking. Call me vain.
  5. I think we are all initially drawn to a bass by the way it looks but if it sounds like crap, it's useless. Beginners usually buy a bass because of the way it looks. Being an advanced player, I am much more concerned with the sound and how it plays than I am with the look.
  6. Epiphone83


    Nov 10, 2010
    I think we've hit the nail on the head here--no matter how good a bass sounds, if it looks terrible no one is playing it. Heck, I spent 450 on an Epiphone back in the day, and why? Because it looks like a thunderbird. I've had a really nice Fender, but the Thunderbird appealed to my teenage brain. I also hear Gowin's are good little back up basses, but I'd never have one. They look cheap.
    5 years modding basses | Rapid prototyping | 10 years bass experience
  7. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Honestly, if a bass doesn't look like a beat up Fender Precision, I am not usually interested in owning it.
  8. Shakin-Slim


    Jul 23, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
    A bass could look fantastic, if it sounds like ass, obviously I won't buy it. It could sound fantastic, if it looks like ass, I won't buy it. I wouldn't ever want to own any thing that didn't sound perfect for me, as well as fit my taste aesthetically.
  9. I haven't met too many basses that I can't stand the look of, but looks really wouldn't matter if the bass played really well. Paint can always be changed if it's the color that's obnoxious.
  10. john nam

    john nam Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2000
    Orange County, CA
    True, if it sounds bad, but looks great, that's not going to work either. IMO, there are a lot more bad looking basses out there than bad sounding basses.
  11. mid_life_crisis


    Jul 8, 2010
    I'm of the same mind about basses as I told my wife about furniture. "As long as it does the job, isn't obscenely overpriced and isn't outright hideous, I'm good."
  12. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    There's a lot of high end basses that look amazing but sound utterly sterile.

    Sound/function > fashion
  13. muzikman7


    Sep 16, 2004
    I'm more intrested in function than form. Does anyone actually say "man that sure is an ugly bass you got there"
  14. turindev


    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida, USA
    I will say this though.. if a bass just looks "ok", if it sounds amazing it tends to make it look better. I used to hate the way jazz basses looked when I was a teen (15 years ago), but after a brief introduction to Mr. Miller's tone, suddenly they looked great! Now I love the looks of a classic jazz. So I guess the other answer is it changes over time.
  15. john nam

    john nam Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2000
    Orange County, CA
    I bought my wife a Daisy Rock P bass that's shaped like a purple heart and it actually sounds really good, but I'd never play it, at least in public.
  16. john nam

    john nam Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2000
    Orange County, CA
    Muzikman, I don't say it, but I sometimes think it. Turindev, I too didn't like the Fender look until I got older.
  17. FunkyMan


    Nov 27, 2007
    If you play a Hohner B2A then not much.. If you play a Jerzy Drozd then a lot!
  18. john nam

    john nam Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2000
    Orange County, CA
    I personally think Jerzy Drozd makes the most beautiful looking basses, but I've never played one.
  19. superbeast101


    Sep 6, 2010
    It's probably a good 50/50 for me. I like a bass to light, not too big bodied, play fast and smooth, have plenty of power and tone options and it must look good too, if it doesn't exite me to stare lusfully at it then it doesn't belong being a part of me when playing it.

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