How many is too many? Thinning the herd.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GeneralElectric, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. jjddcc


    Nov 13, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm a new member here, having only switched over to bass a few months ago. I own two thus far, but will own a few more, I can guarantee. I can relate to GeneralElectric's "problem" because I am a lifelong cyclist, and work in a bike shop. Even though I only have 2 legs, I have just purchased my 14th bike. I had to buy a bigger house just to have a big enough bike room for them all. When customers ask "what kind of bike do YOU own?" and I tell them about my "jones", I always smile and say " How many bikes is too many? The answer IS, you should always be one bike away from divorce." THAT is exactly how many basses is too many, my friends. Look on the bright side. Your 20 basses most definitely take up far less room than my bikes! ;)
  2. dannster


    Aug 20, 2000
    You can start by ditching the ones you forgot you had. Then start offing the ones that get the least amount of use.
    If its collecting dust and could make someone else very happy to have it and play it? Off it goes has been my rule of thumb. I'm currently at the 7 mark and need to whittle it down to 4 and eventually 3 I think.
  3. I've got 3 and I think that's too many for me and what I do. So, since I've got two J's I'm downsizing to 2 (see my signature).

    Right now I've got:
    2001 MIM Standard J - very modded. Right now it's my #1 as far as tone and overall sound is concerned.
    2000 American Deluxe J - stock. This is the one I'm trying to sell off. It's beautiful and plays like a dream, but my Standard J with its mods gives me everything I need and more. The ADJ is basically too expensive to keep around for the low use I give it.
    2007 Mustang Bass - stock. This one is more of a unique fun bass for me. I keep it because it's totally different sounding than my J's and it offers a completely different look and feel.

    After the ADJ goes I may pick up a P down the road. The 09 standard P's are offered with maple boards so maybe if the right one jumps off the rack at me...
  4. Sounbwoy

    Sounbwoy Supporting Member

    Aug 29, 2005
    Clayton, NC
    I read the OP, then read it again. All I have to say is: The temptation to keep buying basses is one addiction, I wouldn't mind having...
    I have three now, and will get more when I feel like it.
  5. Rob Martinez

    Rob Martinez

    Sep 14, 2005
    This is obviously up to each individual bassplayer. Need and want are two different things. And this is coming from a player (me) who presently owns 18 basses.

    I really only NEED one bass, since that is all I can play at one time. For what I do, if it ever came down to it, I could do fine with my Waterstone Indra bass, a short scale with flats on it.

    I am considering thinning the herd, since even I am getting a bit irritated at accumulating basses. I am not saying I will never buy another one, but I am starting to think along the lines of selling one or two before aquiring another, which I already have started to do, actually.

    Right now my criteria for selling a bass is whether I can readily replace it should I want it back again, or do I already have a bass that can approximate that tone? My two cents.
  6. You are a collector. To feel closure at this realization, go out and get another bass as soon as possible. And maybe buy a bank vault.

    For me, I can deal with only having one or two. But if I could stop at about 6 or 7, accumulated over the course of several decades of musical development and changes in taste, that would be great.
  7. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    I have 15 or so basses and will be thinning the herd ASAP.

    I have been playing for 20+ years but took a decade hiatus and started playing again a few years ago. Starting to play agan after such a long time off (and having some disposable income to buy all kinds of new and different basses) made buying new stuff fun.

    Having said that, I have owned Laklands, EBMM, Sadowsky, Fenders, Gibsons, etc. and now realize I like Sadowsky, Fender, Roscoe and Stingrays. Everything else will be moved.

    In the next week or two, I will be down to 8 basses (which is still too many IMO) and will be taking a serious look at keeping anything beyind my 2 Roscoes and '74 Fender P. I gig a lot, but Roscoes (my 5 and 6) nail the tone I am looking for and my '74 P is an amazing recording bass.

    I would almost advise someone with so many basses to figure out what you really LOVE and consolidate your collection to support that. E.g... love Alembec and Ritter? Fodera and Pedulla? Sell 15 basses of lesser value and buy one of each. Life is too short to not own/play the best of the best (if it is financially possible) IMO.
  8. budget bassist

    budget bassist

    Jan 4, 2009
    I have four basses, a musicman SUB, a warwick corvette $$, a frankenSUB bass and a tobias toby pro 5, which is currently for sale... i'd be happy with two to be honest with you. I think you have too many when most of them don't really get played, that's why i'm selling my tobias, i just dont play it.
  9. Oric


    Feb 19, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    You could certainly do with selling a lot of your instruments. I'm the same age as you, I've been playing for five years, and I have three basses, and I'm reluctant to get another because I think that'd be too many! If you sold off a lot of them, that'd be a good amount of money to put into savings- never know when you'll need it. Of course, the older, rarer instruments could be kept for selling later, when those prices go up again.
    Hang onto that Nord Electro 2 though- my band's keyboardist plays one and it's great.
  10. How much is too much depends a lot on who you are and what you do, in my opinion. I have 4 basses right now and that's too much FOR ME, since I only use two of them. So I'm going to sell the other two and buy something I can use, or just keep the money.
    In the end, you will find that no bass, no matter how nice, will give you true happiness. It sounds really cliché, I know, but it's true. Material possessions won't really make much of a difference in your life, in the big scope of things.
  11. I think you should make yourself get rid of any basses that are redundant. If you have 4 fretless J's, you should narrow it down to one.
    It's ok to have one each of different kinds of bass, but I've never understood having P-basses, or 5 Rics, or whatever.

    One of each is the right number ;)

    edit: I have two gigging basses (Ric and Stingray), and two beater basses (fretted/fretless). Er, and a useless 8-string. I'm not counting basses that I'm trying to sell at the moment ;)
  12. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Central Ohio
    And that is what eventually happens.

    So, to the OP: a sensible path forward is to figure out what the 2 or 3 really great instruments are, and then carefully move the rest. That will prime your pump for looking at some other choice axes down the road.
  13. I think you should probably ask yourself a few questions rather than accept numbers based on another guy's needs.

    1. Can you afford to keep 'em? If the answer is yes, might as well keep 'em. Since it's not a seller's market ya might want to hang on to them until things get better if you can.

    2. Do you have enough space? If you're tripping over the darn things, perhaps you have too many for your living accommodations.

    3. Are you using them? If not, do they at least have some sort of sentimental value? I prefer keeping a backup type bass for the configs I use a lot, but I kinda discovered that I don't need two for a config that I rarely use.

    4. Is a woman telling you to thin the herd? If so, don't do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :p
  14. cigi


    Aug 22, 2006
    I personally think 20 is a lot of basses. Is it to much? Maybe, depends on what you earn, what you can spend.

    If you spend 1/4 of your paycheck on basses. That's your own good right. I used to spend allmost all my extra money on bass-stuff. Since I live with my girlfriend I spend far less cash on bass-stuff and I'm glad it is this way. It didn't give more pleasure in playing. Now we save up for things I think are more important than a ******** of basses (nice house etc.) I downsized my flock to one bass I really love, a lakland dj 4. I just play this bass and I play way more and enjoy playing it, instead of being busy with my collection.

    Anyway it's up to you. I think your collection is a very cool one :), but it would still be very cool if it was half it's size.
  15. Put some away in cases and in a stable environment.

    Open every so often.... instant Christmas!!!!
  16. I've got nine. I feel you, about the 'too good to pass up' thing. Discipline.
    I'd lose the ones that are easy to replace. Keep the vintage or rare ones.
    Lose the extra gear. That stuff is usually easy to replace. Unless you have an old SVT or something, dump it.
  17. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    Its really cool that you have that many basses. But...

    I'd rather have my 2 basses and my HOUSE than your 20 basses and your APARTMENT.

    I used to race RC cars. That hobby is a lot more expensive than this one. But as time came to start a familly and I finished up schooling I knew that if I wanted to buy a house I'd have to give up that hobby. So I did.
  18. eyvindwa

    eyvindwa Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2007
    Oslo, Norway