I think I may be addicted, how many is too many basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Stuey3D, Nov 27, 2021.

  1. Stuey3D

    Stuey3D

    Nov 23, 2021
    Hi all.

    My name is Stuart and I am addicted to bass and tinkering. Now sorry if this is a long winded post, but here goes.

    I currently have 7 basses and some of them have been upgraded along the way too, now this would be understandable if I were a pro musician but I’ve only been playing the last couple of years using Rocksmith to try and teach me how to play although prior to COVID I was doing face to face lessons too.

    Now I don’t even intend on being a pro player I am doing this just as a hobby at home, and using Rocksmith almost like Guitar Hero just actually learning to play the song for real.

    I personally think I am more addicted to the upgrading and tinkering aspect of my basses more than anything, as I’ve just finished my Mikro bass and I loved every minute of it apart from breaking the truss rod on one of them unfortunately.

    I also think I have a lot of basses because I’ve been experimenting and trying to find a bass I am comfortable in playing and I can safely say I have finally found that with my Ibanez GSRM20B Mikro, I love the 28.6” scale and small fast neck as I have recently discovered my fingers don’t have a huge amount of stretch and dexterity, by comparison my 11 year old can do the 1-4 stretch where I struggle and I have much bigger hands, although my fingers are just fat stumps.

    So here is my list of basses and various upgrades that I’ve carried out.

    My main Axe is:
    An Ibanez GSRM20B in Walnut Flat which has been upgraded heavily, she now has:
    EMG Geezer Butler PJ pickups and electronics
    Gotoh 203-B4 Bridge
    Gotoh GB707 Tuners
    Witch hat knobs
    Strung with D’addario Chromes.

    I absolutely love her she is the bass that makes me want too play and the bass that I have been improving my Rocksmith score with big time.

    My other basses are:
    An Ibanez GSR180 strung with D’addario EXL160BT’s tuned to DGCF this was my first bass I purchased after my best mate purchased me Rocksmith on the PC. I chose this because years ago I wanted to learn bass and I loved and subsequently purchased a GSR200 which due to lack of use (because I was in the Navy and couldn’t plan regular lessons) got sold, so the GSR180 was a cheaper version but looked the same so that was the first choice when I started playing again.

    I then got as a wedding anniversary present a Harley Benton MB5-SB and a Harley Benton PB-Shorty as I wanted both a 5 string so I could play Nu-Metal on Rocksmith and I wanted a short scale.

    I didn’t really like playing the MB5 as she was too big and heavy with a massive wide neck, plus I really didn’t like the brown sunburst colour but she was the cheapest 5 string available at the time. Me and the child subsequently stripped her down and sticker bombed her and then put her back together and wall mounted her never to be played again.

    The PB-Shorty however was instant love I strung her with D’addario EXL160S and my scores on Rocksmith started improving, I subsequently upgraded her to a Wilkinson Alnico 5 pickup after upgrading the below bass to an EMG Geezer Butler.

    Due to loving the PB-Shorty I thought a full size P-bass would be good and Harley Benton has a Satin Black P-Bass clone which looks beautiful and was out of stock a lot of the time, so when they came in stock I quickly ordered one. I really enjoyed playing her but the pickup was a bit weak so I upgraded her to an EMG GZR-P and switched the red torti pick guard for a black one, strung her with EXL160 and used her as my main bass for a while.

    As I had the PB20-SBK and liked it and as they are cheap I got a regular black and white PB20 which I stuck EXL160-5 strings on and tuned her for BEAD for all the Nu-Metal stuff on Rocksmith, much much better than the above 5 string I tried before.

    Whilst doing all of this I had my eye on the Ibanez Mikro but during the pandemic stocks were erratic, I managed to convince my wife to allow me to get one for my birthday and this is my true bass love and the one I love playing, but the upgraded one above is not my first. My first GSRM20B is currently in the loft with a broken neck as during all the upgrading I strung her with Labella Jamersons and when adjusting the truss rod it snapped writing her off, or so I thought…
    I’ve managed to find a new neck for her which has never been used from a 5 month old forum classified and that is on the way, she will be upgraded with an EMG Geezer Butler P pickup as I have one spare and I will reuse the Jamersons but will tune her lower and use her as my main drop tuning bass.

    Luckily all the basses and parts weren’t overly expensive and added up together would probably only cost about the same as a decent Fender would cost anyway, however I have enjoyed experimenting and I have loved the learning experiences from the tinkering and upgrading. Now I’ll never be a pro luthier but I believe I am comfortable enough now to do minor upgrades and setups on my basses and get them in a decent playing (to me a noob) condition.
    For me I have really enjoyed the hours of research, forum trawling, review reading, and eventual upgrading that went into my basses and I think I enjoy that as much or if not more than the actual playing of the basses.

    Well that is my bass journey so far, am I insane? am I addicted? or is this normal for bassists and guitarists to want to acquire loads of gear?

    Let me hear your stories below, I do love seeing what gear you guys have.
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    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
    timplog, Fuzzbass, dasherf17 and 15 others like this.
  2. Stuey3D

    Stuey3D

    Nov 23, 2021
    The Purple Jackson in the above photos is my 11 year old daughters bass, tried to get her to play on Rocksmith but she got bored and stopped playing. Absolutely gutted because it seemed to come naturally to her rather than the struggle I have, and if she’d have put in the time I have she would be awesome by now, maybe one day she will play again and when she does I will support her the best I can with it.
     
    mikewalker likes this.
  3. A9X

    A9X Inactive

    Dec 27, 2003
    Welcome to TB, Stuart.

    LOL, no, not if TB is the standard.

    There are a couple of members here that currently own over 100 basses. I have owned at one time or another maybe 200, but that was on a buy, try, sell basis. Currently I have 23 and 6 guitars. Some are stock, some are modified, some are to be modified and some are just for display or sentimental value. Plus next year, in cooperation with my business partner who was a luthier in his former life, I'm going to make a whole bunch more.

    I was cleaning out my garage recently in preparation for a move and found enough hardware to build a half dozen basses (and most of it is very high quality) and another box with a couple of dozen sets of strings.

    For the first near 20y I played I usually owned one bass at a time, sometimes 2 if there was some overlap as the older one sold. Then I found this place.

    So, you're relatively sane. For now.

    My honest to God advice is this. Get decent face to face lessons again as soon as you can. In the interim, get one of the several good online courses (I like BassBuzz but am not endorsing) and subscribe to the many great bass instruction channels in YT. And the music theory ones as well; here I really like Gracie Terzian, Rick Beato and Adam Neely.
    Also learn how to set up your instruments well and invest a modest amount in the tools you need to do it. Again, plenty of free advice on many YT channels. Learning how to solder is useful too, again, free tuition on YT. Lastly, don't get caught up in the never ending, chasing the dragon search for tone. Your tone and sound is mainly in you, so have fun and play.

    This will seem very hypocritical given the number of instruments I own but it's something I copy/pasted from somewhere and it's about GAS or Gear Acquisition Syndrome from some guy named Walter Becker from a little group called Steely Dan. Wise words.

    "I have decided to break my long standing editorial silence to draw the attention of the musical community at large and guitar players and guitar owners in particular to a grave situation whose tragic dimension is constantly expanding and is in fact threatening to engulf us all. Picture this:

    I am in the family room of a well appointed home in the North Hollywood area of the San Fernando Valley which is the neighborhood favored by many if not most of the top studios players in the L.A. basin. Every third house on this block belongs to a session player and contains a demo studio full of midi gear. This is the home of well known and endlessly talented picker of long acquaintance who for obvious reasons must remain nameless*. The gent in question is a devoted husband and a doting father, but right now there is no family in the family room; there's no room for the family in the family room. All horizontal surfaces are covered by guitars - acoustics, electrics, lap steels, old ones, new ones, weird little ukulelelike things with no proper names - and, as I sit strumming the last treasure to be produced for my delectation, my pal disappears out of the room asking if he'd ever showed me his Delvecchio which I gather is some sort of Brazilian rosewood dobro- and mind you this roomful of strings and frets are only the ones that he has sitting around the house and ALMOST NEVER USES AT THE GIG -

    Or consider this:

    I'm working at a studio in town with another well known session cat who has had roughly the same readily identifiable and winning sound for the last twelve years or so - but I've noticed that he never shows up for a call with the same guitar twice - true, they all sound about the same but for some reason these excellent sounding (and looking) axes are constantly falling out of favor and being replaced by sonically indistinguishable ones - and further probing reveals that each one of these guitars has been extensively modified and remodified using the latest space age (or is it now post space age) materials and techniques ("this bridge here is made of unobtanium - so rare you can't get any of it anywhere"), only to be rejected and discarded AFTER TWO WEEKS OR LESS-

    What's up with these guys?

    It's called G.A.S. - Guitar Acquisition Syndrome. You undoubtedly know someone who has it. Reading this rag, you probably have it yourself. Or will have it someday soon or would like to have it. You may think it's cool. But it's not cool. Not anymore. How many Strats do you need to be happy? How many Strat copies, each extensively modified to be able to produce the variations in tone that once would have required maybe four different guitars? How many knobs and switches does that Strat need? Consider this: I am settling up my account for yet another mod to my custom semi solid all Koa Strat clone with the rewound Fender low impedance hum canceling pickups and the Pau Ferro neck, at the shop of a well-known luthier-to-the-stars type guy who says to me, "Stick around, Buzzard should be through any time now - he comes in every Saturday about this time to drop off and pick up guitars -" word is out that Buzzard is going to be the Poster Boy for G.A.S. this year- and now it's Guitar Modification Syndrome, a dangerous complication to the original syndrome, that seems in more advanced cases to be doing most of the damage. In fact I am told by said luthier (one of several who work on Buzzard's and my guitars, since evidently no one luthier can create an ax that will satisfy our jaded sensibilities) that the Buzzard recently returned with a freshly modified guitar that he had impulsively hacked up with a butter knife or some other semiblunt instrument, in a crude and spectacularly unsuccessful attempt to Modify the Modifications - and this THE DAY AFTER HE GOT THE GUITAR OUT OF THE SHOP -

    The horror stories could fill this whole magazine (not a bad idea) but what matters most at this time of crisis is, What can be done to stamp out this menace before it makes YOUR life a living hell? Here are a couple of ideas which should be reviewed by any sufferer on the brink of yet another G.A.S. attack:

    1. Consider for a moment the karmic implications of owning all those guitars. Picture yourself dragging your ass through eternity with all those guitars strapped to your back. In hardshell cases, not gig bags.

    2. Who's gonna tune those buggers? Who's gonna change the strings? (this won't work for guys who are buying and selling with great frequency, i.e., if you don't keep them long enough to change the strings)

    3. Imagine that your wife finds out how many guitars you actually have ("Is that another new guitar?" "Oh, no, honey - this one's about twenty five years old!")

    4. Pretend you are a clarinet player - how many clarinets do you own?

    5. Ask yourself: would I like to be thought of and remembered as a guitar player or as a guitar owner?

    6. Imagine that you are in whatever vintage guitar shop you visit frequently and are dealing with the owner of the shop. He is of course severely stricken with G.A.S. Now imagine that you are taking on his personality,with each new purchase you become more and more like him. This one exercise, done properly, will do more to stem the tide of new G.A.S. sufferers than anything else I can think of right now.
    I have decided to break my long standing editorial silence to draw the attention of the musical community at large and guitar players and guitar owners in particular to a grave situation whose tragic dimension is constantly expanding and is in fact threatening to engulf us all. Picture this:

    I am in the family room of a well appointed home in the North Hollywood area of the San Fernando Valley which is the neighborhood favored by many if not most of the top studios players in the L.A. basin. Every third house on this block belongs to a session player and contains a demo studio full of midi gear. This is the home of well known and endlessly talented picker of long acquaintance who for obvious reasons must remain nameless*. The gent in question is a devoted husband and a doting father, but right now there is no family in the family room; there's no room for the family in the family room. All horizontal surfaces are covered by guitars - acoustics, electrics, lap steels, old ones, new ones, weird little ukulelelike things with no proper names - and, as I sit strumming the last treasure to be produced for my delectation, my pal disappears out of the room asking if he'd ever showed me his Delvecchio which I gather is some sort of Brazilian rosewood dobro- and mind you this roomful of strings and frets are only the ones that he has sitting around the house and ALMOST NEVER USES AT THE GIG -

    Or consider this:

    I'm working at a studio in town with another well known session cat who has had roughly the same readily identifiable and winning sound for the last twelve years or so - but I've noticed that he never shows up for a call with the same guitar twice - true, they all sound about the same but for some reason these excellent sounding (and looking) axes are constantly falling out of favor and being replaced by sonically indistinguishable ones - and further probing reveals that each one of these guitars has been extensively modified and remodified using the latest space age (or is it now post space age) materials and techniques ("this bridge here is made of unobtanium - so rare you can't get any of it anywhere"), only to be rejected and discarded AFTER TWO WEEKS OR LESS-

    What's up with these guys?

    It's called G.A.S. - Guitar Acquisition Syndrome. You undoubtedly know someone who has it. Reading this rag, you probably have it yourself. Or will have it someday soon or would like to have it. You may think it's cool. But it's not cool. Not anymore. How many Strats do you need to be happy? How many Strat copies, each extensively modified to be able to produce the variations in tone that once would have required maybe four different guitars? How many knobs and switches does that Strat need? Consider this: I am settling up my account for yet another mod to my custom semi solid all Koa Strat clone with the rewound Fender low impedance hum canceling pickups and the Pau Ferro neck, at the shop of a well-known luthier-to-the-stars type guy who says to me, "Stick around, Buzzard should be through any time now - he comes in every Saturday about this time to drop off and pick up guitars -" word is out that Buzzard is going to be the Poster Boy for G.A.S. this year- and now it's Guitar Modification Syndrome, a dangerous complication to the original syndrome, that seems in more advanced cases to be doing most of the damage. In fact I am told by said luthier (one of several who work on Buzzard's and my guitars, since evidently no one luthier can create an ax that will satisfy our jaded sensibilities) that the Buzzard recently returned with a freshly modified guitar that he had impulsively hacked up with a butter knife or some other semiblunt instrument, in a crude and spectacularly unsuccessful attempt to Modify the Modifications - and this THE DAY AFTER HE GOT THE GUITAR OUT OF THE SHOP -

    The horror stories could fill this whole magazine (not a bad idea) but what matters most at this time of crisis is, What can be done to stamp out this menace before it makes YOUR life a living hell? Here are a couple of ideas which should be reviewed by any sufferer on the brink of yet another G.A.S. attack:

    1. Consider for a moment the karmic implications of owning all those guitars. Picture yourself dragging your ass through eternity with all those guitars strapped to your back. In hardshell cases, not gig bags.

    2. Who's gonna tune those buggers? Who's gonna change the strings? (this won't work for guys who are buying and selling with great frequency, i.e., if you don't keep them long enough to change the strings)

    3. Imagine that your wife finds out how many guitars you actually have ("Is that another new guitar?" "Oh, no, honey - this one's about twenty five years old!")

    4. Pretend you are a clarinet player - how many clarinets do you own?

    5. Ask yourself: would I like to be thought of and remembered as a guitar player or as a guitar owner?

    6. Imagine that you are in whatever vintage guitar shop you visit frequently and are dealing with the owner of the shop. He is of course severely stricken with G.A.S. Now imagine that you are taking on his personality,with each new purchase you become more and more like him. This one exercise, done properly, will do more to stem the tide of new G.A.S. sufferers than anything else I can think of right now
    ."

    Note; When I copied it, and the file says created in 99, I didn't note from where, so I hope this is OK.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
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  4. Stuey3D

    Stuey3D

    Nov 23, 2021
    Wow I don’t feel as insane now hahaha.

    For me I have the basses that I do because I’ve been trying to find one I am comfortable with which I now have with the Mikro. Also having basses that can handle lower tunings is good too.

    I will start face to face lessons again, as I would prefer someone physically in the same room as me who can correct technique in real time as I screw up. So far Rocksmith is just for fun, plus its nice being able to play along with proper songs.

    With regards to tone that is actually something I’m not too fussed about, I only really play Rocksmith for now which emulates the tones of the real songs. I also have a NUX headphone modelling amp which allows Bluetooth music to be played through it too so I can play along with songs from my phone and mess with emulated tones and stuff which sound pretty cool. I also have a vox headphone amp which is just a basic amp and really shows my sloppy playing, which I can hide with the NUX with noise gates and compressors.
    I do have a Vox Pathfinder practice amp, and a couple of behringer pedals but I never use them.

    The main reason I upgraded the electronics was on the PB20-SBK the standard pickup was weak, and on the Ibanez Mikro the electronics were a bit noisy when plugged into my laptop which drove me insane.
     
    mikewalker likes this.
  5. Haans

    Haans Altruistic nihilist Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Bergen, Norway
    Welcome! As the saying goes:
    How many basses do you need?
    One more.
     
  6. hypercarrots

    hypercarrots

    Jan 28, 2009
    california
    sounds normal. i have 55. i’ve sold 36.
     
  7. LetItGrowTone

    LetItGrowTone Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2019
  8. Chicken Wing

    Chicken Wing

    Mar 26, 2017
    Earth
  9. ahbradot

    ahbradot

    Dec 14, 2019
    Florida
    Owning less than 2 basses can be considered weird around TB.
    That means you are considered normal around TB.
     
    timplog, Bruno1950, dasherf17 and 4 others like this.
  10. Stuey3D

    Stuey3D

    Nov 23, 2021
    Haha I feel better about myself now, I’ll use this as an excuse to the wife if I get anymore basses too lol.
     
    red_bassist, J33 and ahbradot like this.
  11. Over the years I've had approximately 70 or 80 basses pass through my hands from cheapo's to boutiques.

    There are several I wish I hadn't sold, but hindsight is a wonderful thing LOL.

    Currently have :
    Gibson Thunderbird
    Fender "Flea" Sig jazz bass
    My own custom built PJ Jaguar
    Dingwall D-roc 5 string ( latest purchase ).

    I go by there rule that the ideal number of basses is your current number + 1.

    Enjoy your instruments mate and welcome to the TB family.
     
  12. Spent

    Spent

    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    I currently have 23 and feel that’s just about right. Although, I’m thinking I could use an NS Design NXT4 on this one song my band does…
     
    Andre678, J33 and Stuey3D like this.
  13. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Germany
  14. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    it's all about the journey, enjoy the ride wherever it takes you... maybe to the new music store in town, a flea market, TB classifieds, fb marketplace, CL lol if you're only at 7 then keep at it.
    some of us are lucky in finding our forever bass right out of the gate, I did but that didn't stop me from GASing out for years, it lead to my current 2 alpha dogs so who's to complain?
    sounds like you're having fun and (to be crass) that's all that matters cos bass is The Boss!
     
    Possum Willy, mikewalker and Stuey3D like this.
  15. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Life is short, buy the bass. Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Dude you're fine, this isn't AA. I won't give you a exact count but I probably have over 60 basses plus assorted guitars and mandolins and dozen of amps. I collect, play and love them all. Life is short but the bass.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  16. HardNHeavy

    HardNHeavy

    Apr 17, 2014
    PA
    5 is enuf for me....might sell a couple for a 5 string
     
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  17. Juststanley

    Juststanley Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2014
    Tejas
    I think you'll be OK ! I maintain a herd of 7....one in, one out. But do I need 4 Precisions?
     
  18. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Whomever is telling you guys that xxx number of basses is too many, please get those people out of your life now.
     
  19. Old Blastard

    Old Blastard

    Aug 18, 2013
    Virginia
    I have an accumulation of 15 basses, all very different as far as body, construction, scale and pickups. Variety is life
     
    Possum Willy and Stuey3D like this.
  20. Klangfarbe

    Klangfarbe

    Jan 12, 2020
    Only seven?

    6e0.png
     
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