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If all your other basses are boutiques, how important is it to have a cheaper bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by phishaholik, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    Hi guys,

    I just put my Tobias Growler up for sale to help pay for the repair to my Wal and I'm more than hesitant. It's the only bass I have that's not an uber expensive, irreplacable boutique. I really, really like the Growler, but I need to pay off this repair bill. Do those of you that have pricey boutiques keep a nice moderately priced bass or just play the expensive ones everywhere? How important is it to you guys to keep a nice backup?

  2. If I ever owned a bass that I felt I couldn't play anywhere and everywhere at any time, it would be out the door.

    I must admit, on the few occasions where I have to fly with a bass, I don't take my absolutely favorite instrument! Other than that, outside in the heat, dumpy bars, long road trips where the bass goes in the van, etc., etc... everything is fair game!
  3. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    IMO, instruments are made to be played, not put in a glass case (or whatever) and viewed from afar. If I were to buy a $10K bass, I would play it everywhere. Some places I'd never let it out of my sight, though... ;^)
  4. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City

    What this guy said.
  5. RPIcka


    Apr 19, 2006
    BC, Canada
    Made to be played. I owned an MTD 535 for a bit, loved it, maybe a bit too much. Now I play what I make, something about half the price but still looks and sounds everybit as good.
  6. demon666


    Jul 16, 2005
    Providence RI
    Why did you buy 'em if your not gonna play 'em? Basses are tools and tools are made to be used.
  7. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    Thanks guys, you're all making me feel better about letting my Tobias go. Its not that I'm scared that I'm going to ding my bass or anything. Its more for the times I'm worried about something truy bad happening to it. Sometimes I have to do a bunch of things while I'm out. My seats fold down, so my trunk isn't secure and I end up carrying my bass with me everywhere I go. I think part of it is that its nice to have a really great playing and sounding bass that I don't have to worry about as much.

    I'm also so in love with the basses I have now, it would be like losing a family member. Well, at least a favourite pet.

  8. Moe Monsarrat

    Moe Monsarrat Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Austin, Tx.
    Endorsing artist:Regenerate Guitar Works Carvin, Micheal Kelly Guitars
    When I tour in other countries & go places where I don't know what's going on, I take a cheaper upgraded bass. It has to sound great & play great. I'm not flying with my main bass (a custom Elrick 5 string) in a gig bag. I also am not leaving it in a vehicle like a rented van where it can be seen from the outside. I have taken the Elrick on many such trips, but no more. It is one of a kind & has way too much accumulated mojo & I have been robbed in Europe once too many times. I now take a Mex Fender Jazz 5 or a Squier Jazz 5 & sometimes a Korean made Spector Legend 5. The Jazz' have been modified by replacing the bridges with Hipshot hardware & the Spector has upgraded active pups & preamps. All have Dogal Jaco flatwounds. I always take my Radial Bassbone DI which makes it easy to get a great sound through just about any amp & that's it. Out of those three basses my fave so far is the Squier. It really sounds & plays great & the strings & bridge cost about what the bass cost new.....$227 USD. It's worth it not to worry about losing or damaging my main bass.
  9. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    I've been thinking about what KJung said about flying and I'm starting to lean towards keeping it. I wouldn't fly with any of my 3 other basses. I just wouldn't do it.

    Also, I don't think the tool analogy works with basses. They might be tools, but they can also be art. In some cases they are irreplacable art. My Alleva-Copollo is by far the best Fender styled bass I've ever played, and I mean by leaps and bounds. Even if it wasn't, the paint job alone is art. I don't think it would be possible to find a canary yellow p-bass with a seventies racing stripe painted by the guy who sprayed nitro for Fender in the 50s again. Even if the tool analogy was appropriate, I wouldn't bring my snap-on tools to a buddy's "help me put the engine in my car/bike BBQ."
  10. rfclef


    Jan 19, 2007
    Woodburn, Oregon
    I play my Birdsong anout anywhere... I got a flight case for it and took it to TX over Christmas. I got it so i could play it... BUT: When I play with my highschoolers at ball games, I take one of my cheapos. At the football games, weather can be nasty, and i don't want to get it nocked around in the stadium stands. At the Basketball games, too many basketballs and sweaty highschool kids flying around, and I stand right down by the sideline. I even bought a cheapo Epi EBO and modded it up with school-colors & mascot paint job to play at the games.
  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I agree 100%. I own two boutiques, and I have played them in dives, outdoors in the sun in August, etc. They both have a couple of dings. They were used when I bought them, so they had already been broken in a bit. The dings still hurt, at first, because I baby my stuff, but when you play a bass live, accidents sometimes happen. But I will continue to play out with them, no matter what. If it doesn't get played out, there's no need for me to have it, from my $59 cheapie to my most expensive. That's why I sold my Ibanez, it wasn't getting played. And why I am probably gonna sell my T-40, and a couple of others.
  12. I might be in the minority here ..

    But to me, it is important to have back up less expensive basses that I can play "anywhere" - there are just some places that I won't take my expensive basses -

    Flying (mentioned before), jam nights (where others might expect to use it), certain bar gigs, gigs in certain sections of town, most outdoor gigs.

    I used to play in a band with a guitarist that jumped around a lot, and of course put a huge ding in my bass. I agree that basses are meant to be played, but I just can't bring myself to play them out in some places.
  13. David1234


    Jun 1, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: SWR Amplifiers
    I have a cheaper bass (Hohner Jack V, but minus the preamp and now sporting some barts) that I teach on and don't really gig much.

    Partly it's the expense of the other gear and how I feel there's less at risk teaching on this one, but also this bass has dots on the fingerboard which is handy for teaching. As an added bonus it is very light and compact and uses no batteries.
  14. That's why I wouldn't buy a NEW Lakland. Basses are made to be played, that was said so true.

    Off topic: my grandad brought a German accordeon from WWII, a really great Hess. With years, he played less and less, until the instrument was abandoned for a fairly long period of time. So, when finally I took it out of the closet, and wanted to restore it, every single instrument repairman in the neighbourhood said one and the same thing, it would have been still great if it had been played. But in this case it couldn't be restored. Alas
  15. I play passive inexpensive basses. Partly cause I haven't had the money to buy anything else so far. Well I guess I could've tried to find inexpensive active basses but didn't bother.

    I have, however, played on a $3600 Modulus and I posted about here. After playing on both expensive and inexpensive basses, the luxuries on an expensive bass aren't that important to me. That's what paying more buys you when we talkin bout basses. Luxuries. I would want to not spend money on a luxurious bass, but spend it on a more expensive amp if I have to. Both of my basses were under $300.

    That's just me and my priorities though, and if yours are different, well that's good, you guys give me beautiful basses to look at hahaha.
  16. 82Daion


    Nov 14, 2006
    I have insurance. :D
  17. AndroWal


    Sep 28, 2003
    Ojai, CA
    Expensive is one thing....replaceable is another.

    My Wals are very carefully taken care of. I use them the most and certainly take them to gigs and sessions, but they are watched constantly. Not due to their cost, but because they are near impossible to replace. No other bass truly has their sound. Paul may be starting to produce Wals again, but it's going to be some time before getting another, or a couple (fretted and fretless), would be possible. And we don't know with absolute certainty that this will happen and how the instruments will be (although with his track record and Pete's input I am confident all will be great).

    When travelling I use my used Stambaugh or my custom Zon fretless that was about a $5k bass. I wouldn't want either of these to be stolen or destroyed, but at least I know that in fairly short order they could be replaced.

    If it were my choice, I'd keep the Growler and find another way to pay for the repair.
  18. LCW

    LCW Banned

    Mar 2, 2009
    i never have owned that pricey of basses just modded MIM fenders , deans and a ton of rock offs but they are good enough

    i may get a warwick corvette :) i really dig them
  19. JansenW


    Nov 14, 2005
    Cambridge, MA
    I have non boutique basses that I use for teaching and for gigs where I don't want to be bothered about babying a boutique bass.
  20. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Well a Growler isn't hard to find. If you're needing cash why not just sell it to pay your repair bill, then find another later on. I couldn't imagine not having a 'cheapie' would be an absolute problem right now.

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