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I'm tired of searching...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by west*coast*bass, Mar 16, 2009.


  1. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    So far I have not found the bass that really speaks to me. I have owned so many, including a few custom made basses and I really would like to find something that I want to keep for more than a year.

    I have been playing bass for 30 years and want something that can transition from old school jazz tone to hard hitting funk to smooth fingerstyle. I need something that is active/passive and need the passive tone control. I want something lightweight - let's face it, I'm getting old and can't sling a 10lb bass anymore.

    I know I have to go down the custom road one more time to get something to stick but I'm having a hard time figuring out which way to go. I prefer the traditional jazz design and know that I need a 5 string. I really want ONE BASS that will work for all of the gigs and recording I do!!! I don't want to fool with this endless game anymore!!!

    I know all of the cats building well enough to know who's making what. It may be that I go back to a brand I have used in the past to have a bass made for me that I know will work for all of my musical applications...

    I guess I am wondering if anyone else feels the same way. Any of you tired of chasing the one bass you can use for every application?

    So you all know, I have owned Alleva-Coppolo, Sadowsky, LowEnd, Garz, Stambaugh, F Bass, R Bass, Hanewinckel, Ric, Fender, Brubaker, Yamaha, Elrick, MTD (USA and import), Lakland, Ibanez, Matt Pulcinella, Roscoe, Alembic and Modulus. Yeah, I know...that's a lot of basses and I certianly didn't own them at the same time. If I had a few of these now I'm sure one would make the cut.

    So, anyone care to offer up suggestions as to what you use and why? I am set on an active bass. I know there are many of you who are passive purists and that's great - I'm not a passive purist. I say play what you love and love what you play. In that spirit, let's keep this friendly and civil! We are all bass brothers and sisters, there is no need for in fighting!

    I thank you all for your participation in advance.

    Peace!

    Mark
     
  2. ErebusBass

    ErebusBass

    Feb 20, 2008
    Madison, WI
    If there is a single bass that will work well for everything I want to do, I haven't found it yet.
     
  3. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    For me , there will be. I'm sure of it!!!
     
  4. Try Woodandtronics (www.wtbasses.net)! I just came from a rehearsal yesterday and played different basses - Sadowskys, US MTDs, Status, Fender and my WT. My WT played and sounded a lot better than the rest of my basses. Amazing, it's so big difference. It's beautiful, light, very resonant. You can pick the pickups and electronics.
     
  5. StarscreamG1

    StarscreamG1

    Dec 17, 2007
    Get a Peavey Foundation 5 string (and NO this is not a push to sell mine!!). Grab one of them, rewire it active and call it day. ^_^ I would suggest a Dynabass 5er but Dynas are a bit bottom heavy, least to me they are so they will probably be right at that 10 lb range for you. But they are already active so you wouldn't have to add new electronics to it at least.
     
  6. Linas

    Linas

    Jan 6, 2005
    Chicago
    Have you looked into Nordstrand?
     
  7. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    Yeah, I have thought about Nordstands too...I dig what Carey and the crew are doing.
     
  8. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    I have played Peavy basses - never owned one, but they are not my cup of tea.
     
  9. 82Daion

    82Daion

    Nov 14, 2006
    43085
    This seems likely to devolve into a thread where everyone posts in order to recommend their own basses (;)), but I'd recommend a Skjold-Pete's basses are extremely versatile, and the craftsmanship is top-notch.
     
  10. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    Yeah, forgot to mention I also owned an early version of Pete's work. One other thing to note is that I can't comfortably play 35" scale...
     
  11. mobis.fr

    mobis.fr

    Jun 2, 2005
    germany
    there is no musicman in your list.
    maybe one in HH or HS or HHp or HSp is something for you. but they are not in your favorite design...


    i also miss hotwire: http://hotwire-bass.de/index_en.htm
    i heard noting but good of them.
     
  12. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    Musicman and Hotwire are not on the list but only by mistake - I have played and owned both.
     
  13. 82Daion

    82Daion

    Nov 14, 2006
    43085
    He's offering a 34" scale model now, IIRC.

    His current stuff (with the proprietary pickups and East pre) is a lot different than what he was originally building, from what I can tell.
     
  14. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I see this kind of like the debate with the wife when buying a car: you need it to carry a decent amount of stuff, but you want it to look good, and it has to get really good mileage, and have a track record of no service problems, and you aren't sure whether you can give up the kind of hauling that a pickup can provide, and it has to be red. In the end you buy a smallish SUV, and it's not great looking, and doesn't haul a big load, and the gas mileage is only OK, and it's not even red. But by gum it will do everything you need it to do decently well under almost all circumstances.

    IOW if you haven't found a bass by now that (a) speaks to you on some visceral level, and (b) will cover all your tone needs in any gig circumstance, after all the high-end and well-respected basses you've tried, maybe that's not the right goal.

    Maybe what you need is one bass that will be a solid workhorse performer under all gig circumstances, even if it doesn't really move you. Or maybe you need a bass that moves you, to such an extent that you make it work for you in circumstances that it's not otherwise ideal for.

    If it was me, I would buy the most versatile workhorse I could. And that would probably be the Sadowsky Metro PJ 5. And I would not let any of my personal taste quibbles even come into the picture. If I'm hammering a nail does it matter if the hammer fits my hand perfectly, and looks beautiful, and swings more aerodynamically than any other hammer? Not really, although I suppose that would be cool. It only matters that it works well every time I need it to.

    Then, if I want a hammer that makes some ineffable bond with my soul, I can play with that on my own time, off the jobsite.
     
  15. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    WCB have you tried a Dingwall ABII-5? My searching is over now that I own 2. My fretted has Big Singles so I can get that vintage jazz vibe with great harmonic detail.
     
  16. StarscreamG1

    StarscreamG1

    Dec 17, 2007
    At least you tried one. ^_^ And thats fine if they aren't your cup of tea. Everyone has their own preferences. Deans and Ibanezes and Gibsons aren't mine, what can I say. I just suggested one because it wasn't on the list of brands you have owned.

    Really? I don't think so and if by /some/ chance your comment was prompted because of my initial one, sorry to disappoint. My 5er isn't for sale anymore and will only be gone if I get a trade/sale offer I simply can't refuse. the ONLY and I mean ONLY thing I have against my 5er is its color. End of discussion with that one.

    Peace.
     
  17. 82Daion

    82Daion

    Nov 14, 2006
    43085
    Hardly-it just seems to be the nature of these "recommend me a bass" threads.

    And I have a Skjold on order, so I'm not above reproach. ;)
     
  18. From your description that you...

    ...I'd highly recommend trying out Mike Lull's offerings, either the M5 if you're looking for the Sadowsky-esque Modern 24-fret active SuperJazz, or his M5V or if you're more into vintage stylings and tone with modern hardware, pickups and electronics, and building methods (Graphite Reinforcement, neck heel cutaway, etc.)

    Except that you just posted your dislike for 35" scale length. Drat. :spit: ;) I'd then shift my recommendation to a Spector USA Bolt-On model. The wood selection and bolt-on design give a much more softer attack and woody tone than the "Super Bright" piano-like chime of the Neck-Thru models, and you can go from a "J"-equipped sound to fuller humbucker tones with the EMG TW Single/Dual Coil pickups they're now equipped with. Although if you're a Jazz pickup type of player I'm pretty sure the USA shop will still build you an NS-2J models.

    Good luck on your search Mark! Perhaps you should include in the financial aspect of finding "Your Bass" a plane ticket to one of the cities with a high-end bass shop to maximize being able to try as many different basses as possible? (Bass Northwest, Bass Central, etc...)
     
  19. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Banned

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    Mark,

    Seriously the best bass I have (and I have had over 100) is a Ristola... however Nickybass had it before me and played the hell out of it and had it refinished. It is very light. It is VERY alive sounding and it has a nice neck. I am so convinced that this is what you want at least soundwise (it IS a 4
    string after all) that once I get it back from a friend I would be willing to let you borrow it for a few weeks if you throw in for shipping.

    The one thing that I must say, and this is a real guess, is that I think nickybass playing it so many hours has something to do with the way the sound just jumps out of it. That and I think it is just the right magic mix of woods (not particluar woods but particular PIECES of wood.)

    If I were you this is what I would suggest. Get a modern bass made with vintage woods. This would be the plan. Invest in some wood. I would suggest traditional woods like ash or alder for the body, maple for the neck, and rosewood for the fretboard. The older the wood the better. There was a builder that experimented with vibrating the wood at musical frequencies at very loud volumes for a period of time. I don't know if I buy into that but i would look into it. I do personally believe that something does make the wood more resonant and vibrant sounding from actually being played. I would have the wood sound treated like that. Personally as far as old wood I would get an old lawsuit bass copy and claim the body for the new project. The neck will be decent but will have the old one way truss rod system, so sell it to me :) Personally I wouldnt't care about what the wood looks like too much. Then decide the rest of what you want as far as light hardware (i.e. hipshot tuners etc.) Personally I would use a heavier brass bridge, brass nut unless you have a zero fret, and have a detuner on the B string. Fanned frets may be the way to go but I must say TRY BEFORE YOU BUY. Someone close to you HAS TO have a dingwall.

    As far as pickups and electronics everything is switchable except for the shape of the pickups, so you would have to figure out the type of sound you personally liked and found most versatile over the years (JJ, P, PJ, H, HH, HS etc.) Personally I would go with some kind of 2 pickup bass and if any of the pickups are single coil then there would have to be a humcancelling coil.

    Fortunately electronics can be swapped. I honestly think that the 2 best designs are leo fender's original passive design (which can be incorporated into any active circuit) and alembic low pass filter design. I believe ACG has a preamp somewhat like the lowpass of alembic but can be used with regular pickups. I would look into that or else have TBer SGDLutherie make you something like that. But if you dont like those fortunately it could be changed. I would have the passive tone control and active passive bypass built in among other things, perhaps an XLR option straight from each pickup (for studio use.)

    I would read this thread if I were you and figure out what you like. There are plenty of other threads to read but that is one of the better ones that discuss features off the top of my head.

    I would choose stambaugh as a builder. I have one and i am very impressed with the build quality, plus he is very reasonably priced and will do a fully custom bass from my understanding. I would figure out what neck profile you liked best over the years and hopefully get the dimensions from someone.

    I have one other thing I would talk to you about but it would have to be on the phone and you must promise secrecy.

    Joe
     
  20. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Banned

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY

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