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Looking for the "THE" bass for me..holy grail if you will.. help me decide :)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fourstringdrums, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002

    Ok, I've been playing for about 2 years, and I've decided that after all that time, I want to finally find "THE" bass for me. Ya know, one bass that I could just hold on to forever. One that I can't help but want to play it. One that just fuels whatever creativity is inside of me. One that, if I never got ANOTHER bass ever again, as long as I lived, and only had this one, that I would be ok with that (I know thats a hard thought for some people on here to imagine..) :)

    Anyway, I thought about it, and I think I'd be willing to spend up to like $2500. It would be tough to do, but worth it in the end :) I was considering a few things:

    1) Having Jack Read custom build me a bass. He's only like 40 minutes from me and I've always loved his work. But I can't decide on what to even design. I know he'll help, but I wanted some 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc.. opinions. I play alot of groove/funk oriented stuff, as well as melodic, chord bassed music. But I also love Motown, Jaco, Geddy, Sting.. I'm experimenting in slap, tap etc.. Bassically to sum it up.. I'm looking for something very versatile, but at the same time might offer a distinct tone. Any ideas on what body/neck/fingerboard woods I could consider?

    2) Although Im leaning towards the custom, I'm open also to just buying a pre-made. I know there are tons of threads about versatile basses and such, but given what I'm described for my wants/needs, who do you all recommend as worth looking at? (keep in mind the price range) :) Of course I'd want something constructed top notch, with a neck that in playability/stability, just wont let me down.

    Thanks all, I look forward to whatever you guys have to offer for suggestion!


    Oh yea, I don't know if it matters, but I don't play out. I'm happy just making music for myself.
  2. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    You have to try as many basses as you can for yourself. There are many people that spend years looking for "the one", only to find out that when they think that they've found it, they find something that they like better.

    In other words, we can't tell you what to buy. There are a ton out there to look at. What one guys digs, another guy may hate.

  3. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    You're too late..

    I already have "THE" bass!!


    :D :p
  4. I think that in reality find "the one bass" is just not possible. because there is always going to be something out there you like and think might be better or bigger. so I have decided to look at it this way. I am also looking for a bass. I want to get one that I will keep for long time, so I am looking for something unique and special that fits into my personal style. I once I get something I will have GAS for something else but I want to be saying "wouldn't it be cool to add that one to the collection" instead of selling one I bought in the hopes of getting something better.

    if is really rough in a good sort of way when buying a new bass these days especially with a budget like yours because there are so many really good ones to choose from.
  5. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    You may never find "the bass". Some don't. You may find it next week, too. You need to get your hands on as many different basses you can and judge for yourself. Remember, as you age, your tastes will change and so will your gear, chances are. "The bass" might be 3 or 4 basses, not just one. One bass might be great for one type of music, and completely wrong for another. Take your time, don't do anything rash. I've had alot of fun finding my way with my gear. I hope your journey is a blast like mine!!

  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Lakland 55-94 Deluxe. Yum.
  7. I'd have to agree that with age your tastes will change. I loved ernie balls when I started. I don't really dig them at all anymore. I spent 6 months playing anything and everything I could find in my area once I sold my sterling. The custom coffe table basses appealed to me at 1st. You know, going with an handmade custom dealer and taking a huge risk later when you don't like or the exotic woods require special treatment. I went with Turners for a while, but later found they weren't my bag. For the longest time I didn't even attempt to try any graphite necked basses. I was very skeptical of them.

    Once I played a modulus genesis 5 i was hooked it is "the One" for me. I also tried some Zons and found them to be incredible as well. Some people find graphite "sterile" , but I beg to differ. It's all about the body and electronics and of course if it FEELS good. Try a mod or zon, you may love em like I do. To each his own.......
  8. meltsakana


    Sep 3, 2002
    I have been checking out basses for years and years. Went to Bunnybass a couple times to play all those wonderful creations. So yeah, while it was great to check out those basses, NONE OF THEM COMPARE TO MY CUSTOM! I think working with a luthier to build a combination of all the things you like can only bring you positive results.

    If you get a custom made and still have bass envy afterwards, then try to be really rational. when i have GAS, I just need to realize that my bass is just right, and what needs to change is my additude.
  9. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    If it were me and I had 2500 dollars to spend max, I'd probably search for the best used F bass I can find. Great gear...

    Just my .02
  10. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    I'm with Jared-
    get an F bass- i have found my holy grail with my F bass and if you have $2500 you are an inch away from a new one!
  11. By-Tor


    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    With $2500 you have alot of choices.
    Look at used basses as well.

    But ultimately you are going to have to go out there and play as many basses as you can.

    Some of the choices you have:

    Jerzy Drozd
  12. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    IMHO go second hand from a reputable dealer. There is no one bass. WIth your budget and a clean slate I would do the following

    Fender Precision or Musicman Stingray


    Roscoe LG3005

    I've seen the former at $700and the latter at $1800.
  13. japhy4529

    japhy4529 this is only a test... Supporting Member

    I agree with "CS". you may wish to consider purchasing two basses with your $2500.

    an important question that needs to be answered first is "how many strings?". If it were me, I would pick up:

    G&L L-2000 or L-2500 (4 & 5 string respectively)


    Stingray 4 or 5

    Here's another option for ya (but it prob. isn't the "holy grail" option")

    G&L L-2000 or 2500 tribute series bass


    Lakland Skyline 4 or 5 string Bass

    IF I were to purchase only one Bass for $2500, it would prob. still be an L-2000, with a Modulus Genesis in the running as well. I would take the left over money and throw a wild party! YEAH! :bassist:
  14. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    HEY NOW!!! no ones mentioned mtd's.

    i realy think that mine is "1" of my basses. of course theres always going to be others that i will want...but this suits me really well and it fits with all types of music. that and my ric 4003.

    right now im playing in a punk/ska band and it fits..of course you do get strange stares.."what is that.....how much do they cost..thats to much for punk"

    o well

  15. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    1) Read Geoff St. Germaine's post

    2) Just get any bass that plays well: there are lots of 'em, even below $500. Then, take lessons and practice your ass off. Worry more about your skill than your gear. Nobody but other bass players can tell the difference between a Squier and a Fodera. Fancy woods are just window dressing.

    I'm not saying forget about gear: I'd recommend that you keep trying different basses in music stores just to see what's out there, and what kind of playability you like. Then in a few years if you want to switch, you'll have a much better idea of what you want from a bass. Seems to me like you don't really know yet.

    Taste changes, even in playability: for example, a narrow-spaced bass might feel better to you now, but if you decide to learn slap then you might want to switch to wider spacing. You might want to change to four string, seven string, fretless, hollowbody with flats, etc etc.

    Don't get me wrong: there's no better way to learn about gear than to own it, so if you have a bunch of money to spend on gear then go for it. But there's so much great gear out there, even in the low price ranges, that you shouldn't worry about a "Holy Grail": after 25 years of playing, I'm convinced that one doesn't exist for me, which is why I own a few basses ranging from traditional passive to modern active... I like 'em all.

    I don't intend to sound like an anti-gear snob at all... again, I simply don't believe in the 'holy grail' concept, and I don't think young/inexperienced players should concern themselves so much with gear just because some of us have too much money to spend on it. :) :)
  16. japhy4529

    japhy4529 this is only a test... Supporting Member

    Well, actually I think MOST people can tell the difference between a Squier and a Fodera. Crap is crap, no matter how you slice it. No offense to Squier players out there... Just my opinion.

    Anyway, I agree in principle with statement #2. If I had bought what I thought was my "holy grail bass" after only two years of playing, it would have been a BC Rich Warlock!!! ARGH!! That's why I recommended purchasing two (or more) quality, versatile Basses. In the future, if his tastes change, the G&L and Stingray will hold their value.

    However, I don't subscribe to the theory that beginners must play crap Basses to "pay their dues" (not your quote fuzzbass, but it's been said many times by others). That's rediculous. If he has the money, why not pick up a nice Bass (maybe not a $2500 Bass) and make it easier on himself? I mean you practically need a vice grip to play a Squier! I have seen many novice Bassists get frustrated when first starting out, cuz' their Basses sound and play like poo.

    In closing, take what everyone says on this forum (especially me) with a grain of salt. You are the master of your own destiny (er, wallet) and I'm sure you will do well with whatever choice you make.

    - Tom

  17. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    One thing that you must do before shelling out that kind of dough is figure out what you like and don't like about different basses.

    Here's an example.

    I went through tons of basses trying to find one that wasn't the 'one' (so many people talk about 'the one' and 'destiny' and what not, basically I just look for something highly compatible). First I found out I don't like my necks too thick. Then I figured out I don't like maple fretboards. Then I figured out that I don't like having the neck pickup so close to the neck (for slapping, I need space to get in there), and also with that I also figured out that I NEED wide spacing (to narrow and I just don't feel at home). then I figured out EMGs are just a little too bright. Blah blah blah.....

    but basically there are a lot of little things that you will find you like and don't like about certain basses, and when you check list has a good number of items you are looking for, then the choices seem to weed themselves out.

    Finally, I own an MTD and an R bass that really can not be replaced. But it was a financially crappy journey there. Ask us what we like about certain basses, many of us have tried a buttload out, most have a con somewhere in there, that may be someone else's pro.
  18. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Wow, alot of good points there from everyone. Fuzzbass makes an especially valid point. The only problem with everyone's suggestion of going out and trying different basses is, while its obviously a smart idea: I live in the sticks of MA. Most places around here only carry Dean, Ibanez, Fender etc.. So its like, played one, played them all.. Although a new store just changed hands. Its a small store, but apparently they'll be carrying some "other" stuff, so we'll see what happens.

    Basically I think I'm out for better comfort and playability more than anything else ya know? But I've been through bass after bass after bass, and that gets expensive :)
  19. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I'm lucky in that I've lived here in the Wash DC metropolitan area: easy access to DC, Annapolis, Baltimore, and Northern Virginia stores. Selection here isn't as comprehensive as up in NYC or the big CA cities, but I'm not complaining!

    I think it's wise to focus on playability. If you can let us know what you prefer, we can all chime in with suggestions of basses in your price range that fit your style. Examples: do you prefer wide string spacing or thin? Do you prefer a "slim/fast" neck profile, or big and chunky, or in between? Do you have any opinions on fingerboard curvature?

    I don't know about Jack Read specifically, but some luthiers will give you whatever neck dimensions you want. My only suggestion is, if you're going to slap, narrow string spacing *might* give you difficulty.
  20. bollefen


    Mar 13, 2003
    the holy grail is an illusion :eek:

    life is a journey not a destination. after 35 years i have some faves but...

    enjoy the journey and you will not be disappointed at any point along the way

    bill ;)