My love/hate relationship with an ATK300

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by optikhog, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. optikhog


    Apr 2, 2007
    St. Peters, MO
    My go-to bass is my ATK300. I love its richer mids and rolled-off highs compared to a real Stingray, while still enjoying that low-end growl I really desire. I bring it with me when trying out different basses and I always walk away loving the tone of the ATK above everything else (my tastes being subjective to my ears, of course).

    The issue I have is that I find my ATK to be quite ugly, which is why I'm hunting for another bass on a regular basis. I know it sound petty, but I like the visual impact of a great bass when playing live almost as much as the tone of the bass. I suspect that I'm caught in the 'ugly girlfriend' mode from my high school days, whereby I dated a girl who looked 'eh' but treated me like royalty.

    Has anyone else loved the sound of a bass they just didn't find appealing to look at? If so, which direction did you go - moving on to something prettier while sacrificing tone or sticking with the sound you love and simply putting up with the design of the beast?
  2. Smurf-o-Deth

    Smurf-o-Deth Nothing to fret over. Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2007
    The state of denial.
    Buy some stickers.
  3. mike_v_s

    mike_v_s Guest

    I used to hate the look of Rickenbackers. I played one. It was awesome. I bought it and forgot how it looked.

    During the course of our torid 10 year affair I grew to appreciate the way it looked. I've moved on to another brand for the time being. I'm not really fond of their overall look, either. I buy for the sound.

  4. optikhog


    Apr 2, 2007
    St. Peters, MO
    To stick on the bass or on me? heh
  5. optikhog


    Apr 2, 2007
    St. Peters, MO
    Would that be G&L? The closest I've come to the sound I wanted was the L-2000 but I had the same issue as with the ATK - they look kinda 'bleh' to me.
  6. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006
    Not that this solves your problem, but I kind of like the looks of the ATK, but wish they'd offer it in some different colors, and give you a choise of rw or maple for the board.

    Candy Apple Red w/ a rosewood board might get me into an ATK.
  7. EpicSoundtracks


    Mar 10, 2006
    Oakland, CA
    Lollar Pickups, Dunlop Strings
    Aesthetics are a big consideration for me -- I play in dumb rock bands, so bringing out a flamey singlecut 6-string would be an awful idea. I finally sold my quilted Quantum 5 cuz it just looked wrong.

    but i have notoriously bad taste, hence my love for basses widely disdained as ugly, like the Guild Martian, Kramer XL-8, and stuff like that. so, yeah. very subjective.

    i also think ATKs are oogly.
  8. I think that ATKs look really good in some finishes and really bad in some others. I hate to say it but have you thought of a makeover?
  9. SteveMcB

    SteveMcB Guest

    Feb 7, 2006
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Have you taken off the pickguard? Changes the look totally, IMHO.

  10. leftymike


    Sep 23, 2006
    Austin Tejas
    I love the sound and playability of my ATK as well but I don't dig the trans orange finish. The body style etc doesn't bother me so I decided to send it off to get it re-painted silver-sparkle.

    I saw a site (can't remeber where) that had all models/colors that Ibanez ever produced of the ATK throughout the world. There were some very interesting colors that really made the ATK body style pop. DOn't give up, try a "makeover" . It might be what you're looking for.
  11. Get the ATK700 maple w/natural fretboard, have an adult beverage, and stare at it for ten minutes. You'll be in love!
  12. Willem


    Dec 26, 2005
    yeah, I have kind of the same thing...

    I have an LTD B-2005 which plays and looks great. It looks metal and that's fine 'cause I'm in a metalband, BUT I look goofy with it. I love metal and I love playing it. But I'm only metal at heart, I don't look metal at all. And visualy this bass and me don't fit, you know? So I want another bass, but can't afford one. But resale is really low while the bass is really good. So I'm debating with myself to put some different pickups in it, so I at least like the sound more. Or save my pennies so I can buy a new bass sooner... Problem is I don't really know what I want in a bass. 4 or 5 string, P, J, MM, what I do know is passive, less knobs more playing and as light as possible!
  13. Justin Tuskey

    Justin Tuskey Guest

    Mar 24, 2007
    Richmond Hill, GA
    I actually really disliked the look of the ATK when I first saw it, and I really disliked the ones with black pickguards. Then I saw one over the summer that I had to have. Apparently its been around on TB ;) Its an older ATK 305 with a clear pickguard, and wow it is so gorgeous. It also sounds amazing and I am done with tone searching for basses. I still dont like the look of the black pickguard though. One thing about ATKs that is very prominet, is that its freaking huge! but Ive grown to appreciate that, rather then be visually displeased by it.
  14. rok51

    rok51 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2002
    Crawfordville, FL
    Very poignant comparison...I, too, had the 'ugly girlfriend' that you describe...I have spent decades regretting my shallow choice to move on to the more 'accepted' gf/trophy...still one of the biggest mistakes of my life.
    It's funny...those that may diss you because of the looks of your bass...are clueless. Tune in to those that dig your groove and sense of 'bottom'.

    Keep the speaks to you.

  15. SurrenderMonkey

    SurrenderMonkey Guest

    Aug 18, 2006
    If you have the dough, transplant the electronics on a custom :) What sort of look you want?
  16. phxlbrmpf

    phxlbrmpf Guest

    Dec 27, 2002
    I too think the ATK's a pretty damn ugly bass design and yet I used one as my main bass for right years or so. I gor one because I wanted a bass with active electronics that was available in lefty and didn't break the bank and I'd read good things about them and indeed, it always served me well. Sometimes there are more important things than looks, I guess. ;)
  17. A9X

    A9X Inactive

    Dec 27, 2003
    Beryl, take a Bex and have a good lie down. You'll get over it.
  18. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    What color is your ATK? I love the Natural ones with black p/g; but I don't really like the other colors.

    But back to your dilemma. It's been my experience that if the appearance of a bass really bothers you, you won't be happy until you sell it or trade it for something you like. If you like the way it plays, you could always think about having it refinished in a color you want. But the ATK's are priced so reasonably, that it might not be cost-effective to refinish it. Post it on the TB classifieds or Craigslist. What you think is ugly, somebody else will think is hot. Just look at the variance of opinions even on this forum. We all have our own individual tastes. Then when you sell it, you can buy something you really like.
  19. Jeramaya


    Feb 18, 2007
    Madison, WI
    I've been wanting one of these basses since they originated. The look is the about the last reason why, so I understand your dislike. However, it's not *that* bad. I mean, you could be playing a bass version of the Fernandes ZO-3...

    I learned to love my bird's eye maple Alembic Epic, but when I wasn't so keen on getting it at first...wanted a darker wood. Love it now.
  20. optikhog


    Apr 2, 2007
    St. Peters, MO
    Thanks to everyone for talking me down. I suspect I'll keep 'er around for a while and be happy based on a lot of the feedback. My ears MUST overrule my eyes!

    Mine is the butterscotch/orange finsh with the black pickguard, BTW. Perhaps another color will make me happier...