One great bass or a bunch of 'good' basses?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Blackbird, Dec 6, 2001.

  1. One single great "do it all" bass.

    88 vote(s)
  2. A number of basses, each with its own specialty. (Changed from "lesser" Basses)

    126 vote(s)
  3. Why are you doing this to me?

    30 vote(s)
  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Rhetorical question time:

    Which would you prefer and why?
    Pretty straightforward, I think.
  2. Personally i think it is bull*PEEP to own serveral basses.

    ( I'd rather have one ultra-versatile Ibanez. :D )

    The thing i'd like to ask to multiple bass-owners is this : If you like the way your wife f*PEEP's.. but you like to try something else too.. would you rather get another wife, or try to accomplish it with your current wife ?

    the point is.. i don't see the use of having serveral basses ( except for bragging ofcoz )
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I am definitely in the "one great bass" camp and have always just traded up. There was one point in time where I had two basses and found that I only played one and the other just sat around doing nothing.

    Since then I have always tried to put as much money as I could into getting one bass that does everything I want. I know that I will always find one bass better than another and the one I like best will be the only one I will pick up to play. I find that really getting to know a bass, greatly improves my playing and when I have got a new bass it has always taken me several months to get back to my best.

    Of course I can play any bass if I have to and do the gig; but I feel much better about my playing with a bass I have setup for myself over a long period and which I know like the back of my hand - although most listeners wouldn't hear the difference - I can and this motivates me to play/practice more!

    I have occasionally agonised about not having a "spare" and potential problems; but my view on this now is that I would get a cheap "temporary bass" on my credit card - I would be happy with a MIM Jazz (knowing it was only temporary)and my local shop always has copious supplies of these, so there is no need for me to have one hanging around my small flat, just taking up room!
  4. I vote for more than one bass for a couple of reasons - first, I don't believe any one tool can do everything well. My Cirrus 6 is a fine bass but funk works better on the Jazz. I bought a Lakland 5 and hope that's a better do-it-all bass but I still need a backup - so since I think the Lakland will fit my needs better I'm selling the Cirrus and keeping the Jazz Deluxe as a backup.

    If you're gigging and don't have a spare available do we expect the audience to wait while the bass player replaces a string, or do we do without a bass player if he has an electronics failure?


    [waiting to see if someone actually asks why I don't bring two amps to a gig in case of amp failure...]
  5. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    I'm with Bruce in that my "favorite" bass is the one that gets played the most. The main reason I have 2 is geographical - I leave one at work for practicing at lunch but want one at home for praticing/writing/recording at night (I don't like carring it in and out of work every day). OK, make it the main reason is laziness.

    I have thoughts of alternate tunings (BEAD, DGCF, . . .) since I am a dedicated 4-stringer (I keep trying 5-strings to get the "one that does it all" but can't get physically comfortable with them). And that could possibly push the number of basses up to 3 - although thinking about it that could be a good reason to have 2, for 2 different tunings.

    My main bass is a G&L L-2000 which gives me all the tonal versatility I personally need (and then some).

    Even when I've had 2 "identical" basses one was "the favorite" and the other was not played much. It's a conundrum.
  6. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    I don't think one bass can do it all. Fretted, fretless is one example. 4-string, 5-string, fretless. I need at least 3 basses for what I do.
  7. Comakazi


    May 3, 2001
    Midwest US
    Well, I went with "more than one" on this one. I do believe that there is a point of excess after a while when it just becomes silly and is more for bragging rights, but having two or three? I think that's fine.

    For me, I have three. One is a Jazz which was the first bass I ever got. I love it and could never get rid of it - I learned on it and there's much emotional attatchment to it (plus it's got great tone). But I did want another I got a MM 5. Definitely NOT the Jazz, but great it and am not looking to get rid of it.

    Now that was actually fine for me for quite a while, had pretty much evrything I need (tone and feel-wise), but then I got bit by the fretless bug. I looked around and made a purch of an MTD Kingston - good tone and good looks. Noe I have three basses that all serve different purposes for me and have different emotional attatchments also. I have no desire to increase my stable and I do primarily use only one bass (the MM). But I see no reason to just limit myself to only one bass. I could afford it (at the time:D ), and like having options.
  8. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I'm all about having more than one bass. Well, two, to be specific. A fretted five and fretless four. Between the two of them I can do whatever I want. The five is just fine the way it is, and the four is a MIM Jazz which can be upgraded to whatever I want it to be.

    I can see the case for one really nice do-it-all bass, though.

    It's the excess that gets to me sometimes, though. I think it is truly possible to have TOO many basses, but, then again, I'm looking at it purely from a player's perspective, as to that of a collector. Some people just like having lots of basses, I guess.

    So, yeah. Two works for me.
  9. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Well I play out regularly, and as rare as it is, there is always the instance when a bass dies. In 16 years, I have bad a bass quit at least a dozen times during a performance. Broken string, battery die, had a tuner post break once. Had a saddle collapse another time. Strap button pulled out once. Nothing that couldn't be fixed in a few minutes, but in the middle of a performance, you don't have a few minutes.

    It will eventually happen if you play out enough.

    So, I always have two fretted fives whenever I play out. I switch between the two for various other reasons, but the main reason I always take two is in case something happens.

    I also have a fretless that I mess with, no way to avoid another bass there.

    I am not a fan of boutique basses. I am very happy with the Fender family stuff (Fender. G&L Stingray) so $1000-1200 is as much as I would ever spend on a bass. Buying a couple at that price isn't that big of a deal. I am not so sure I want to lug two $4000 basses around to every performance.

    I really feel I need at least two working basses, but
    I don't have any problem with having 20 basses. It is really just collecting as you would anything else. Some people have two or three cars. They can only drive one at a time. Different moods create different wants. Plus, I agree that no one bass will do everything. If you perform in a single genre, perhaps one bass is fine because you are basically going for "your" sound. If you play in a variety of settings, then you want more options.

    If you appreciate basses and have the means, then I say fill your house with them, and when you are dones, get a bigger house.

  10. Look at it this way. You have to pound a nail into a piece of wood. Are you going to use a screwdriver? Likewise if you have a screw, are you going to use a hammer to get it in? I think not.

    Another reason for having multiple basses is of course, the back-up bass. I own three basses, but for this one concert I only needed one. i only took one. Busted a string. My extra strings were in the other gig bag, and of course, I had to play the rest of the show with a busted Fender Jazz 5 string, using the classic B-A-D-G tuning:mad:

    And while there are a lot of similiarities, basses and women cannot be compared in this situation ;)
  11. I'm using Ibanez basses.. i don't need a backup :D
  12. 72beetle


    Jun 10, 2001
    Phoenix, Arizona
    There wasn't a poll option for me, so I just answered 'why are you doing this to me?'.

    I have a great bass and 2 not-so-great basses. They all have their function, though. When I got my Ric, I kept my old Yamaha just for sentimental value - it never got played... but I'm now in the middle of defretting it (just need to re-laquer the fretboard and it's done) so it'll be my fretless. My other bass is a cheapie acoustic/electric which has the ability to play in places the Ric or the newly-fretless Yamaha can't - when I'm out camping, or farting around in the park or backyard. I suppose this would put me in the catagory of 'multiple basses', but it's not a matter of GAS - each one has a practical application, the Ric just has most of the attention.

  13. If it is truly a great bass, then you wouldnt need any more basses. I want my SS2 back. Boo hoo.
  14. b0nes83


    Dec 14, 2000
    i have a good bass(cirrus) and a crappy bass(ibanez sr800)....peace
  15. geoffzilla


    Oct 30, 2001
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Fender
    i think it depends on application, but I personally can't imagine having just one. I have a jazz and a stingray. The two both sound great, but completely different. I find it hard to believe that someone out there has one bass that can duplicate both the sound and feel of both. I don't know though, I've always wanted to try a Lakland...
  16. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    I should check those out. I haven't seen the new model the rapid auto-restring function.
  17. Blackbird

    Blackbird Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Yeah, you need a "Main" bass! :D

    <font size=1>Terrible joke, sorry. Whatever floats your boat...</font>
  18. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I had to vote Why are you doing this to me? because I have 2 great basses IMHO, and some good ones.

    I like a good fretless 5, and I'll put my Sonus Custom up against any other. It is truly a world class bass, and does everything I could possible want a fretless to do, except correcting my intonation for me.:p There may be a better fretless out there, but I've never found it.

    I also like a good 6 stringer and my Cirrus Custom is a very good 6. Tight, defined B string, 3 band preamp, wide range of tones with the 2 humbuckers, and a dream to play.

    I also like Jazz basses. My Peavey and Zon will get close to the tone, but not exactly. My Rapture J2 5 will. Good B string, great vintage and modern Jazz tone. It is the perfect bass for my oldies gig.

    And then there are the others. I learned years ago not to sell equipment, every time I did it I regretted it later.

    So, even though I don't play 4 stringers much any more, I keep the very good Geddy Lee Jazz, and the decent Electra-Westone fretless and Peavey Foundation. The Foundation is indefinitely loaned out to my wife's cousin, for as long as he wants to try to play bass.

    Finally, my Ibanez 6 stringer. Pretty bass, nice neck, nice balance, poor electronics. Doesn't get playd much at all. I would like to put better electronics in it, and defret it, so that I would have fretless 4, 5, and 6. But I don't have the money right now, so it spends most of it's time in the gig bag.

    I could get by with just the Pedulla and the Zon, but I'm not going to.
  19. i only have the need for 2 awesome basses. one fretted six string peavey cirrus and one fretless rob allen 5 string.
  20. Multiple bass owner.

    A 5 fretted - gets most of the playing time. Active humbuckers. Tobias "Toby" Pro-5

    A 4 fretless - Gotta have one! Works in about 10% of what I do, could use it 50% of the time probably (has a Hipshot D-tuner on it). Active/Passive, 2 jazz P/U's. Carvin BB70F

    A 4 Acoustic/Electric - "Beater", use it to learn songs on, keep it upstairs so I can pick it up at any time. Helps with song writing, sounds different than any other bass. Piezo. It's a good idea guys...

    A old peavey T-40 - AKA Mr.Honk. When I'm stuck coming up with something, it helps by bringing about a new take on things. A very strange (but cool) duck. 2 big humbuckers, 2 switches, 4 knobs, 15lbs of shoulder wrecker.

    A 4 MM/jazz - News flash!! Just born!! I have no idea what it will do, because I have yet to play it. Epoxy is drying as I type. It's a pure self-indulgance thing. Just cause I can :p