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Opinions: what is the Stradivarius of bass guitar?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dlenaghan, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. So we all, or mostly, know of Stradivarius: regarded as the absolute best builder of classical violins of all time, the very epitome of what a violin should be. Perfect attention, with certain variances in different periods, to build, materials, and varnish - to every functional aspect of the instrument and its tone and character. In essence, a Stradivarius is second to nothing.

    So, who's the Stradivarius of bass guitar builders? Which models, or which makers, and why? We are players of a very young instrument, maybe only 60 years or so going by production builders (which some may feel are therefore disqualified, but others will contend are among the best), but already there are established, and much defended and affronted classics, among them Fender, Gibson, and others - some will lean towards classics, some will lean towards more modern boutique instruments, but I'm interested in knowing what makes you think an instrument might be, in the years that come, even decades or centuries (does anyone think the Stradivari thought their instruments would be the crown jewels of the classical world literally hundreds of years later? Perhaps they had the arrogance/confidence to believe so even as they worked at the woodbench..) that will come?

    Or do you think the level of attention given to such instruments even applies to something like a bass guitar?

    Keep it clean. ;)
  2. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Stradivarius's instruments may be second to none but a few are not seconds but equal to stradivarius(guarneri being one).

    Taking that into account I think this thread will end up as they always do...
    "A"-"alembic instruments are the ones"
    "B"-"...no, Fenders are,"
    "C"-"... but really carl thompsons basses...he came up with the first six afterall..."
    "D"-"...nooo you are wrong Spector is"
    "K.S"-"Nooo you are all off...My instruments are."
    "E"-"What about steinberger...?"
    "G"-"...But what about MTD??...Those are great!..."
    ...something like that, right?:D
  3. Naxeez


    Dec 3, 2011
    Oslo, Norway
    Everyone has their own opinion and so do I! Alembic is beast!
  4. FC Bass

    FC Bass Alembic and Mesa/Boogie junkie

    Jun 9, 2006
    Alembic ftw! :bag:
  5. LowerCrust


    Sep 5, 2011
    Vancouver BC
    Something non-mass-produced in a large factory for one, that knocks out the first two that came to my mind; Warwick and Gibson.

    After much deliberation, Fodera, Ritter, Wal and Alembic would be my candidates. All four have superb aesthetics combined with endless amounts of (sometimes ongoing) research and development. Both hearing and looking at one of those basses makes me wonder how much time a passionate master craftsman put into its creation..
  6. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    Stradivarius is considered the guy that created the bases for the violin: sound, body etc. Leo Fender IMO is the equivalent of a Stradivarious, the oldest versions are considered by many how a bass should sound, many of the best modern basses were, are and will be created with Leo's basses on mind, they are high priced, wait 400 more years with only 250-400 50's-60's Fender basses and they will worth millions. Funny, there are also blind test when differents violins are played and a Stradivarious is hard to identify, means many other violins sounds as good as a Stra.
    Mark_70 likes this.
  7. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I think Amati was the guy that is credited today as having come up with the violin shape etc in its' more or less current form. :)
  8. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    Amati was one of the guys, they are few more, but Stradivarious is the guy that is more appreciated... I think people says same of Leo, that he did not invented the electric bass butr was somebody else.
  9. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Sort of like Paul Tutmarc was the all but forgotten precursor to Fender.
  10. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Yes, but neither are forgotten-depending on Who you speak with, of course.:)

    The audiovox is a bass I'd much like to see in "person" at some point, and try out!(the "original Singlecut", right? :) )
  11. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    Thanks Mongo I did not know anything about Paul Tutmarc . Are they good basses?
  12. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    That's why I said "all but forgotten." Not many were/are aware of Tutmarc. His contribution was virtually forgotten until recently.
  13. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    There isn't one.

    The number and type of builders and design philosophies are all over the map. There can be no "one".
    However Leo Fender was definitely the "Henry Ford"" of basses.
  14. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I guess...:)
  15. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Who,for example?
    ( I am genuinley interested in who else was there that early apart from the Amati family, so don't misunderstand this post please)
  16. wal gets my vote and ive never played one.
  17. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    Per wiki: Gasparo da Salò , Zanneto Micheli, Pellegrino.
  18. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Only a few of his Audiovox #736 basses from ca. 1935 exist but I love the sound of the sample of the one on the Experience Music Project site timeline page.

    Here's some info about him on this site:

    Paul Tutmarc

    Vintage Guitar magazine did a series of articles about him and his work. Last I saw the articles were still in archived on their website.
  19. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
  20. We can't even agree what the most versatile bass or best bass for metal is. Usually this will be poeple nominating their bass or their dream bass, followed by other folks pooping on that person's basses.

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