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Playabilty or Sound Quality

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by spacepet, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. spacepet


    Jun 26, 2015
    Hi, if you're going to consider owning a bass guitar, would you rather have a bass that plays well? or a bass guitar that sounds great? thanks
  2. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
  3. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    You need both, end of story...
  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Plays well. There are always things you can (pups, strings, amps) to improve the tone.
  5. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    playability - always playability. you can replace pickups and add a nice new EQ, but a bass that isn't a good fit physically isn't going to get any better.
  6. ba55i5t


    May 24, 2006
    This. But if the bass sounds horrible I wouldn't care how well it played. I'll be on the other side and say I can set up my bass and playability is something I can usually adjust to my own personal taste.
  7. I would go for both
    Honch likes this.
  8. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    What he said! :thumbsup:

    "Sound" can be greatly altered in many, fairly easy ways. "Feel" is a bit more difficult to alter in such dramatic ways without significantly altering the bare-bones of an instrument. If it doesn't feel good to my hands, I move on. No sense compromising that aspect when there are others that can sound and feel good with little-to-no effort.
    Sartori and 1954bassman like this.
  9. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    We are living in the golden age of basses right now. There are so many good instruments being made at every price point, there really is little reason to compromise. There should be something that bone-stock is close, and either a minor setup or swap can make it ideal.
  10. prd004


    Dec 3, 2010
    Both, but.............
    My guitar tech can make anything play like butter.
    Give me the tone!
    static0verdrive likes this.
  11. el_Bajo_Verde


    May 18, 2016
    Playability, I can fix the electronics later
  12. Playability.

    Like they said, it can be modded to get the right tone/sound later.
  13. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Any playability issues outside of a good setup may be difficult to address.

    Electronics on the other hand are a fairly easy upgrade/change.

    Playability for me!

    Good Luck!
  14. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    My main priority is playabillity over all other concerns, that is why my main is an Ibanez Mikro and that is why I don't have my Rickenbacker any more.

    Never had a bass that felt so good in my hands as the Mikro.

    When that is said it also have to have at least a somewhat useful tone for what I am doing in order to make it worthwhile.

    The Mikro has that, it is even build pretty well for such a cheap bass and sounds nice acoustical as well, just not the best pickups that is installed from stock, although not horrible either.

    Well the bridge J neck pickup is rather bland with a thin lifeless sound alone, but the stock P neck pickup is actually rather good sounding, even if lacking a bit of clarity and definition, and together they sound just fine.

    I wasn't satisfied with the sound I got though, so I invested in a pair of EMG Geezer Butler pickups and swapped the stock ones with, and I get all the clarity and definition, plus extra punch, I want from the new pickups now.

    The Mikro now both sounds and plays exactly how I like it.

    So win/win situation there.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
    matty1039 likes this.
  15. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner

    If it feels good, I'm willing to infinitely monkey with all the electronics and other stuff in the signal chain to get the sound.
  16. jgroh


    Sep 14, 2007
    Ideally both but I would choose sound quality first. I just sold a great bass that was the most comfortable I have ever had. I did some mods to it and it sounds good, but just didnt speak to me.
  17. DLemos


    Sep 7, 2015
    I would go for tone, if there's something about that bass that makes it. Take a Pedulla for example, there's something about it that makes it what it is, and modifying another bass to the extent of Pedulla attributes would be difficult. There's always a way to play something... I used to make sheep noises to get other sheep to make sheep noises, and record them for music material. I'm not saying you should buy a bass that requires sheep to be in a group to make it sing, but that is a great idea. Think about the original Fenders, with the thumb rest: No one knew how to play these things, so that's what they started with, and play style evolved into what it is today. Find a bass with the best tone you can, and figure out how to play it.
    spacepet and Thumper like this.
  18. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    It's gotta have tone or it's gone
    southpaw723, matty1039 and spacepet like this.
  19. Aahzz


    Aug 28, 2008
    Tone. Music is about sound. Tone comes first, playability can be tweaked.
    Bunan, Tritone, Tommyc and 1 other person like this.
  20. madbass6

    madbass6 Banned

    Jan 13, 2009
    I do not give consent to use any of my photos ! please respect that. thank you.

    [QUOTE= both!! it goes hand in hand ! for a bass to sound great it has to play well!

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