Predict the next direction/fashion for Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by matthewfoote, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. Predict the next direction/fashion for Basses

    We have had fancy tops and also single cuts.

    What do people think will be the new direction for basses this year?

    What are the new things that people are asking their luthiers to build for them?


  2. Lewk


    Oct 19, 2003
    26 strings!!!
  3. Wishnevsky basses will soon be THE schnitz.

  4. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    There are a lot of new basses coming out now with MM/J and MM/MM configurations. I bet you soon there will be a lot more basses manufactured with this design in a few months.

    Also, the popularity of cheaper neck-thrus are rising. Schecter, Samick, and Peavey are just a few who will be releasing a new, cheap neck through this year.

    Finally, as always, the popularity of multi-string basses is rising. We'll probably see the popularity of 5's, 6's, and 7's continue to rise.

    I'm no expert, but I am fairly certain of these three trends.
  5. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I'm seeing three major trends right now that are very interesting. The first is that high-end builders are following the lead of many larger brand names who are offering an extremely high-quality, but more affordable, line of instruments. A couple of the luthiers that I represent at Blueberry Hill are in the process of offering an "entry level" line of basses that are still hand-crafted one-at-a-time, but keep prices VERY reasonable by limiting options, keeping the wood choices fairly simple, and limiting the amount of fancy laminations and intricate hand-carving. These basses will offer an outstanding value and are all hand-made in the good ole U.S. of A (except for the Sadowsky basses that are made in Tokyo).

    I think that the '70s jazz bass trend will continue for a good while (the Marcus Miller look), but P-basses are starting to come back into fashion. The jazz bass has been SO popular lately that the little old P was almost forgotten. People are getting back to basics and are starting to revisit the bass that started it all.

    Finally, in the complete oposite direction, I think we'll see more people trying their hand at six and seven string basses. This goes hand-in-hand with the prevalence of lower-cost entry level instruments that I mentioned above. The fact that you can have a hand-build seven string made entirely of high-quality materials AND build in the U.S. for under $2,000 is very attractive to a lot of people, and 6s and 7s from overseas are becoming readily available for even less than that!

    Overall, it should be another great year for bassists. Bass gear just keeps getting better and better! Play on. :D :bassist:
  6. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Extended range basses for sure!

    My wish would be to have a come back of headless basse :D I love them !!

    Peace, JP
  7. Thanks for the interesting predictions so far guys!

    Keep them coming


  8. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    On the looks front, we've had the coolest wood tops for a while so I think fancy paints are going to come back at some point.. As in what EB is offering with their Bongo, fine metallics and such.
  9. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Dunno if this is something anyone besides me wants, but I want to see basses with zero electronics. Not even a volume or tone knob to muck things up. Just a pickup.
  10. I have seen a bigger intrest in forums (even in this one) for 6 and 7 string basses. Whether people by one or not is another story...but they do seem to becomming more (for a lack of a better word) interesting to bassists.
    Hell, i would like to get one myself...just dunno if it will be anytime soon.

    I think 6+ strings will eventually work its way into a bigger market...not the biggest market...but i think their sales will grow quite a bit.
  11. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I'm not sure we will see major trends anymore, I guess we will see lots of small niches and the big mainstream which is Fender-style.

    I guess countries like China, Vietnam etc. will fully replace Korea as low-budget producers, Korea will step up to Japan, Japan will step up pricewise to the USA.
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Actually, if you ask most dealers, six string sales are on the decline. A lot of stores in the Dallas/Fort Worth area have stopped carrying them, because they didn't sell.

    Fives, OTOH, are almost 40% of new bass sales, according to several people at shops that I have talked to.

    IMHO, the 6+ string basses are a niche item, and will never become mainstream. The five has become mainstream, and eventually might catch the four in popularity.
  13. I must agree with Jeff here, because recently I was thinking of getting a TRB6, but then I had a hard time finding one. About two years ago this was not the case.

    As for my predictions:

    1) We'll see more whacky, and smaller body shapes which will be marketed as having comfort and balance as a major selling point. (Bongo, Ibanez Ergodyne)
    2) We'll see more basses with one pickup set slightly further from the bridge than a Stingray pickup, but with the equivalent of a Gibson varitone switch.
    3) Piezo pickups added to many basses. Hey, if you don't like them, turn them off. They'll be offered just to say that particular model has them.

    I suddenly feel like a fashion critic trying to visualize Versace's next line-up. :D

    Mike :cool:
  14. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    i 'll throw my 25 years worth of watching trends in here just for giggles.

    One of the very best luthiers in the world tells me that his bass sales go like this : 5's, 4's, 6's.

    I predict that this ratio will change as more of us adventurous types try basses with greater range.

    I also think that single cuts will largely go away in the next few years except for a few makers that pioneered the style (fodera namely)

    I think clear finishes and wood grain are here to stay and funky orange paint will be the minority.

    I think active onboard preamps will get simpler to use on stage (unlike u-retro deluxe)

    I think basses will become less expensive while quality will rise due to advances in manufacturing teechniques.

    That's my fitty cent.
  15. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    My $0.02

    Talkbass users / members will continue to find up and coming luthiers who are "the next big thing", buy up big on their basses and then move to the next one in a year or two :)

    The majortiy of bass players will continue to purchase 4 & 5 string fender basses

    Talkbass users will hail the "nocut" bass as the next hot item in bass design and buy up big during 2004 :)

    The majority of bass players will continue to purchase 4 & 5 string fender basses

    Buckeye tops will become a fashion oddity like bright pink basses were in the 80's - Talkbass users will decide that 2004 will be the year of redwood.

    The majority of bass players will continue to purchase 4 & 5 string fender basses.

    Bill Conklin will release his new GT 9 string model at an affordable price - Talkbass users will rush out to get on board the "best value" 9 string in the market - young players start trading their Ibanez 4's for 9 strings to keep up.

    The majority of bass players will conitnue to purcahse 4 & 5 string fender basses.

    Carey Nordstrand will release his new line of Tokyo import "Nordities" - a lot of Talkbass users will cry about "devaluing the real NOrdstrands" - but will then proceed to buy up big proclaiming they are still better than any other bass out there.

    The majority of bass players will continue to purcahse 4 & 5 string fender basses.

    :D :cool:
  16. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    I think you are going to see things splitting: either higher end custom/multi-sting/exotic wood/custom everything, or just getting back to the basics - the P, J or PJ 4 string Fender-style.

    I also think there will be more of a market for, and supply of, decent, entry-level import basses - good for beginners (and about time).
  17. GooseYArd

    GooseYArd Guest

    May 15, 2003
    my prediction, huge in 2005: zero cut basses
  18. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Mark, I like your sense of humor. ;)
  19. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Headless basses are a hidden (kinda) pleasure of mine also.
  20. Carey


    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    Damn Mark, how did you find out about my import line. I thought that was a well kept secret...

    I'm kidding, there is no import line.