purchases on which TB led you astray

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Plutonium244, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. Plutonium244

    Plutonium244 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2015
    Was just wondering what things (basses, amps, cabs, pedals, whatever) that you bought largely on TB hype, that didn't turn out to satisfy you... those times when TB hype let you down.

    I'll start by saying that I have been pointed toward a number of purchases based on TB recommendations that turned out to be well worth it, things I could not find locally to try, or would never have known about except for TB and user recommendations. So, I appreciate the advice I've gotten, and naturally some things are just varying preferences.

    But if I were to name one thing I bought based largely on TB hype that did not in the end seem remotely worth it, in fact laughably NOT worth it, it'd be the Mahogany Kala U-bass (hollow body) (photo is stock, not mine). Mine is also fretless which adds to the lack of utility--- such a short scale makes fretless play pretty dicey, in addition to the whole thing seeming like a novelty item and not an instrument. For considerably less than I paid, maybe it'd be a fun couch-side toy... live and learn.

    And you?

    PS-- do you think I'll have a hard time selling it now that I've said it is laughable? Maybe I should have sold it first, THEN posted this thread. ;)

    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
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  2. Callused Finger

    Callused Finger

    Feb 22, 2007
    New York
    MIM Fenders. Those necks are not for me.
    Killed_by_Death and Plutonium244 like this.
  3. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    SX basses and some effects pedals.
  4. Garret Graves

    Garret Graves website- ggbassplayer.com Gold Supporting Member

    May 20, 2010
    Arcadia, Ca
    Almost everything gets at least a positive review once here , and far too many reviews are based on initial impressions/excitement, and that is usually of very little value. Think of all the string reviews you see, where the reviewer says something like " I just put brand x strings on, and man, they are so clear and bright and punchy, i cant believe i was using brand y, which were so dull and lifeless". Of course any new string is bright and clear compared to any old string, so that review was a waste of time, and doesnt speak to how the string will perform as the weeks go on.
    GregC, Rugmaster, tekhedd and 10 others like this.
  5. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Cedar Knolls, NJ
    I had that same Bass Uke, and ended up returning 2 of them as the body was so susceptible to noise. They were unplayable.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
  6. Squier Fretless Jazz. Sold it.
    Octave pedal. Sold it.
    Half-Rounds for fretless. Took them off and used rounds. NO damage to the fretboard and sounded waaayy better.

    Edit: I'm stopping short before buying:
    - Any more Squier basses
    - Any SX basses
    - All pedals
    - A P-bass (unless G&L comes up with a 5 string LB or SB)
    - Flats
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
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  7. Plutonium244

    Plutonium244 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2015
    On the flip side, I recently succumbed to TB Precision/flats hype and bought an inexpensive used MIM P bass (flats on it when purchased) that I am liking more than I expected (low expectations help in satisfaction).

    I am going to put an Aggie P4-60 PU in and a Hipshot bridge on, and re-wire it. Why? Because I want to, mostly. I've never personally modded a bass before and this one is inexpensive enough for me to hazard it.

    And while I also changed the pick guard and knobs, I am immune to tort hype-- even though I hear tort pick guards sound great. ;)

    So yeah, TB, I kinda get the P bass thing now.
    lazycat93, IanA, GregC and 2 others like this.
  8. I usually won't buy anything on hype alone, but the one thing I couldn't try before buying was a Dunlop Bass Ace headphone amp. It was recommended by several TB members, and I think it sucks. The Vox Amplug headphone amps are way better and half the price. So now I have an $80 paperweight.
    That and every SX/Brice/Douglas bass I ever bought. Sold them all after really trying to like them, and even upgrading electronics. Man, I lost so much money on those things...:rollno:
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  9. Douglas WEB-846 (Rondo Music) fretless six string.

    When I saw one for sale in my local classifieds I got so caught up reading the great reviews here on TB that I forgot one important aspect... Do I really want a six string fretless?

    Turns out what I wanted was a fretted six string.

    Had I thought about the purchase instead of letting TB think for me I wouldn't have made the mistake. Then again I wouldn't have tried a cool, otherwise awesome bass.
  10. dinoadventures

    dinoadventures Feets don't fail me now!

    Jul 10, 2015
    Dallas, TX
    Agreed on the U-bass. Thankfully I got to put hands to it in store... the rubber strings suuuuuuuuuck. But I really did like the warm, thick sound.

    I think the biggest disappointment that wasn't made by Rickenbacker was the Fairfield Barbershop Overdrive. I HATED the clipping sound on that. Immediate catch and release.
  11. Plutonium244

    Plutonium244 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2015
    Another that I really expected to like was the Aguilar Octamizer. I definitely like some other Aggie gear, so I expected to like it a lot. It just didn't seem to track well for me. I need to sell and try something different in the Octave pedal dept. with better tracking.

    Suggestions, TB? LOL.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
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  12. tedious1


    Feb 14, 2014
    Frankly, no.

    One of the things that first resonated with me here, and I don't remember who said it, was the bit that I've oft-repeated about going out and trying everything you can and then selecting what calls to you.

    The rest of you have had little to no traction with guiding my buys since then. Frankly as soon as a I saw it the first time, I knew it was the only TB advice on purchases worth heeding.
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  13. Plutonium244

    Plutonium244 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2015
    I laughed at "I think the biggest disappointment that wasn't made by Rickenbacker".... nice Ric slam, sir.

    As for the U-bass... if it were $75, it'd be a fun toy. But, they are $500 new and I paid $300 used. Strangely (not), I don't hear too much about the U-bass anymore. Flash in the pan fad, I guess.
  14. Plutonium244

    Plutonium244 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2015
    Ah, indeed. Well, that makes sense to an extent of course. Certainly, if one (of anything I am considering) were available for me to try first, I would do that, rather than go by reputation. Sometimes that is just not possible, or practical. I never follow reputation in contradiction to my experience, but when no personal experience is possible, well, it's either take a leap of faith, or just give up on whatever it is you think you want to add to the gear.

    EDIT: it occurs to me also that it can be a time vs. money thing. When I was a young under-employed lad with no family and a liking for road trips with my pals, then a 2-hour drive to some city with the gear I am interested in seemed occasionally desirable... as an over-employed father of 2 young kids, often time, not money, is the scarcest thing. That sound terribly bourgeois, I know... but the days of spending an entire day to drive a 150 miles to try out a pedal for a half hour are long gone. If I buy it and don't like it, I'll just sell it.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
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  15. Hotblack

    Hotblack Pay the cost to be the boss. Supporting Member

    May 20, 2002
    Provided content for Genzler Amplification
    Tort pickguard. Looks great, but the bass sounds the same.
  16. Plutonium244

    Plutonium244 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2015
    No way! Color is defined by frequency absorption, albeit light frequencies not sound frequencies. It only stands to reason that the color of a pick guard, in addition to the materials, determines how it sounds too!

    Also, you can't tell me an audience doesn't listen with its eyes. I can tell you, a P bass with tort has a midrange bump and rolled treble, fo sho. It's just heard by the eyes instead of ears.
  17. tedious1


    Feb 14, 2014
    Well I should stipulate that goes for the big ticket items, basses, amps, cabs, like that. I also should stipulate that I live near a major urban center, but when I got my VM J I also drove to other cities, because they had them, I hadn't played them, and if they were better than the front-runner... But, strictly speaking, I don't need a pending purchase to drive a couple hours, sit down in a music store and play around with a few basses. So the advice really resonated for me.

    There are things, like strings, that I don't think there is much point to reading reviews on, as previously pointed out, unless you're comparing fresh out the packaging, you're comparing apples to oranges, a distinction lost on too many that do string reviews... Strings, I buy, from BSO, always one set of my current go to's and a few different ones to try out. This year among the other candidates will be the Roto PSDs...but I digress...

    But even the big ticket items, how does one play one's Warmoth bass before ordering it? One doesn't, but I'm seriously considering going that route for a couple of reasons. So that will be a couple of blind purchases when that time comes around... I'm sure if I thought about it hard enough, there are more exceptions to both rules.
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  18. katalyzt13

    katalyzt13 some dude

    May 22, 2012
    I had the Kala UBass, but the fretted version...I thought it was exceptional for what it was. I DID sell it, but that was mainly because I didn't use it as much as I thought I would, but I was always impressed with the tone and playability of it. I may be wrong, but I think a lot of people just don't like the feel of the strings and because they are made out of some kind of rubber tubing people feel like they are cheap or a toy. I didn't feel like it was cheap OR a toy.
  19. Plutonium244

    Plutonium244 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2015
    Agreed, if I were going to spend $2000+ on a bass, I'd make the time to go try one out-- if it's possible. I am about 2 hours from Chicago so it's not like I don't have some options in that department. I would love to, and hope to sometime in the next 12 months, go down to Bass Club Chicago etc and play a few high end basses without an active intent to buy such a bass; but I've never played a Fodera or Sadowsky, etc, and feel I should, just on principle.

    I did throw down about $900 for a Barefaced cab without trying one since there are none in my area, based largely on specs and on reviews here, and that worked out well. But, that's about the limit, and even then only in certain cases and with trepidation. I do think that if it's popular gear, an item that turns out not to work can be sold for minimal loss, usually.
    Shuggy73 and tedious1 like this.
  20. Sav'nBass


    Jan 18, 2009
    Virginia Beach
    None. From my perspective if I bought something on TB that a lot of folks liked and I didn't all hat means is it wasn't "that thing" for me. It doesn't t make it hype because 50 people liked it... and I didn't and if you think about it .... given the members in TB 50 out of the membership here is not a lot... but 50 raves about a product in a 4 page thread is enough to convince someone that it is worth a shot.....
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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