Roscoe -- what am I missing?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Low8, Aug 20, 2017.

  1. Low8

    Low8 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Roscoe Guitars make some eye-catching instruments... and the ones I've played are decent players... but I've always struggled to find out what their chief design or objective is.

    They've always struck me as being a company who closely follows trends in the high-end, exotic electric bass world instead of doing their own thing. Whenever I look over to see what Roscoe is doing, their model line-up always seems to be changing... never really sticking with a specific design over time (like other makers do).

    Roscoe also regularly exhibits "interesting" wood selections, many of which would've been better off left in the scrap pile. Anyone can stain and lacquer a knotted-up piece of wood... but at the end of the day, it's still a knotted-up piece of wood. But hey, to each their own.

    And kinda like Warwick, they boast about their endorsers in their PR and marketing materials yet I don't actually see many folks actually playing them outside of Jimmy Haslip from a few years back.

    Can someone please help me understand what Roscoe's philosophy is? I'm just looking to know what the company's thought process is.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  2. javadog


    Mar 13, 2010
    Hello.... Gard...? Are you there...? Looks like this one has your name on it. Just because they recently added the classic style instruments doesn't mean their model line up always seems to be changing.
    MrLenny1 likes this.
  3. Burwabit

    Burwabit Likes guitars that tune good and firm feelin women Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Lubbock, TX
    High quality American made guitars with lots of custom options to suit the individual player? That's my guess about their philosophy, but I could be wrong.
    RobertUI, gebass6, wmmj and 4 others like this.
  4. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Interesting, asking people on TB what a specific company's philosophy is, seems like a good idea to me.:rollno: If I were you though, I would take that little diatribe you wrote here and send it off to Keith Roscoe and see what he has to say.:banghead::banghead::banghead:
  5. B-line

    B-line Inactive

    Not sure there is any mystery to Roscoe basses, I never thought so anyway. I may be prejudiced in that I want one!:roflmao:
    To me, they have always made top-rate basses, w/ fancy-grade tops available, great components and care in assembly, etc.
    The fact that they add new models that may be at a lower price point than their top-of-the-line is a good thing.
    They've been around for a while, seem to be in-demand with a good dealer
  6. Aeroflot

    Aeroflot Inactive

    Aug 18, 2017
    One of the most peculiar things about TalkBass is the constant need to repeatedly go over the basic tenets of commerce and business over and over and over and over again - except product endorsements. Then, y'all have ALL the answers. Anyway, here we go. Again :

    Most companies in the business Roscoe is in don't sit down to philosophize about their purpose or write out mission lengthy mission statements. They do what they do, in the manner they do it in, and there's no need to romanticize it because the results speak for themselves. Roscoe is one of many excellent builders out there. If you don't like what they offer, or their business model, there's hundreds of other companies building stuff you may find more appealing. Move on.

    They've been successful for decades, so obviously there's somebody out there that likes their work.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
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  7. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    There's no "philosophy" to understand. Roscoe makes very nice basses and it has at least three designs which, to me, are instantly recognizable. They've been on my short list of basses to own for a while.
    Mr_O'B, eddododo and Pbassmanca like this.
  8. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    Every Company has its own idea's of a product. Each is different. Which was probably his reason to start this company.
    Its nice to have many options to fit your needs. But all companies start with an idea and take it from there. Its up to the customer to make the choice.
  9. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    Their philosophy is to produce basses that resonate with the quantum specificity of the eco-responsible clash of The Zoan principle and the more economically driven perspective of Hoiderian spectrocism.

    Or really good instruments. Take your pick.

    P.S. I may have misunderstood what Gard was saying. And Keith was busy when I asked the question.
    BassoNova74, pcake, red_rhino and 3 others like this.
  10. B-line

    B-line Inactive

    And with the exception of being a few...just a skosh... millibars in Pascal reading off the Zoan, they got it dead right.
  11. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    Dead? I don't know about that. Right - well, yah!
    B-line likes this.
  12. B-line

    B-line Inactive

    Well a few Pascals off the Zoan, side effects may include severe depression, coughing....even Death.

    See your Doctor if you find yourself playing a Roscoe for more than (4) hours!
  13. Ant Illington

    Ant Illington I'm Anthony but I'm only illin' Inactive

    Why? Are you looking for the "right" reason to buy one?

    I personally can't get past the name. I've never even looked at their website. Enter the movie voice-over guy: "in a world of luxury basses with names like Fodera, Lull, Sadowsky, in walks cousin Roscoe."

    Right or wrong, it is what it is to me.
    G RICH 5, obimark, pjbassist and 8 others like this.
  14. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    Gard will have a better more detailed response- if he chooses to. But here goes nothing.

    They have 3 body styles (SKB, LG, Century) and 3 levels (Standard/Plus, Signature, Custom) of each. They've had the same basic line up for years. They recently added a Classic line which can be upgraded to a Classic Custom. Seemed like a logical addition to me.

    Yep, they like wood. It isn't for everyone. If you don't care for a fancy wood top, fine. Some do. I have Maple and Koa. To each their own. They also do great paint finishes.

    There are a number of country guys with big name acts who play them.

    The big deal for me is I played dozens of basses and find these necks to be amazing. The same people built my "cheap" versions as the Signatures in the same shop. I am nobody and they treat me like an endorsing pro. Keith fretted my 6 string.

    If they aren't for you that's great. For many, they are amazing basses made by great people who will take care of you, pro or nobody.
  15. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    Keith was born with that name - I wouldn't hold it against him.
    devo1, Inara and ajkula66 like this.
  16. They're high quality handmade bass guitars with a distinctive look and feel. The design philosophy probably doesn't go much further than 'absolute quality, playability and customer service, and the instruments will sell themselves'.

    I love them and think they're great, and if you don't, there are always plenty of P basses to go around.
    Sixgunn and SteveC like this.
  17. Ant Illington

    Ant Illington I'm Anthony but I'm only illin' Inactive

    I wouldn't name a company after my last name either and I don't hold it against myself.

    No hard feelings to the company, I just wouldn't play a bass called a Roscoe and I am pretty sure it's because of Roscoe P Coltrane. I clearly stated that it's merely my hang-up, right or wrong, and the company is doing fine without me.
    obimark and B-line like this.
  18. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    FWIW, it's Rosco P. Coltrane. Keith's name is spelled differently. You might fix on that difference and try one of Keith's basses. Don't let the letter "e" stand between you and a great bass experience.
    Inara, Sixgunn and eddododo like this.
  19. Aeroflot

    Aeroflot Inactive

    Aug 18, 2017
    I've been refusing to play a Spector because it shares the same name as Phil Spector for years!
    Bellbass, obimark, Gard and 4 others like this.
  20. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Well, considering how much the Zoan fluctuates, anyone who's already tried it knows what a challenge it is to remain "in the Zoan." I'd hardly consider that a lapse on their part.
    Turnaround and B-line like this.