1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Signature basses: be honest, did ya?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by drivenmore, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. Just curious--and I apologize if this has been asked before--but I was just wondering if anyone has bought a signature bass (e.g. Fender Geddy Lee, Lakland Joe Osborn, etc.) purely on the merits of it being a copy of what their hero plays, rather than for its inherent specs?

    Now, I ask this because I find myself in a kinda strange situation: I just bought a Lakland Darryl Jones 5 that is the epitome of what I've been looking for in a gigging bass; pearl block inlays, maple neck, Jazz-style, passive. What's strange, is that historically, I've bought basses because that's what my hero at the time was playing. My first "real" bass was a Steinberger ("Grace Under Pressure" anyone?); it was traded for a Kubicki during my Stu Hamm phase.

    I just find it kinda ironic that although I can appreciate DJ's playing, his name being on the bass is just an afterthought for me.
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    If I had a bass hero, and if my bass hero had a signature model, I would definitely have a look into buying one. Not because I could sound like him, just because I think it would be cool to have the same bass as someone I look up to.

  3. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    I've owned ALOT of signature basses, none of which were bought because of the signing artist.

    I've owned two Daryl Jones 4 strings and one 5. My DJ 4 remains my main player. I've owned a Duck Dunn Signature Fender P bass (Should have kept that one!), a Lakland Joe Osborne, a Lakland Bob Glaub, and a Fender Marcus Miller.
  4. utopia_imminent


    Jun 19, 2004
    i wouldn't mind buying signatures if they are really worth it like the Geddy Lee Fender. i am currently putting money into a Attitude but i am the type of guy who would rather have a bass that says something about me. kind of uncertain at this point in time but i have always been dreaming of a bass that has a Dimarzio Willpower Neck in the neck position, a Willpower Middle in the middle position and a Ulttra Jazz Bridge in the bridge position. This bass would definitely be the ultimate rock bass.
  5. Stinkoman20xx


    Oct 19, 2003
    I never bought a bass cause my Heros had One but I bought the same bass my idols have cause I loved their tone and I never regretted it. I Bought me an Older fender P cause I loved the picked sound of Eric Avery from Janes Addiction. I bought A warwick thumb bass cause P-nut and Ryan martini for the obvious reasons.
  6. AGCurry


    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    I do not own a single recording by Sting, but I bought the Sting Signature P bass because at the time it was a fairly inexpensive way to have a single-coil P. Back in the early 70s, I had an unsatisfied hankering for a Telecaster bass, so when the Sting sig came along, I scratched the itch.
  7. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I play the Fender Signature Series Roscoe Beck 5. It's an incredible bass. I think Roscoe Beck is an amazing player (saw him once with Eric Johnson), I respect him as a person, and he did a heckuva job designing his sig model... but his name had nothing to do with me buying the bass.
  8. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Am I the only one who picks up a Marcus Miller jazz bass and can't help but try to sound like Marcus Miller?

  9. I picked up the Bunney Brunel 4 banger 'cause of it's design. The Miller bass I recently purchased I bought because I love Miller's tone, as well as the design behind the instrument.

    But to answer the question, no and yes.

    I really don't listen to any real jazz, or for that matter, much Geddy Lee/Stu Hamm/Roscoe Beck/Bunny Brunel/Marcus Miller or any other bassist with a modestly priced signature instrument so I usually buy their instruments because of the design.
  10. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    Nope, I bought my Bob Glaub because it had everything I wanted in a P-bass. I had never even heard of him before I started researching the bass.
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I have a Jack Casady Sig because I wanted a big fat hollowbody in my arsenal. While I respect JC's talent's, but I've never listened to him that much.
    I could see a Sting bass at some point. While I have a Telecaster bass, it's a later model humbucker equipped version. I'd prefer the single coil pup...
    I can't really see buying anything just cause it's got some guy's name on it.Especially if it's not a rock solid axe to start with-and there are plenty of sig basses that are not that great....
  12. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I'm like a lot of people here. I'm more interested in the design, than who it was designed for. I own a Joe Osborn and Jerry Scheff bass, and even though they're great players, they aren't my bass heroes. Even if they didn't have the signature attached, I'd still own the basses.

    On the flip side, I have tried making my own "signature" basses. After reading the specs and stuff I'd go and piece one together. For example, my "Steve Harris Sig" is an SX P bass with a Duncan Quarter Pounder, BadAss, and Flatwounds.
  13. There are many signature basses I like, but I like none of them for the artist. I like the instrument's design. In fact, as much as I love the Marcus Miller Jazz, it looks to much like his personal bass for my own taste.
  14. Stu L.

    Stu L.

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    I am with Jive. The bass has to be worth a damn for me to consider it.

    Now my Harris P, well it's a real Harris. I bought it because of the neck. I hated the 1/4lber and chrome hardware. Now, I have a bass with an awesome neck, and pups/hardware to MY specs. With Steve's name on it ;)
  15. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    I'm a huge Chris Squire fan, I love his tone, and I love "S" style Ric basses(dot fingerboard inlays, no binding on neck or body), and I'm a lefty. When I saw this bass, how could I have said no?
  16. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I don't own a Lakland USA JO because of Joe Osborne, I own it because it was the best Jazz I could lay my hands on. I had been on the lookout for a pre-CBS Jazz but even a poor refin would have cost me as much or more than I paid for the JO used. The JO plays very well and sounds like an old Jazz. I'm very happy with it.
  17. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I bought some Jeff Berlin stuff long after I bought and fell in love with my Peavey Palaedium. When I found it I didn't even know that it was Jeff's designed signature instrument.
  18. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    I own a Geddy Lee jazz and a Modulus Flea bass not because I think I can play like them but because I love the basses.
  19. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    If no one bought a sig bass because of the name on it I don't think we'd see so many of them. Sure many people may still buy them solely for their specs but celebrity association is a very powerful and successful marketing tool.

    Asking the end user if they were affected by advertising will tell you almost no one is. But comparing sales volumes shows a different story. Flipping through a Bass Player mag should make it clear that celebrity endorsements are what the companies think sells product.
  20. lenorules1950


    Aug 20, 2004
    Meriden, CT
    I'm not a huge fan of Green Day by any stretch, but I do respect Mike Dirnt's skills. However, I bought his bass because it's the closest thing to what I would have done if I had money to have a custom bass made.