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Signature Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by iriegnome, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    I would like to know what is up with signature basses. Never in a thousand years would I play someone else's signature bass. IMHO, I just don't know why someone would. Of course I realize that there are specifics to the bass that make it special (At least I think that is what it would be), but really, why would you play a signature bass? It isn't going to make you play like that person. It is not going to give you that person's sound. It will not give you their vibe. So, humbly, I ask, Why would you play a signature bass? And please no haters.
  2. I know where you're coming from. I don't get the signature thing either. The Geddy and/or Miller Jazz interest me, but only slightly. I'd rather have something that wasn't so specific to the artist that I could tweak and make sound/play the way I like it. I'm interested to know why they appeal to so many people also.
  3. lowfreqgeek

    lowfreqgeek Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    Endorsing Artist: Regenerate Guitar Works, Honey Badger Pickups, Westone Audio
    If it's a good bass with the features you want, then why not? Who cares what name is on the thing if it does what you want it to do?

    I have no illusions that playing a Fender Reggie Hamilton 5 would make me sound or play like Reggie, but if I was looking for an active 5-string P/J, the RH would definitely be a contender. Likewise, if I was looking for another active jazz, the Sadowsky Will Lee would be at the top of my list precisely because it's exactly what I want and can't find much of anywhere else (34", 22 fret, 12" radius, etc).

    And so on.
  4. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    I see way more geetars then basses . I would have no qualms about playing a Ibby GW or say a Fender Roscoe Beck so yeah if it's a nice instrument the name wouldn't bother me .
  5. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    It is kinda funny...there are some signature basses I'd avoid trying because of the signature, but that's really just snobbery on my part :(

    I have owned/played two different signature uprights, but they were both mine :D
  6. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Owner of seven basses - eligible for 44 TB Clubs Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    I suggest looking at something for what it is instead of how it is branded. Opposition based on branding is on par with acquisition based on branding.
  7. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
  8. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    That's the reason for me right there.
  9. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    I agree totally, but if there was the option of the same intrument with or without the sig, I would much prefer without.
  10. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Great comment.
  11. Addison

    Addison This time, I didn't forget the gravy. Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2009
    Bismarck, ND
    Graphic Designer, Social Media Manager - Zon Guitars
    I like when an artist adds some cool ideas to a signature model... ones that nobody else ever tried before or may have never appeared on that particular model. The Zon Hyperbass and Ibanez Gary Willis basses come to mind.

    But, when it gets tooooooooo overboard with aesthetic craziness, it's a turnoff for me.

    For example, I'm not even a huge Slipknot fan but I thought the lefty Paul Gray Ibanez "PGB1" ATK bass was actually pretty cool on its own... until you look at the fingerboard and see that they ruined it with that gigantic tribal "S" and fugly "#2 star pattern" inlay.

    So, it depends... I'm about substance, not style.
  12. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    My feeling on signature basses is that you are probably paying more because it is a signature model. They really do not interest me. With one exception, the Zon Sonus RT 5 string because the neck is slimmer than the regular Sonus model.
  13. Dan B

    Dan B

    Oct 19, 2008
    Amherst, MA
    Depends on the instrument. If the signature model is not so different from the original model, then I wouldn't play it. Conversely, if the model was completely different from what is offered by the company/business/luthier, I wouldn't mind playing it one bit (Peavey RJ-IV, Yamaha BBNE2, EBMM Big Al (okay that one is a stretch but since it is based off the Albert Lee Signature model it counts) just to name a few).
  14. JonKim

    JonKim Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2011
    I bought my Warwick pnut 2 & 3 not because of pnut himself (great bassist btw) but for the price compared to a custom shop Warwick it was a steal for the wood/electronics combo. Amazing playing basses!
  15. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    I play a signature bass. I designed it, I contracted out the parts I couldn't build or modify, and I signed it.
  16. Though I´m really not into signature basses, the only signature bass I´d play would be the Yamaha BBNE2. Not because it´s Nathan´s bass but because I really like everything about it (the bass), from colour scheme to woods and electronics.
  17. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    Often the signature model will have some special features added that will significantly improve it - and those ideas come from a professional player actually playing the bass, so usually the features aren't frivolous (though sometimes not).

    I.e. here's why I play Carvin Bunnies nowadays:

  18. oh, and the Fender Victor Bailey 5 ;)
  19. pgolliher


    Apr 27, 2010
    Santa Cruz, CA
    I have a friend that bought a Steve Harris signature bass because he ended up picking it up and like the way it looked, sounded, etc. He isn't an Iron Maiden or Steve Harris fan, he just liked the bass for what it was and how it fit the feel and sound he was looking for. I am a huge Steve Harris fan, but have no interest in owning one (unless it was free and he signed it) simply because I like P/Js with Jazz necks. While I would prefer non-sigs, sometimes it just makes sense to the buyer because the mods are what they want. For example Fender folks that also like Bad Ass II bridges.
  20. Peepaleep

    Peepaleep Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2010
    Las Cruces, NM
    I'm not being a hater, but I am glad that a lot of great musicians do not think as the OP does. The list of guitar players who have strapped on a Les Paul is nearly endless.