sound vs feel

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by NiteFury, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. sound

  2. feel, comfort and playability

  1. NiteFury


    May 12, 2010
    Akron, Oh
    What is more important to you in a bass, the sound or the feel and playability?

    Let me clarify this a little better, lets say you have two basses, you like the sound of both and they both feel comfortable but one has THAT SOUND thats in your head, the other bass feels like you thought a bass should feel.
  2. Sound. If it doesn't sound good, it isn't worth playing.
  3. Feel/comfort. If a bass sounds amazing but feels like a plank of wood I'll pass. Obviously there is SOME trade off within reasonable extent.
  4. BigRedX


    May 1, 2006
    Both equally along with looks.

    With so much choice available to today's bassist, there shouldn't be any need to compromise anymore.
  5. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    I've been in that situation, and went with feel. Why? It's much easier to change the sound of a bass than to change the feel.
  6. It depends. Most people face at least some challenge when looking for the right bass. Some people can't find a production instrument with everything they want, and don't want to go custom. Some can't afford what they want. Some don't know what specs are right for them. And so on. There is usually at least some compromise of sound, playability, aesthetic and/or price.
  7. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Why would one want or have to chose between sound and feel/comfort?
  8. sketch


    Oct 16, 2013
    Tacoma, WA, USA
  9. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    I'd say feel. But I lost count when I faced such a choice for the last time, playing Stingray 5ers for the last 13 years ;-)
  10. soulman969


    Oct 6, 2011
    Playability. There are at least a half dozen ways to change the sound but the only way I know of to change the feel is either a new neck or a new bass and both cost more far money than new pickups, a bridge, etc., or a set of strings.
  11. Feel and playability any day over the sound, as the projected sound (pickups, controls, pre-amps, strings, whatever) can be fixed; but if the instrument feels and responds like a lump of lead to start with no amount of throwing bits at it will fix it.
  12. NiteFury


    May 12, 2010
    Akron, Oh
    If your ocd like me little things like this eat up a bunch of my time trying to pick the ONE. I have one bass that feels better than the other and one that sounds like the hand of God.
  13. BigRedX


    May 1, 2006
    IMO if you can't find what you want then you aren't looking hard enough.
  14. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    My main basses all sound very god and feel great too.
    I dislike compromise.
  15. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    I voted for sound but after thinking about it, I think comfort, feel and playability, for this reason. You can always change the sound by swapping out pickups, pots, capacitors, etc. You really can't change the feel unless you swap the neck but even then, if the body doesn't feel right, there isn't much you can do about it. I have passed on basses that sounded great but were uncomfortable to play. I have also passed on basses which were very comfortable but didn't have the sound I like. For many years, I was against doing any modifications to my basses. In the past year, I have done some upgrades including pickups and have been very happy with sound, feel and playability.
  16. gully_jones

    gully_jones Stone cold groovy man Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2012
    With comfort, feel and playability the right sound can be obtained through practice, experimentation and mods. However, no sound is worth the shoulder, neck, back or wrist pain that an uncomfortable or difficult to play bass can cause.
  17. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    Agree 100%. Sound can be modded many ways. Feel & comfort, not so much.
  18. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I've bought/returned/sold/traded about 30 basses to find the one that I like the sound and feel of the most. I don't think either is more important than the other or worth compromising. Looks matter too.
  19. garairobert


    Feb 5, 2014
    Maybe the sound, maybe. 'Cause you cant get good sound from a bad instrument, even if its comfortable. If you have good sound, can suffer a bit ;)

    Check out my first bass cover:

    - Lakland 55-01
    - EBS Preamp
  20. * My '69 P was given a new fretboard with larger radius (flatter) by a previous owner. I'm also guessing they reduced the depth of the neck as well. With Roto Rounds it sounds AND plays like a dream. I play this with Doubling gigs - quieter, better quality gigs.

    * My '90's CIJ Alder/Maple/RW is a 50's RI, and its been mod'd with an Alnico PU screwed directly onto a mahogany block of wood. Sadowsky Flats, detuned semitone, heavy pick - perfect LOUD pub rock bass (ie earplug gigs). So much Thump the guitarist calls it 'The Freight Train'. It helps that its not vintage so I play it hard and don't worry about it at dodgy gigs.

    They're both P Basses, but are suited to different sounds/settings. Do whatever it takes to make a bass sound or feel better for you, and to make it fit the context you're playing it in.