Talkbass Basses ...Can "boutique" basses be your daily driver ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mb94952, Nov 20, 2021.

  1. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Nope. Your friend just doesn't like the amp and this is the excuse for not using it. I'd bet hard crypto on it.

    I don't understand the main question of this thread. Bassists have been using customs since the early days of bass guitar (Stanley Clarke, John Entwistle...) So yes they can be your daily driver... They're exceptional instruments, why wouldn't you.

    The "daily driver" description starts a false comparison between instruments and cars, when there is no overlap. A Ferrari is not analogous to a Fodera, and a Fender is not a Ford. There should be no comfort issues, or tonal difficulty with a high end instrument, otherwise you are wasting your money.
    J33, Geri O and mb94952 like this.
  2. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS Supporting Member

    I guess I was in a weird, philosophical mood that day. I was just finishing a rehearsal and recording and the band leader didn't like the tone of one of basses that I happen to like and he asked me politely and enthusiastically to bring my SIRE. I had no problem with that since I love my SIRE. Like I said, it was just a fleeting thought at the time and now seems silly, but I'm glad so people chimed in.

    True good point, which makes me a little embarrassed in hindsight, but oh well.
    Doctor Morbius likes this.
  3. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS Supporting Member

    True ! I think you're right. I think Jim didn't like the Two Rock. Someone else said the same thing.Also, after reading all the comments I do feel silly for asking. I mean the whole point is to be you. Like I said, it was just a broad strokes question, nothing too deep.
  4. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    You're gonna want to play before you buy.... The specificity of your questions regarding necks doesn't jive with handmade instruments. My two Bordwells have very slightly different neck profiles and dimensions. They were built 7 years apart. Both extremely comfortable. To ME.
    mb94952 likes this.
  5. Whitebeard


    Sep 20, 2010
    In the words of the immortal The Real Don Steele, "If you got it flaunt it". My first quality bass was a 64 Fender Jazz Bass that I bought used in 64 and played until 68 when replacing it with a 68 Fender Precision Bass (was in the studio recording an LP and the engineer requested it). I played that P-Bass on recordings and live gigs exclusively until 77. That year I did a 5 sets a night 6 nights a week club gig in a suburb of L.A. and tried out a B.C. Rich Eagle neck through that a friend was selling. It was light weight had excellent sustain and good tone (two P-bass style pickups). One night shortly after starting that gig a customer approached me stating that he worked for Travis Bean and that B.C. Rich was their biggest competitor in L.A.. He asked if I'd try out one of their basses if he brought to the gig. I said sure and though it was a bit heavy I played the Travis Bean TB2000 until the end of that gig 14 months later. I quit the music business after that gig and sold all my instruments but several years later I got the itch to play and started looking at what new stuff was available. I saw a Spector 5 string made at the Woodstock N.Y. workshop that was the most beautiful piece of flame maple (solid not veneer) I'd ever seen and bought it. I used it for home recordings and it was an excellent sounding and playing instrument but I never did get used to the B string and it's lack of perfect intonation. I sold it and then built/assembled my current bass. It's a P-Bass body with a T-Bass neck (J-Bass nut width) and it was like coming home and sleeping in one's own bed after traveling. :) Play what you enjoy the sound and feel of and don't worry about if the "audience can't relate to it" which by the way is one of the crazier statements regarding an audience I've ever heard. If your friend put the unrelatable amp in a Marshall cabinet the "audience" which I'm guessing meant a guitar player or two in the audience would never know the difference. Spector USA Custom NSJH5FM 5 String Bass Serial #175 in  (1).jpg 20210505_125139_HDR.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
    PhatBottomBass1 and mb94952 like this.
  6. Molan


    Dec 13, 2003
    Oxfordshire, UK
    I see quite a few Sadowsky basses in this thread.

    I’ve always thought of Roger’s instruments as being a classic ‘working musician’s’ bass.

    Some may be expensive, but I don’t think of them as ‘boutique’.
    mb94952 likes this.
  7. Dabop


    Feb 4, 2014
    Working with your correct tools makes the job go smoother. Does SOUND in the touch make any sense ? Fear of instrument loss or damage is a heavy mental drain on a job but if that instrument is YOUR sound, take the good with the bad and let it PAY for itself.
    mb94952 likes this.
  8. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member


    Talkbass Basses ...Can "boutique" basses be your daily driver ?
    of course. easy peasy when that's all you've got! i played an expensive custom-built as my only driver for years.

    per the good vs. evil twist-up:
    - the best playing "boutique" instruments aren't any better than the best playing off-the-rack instruments unless you think they are.
    - the best cheapie axes are just as good as "the most expensive" axes if you think they are.
    - what your experiences are, and what your playing skills/chops are = how you think!
    xhawk5, mb94952 and DJ Bebop like this.
  9. jazzyvee


    Aug 11, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Hi, this looks like it is the series I that I currently own. I bought it from a seller in Australia in 2015 and it had been refinished. Could this be the bass?
    You are being redirected...
    mb94952 likes this.
  10. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    I sold it locally as I actually handed it to the buyer. A year of manufacture would tell me.

    Edit: That's it - I can tell from the blemishes. I wondered what had happened to it.
    BlueTalon and jazzyvee like this.
  11. jazzyvee


    Aug 11, 2012
    United Kingdom
    View attachment 4483029
    It's a 1980 bass. Earlier this year i won a load of alembic gear at a live on-line internet auction over here in the UK, which Alembic think is likely to be from John Entwhistle's bass tech. It included some new series pickups which I put into the bass after getting some adaptors from alembic. It's coming with me on a couple of gigs next month.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
    BlueTalon likes this.
  12. Acoustic356


    Jul 3, 2014
    I have 3 Fodera's and 2 US MTDs. These are my every day basses. I do have a limited edition Fender (approx 80 ever made) that gets gigged a lot. I also have a custom Overwater that gets a ton of love.

    I do keep an old Fernandes 4 string and a Cort 5 string for the sketchy gigs....

    But on a daily basis... I play what I like.
    mb94952 likes this.
  13. dpbass66

    dpbass66 Supporting Member

    May 20, 2010
    Ive owned mostly boutique basses my entire playing life of 40 yrs and they are all i use on gigs. I know many other players who do the same. I just bought and sold a Fender Jazz Ultra 5string because it has a neck like a baseball bat and the preamp is not very subtle. Its a one trick pony.
    mb94952 likes this.
  14. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Good call. That's how I feel about my Mike Lull basses.
  15. 1117211327.jpg
    Warwick Streamer Stage I Broadneck 5

    Delano SBC 5 HE/S pickups with the Sonar 3MS preamp with Active/Passive and split single coil PP on each pickup with the Treble Active Boost/Passive Roll-Off.

    It's my only Bass I have/need to drive!

    I've always considered Warwick to be manufactured on a boutique level of craftsmanship. I have installed a solid Brass bridge and custom Hipshot tuners, too. But the basic Bass is impeccable.
    Dbass35 and mb94952 like this.
  16. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    I'm glad it's gone to a good home. Have fun with it.

    Not long after I got it, I spoke to Susan on the phone and she offered to refinish it for free and change the headstock veneers to match as they'd had a bad batch of clear at that time. As soon as I mentioned it she knew the timeframe. I didn't because shipping it there and back can be a PITA in terms of paperwork and potential customs issues and because she said at the time there was a backlog and it might take as much as a year to complete. Damn fine CS for a bass 35yo at the time.
    jazzyvee likes this.
  17. bigbottom32


    May 18, 2004
    LA area
    John Carruthers built me a bass in 91 and it is still the most versatile ax that I use most. But on Motown and blues gigs I pull out my Fender P, on funk gigs I use my old Musicman or Fender J. It all depends on the situation. They're all just tools of the trade.
    mb94952 likes this.
  18. jazzyvee


    Aug 11, 2012
    United Kingdom
    I did contact alembic to see about having their "Spa Treatment" and the electronics noise upgrade but the cost was prohibitive and I managed to adjust the hum cancelling system so that the interference I was getting is no longer there.
  19. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    In college, I had a boutique bass that I played through most of those four years. I was playing mostly jazz and fusion there, so the tone worked.

    However, when I started to play in top 40 bands and rock groups once I was out of school, the tone DID NOT WORK. At all. My daily driver became a Carvin SB5000 for many years, and now this season I went to my MIM Fender P, the first bass I ever bought back in ~2001, and it's going to stay as my primary bass for the foreseeable future.

    Boutique basses tend to have very hi-fi electronics, which sound great on their own, and in situations where there is a good amount of room around those frequencies for the bass to be clear. But put Aero pickups and a Pope preamp in a funk or pop band . . . the result, IME, was a muddy mess.

    So I find it a little ironic that $4000-20,000 basses are great in styles of music where you can't make any money, but my $300 (2001 prices) Fender is the breadwinner.
    mb94952 likes this.
  20. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS Supporting Member

    Well said which was kind of why I was asking.
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