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The "I Cant Play ANYthing Else But My Own" Thing

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nancy-Boy, Dec 18, 2002.

  1. Nancy-Boy


    Sep 16, 2001
    Hey, tis good to be back online.. im once again lookin to get a new bass (goodbye student loan) At the moment my Axe collection consists of a Ibanez 300DX and my lil baby.. My GB IV Custom..I was out the other day in quite a few shops trying different basses and i found i just couldnt play them nearly as well as my GB. Its like now ive got use to the neck on my GB I find most other basses have problems like, non comfy neck, no great tonal variations,non-handgrounded frets. After about 4hours playing stuff i felt very downheartend cause i couldnt find anything i was happy with and i felt why should i bother buying a new bass when i cant play..Does anyone have this same problem? of physcologically prefering bass so is unable to play anything else.. (or is it my GB is the Best..;) ). i dunno.. My reason for a new bass is that my 300dx is cheap and just not upto the job of a second bass that i can use for gigging in case my GB has a bit of a problem... Arrgghh Worriez Me...
  2. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    you could have just run into a bunch of basses that were poorly set up or just not compatible with your playing style and expectations.
  3. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    I've done this several times myself. As John mentioned, they may just be poorly set up. I went to the GC not long ago in Buffalo and everything sounded terrible and played horribly. Their demo basses had probably been hanging on the racks for years. All the strings were dead, some of the pots were scratchy, and a few even had bows in the necks. I mentioned something to the 19 yr old "Bass Tech". I don't even think he knew what the hell I was talking about. (That was not a generalization of all in his age group, just him).
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Isn't just GC either. Last January I visited NYC for the first time in quite a few years... I auditioned a bunch of nice basses in one of the 48th street stores, but the Lakland 55-94 and MTD 535 were set up quite badly... action was way high.

    That said: one disadvantage to playing a bass with a skinny neck and narrow string spacing (such as Fender Jazz or most Ibanezes) is that it's more difficult to play wider/chunkier necked basses (Warwicks, vintage Fender Precisions, etc). It's much easier to move from wide/fat to narrow/thin than vice versa. That's why whenever someone asks "what's better for a beginner, Precision or Jazz" I always recommend Precision.
  5. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Most if not all music stores (especially the chains...) with the exception of a small, locally owned shop, NEVER do setups on the instruments they sell. They just unbox `em, maybe tune the strings, and then hang them on the wall. AND they come from the factory with very cheap strings, etc.

    You take it down off the rack and go to play it and think to yourself, "this bass sucks!". They're just too cheap to pay to have a good guitar tech on their staff, and have that person do a basic setup on each instrument before it is put on the rack.

    In their defense, a setup can be a personal thing, and if their tech did put a setup on each bass (and guitar), it might not be to everyone's liking.

    If you find yourself intererested in a guitar or bass they have, ask the sales person to do a setup on it with your choice of strings. Tell them that if you end up not buying it, you'll pay for the strings and setup (probably $20 - $30 for the setup not including new strings) and if you do end up buying it, you want the new strings and setup thrown in for free.

    I have bought a few basses and guitars that were setup like dogs in the store, and after I did a complete overhaul of them they were golden! I have learned to look for material and workmanship quality, and then how the bass sounds acoustically without being plugged in.
  6. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    The issue of the setup of the bass does present a problem. I've played what I am sure were nice, well made basses that I was not comfortable on and hence not too interested in and I've happened upon the rare one that is set up just the way I like it. When this happens, I obviously think that I've stumbled onto a great bargain or whatever as the bass whose setup I like appears to have just what I'm looking for. This is because whatever strengths it has are now magnified by the other basses poor set-ups. Now I'm all set to make a poor decision (perhaps). It gets a bit too expensive to have any potential bass you're interested in set up and strung with strings you like. So even with trying out basses in a store, it is relatively easy to miss out on a bass that you should be considering and one may also end up making a purchase that is regretted later.
  7. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    A setup isn't going to do a whole lot if you don't like the neck profile.

    I usually don't worry too much about it when I check out a bass. If it has the sound that I like, I figure I can set it up to my liking and I will get used to the neck.

    Of course this is coming from a guy that has the same emotional attachment to his basses that I have to a pair of pliars.

    That's just me. Many here at TB have differing opinions.

    Buy them used. If you don't like it, sell it and buy something else.

  8. Nancy-Boy


    Sep 16, 2001
    Cheers, I think your right about not having the basses setup.Gutiars are different to basses in how they are setup.buti guess people dont take this into account....glad to see that people share my concern..maybe i should apply for a job setting up basses..:D...

    Thanks you guys..i learn so0 much from ths forum and trust it totally...
  9. If you're in NYC again, check out Jimmy's Guitar and Bass Boutique on 9th Ave. at 50th St. Just a few blocks, but a completely different world. His web site is at:

    They set up everything they sell, and then do free adjustments.
  10. At the local used instrument store the bass salesman likes his basses set up with the strings real high.When I go in to check out a few they remind me of the cheap imports of the late 60s and early 70s,almost unplayable.I'm talking Fenders and G&Ls,not just the cheapest instruments.I can usually tell the dogs from the good ones but I can't imagine a kid coming in and trying one of these and wanting one,they are just too hard to play this way.They've got a Cirrus 4 in there now,thank God he leaves it alone.