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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lowphatbass, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    (mods feel free to relocate, like you need my permission!)

    Until I started spending time here at TB I had no idea the frequency that people regularly turn over high-end basses. I can understand collecting for the sake of collecting, I can understand some needing several different basses for versatility and of course I understand the need for a back-up, but what ever happened to buying the bass you want and bieng satisfied? GAS will always be lurking, but if one is truly satisfied with their bass how and why would one give in? Is it that the technology keeps getting so much better? If you are playing modern R&B you have to keep with today's sound and a 4-string P just won't get it done. It is also important to get better instruments as we get better, but this isn't what I am talking about here.
    I need time to develop a relationship and a bond with a bass, the more familiar I become the more it becomes an extension of me. Would a sculpter use a different set of chisels on each statue? Would a painter use unfamiliar brushes or canvas to creat their masterpiece?
    This thread is NOT directed at ANYONE, I am not keeping track of who buys what how often. I'm guessing I am in the minority here but does anyone agree with what I am saying??

    Maybe it's just GAS, plain and simple!
  2. I have one bass that I don't think I'm ever going to sell, as it is the 'base' of my tonal needs. but others will come and go if i need different tones for different things, or am just craving something new, but i'll still be able to fall back on one of them which i won't sell anytime soon.
  3. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    I doubt you are the only one that feels that way. I went though a pretty crazy period of bass buying. Haven't bought a new bass in over a year. That might not seem like a long time but since I've only been playing for 2 or 3 years.

    What is much more important is your playing and your music. I've found that the more I focus on the music (which is what really matters) I think about gear far far less. When I start wanting this and that piece of gear is when I know I'm not practicing or playing enough.
  4. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Thanks for your comments! To gain more insight into your post, would you say that these "other basses" you speak of are just GAS or do you think, maybe in the back of your mind, that there maybe something better out there for you?
  5. RickC

    RickC Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    I've been a bass player my entire life. I started dabbling in guitar about 20 years ago; it's a hobby :D

    I go through guitar gear like Kleenex; sometimes I'm lusting after a new piece of equipment, even before I close the deal on a current target. It never ends. It never gets quenched.

    As for bass gear, I have almost no GAS whatsoever. Part of the deal is that I can (and do) gig with almost anything. If it even remotely resembles a bass, I can make it work. My skills are much less on guitar; consequently, I seem to be more "equipment sensitive" there.

    I've also had many bass "the ones" over the course of my lifetime. I don't seek them out, but every once in awhile I stumble across one and add it to the fold. On guitar, I've found a couple of "ones", but they either belonged to someone else :( or were much too expensive :crying:

    In any event, speaking just for myself here, I've noticed I'm much more gear focused in the guitar world vs the bass world. I'd guess it's related to my skill and experience level in each. Your mileage may vary.

  6. I am pretty restless really in terms of wanting gear, BUT, once I have found something that works and we start a run of shows or whatever, I stick with what feels solid and reliable adn sounds good/is comfortable to play etc.

    When I played guitar in bands, I ended up using a Pacifica 812w (high is end Pacifica, Seymour Dunc pups, sperzels etc, but no fancy machine) since it played well, was versatile and rock-solid reliable. I would use this for all gigs, with a very nice Yamaha SA2000 (335 copy) a\s backup which would never get played. I had found my "workhorse", adn instead of spending my gig money on more gear, saved it up for whatever...

    Now I am on bass, I have finished my period of initial investment. I am more than happy with my Warwick Corvette Standard 4 sting bass - it sounds ace, is easy to play and feels solid and reliable. I never touch my Yamaha BBn4 or whatever it is - it is backuponly.

    Yae, I gues I could spend FAR more thatn the £500 the Warwick cost me, but would it serve me any better as a tool of the trade - I doubt it.
  7. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I'm not a serial bass buyer either. I have five right now, which seems to be quite a lot...but when you break it down...

    -I bought my first back in the mid 80's...(sold it in the mid 90's)

    -Bought my second in 1993 (MIA Jazz, still have it)

    -1996, bought a fretless MIJ Jazz

    -2000, bought a 73 precision

    -2004 bought a PRS (cheap!)

    -2005 Dingwall Afterburner

    So, except for the new one, every 4 years or so...but in each case, I've bought them to suit what I'm playing. I have no desire to sell any of them.
  8. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I think when you're not 100% happy with an instrument you can go through basses pretty quick - I sure have! Every time I got a new bass, although I liked each one a lot, it didn't take long for me to realise that there was some little thing about it that just didn't quite "fit" what I wanted. Until now...

    My latest bass does indeed seem to be "the one" - it's as if it has all the best features of every bass I've played all rolled into one. And, lowphat, you're right, it takes time to really get to know a bass; the more I play this one the more I like it. On the other hand, as I said before, shortcomings tend to get noticed fairly quickly and I'm hoping I'm past that stage with this one and will get to like it even more without finding something not quite right with it. I'll keep y'all posted!
  9. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I think the idea of "one" bass or guitar is a just romanticized hype. Yeah, Jamerson and Jaco used "one" bass...but they really didn't have options like we have.

    With all the different gear available, I think it's a disservice to yourself to have "one" bass. I'm not suggesting gear in place of hard work and practice; merely give stuff a go. You may give up a bass you wished you hadn't, but you might find a bass you didn't know you could live without.

    Forget "one." Give me one of everything.
  10. You know, I tkinda agree with you...

    I see guys all the time with collections around 10 to 15 guitars/basses, and they hardly even play more than 3! It's sinsanely ludacris to own something you DONT play!

    I'll admit, I am guilty of the ol' Gear Aquisition Syndrome, and not just from time to time, check out my profile, it's a nice little list. Not all what you would call "high end" stuff though. I'm not drooling over Foderas Moduli or Zons or anything, it's just the plain old normal "mid-range" stuff, stuff I am comfortable with, and enjoy playing.

    About the only thing that makes me want to play a bass is the way it carries itself, and the spec sheet. (ie looks, presentation, company, and the stuff it comes with, like pups, other elctronics, bridges, strings, etc, etc.) What keeps me wanting them, is that they make me want to actually play them more.

    If I pick somehting up, and when I set it down, I'm done with it, I dont want it. But, if I set it down, then pick it up again, or a few more times, that means I like, and thus, want it. That it encourages and inspires me to play it more, and that's what drives me to expand... Well, begin a collection.

  11. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    This seems pretty resonable to me, especially the Dingwall, that will turn out to be a GREAT investment, not that you would want to sell it, but I predict the prices will climb way up on those pieces so you got it at a bargain price. I can also understand not bieng able to pass-up a great deal(your PRS). Do you have a bass that you play primarily or do you find yourself in so many musically different situations that have to utilize more than one? Do you ever play the PRS?
  12. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Yea Ryan, you may be one of the people I am talking about, and I give you respect for admitting it. Don't you want to just buy that ultimate bass so you can move past the point of looking and buying and just start playing?
    As far as collecting goes...if my financial situation was different I would be happy to collect basses and display them in my home as the true art that they are, but I doubt I would gig or record much with them unless it were a special situation.
  13. SamHD


    Nov 22, 2004
    I'm sort of "new" to the whole Bass playing thing. I bought a used cheap bass at a pawn shop about 10 years ago with the intent to learn how to play, but then I met my ex-wife, and that's when the bass ended up in the back end of a closet for a long time...

    Apparently, she wasn't the one.. LOL

    Anyway, last year, I bought an EB Stingray, which put my cheap-o pawn shop bass to shame. The thing is nice and shiny, feels massive, ands just feels like a "real bass"... but something about the sound doesn't fit all the moods I play.

    I missed my Passive, buttery sounding electronics from my cheap bass, which I’ve also been playing, but feels way to cheap and flimsy after playing the Stingray, and that bothers me.

    I just picked up a pretty beat-up Fender Jazz Special. The thing has chips all over it, was very sticky, smelled like dirty socks mixed with cigarette ashes, but man, am I in love with this thing!

    It feels "vintage" to me and the sounds and vibe I get from it is different than the stingray.

    I picked this thing up last weekend, cleaned it up, fixed a few things here and there and have put about 10 hours of playing on it. I played this thing last night for about 4 hours straight. I started after work when I got home. It got dark in the house, keep the lights off and keep playing 'till I decide that I really need to get some sleep before going to work.

    That said.... Yes. I need more than one bass. The two basses I now consider my main basses seem to also give me different personalities when I play. As a bass player, in order to set the mood, I need my mood to be set. Apparently, different instruments seem to do that for me.
  14. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    For years I've played Jamaican music...odd seeing that I'm yer basic white-boy from the northeast. My first bass was an Ibanez Roadstar P/J, and while I played it for years, I never was quite happy with the sound. The MIA Jazz bass came in when I got 'serious' (first touring band, first 'real' album on a label). I was playing 3rd wave ska, and needed that Jazz punch to keep up with fast tempos, guitar with distortion and a full horn section. For the slower more 'reggae' numbers it could provide decent warm lows. It worked great, and if we had remained with that style, I would have kept using it full time.

    ...But we didn't. I got involved with 'old-school' ska and rock-steady...1960's era stuff and the whole band was headed in that direction. I moved from playing with a pick to my fingers...Since I couldn't carry an upright with me, the next best thing was a fretless...set up high. I got my MIJ Jazz and all was good...

    Until 1999 when I started a band that was traditional 70's reggae and 60's soul combined. That's where my P-bass came in. It's got the boom. It was perfectly suited for that. I can go from 'Can't Stand the Rain' and 'I'll Take You There' to Concrete Jungle and it was perfect...the only probem is that the pickups chewed up my fingers pretty fiercely, and eventually I returned to my Jazz since I was having to play with my fingers bandaged several nights a week (I play directly over the pickup and the pole pieces were sharp).

    Until, as a band...we kept growing. Now we also have material that's modern dancehall, modern soul and funk in the mix. The PRS cost me less than $300 bucks in cash, plus trades on a few old guitars I've had forever. The ticket price was originally $2200 dollars, but had been reduced to $800. For Roots/Modern Reggae ala Robbie Shakespear, it was perfect (he played several PRS for years)...but it didn't address my need for the extended range and the definition that modern soul and dancehall take. It also nails the 'boom' but can't do anything else...very limited tonally. Thus the Dingwall.

    I do still play the PRS regularly...it's on stage with me everytime we play, even though I'm playing the Dingwall more and more. The PRS is now out of production, so value will raise, even if it's not popular now...The thing that's endlessly frustrating about it is that it's got the best action ever. I can't understand how it could be so low without buzzes, and play soooo easy. I keep contemplating retrofitting a new pre-amp in it and seeing if that fixes some of the tonal issues.

    More than you wanted to know...I'm sure.

    *As a subnote, I've also played rock, industrial, punk, hardcore, etc. on the side.
  15. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    Maybe it's the search for the ultimate tone, or playbility or those and many other factors simultaneously. I don't have access to every type of bass or amp, and reading on TB about different gear will occasionally make me want to try something new, in an effort to find that tone. I have a significant investment in gear at this point, so if I really want something, I'll sell something that I have to finance it. That way I keep the total about the same. I have my favorites but that doesn't mean I'll stop looking. I suppose I haven't found it yet, although some of what I have must be very close.
  16. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I concur mr low. I have never sold a bass that cost me over $500. Every once and awhile I feel like my stable (fretted, fretless, upright) just don't do it fo rme, but then I really get playing, or I play some other basses at a shop, and I remember just how much I dig my rig. While it would be cool to have more nice basses and get some different sounds, I don't think I will ever sell the family members I have right now.
  17. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    Does it really matters? it is legal and you dunt hurt anyone and you like to do it, i mean collecting basses (We could say that 4 or more basses could be consider as a collection since its not normal to gig or record with more than 3 basses) why not?
    And in the other hand, someone could be happy with only one bass and his/her tech allows him to do any tone change needed why even caring about buying another bass if not for backup?
  18. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    I simply love basses... I'd have a house full if I could afford it.
  19. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    In my experience...it just depends. Sometimes the technology changes that necessitates a change. Sometimes a new builder comes along and does things a little differently. Tastes and playing styles change over time, not to mention what constitutes a "good tone". If you're a pro or semi-pro, you may need several basses with you on a gig just so you can rapidly change with the direction of the artist or producer you're working for.

    I've found that a new bass or a different bass can be a fantastic sourse of inspiration. If I just continually stick with a jazz-styled instrument, I tend to stick with the same types of patterns and feels that I've developed over the last few decades. BUT....stick a Roscoe or Benavente in my hands and all of a sudden, my playing style changes, the patters and runs I play change, the feel changes, the way I write and create bass lines changes, etc. A new bass can be a great way to challenge yourself and push yourself into different directions that you might not otherwise think about if you stick to the same old instrument. Granted, there is a comfort factor there, and if it works for you, then there might be a need for you to change. But, these reasons are some of the reasons why people own more than one bass. :)
  20. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    If we found the "ONE" then the fun goes down by that much if it doesn't stop altogether. :D

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