I've noticed quite a few postings about vintage basses at the forum lately, and I thought that this would be a good time to address a topic that has been bugging me for quite a while. If you've been on this forum for a day, you've surely been introduced to the notion that "vintage" basses are the ultimate in tone and that old Fenders are the holy grail of the bass-playing community. I STRONGLY disagree, despite the fact that I love old basses, think that they sound great, and are fun to play. That notwithstanding, I think that the entire notion of "vintage" basses and their superior tone is simply a scam designed to give bass manufactureres another tool to move product. First, I hear the argument all the time that these basses were just made better....were of a higher quality than any & all basses made after them, because they were "handmade" with love and care in smaller production runs, so that quality could be kept under control. This is total crap. Modern technology, CAD design, computer technology, improvements in hardware and luthery skills, and precision-cutting machines have all made it possible for new basses to be crafted and assembled with the highest degree of precision and accuracy in the history of the bass guitar. The other argument tht I often hear is that the basses have aged naturally for decades...sometimes half a century...and that the settling of the finish, weakening of the pickup magnets, old-growth timber, constant vibration of the strings, etc. have allowed the bass to open up and breathe more than a "green", new bass. I also don't buy this one, although some of these statements are true. I just don't think that they affect the tone of the bass to that high a degree to make the tone THAT much different from a relatively new bass. If you think about it, the SOUND that vintage lovers compare modern basses to is the sound that was recorded by classic rock bands of the '60's and early '70's. THIS is vintage tone made by VINTAGE basses, right. This is the tone that collectors are paying thousands of dollars to achieve. Well, when Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Stones, Jefferson Airplane, etc. were all laying down those classic tracks on their classic basses, the basses they were using were BRAND NEW. If anything, they were only several years old, which would be comperable to anything in a used guitar rack in any local music shop. If new basses don't sound as good as "vintage" basses of the '50's and '60s, then how could these bass tracks sound so fantastic, and why do they inspire us to go out and buy these old "vintage" basses from this era? Finally, if age, vibration, settling of the wood fibres, etc. make for a great sounding bass, why are basses from the '70s and early '80s not commanding higher prices for their superior tone over new basses. Afterall, when the basses from the '60's came into vogue in the late '80s, they were only about 25 years old at that point. Thus, my '77 Jass is about 25 years old, so why is it not skyrocketing in price and why is it not considered to be a tone machine of the highes quality. Some will argue that the basses of this era are not of the highest quality...and I agree. But do these differences account for such a high disparity in values...considering that age adds such positive and desirable tonal characteristics to a bass? If we go with these assumptions, '70s and '80s basses should have GREAT tone, just like the basses before them did. But now we've come full circle, because the basses of the '60s sounded great new anyway, right. Listen to "Exile on Mainstreet", "Tommy", "Led Zep II", "Aqualung", etc. Just a few thoughts before you run out and spend $8,000 on a worn out P-bass. And NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW...let the fun begin. Let's have some responses!!!