Thinking about a major bass collection overhaul.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Philbiker, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I'm a hobbyist. I've been in gigging bands a few times over the years, but don't see that happening in my immediate future (say 5 years out). Right now I play in a little acoustic trio with my brother Peter. In that band I either play my Dean Fretless or my Tacoma acoustic. I also play in church, same two basses.

    I have four other fretted basses in my collection.
    • A homemade P bass that's probably worth $100 for the good parts on it.
    • A stunning green custom jazz.
    • A Peavey Palaedium 4 string
    • A very nice Made in USA Jazz Bass from 1997.
    I rarely play them. I sometimes woodshed on them, or use them for family or friends' home recording projects. I bring them out for special occasions at church (the green bass for St. Patrick's Day).

    What a waste of not only my money, but some really good basses. I'm thinking very seriously of selling them. I'm enough of a player that I'd want to replace them for those rare times that I use them, but I think they're wasting away. They're just not getting played and it's a shame.

    So I'm thinking of selling them and using the cash for other things in my life. Putting my "rock and roll" days behind me. I figure an Essex Jazz should be all I need. The "P" bass is going nowhere, it's essentially valueless.

    I just can't help but think I'll regret it though...... The blue Jazz V is so darn beautiful.... Man I'm confused. I'd appreciate advice from others who have been through similar situations.

    I'm not a bass snob. I'm just as happy playing my Dean as I am with the custom Jazz that cost 4 times more. I happen to believe that we're living in the golden age of guitars. The guitars that are coming out of places like Cort in Korea for very low dollars are definitely good enough for me.

    Am I going to play well enough or record to gear that's good enough that the difference between my Bartolini equipped custom jazz and an Essex would really be noticable? If I really honestly think about it, the answer is "no". So why own the darn thing?

    Man I'm confused............
  2. Because you can!

    Don't sell anything unless you need the cash. You'll eventually regret it.
  3. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I'm a strong believer that musical instruments should be played. It seems such a waste to just take up closet space with the darn things.
  4. Alright, sell everything then! :D How's that for totally useless advice? :D
  5. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    Will you ever play them more that just from "time to time"? If you know that then you know what to do.

    P.S. don't sell a thing....becouse you will want it back at some piont and time
  6. babecker


    Mar 7, 2002
    Sykesville, MD
    Well, you could lend them to people who want to learn bass. Or lend them to local schools and the such. That way they get played and you can get them back if you ever miss them. I dunno.

    You won't be getting reimbursed monetarily though...:p
  7. Here's what I'd do:

    Set up a regular practice schedule. If you're like me, this is hard to do but worth it. Set aside an hour (ideally daily, but at least weekly) and play each bass for 10-15 minutes. Practice grooving songs, or just some scale techniques. I'll bet as you get time invested in each bass you will learn the nuances and appreciate the instrument for each situation it may fit in. Once this realization sets in, you might just keep them all and actually start playing them. I have a MIJ fender fretless, a 5 string Schecter and a mid-70s Guild. Each has it's spot, even within the same group that I play with at church. Some sets are more mellow/grooving than others and I play the Guild. Some really fit with the Schecter and others just come alive with the fretless wah. I don't plan to sell any of my basses, though the fretless may only see a gig ever 3 months.

    Just my .02. If you do sell, space it out and give yourself time to know wether you are doing the right thing or not.
  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Yup. Sell 'em and buy something else when the time comes. :) It's not like they're going to stop making basses. The green custom is the tough one though - I had it custom built for me to my exact specs, it's one of a kind.
  9. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Hey Phil,

    Seems like it's been a long time since I played that Tacoma at the TBL get-together so many years ago!

    Anyway, at one time or another, lots of folks (myself included) get to this same stage you're at and begin thinking about selling off some of what they've accumulated. My thought is, hang on to the ones that you really like, and that either might be hard to replace, or that fulfill some particularly useful function.

    Your two "regulars" seem to do most of what you normally need, but I can see where it'd be handy to have a regular fretted electric. Any of the four that you have could do that, but it seems kinda silly to sell off all four and then buy an Essex to do the same thing as something nicer you already had. The two Jazzes are probably the best "all around" basses, so I'd hang on to one of them and sell the other stuff, I think, unless you really like the Paladium. The 5 is nice if you find yourself using the low B, but the green one is probably a nicer instrument that would definately be harder to replace.

    As for the homemade P, if it's not worth much and not getting played much, but is a decent player, give it to someone who's starting out.

    My $.02

  10. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    If I were you I would keep the custom, and then sell the rest if they really get no playing time at all. But I would not sell the custom unless I really needed the money. The other basses could be bought again with very little effort, but the custom would be much harder to replace if you decided that you missed it and wanted it back.
  11. ultramidi


    Apr 22, 2003

    Well, here's what I think. I think you should sell the green one and give the money to the poor. You should keep the Fender 5-string, because every now and then it's nice to have a good fretted five-string bass (I've heard it, it's a great all-around instrument) but I think you should give your red Palaedium to your brother Peter!

    Now if we can get three or four people to agree with my recommendations I -- I mean your brother Peter -- will get a new bass...

  12. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    The Palaedium would be almost impossible to replace and I'd get very little money for it. I may sell it to my brother who has told me many times to never get rid of it without first talking to him.

    The Jazz V would be easy to replace, but USA Fenders have a wide range between the good ones and the not as good ones, and I think mine is an exceptionally good example.

    The green custom would be tough to part with. It's absolutely the most goregeous quilt I've ever seen with my bare eyes. I've seen pictures of nicer, but this is really unbelievable. The thing is, even with the bartolinis it tirned out sounding a brighter than I really like. Between the thick maple laminate on the top of the body and the ebony fingerboard, it's got a bright signature that doesn't really appeal to me as much as it once did.

    Maybe I could put those pickups on the Essex......

    Keep the advice coming, I know that lots of other people have been in my shoes.
  13. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    I just went through a similar experience, I have 22
    basses, and some were not getting much use, so i decided to sell some. After much deliberation i came up with a list of 13. i found a local dealer
    who wanted 12 of the 13, he would pay cash and pick them up at my house. When i started packing them up in there cases, i felt i should play each one for the last time. I was reminded of how much i loved each one, and memories that go with each bass. I could not let them go, so i now do kinda what midnight came up with, and i play different ones every weekend. It is a big step to let go
    of them sometimes, I have had other's i still miss,
    that i wish i never sold. It just comes down to
    your feelings towards each one. If you dont need the money, and have the space, keep em.:)
  14. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Hey, string it up with flats or something! I'm always amazed at what a change strings can make to the tone....

  15. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    The P is not going anywhere. It sounds fantastic and plays good, too. I'll keep that one.
  16. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    I'm kind of going thru something similar. I've recently decided to let some of mine go, and so far I haven't missed any of them much.

    I'll be keeping my customs, and probably adding a couple over time, but I expect to keep a drastically reduced 'collection.'

    It's hard to make the switch, but once you do it's not that bad.