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We ALL have that ONE bass...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Marc DLarosa, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. Marc DLarosa

    Marc DLarosa Supporting Member

    May 29, 2017
    ... that we got when we were Young and dumb.

    In My case... 3.

    We either did something dumb, like... letting it go for a stupid reason.
    Or, still have it, and wish that we had taken better care of it.

    I fit into BOTH categories. Before I embarrass Myself (and I will, PROMISE), let's hear YOUR story, see pics.
    Live and LEARN. UGH!!!
  2. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Sorry, I fit neither category. :)
    zontar, Spectrum, bassbully and 8 others like this.
  3. Marc DLarosa

    Marc DLarosa Supporting Member

    May 29, 2017
    Lucky Dude...
    ctmullins likes this.
  4. RobTheRiot


    Aug 31, 2016
    las Vegas, nv
    I kick myself over a few of my “firsts” that got away, but I’ll give one kind of ironic story.

    I was in band every year in grade school & high school, but I played bari sax - I started playing bass outside of school around my sophomore year.

    So my senior year I was pretty close w/ the band instructor, and I noticed that in the band closet there was an old bass, kind of beat up, in a ratty case, that was never used. I asked for permission to take it home (I’m not quite sure what the conditions were - I think I was “supposed” to bring it back (wink, wink)) - so I took it home.

    I became the proud owner of a big piece of timber that looked like a Rickenbacker but said Ibanez on the headstock. I remember the glittery sharkfin fretmarkers - it was a fireglo version, and only thing missing was the pickup cover.. otherwise all original. Cleaned up it worked pretty good, but I had an Ibanez Soundgear that was my first and main bass, and that was so light and easy to play in comparison, the Ric copy never really left the house.

    Wasn’t much of a gear junky at the time, actually in hindsight I was pretty ambivalent about gear, and eventually I loaned it out and it never came back.

    Didn’t think of it for years until recently, when I see the same Basses going for well over $500 dollars, some asking over a G based on condition.

    Ironically, over the years I’ve become a vintage Ibanez nut - I have quite a few dating from 1961 til 1986. My main axe for well over a decade is an Ibanez Roadstar II from ‘84.

    When it dawned on me what I had gotten for free, and what I had let get away for the same price it was kind of a “Doh!” moment.
    I know at the time there was no way for me to know what the market wound do, and no way I could know that I’d end up wishing I had it as part of my bass closet.... Hell, I probably couldn’t have sold it for much over $50 at the time.

    Just funny how things work out - can’t really regret it, but I do wish I would’ve somehow held on to it!

  5. safikex


    Jan 16, 2011
    Riga, Latvia
    When i started playing, i got an offer : Squire VM 70s in cherry color, brand new in box for 40eur if i remember correctly... I told that guy in the eyes, that squier is a cheap Fender knock off and doesn't worth a shiet. ( he told me some sad story about needing money fast , thats why it was so cheap. )
    After 24H, i went to local music store and bought Yamaha RBX 270J as a first bass.
    Was i happy? Yes i was. Am i ashamed now? Yes i am, because i didnt know a thing about guitars. I had no right to talk like that to that guy.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  6. Marc DLarosa

    Marc DLarosa Supporting Member

    May 29, 2017
    Funny that You mention this... OK, i'll reply with my first "regret." Working on Her NOW, but I'll stop, in order to take a pic, or 4...
  7. dmt


    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    My first bass was a Jazz bass that I liked in every way except the sound — it sounded like a Jazz, and after a year or so of playing I realized that I really strongly preferred the sound of a P.

    So, I got a Precision. Unfortunately, the Precision I got was the same exact color and MIM trim as the Jazz (black body with white plastic pickguard, rosewood fretboard on a maple neck). My wife, who refers to my instruments exclusively by color (ex. "The white guitar"), could not tell the difference between them. They were both "the black bass". Okay, well, frustrating, but that was kind of to be expected. However, when I realized my bandmates, my friggin’ bandmates, couldn’t tell the difference between them either! Oh man. Also, at the time I was living in a very small apartment that was starting to look like a musical instrument store and I was getting uncomfortable about that; owning more than one bass was seeming like too much.

    So, I sold the Jazz (which wasn’t getting used a lot at that point anyway) to a friend under the condition that I’d get first dibs if he ever decided to sell it. I even wrote him a long email telling him about the various cool settings and with instructions on some upgraded parts I’d gotten for it but hadn’t installed yet — he called it "a love letter" to my ex-bass :roflmao:

    15 years later, he never did decide to sell it, the bastard! I can’t say it’s a huge regret or anything as one of those two basses really needed either a new paint job (which I’ve never done) or replacement by a different colored version — heck, I have to admit even I had trouble telling them apart visually. But anyway, it was a really nice and affordable Jazz. I often missed it over the years, and finally bought a replacement (in a different color!) last year
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  8. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    In 30 years, this Alembic Series I is the only bass I have sellers remorse over (I sold back in 1989).......and Im not really sure that, if I ever got it back, that I wouldn't part with it again after a revisit and rediscovering the things that I didnt like that made me sell it in the first place

  9. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi marc :)

    No story to tell, I just join in to read some funny stuff! :D

    Back in the days I was young and good looking! :hyper:

    Today? Well, I am still and! :laugh:

    Hi Spazz :) I can understand that! :(

    Think we went to the same barbershop back in '89 :D (had my hair revisited since :laugh:)


  10. Leo Thunder

    Leo Thunder SUSPENDED

    Sep 27, 2018
    So much for the importance of tone to anyone else but the guy who speaks about it. Tone is like a woman's make up. Unless it's blatantly overdone or cruelly absent, it's not what anyone else cares about.
  11. dmt


    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    That’s what killed me — they sounded so different to me, but as Les Paul (the man, not the guitar) once said, "People hear with their eyes."
  12. ELG60

    ELG60 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Back when I purchased these 2 whilst attending University during the early 80's, I had some modifications done:
    The one on the right, a '71, had already been heavily messed with prior to my acquisition...turned into a fretless, the Schaller tuners added and PJ pickup configuration. All I did was have it refinished in an aged white, and swapped out the pups for Alembics.

    The pre-CBS on the left, otoh, I had refinished in tobacco sunburst, and swapped in EMG's. I don't recall how original it was when I had those modifications done, nor what condition it was in, but the neck is very solid, with natural player's wear on the back, but very little fret wear, and the rosewood is not torn up, so I suspect that I messed with an instrument which would have been rather valuable today.
    mikewalker and SpazzTheBassist like this.
  13. Leo Thunder

    Leo Thunder SUSPENDED

    Sep 27, 2018
    He cared too much for tone, as all instrument makers do. But people listen to notes, tunes and rhythm not to sound. That's why they bought acoustic recordings of Caruso in the 1910s or 78's of symphonic music in spite of terribly limited fidelity. Tone doesn't matter.
  14. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    i kinda disagree with that......What I notice about tone (and this applies to all instruments, not just bass) is that its a "sheen" that the audience notices. You can have two bands of equal caliber, one with guitarists and bassists with fresh strings, using optimal pickup and fx configs for the songs, and a drummer with fresh heads and they will notice that they sound drastically better than a band with dead strings, blues amp setups for every song (including non blues tunes), and drum heads old enough to vote...they may not be able to tell you why, but folks can hear a difference

    I will say that bass is probably the most forgiving, hence why there are so many 'set-it-and-forget-it' players because a single good tone can often work with a nights-worth of songs and nobody would notice, but it doesnt mean that a player shouldn't be concerned with tone and not do their part to add to the polish
  15. dpaul

    dpaul Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2015
    Florence, NJ
    5CEA2381-20FB-437F-AF60-4183E196C5C8. D532BC86-95E6-4831-92A3-82B81033128A. I have 2 basses that I regret selling, both are Spector’s. The first was a Kramer era Spector NS-2, the bass just had tone and mojo for days. I sold it for a good cause, but I won’t tell you that I don’t miss it, because I do. The second was a USA Spector Forte 5W, built last year to my specs. Quite simply, the best 5’er I’ve ever played. My wife was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the spring, I sold the bass to help out with the bills. Thanks to God my wife is doing better, but losing that bass still haunts me
  16. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    I only buy a bass because it is better than the one I'm currently paying. The old one becomes my backup and the one before that gets sold, as there are 2 "better" basses before it in the queue.

    So with that frame of mind; I have bought stuff that didn't work out but I haven't sold anything that I later regretted selling.
  17. Leo Thunder

    Leo Thunder SUSPENDED

    Sep 27, 2018
    I'll agree with caring for the functional side of tone, the one that makes the music sound clear and balanced. Also that which gives it a particular character (hard, soft, bouncy, aggressive…) Anything else, though, the fancy fine tuning for hair splitting details and subtle nuances is thoroughly lost on anyone but the seekers themselves.
    123321 likes this.
  18. TyBo


    Dec 12, 2014
    Boy, I couldn't disagree more. For example, when Wes Montgomery hit the scene, playing jazz guitar, his flesh on strings tone really set him apart, and was something for which he was very much recognized. Or again in the jazz vein, Paul Desmond was famous for his "dry martini" alto sax tone. Looking at rock players, Eric Johnson is widely known for his guitar tones, as is Carlos Santana for his distinctive sound (I remember the first few times I heard "Smooth" on the radio, I thought, "Boy that guitar player is really nailing the Santana sound ..." :).

    As for Caruso - people bought those recordings because that's what was available. They didn't have 64 track digitally mastered recordings back then! :thumbsup: I have old hissy blues records that I bought because that's what was available for those particular performances - it's not that I wouldn't prefer cleaner, more present recordings (and they can be digitally tweaked a bit nowadays), but they were what they were. The tone most certainly matters ... it's just not the only consideration.
    retslock, dmt, 123321 and 2 others like this.
  19. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    I've been both young and dumb once. But I've started playing with a cheap beginner's bass that was sold off two years in when I bought a Carvin that I own and love to this day.
    Nunovsky likes this.
  20. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    and I'll agree with some of that too: If you have ever read my posts, Im not a hair-splitter over which P-tone or J-tone sounds best - often, the audience will have no idea between a P or J, let alone the differences between the individual basses themselves. However, I am an emulator: for example, I find that playing "faux fretless" on bass for songs like "New York Minute" or "Smooth Operator" goes a long way for the character of the songs and gives it more authenticity. Would the audience (at large) care? Probably not, but it could add to the difference between word-of-mouth promotion of "That band was good" and "Wow! They were awesome! Sounded exactly like the record!"
    retslock and 123321 like this.

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