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What difference does the paint job make?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by b4nny, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. b4nny


    Aug 24, 2008
    Bellevue, WA, USA
    I'm a beginner/intermediate bassist and I'm going to be buying a new bass soon. I've been looking through many used jazz basses, as well as new ones, and I feel a little concerned. I found an amazing deal on a standard jazz (mexican I assume), but the color isn't my favorite. I really like sunburst and naturals, but it's dark blue. Originally my pick for a new bass was the Squier Vintage Modified Jazz, which looks quite handsome in my eyes.

    Will things go better if I get the [slightly] higher-quality instrument that I think looks decent, or the good-quality instrument that looks purdy? Have you ever found yourself disliking an instrument that sounds really great only based on the "meh" color choice?
  2. With the bass I play now... it was wait maybe 6 months for them to get one in the finish I liked, or get the one I play now. I absolutely hated the color of the one I have now... I thought it looked like cigarette burns in old banana....

    Now I am in love with the color and still get "Wows!" every time I pull it out of the case.

    It grows on you... or it did for me... it is really down to your priorities. Sound, quality, playability, and aesthetics. Where do they all fit in for you.
  3. dsDodgers

    dsDodgers Banned

    Sep 7, 2008
    sunny so cal
    yea i turned down a g&l l2000 trib with a bunch of extras for $300 cause it was a natural finish :crying: now there $600+:crying::crying:
    anyways IMHO squier VM are better than mexican fenders
    i played the VM jazz fretless in jaco burst and it was heavenly, played a MIM fretless, didnt do much for me

    but thats me
  4. b4nny


    Aug 24, 2008
    Bellevue, WA, USA
    Thank you both for your posts. Does anyone else have some input on this? (Bump in slight disguise.)
  5. im I coudl be wrong but if it says bump how is it disguised?

    I have yet to find a color in anything that I dont go through fazes with. sometimes I love it sometimes I dont. if your at the moving into intermediate phase of your bass playing( I still have a ways to go to get there) than my thought is what you get you are probably going to use as your main bass for a long time. so get something that plays the way you want it and hopefully looks good. reguardless of looks I think the '[slightly] higher-quality instrument' you will be happier with in the long run..

    just my .5 cents worth(used to be 2 cents darn inflation)

    and if you get the blue one get a yellow suit blue and yellow look good together:)
  6. b4nny


    Aug 24, 2008
    Bellevue, WA, USA
    As soon as I saw in the text that it was midnight blue, I was hoping it was a maple neck because that would really good. But it's just rosewood. That contributes to how I feel about the looks, it's not ugly or anything, but just not my first choice.
  7. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    Part of it comes down to values. Personally, I value the playability, sound and style MUCH more than color! And I also like having something a little "different". So what this means is that I have no problem taking the good deals I find on the least popular colors that are sold at reduced prices for basses (and guitars) that I buy. It is soooo much easier for a color that I initially thought was meh, or even disliked to grow on me than tone or playability.

    Dare to be different. ;)
  8. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    Paint doesn't do anything but provide a protective finish for the wood. I generally get basses that sound and play good, and don't worry about the finish. I gigged for a long time with a Fender Classic '50s Precision in fiesta red, and that was the ugliest bass I've ever owned, by a long way. It sounded so good that I didn't care.
  9. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006
    I try to find the best instrument, and try to not be overly influenced by the color.

    Years ago, I wanted a Telecaster guitar. Played every one I could get my hands on. Any color was fine , exept black. I REALLY didn't want a Black one. Guess what? The best one by far of all the ones I had played was black. I bought it. That was 1989, and that's still my no.1 electric guitar.

    Same thing happend with my new American Standard Precision. Didn't want another sunburst , as I already had 3 sunburst P's. Yup, the best of the lot was a sunburst. I wasn't going to let one that good slip away based on it's color.

    Chose the bass, based on it's merits, not it's color.
  10. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    I "accidentally" once bought a MIA P bass in a Butterscotch colour on eBay, because it was an absolute killer deal (like $600 IIRC), and then had buyer's remorse between the buying point and the delivery point. The colour was what I have described as "baby poop yellow." After I got it, the remorse didn't go away, but it sounded and played freaking *awesome*. I eventually traded it in against my new 2008 P bass, and ever since letting it go, I miss it. I like the '08 a lot too, but I still miss that Butterscotch one, and wish that I had been more at peace with myself, less image conscious and greedy, and just kept it. It's gone now though, and I'll likely never see another deal like that one. Buy the bass, not the paint job is my new mantra. :)
  11. Much like shopping for a car - two considerations:

    1) If you are not rich, then you need to get the most bass for the amount you want to spend. This may mean not finding the exact color and model you want.

    2) Just as importantly, this is a lot of money and I would not advise spending your hard-earned money on any instrument that you find replusive - regardless of how it sounds. Save the platitudes about buying an ugly bass for the time when you can afford several instruments.

    My opinion you should buy something that not only sounds good, but that you find appealing. It sounds to me that at your skill level that you will not notice the playing difference between a good mid level bass and a high end specialty model.
  12. marcopalla


    Aug 31, 2005
    ...beatufull bass + awfull color* = good price
    like here**

    but on stage with that bass? I don't know...

    *I mean a color most people doesn't like
    ** I mean a color too particular that most people doesnt like (me too)
  13. ausf


    Jun 24, 2008
    New York
    A few months back I was looking around for a MIA P. I called a few shops in the area to see if they had one and when I got Sam Ash, the first question the guy asked was 'what color?' I actually pulled the phone away and looked at the receiver because he caught me so off guard. I just said 'doesn't matter' and it didn't when I bought one.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm an artist by trade, so color matters, but not on a bass. A bass is about feel and sound.

    The one I got ended up being white and tort and I sometimes wretch a bit when I first open the bag, but don't spend much time looking at it.

    It's all smiles when I play. Play your bass, look at women.
  14. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    I agree that the color/appearance of the bass should not be the deciding factor. OTOH, there are a ton of MIM Jazz basses out there, so if you are patient you should be able to find one that plays well AND looks good to you.

    BTW, if you like natural, what's holding you back from the VM Squier?
  15. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Different paint basses (gloss vs. satin, for example) allow for different breathability when layered certain amounts, so it depends how much of a "woody tone" you want. That being said, you'd be hard pressed to find any major tonal differences between finishes. Just go for looks.

    At the same time, I had to wait two months for my jazz because I couldn't find a maple/blizzard pearl configuration. If you want to talk about a cool finish there ya go.
  16. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    Good point, the Vintage Modifieds are (largely) excellent value. You have to try them out in a store, IMHO, as the quality does vary from unit to unit, as does the wood grain matching. I've seen some of these with horrible wood grain matches, and some with flawless matches. For a natural or sunburst finish, IMO, you want a good match.

    I have the sunburst fretless Jazz bass, and can speak for its value.
  17. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Yes, and I'll also add that I have sold off all those great sounding basses just because I eventually couldn't get past the finishes like I thought I would.

    The worst one for me was a Spector NS4-CR, I got one of the very first 12 built, beautiful translucent purple-reddish burst to black...incredibly stunning.
    It developed a neck problem and had to be replaced, they sent me one in the replacement color, just a bright red burst to black. Hated it, I kept it for several years, but never 'loved' the bass the same way as the first one.

    So I say get what you really want, even the color will inspire you.
  18. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    That's actually now my favorite colour combination. :)
  19. Crockettnj


    Sep 2, 2005
    North NJ
    Interesting thread. I'll give my experience. I recently ordered a bass on the sole criteria of looks- I hadnt ever played one but think that it is jsut a phenominally awesome looking instrument.

    It looks GREAT (imo for my tastes etc)

    I played it at rehearsal and, try as I might, cant find much I like about it other than the weight (well, and those heavenly looks).

    I'm hoping it grows on me a little, but as of this moment have a pretty damned healthy dose of buyers remorse.

    SO had I bought a bass I tried and liked, looks not withstanding, I'd really be better off now.

    And then there's that song about making an ugly woman your wife.

    Looks matter IME/o, but its for playing more tan gazing at, right?
  20. T-MOST

    T-MOST Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC
    It matters to me. Asthetics are part of the attraction. Thats why even "if" I wanted a Bongo i could never own one.

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