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what do *you* look for in a bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RyanHelms, Sep 20, 2003.

  1. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Hey now. I'm a guy who's interested in building to order, but wondering if I have anything to offer. To get myself started I'ld be using pre-made necks/bodies (although I can cut headstock shapes and am playing with some body shapes I can get from re-working unfinished J's or P's). My goal would be to make more choices available than there are now as far as stock stuff goes, and offer a fairly custom instrument that's not custom priced.
    F'rinstance, I can get a j-bass bod that's routed for rear controls so the layout could be way more flexible. I'm already running the risk of a moderator killing this because it sounds like an ad, which it's not. I'm just trying to get some feed back before making a serious decicion about a start-up. If anyone wants to know what I can lay hands on, or things I have in mind, I would love to discuss it.
    BTW, my main squeeze right now is a Yamaha RBX-270 through a Peavy TNT 115. Not bad, really, though it's hard to forget the last time I played through a Hartke head and aluminum cone 4x10...;)

    -Ryan Helms
    (today I started tuning a switchable, active db boost, mid-punch circuit that I can build on-board. should be very cool)
  2. I look for a comfortable neck, low action, a variety of sounds, and a nice finish that suits me...if it is a 5 string, I look for a tight B string that not only cuts through, but sounds well.

    as far as pickups, I'm indifferent as long as they'll get me the sounds I wanna get..
  3. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Lotta personal preference, I know. A music store guy told me once that "if you like the tone and feel, forget about the appearence. Only beginners (i.e. kids who don't know how to play) consider the way it looks", to which I say nonsense. Secondary, yes. Non-issue, no.
  4. yea, cosmetics versus sound and playabillity......hmmmmmmmmmmm
    to someone that has played many basses the answer would be easy...but sometimes, I think, you gotta have a good balance of the two..the looks to attract people, the sound and playabillity to get the people to get GAS..know what I mean?
  5. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Bring on the bean-o. (kool-aid kid voice) OOOOOH YEAAAAAHHH

    Not trying to start a cosmetics vs. function debate. Tonal flexabitlity is my first priority. In otherwords, gas;)
  6. umm, 9 times outta 10 the looks are what cause people to "get gas" :oops:
  7. not me, Defeldus...I've yet to get GAS over a bass I haven't so much as heard a soundclip of as well as its pic...
    I'm not one to judge books by their covers...usually if it looks around as good as it sounds, then I'll get GAS..like for a Wal, Warwick and even the Conklins

    ..but you did bring up a good point...

    ah...I guess I worded what I wanted to say wrong as well....

    I meant to say that if it plays as well as it looks..that'll get the GAS going..
  8. thats better :cool:
  9. glad you're satisfied :p :p

    RyanHelms, what kinds of basses do you hope to design?
  10. notabob


    Sep 20, 2003
    cincinnati ohio
    i like versatality. some days i like my bass to have highs and sound like im in a punk band. some days i like my bass to be something you can only feel and sense, something that you cant grasp. i think what most people look for is quietness, (18-volt preamps are nice) versatleness (i dont know how to say that in the tense i want) and balance. balance of the body (long upper horns are a plus) and balance between the string volumes. the feel of the bass...it just needs to be solid and, again, balanced.
  11. How it feels/plays,how it sounds,how it looks,how much it costs...in that order:)
  12. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    So you would definately want to play it first, eh? I would too, truthfully. In 15 years, one thing I've learned is looks absolutley don't= function. Unless yer talking high end. Even then... Can I start out standing on the shoulders of the Fender® (sorry I just *had* to try out my little trademark icon thingy!)
  13. no harm in using a Fender style body...it is the standard body....goodluck w\ building one, dude
  14. Yeah,I agree totally.

    I mean...I saw this one bass(some Yamaha 6 string) that was all expensive and stuff,it musta been a signature or whatever...and It looked like a nice bass...picked it up,hated it...

    I played a 400 dollar fretless jazz,and loved it...I am actually considering buying one I liked it soo much!

    Don't get me wrong,I love a bass with good "looks"...

    *shrug* I dunno...its all a matter of opinion:D
  15. YOU LIE:


    (i deleted the first time i posted this and reposted it because i think the LIAR didnt see it :p)
  16. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I look for a nice feeling neck, medium to low action, active pups, nice tone varitation in the controls, usually a neck thru design. 24 frets.
  17. lol, I'm honestly not lying about my whole GAS scene..my first big GAS attack was the G&L L2500 which I've had for a year now, then it was the whole Warwick scene...blah blah blah.... as long as I know how it sounds as well as looks, then I can probably get cravings for it......

    you ever get a craving for a food when you have never tasted it before( with the exception of pregnant women)?:p

    I've played the Gibson and Epiphone thunderbirds, just not a Greco, I'd like to hear how it sounds, the whole cheapness and copy-right infringement(?) seems cool..nice way to save money and make a bootlegging company happy..... I don't have GAS for that bass, just wanna hear what it sounds like...doesn't mean I want one....
  18. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    I'm not trying to re-invent the wheel or anything since there's so many names out there already. Here's a j body I messed with earlier.
    My thing would be more like "Man, that MIA Jazz is solid, but I want one without pickgaurd so I can have a custom control layout, a real wood finish, different headstock, ebony fretboard, a Badass II, and EMG's already on it. Oh yeah, and be in the same price range." I can do that.
  19. so far, so good!
  20. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Hey Osama_Spears, you can e-mail me if you want to talk about options and stuff. Actually, wanting to build a fretless really gave me the yen to give this whole thing a go.