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What makes a bass bad?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by paragsatyal, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. i know people have their own perspectives but i just wanted to know...what kind of bass is a bad bass? i'm not looking for specific brands of basses but the description...
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I think this thread can go nowhere but..wrong.
  3. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Actually, it's a valid question, so long as the discussion is confined to what characteristics of a bass makes it "bad". I define "bad" as "undesirable".

    I would say that if a bass is unplayable due to poor design that doesn't allow it to be properly set up, it would be "bad".
  4. lowrez

    lowrez no.

    Nov 27, 2004
    New Englandish
    Your opinion of it.
  5. oyvind2305


    Dec 3, 2004
    Like a neck warped beyond repair.
  6. The only things that i can think of that are always undesirable (and not really subjective):

    Vibrating parts
    Bad Shielding
    Frets with sharp edges
    A warped neck
    Noticeable deadspots and wolftones (the opposite of a deadspot)

    Just about anything else can make a bass bad for one person but great for another
  7. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    ALright in that case, id say anything that cant be fixed easily, warped neck, deadpots. My biggest thing when playing basses is dead spots or uneven frets, hate em.
  8. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    One of my extreme dislikes are dead spots on the neck. I don't care for plywood or particle-wood bodies either. If the wood doesn't resonate, I know my ears are not going to be happy.
    Poor neck joins don't help. Pickup & preamps upgrades just won't help an acoustically challenged instrument.
    Balance. Neck dive is just never popular among the majority of players, but can be remedied.
    Ugliness factor. I admit it, there are some basses I just wouldn't strap on. I won't mention any names :rollno:
  9. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Wood: poor quality wood (really inconsistent density or too soft or too hard of a type wood for the component that piece of wood is used for).

    Construction: Hey, if the neck goes off at a 45 degree angle, even Victor Wooten won't be able to make it sound good. Ok, well maybe, but only him. ;)

    Design: body too small or too large, shaped poorly for comfortable sitting or standing, etc..

    Critical points: You need VERY consistent wood in the neck and the neck should be pretty stiff. The truss rod should only be needed for minor corrections... even better if you need a dual-action truss rod 'cause the neck is designed so well. The neck joint must be VERY well done if it's a bolt-on or "integral" neck. The frets should be properly leveled and crowned.

    ...IMHO... :)
  10. I once bought one that was fine when played in the shop, but when I got it home, playing along with a couple of tracks, it went out of tune, towards the top of the neck. The frets were right out. Money back please...

    I am fed up of basses with weedy pickups, such as Fender with the weak pickups on some of their Mexican models.. Also dislike basses that go out of tune easily... Most basses of a certain price shouldn't be prone to these problems. Most basses are of that price now - come to think of it.

    I know you can upgrade parts, but you shouldn't really have to. Manufacturers should get their acts together.
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    On the other hand, here's what makes a bass good :

    She comes out of the box ready to play.

    I love the threads that start like this:

    "I just bought an XYZ bass for $329! I can hardly wait to get 'er home so I can put in some new PUP's, put on a brass nut, change the OB preamp, steel wool the gloss off the neck, install a Badass bridge, install a new pickguard....and then refinish the whole thing!"

    Slightly over-the-top? Yeah, maybe but you get the idea.

    Bottom line: a new bass should be pleasing to the eye, pleasing to the ear, and pleasing to the touch without benefit of modification.

  12. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    A bass that just doesn't come together right and resonate throughout the whole thing... I like being able to feel every note I play through the neck and the body. If the woods don't jive, there is only so much the electronics can do.

    Some MIM Fenders jump right out at you with the first pluck, others are duds.

    Also, it needs to be able to be set up correctly without intonation problems.
  13. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I believe any bass that isn't falling apart is not "bad" and can be made "good" with a simple setup, some new pickups, and maybe some new tuners.

    If it's falling apart, it's firewood.