What makes a bass "boutique"

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ckulasekere, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. I wanted to know what puts a bass in the boutique category. A lot of reviews state a bass is good for the money and comparable to a boutique bass. What does that mean. I am thinking of replacing my Ibanez btb405 with a yamaha, either nathan east or one of the trbs. Are those boutique and does anyone know anything about them?
  2. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    From what I gathered so far, most of the posters here think the following makes a bass "boutique":

    -must not be mass-produced and most of it must be hand-made
    -must be made by a well-renowed luthier
    -must be composed of "premium" woods that have been stored and dried for ages and hardware/pickups/ by well-known brands
    -must have a hefty price tag

    I almost forgot one:

    -must not be made anwhere in Asia, many people on these here forums still think made in Asia equals cheap and crappy, even though Japanese-made instruments have become pretty pricy.

    Well, following that logic, nothing made by Yamaha or Ibanez can be considered "boutique", as they're mass-produced and made in Japan/Korea.
  3. It basically has to be something that less than 49% of bass players know about and nothing you will ever see in a bar or club.


    Sorry, there are a lot of snobs.
  4. johans

    johans G.U.I - Groovin' under influence

    Oct 28, 2004
    the Bay Area, CA
    - exotic top
    - 3 grands above
    - take at least 4-5 months to built
    - custom made, built-to-order
    - hand-made ... this is very personal to me, its different when the owner himself carved your bass, then a boutique company who hires others to do it .. its just different ..
  5. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    The fact that someone has it and you want it.
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    To me it just means it comes out of a small shop and is often made to order. That's all.
  7. It's so expensive that you dare not even play it.
  8. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    Its woods must be harvested from the mytical forest of Grumdor, its hardware forged in the fires of Hell itself, and the electronics must be devised by the Techno-Wizard Merlock.
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I would disagree about the bass not being made in Asia. Sadowsky Metros are made in Japan and are very, very prized. Atelier Z is also very prized. The same could be said of Moon basses too. Tung is probably just below boutique status, or at least it used to be. the same could be said of Bossa.
  10. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    No offense, but I don't remember anyone electing you "Voice of Talkbass." Why not just describe what YOU think a boutique bass is, and not what you THINK everyone else thinks constitutes a boutique bass. :rolleyes:
  11. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    Well, that knocks out my Ritter and FBB since they've been in bars.

    I'd say "expensive", custom-made, and not mass produced. I don't care about the country of origin.

  12. RobertUI

    RobertUI Thumper Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Herndon, VA - NoVa

    Typically, (I said TYPICALLY) boutique should conjur up the image of any other type of boutique... You buy a suit from a boutique instead of Men's Wearhouse and it's going to be made by hand with finer materials and will probably cost 4 times as much. The key element being that it's made to order, not mass produced.
  13. The Nanny

    The Nanny

    Dec 23, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Dude, he qualified it with "from what I have gathered so far..." so chill out and don't be looking for reasons to get sarcastic with other members. He offered an opinion. You didn't. I thought his description was pretty good. Even if I didn't, he was offering his interpretation of what he's read here before, which is clear to anyone who has mastery of english.
  14. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Interesting. Now all of a sudden I'm "Voice of Talkbass" because I posted what I feel pops up most often when people talk about "boutique basses over here". I admit that my post was a bit sarcastic because sometimes boutique bass nuts come across as a bit snobbish, but as indicated by the part "From what I gather", my post was entirely subjective.

    Oops, didn't see your post, thanks for defending me, The Nanny.
  15. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    To me, "boutique Builders" are ones that have only few number of workers in the build process, and sometimes just one. The toal number of basses built per year would also be a factor. Not sure what would qualify that number because it would depend on the numebr of employees.
  16. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    That's frikkin hilarious.
  17. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    Excellent, but you left out the Elfin magic. Gotta have the Elfin magic.

  18. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    I thought it was just implied. ;)
  19. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder: Wing Bass
    Ok... time to get technical...

    Boutique Bass - A specialized or specially ordered bass built by a small shop.

    Higher pricing is a direct economic effect of being a small shop, and not necessarily an attribute of the small shop itself.
  20. lamborghini98

    lamborghini98 The Aristocrats

    May 1, 2005
    NYC; Portland, OR
    Does this make Foderas not boutique?
    Not to say that all good bass players play boutique basses (because its certainly not true), but I feel like a lot of the better bass players Ive seen and heard play boutique instruments... and if you dont see them from time to time, then youre going to the wrong clubs : (.