What's the deal with "gear snobs"?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dave-chaulk, Aug 26, 2009.

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  1. I just can't seem to understand people who ONLY want to play "expensive" basses.. such people shouldn't be so, if you ask me.
    I am currently in posession of several basses, but I will only speak of a few.

    Example 1: SX (essex) basses. I bought my SX off a friend for 100 bucks, no strings attached. I did a whole re-fin, including pickup re-wire and de-fretting. I would currently place it against any 1500 dollar fender in existance, no worries.

    I don't understand why people will harp on others for what they play.. if it gets the groove, and the feel, and the sound, and the tone, then screw brands.
    I happen to love my SX.
    I was playing a show a couple weeks ago, and some of the guys in the other bands scoffed at me for "sucking", simply because they were playing "real" fenders.

    too bad paying for over-priced instruments doesn't give you the skill required to play them.

    My SX just so happens to be almost un-playable for everyone else, though, hah. the neck is outward warped, it has a pickup cover, no frets, and a very loose truss rod.. I don't care!
    I absolutely love to play it, and none of my other basses (Including a Fender Jazz and a Fender MIM P) compare, to me.

    I would love to hear other's opinions on this.
    Sorry for the rant, and sorry if I offended anyone...
  2. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I really like inexpensive instruments, and I believe that above some price point the benefits of spending more money diminish quickly - in terms of sound. Aesthetics are a different story.

    However, I don't know what that price point is...because my most expensive bass had a full retail price of about $700 and I paid half that for it. For ME, my theory is that price point for diminishing returns will be a retail price of around $1000-$1500.
  3. tinjenbass


    Jun 13, 2006
    Berea OH
    Endorsing Artist:Dean Guitars
    I would not say that i personally am a gear snob, but no offense, if your truss rod is that out of whack, i highly doubt that your intonation is any good. I paid $200 for a beat Fender MIJ Sting signature, dropped a new pickup and pots in, and its every bit as good as my MIA Fenders, so for $300 I am very impressed. Nothing personal, but why drive a ford when you can have a ferrari?
  4. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Small penis.
  5. TrooperFarva


    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY

    Nice statements.

    I don't base my opinions of musicians or bands on what gear they have. I have a Lakland 4-94, but I also have an SX Jazz Bass, and a Squier VM P Bass. For myself, if I was to buy another bass, it probably would be a high end bass, because I can afford it, and because it gives me peace of mind that it's high quality. But I don't think less of people who play cheap instruments, it doesn't matter what they play, as long as they sound good.
  6. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    I play expensive instruments because I can afford them.
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Posts like the OP are nearly always just a case of butt hurt. Somebody has a cheap bass or two, and they see all these posts about multi-thousand $ basses, and they start to feel bad, and it bugs them, and eventually they post here: "why all the hating on cheap gear? Why all the judgment and criticism of cheap gear? Why all the gear snobbery?" :crying: :meh: When the reality that I see every day here is people praising and criticizing basses at nearly every price point up to and including Sadowsky NYC's, and down to the project bass somebody found in a dumpster. Sure, once you get over $3500 or so you won't hear a lot of complaints, but that's a whole 'nother ball of wax.

    Basically, I am calling the Waaaaaaambulance for you, because it's all in your head.
  8. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Bootlegger guitars : S.I.T. Strings Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Florida USA
    I look at it this way. An auto mechanic uses the highest quality tools he can because it's his livelihood. Similarly, I have made my livelihood playing bass and choose high quality (expensive) instruments in order to have the best sound, reliability, playability, etc.

    there's no reason to hate on somebody just because they play a cheap bass but there are good reasons why folks own high priced instruments.
  9. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    How do you know that was the reason?
  10. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Exactly. There is too much personal opinion on instruments in general. We all have a different playing style/fell to bass playing and we should get the tool to get the job done. If a cheapo SX or Squire is rockin the hell out of the crowd and making you very happy - who cares? That's fine with me! When I talk to you after the show, tell me about your bass! :bassist:

    For me, cheaper instruments sound terrible and don't feel as comfortable as their higher end counterparts. That's why I paid more to get three awesome and more expensive Spector basses in my arsenal. IMO, it was well worth it and I don't ever want to get rid of these basses.
  11. rcarraher


    Dec 21, 2008
    Seems to me you are being a "gear snob" in reverse. For me, my first year on bass I played a borrowed, betup mid 60's P (It was only 1972 so it wasn't as revered as it is today. When I decided I was goinf to stay a bass player, and I wanted music to be a part of my life. I did a lot of reading and talking to musician. We didn't have the internet in 1972 (Al Gore hadn't invented it yet:rollno:) so I was left with letters, magazines, album covers, more letters to see what instruments were played on albums I liked, etc...So I finally bought a new 1972 P in the real unique sunburst;) color. I think I gave $300-350 for the bass in Oklahoma City. To put this in perspective, my base pay at the time was like $424 a month. That would be the equivalent of me spending about $4,000 on an instrument today. I could have gone to a Sears and probably bought something that was "cool" but I had made a decision I wanted a bass that would last, not go out of "style" musically and fit what I was playing. My next bass was a steal, a 68 Hofner 500/1 in a junk store in Germany for less than $100.00. My third bass was a 78 Fender Jazz also purchased new when I decided the P was a one trick pony (which it isn't but I wouldn't learn that for 20 years). Since that I have added a lot of "cheap" basses to my collection, almost all of which I still have. I bought Teiscos (before they were cool) and kept them because they fit somewhere in what I wanted for a tune, or a specific kind of sound. I bought Supros, UniVox, Airlines, Silvertones, Ovations, Peaveys, Ibanez, other Fenders (A bullet I couldn't stand for one). I have probably purchased, traded, bartered over 30 basses over the years and I still have 15 of them. What makes a bass "cool" to me isn't price, but I have learned that you get what you pay for. A lot of what "appeals" to me over the years I have learned is "mojo" a hard to define attraction. Probably the same thing that makes me think that Barbra Steisand is sexy:eyebrow:

    I agree, that anyone who would "dis" you for playing an inexpensive instrument is being a snob, but at the same time, just because we play an expensive instrument, doesn't mean we are all snobs. I'm just as proud of my sound on stage with my $300 Jay Turser Beatle Bass as I am with the 68 Hofner.
  12. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    I can't speak for all gear snobs, but personally I just enjoy being condescending. For instance I think you should be grateful that I posted in your thread at all. Normally I don't even bother myself to read posts from non-supporting members . . .

    Everytime I read threads like these (or their flipside, people mocking boutique basses) I wonder where the majority of people play their gigs. I'd say that 95% of my interactions with fellow bass players at gigs have been positive. And that was true when I was a broke college kid playing beat up, crappy basses and it's true 10 years later when I'm playing customs. The only difference is that my basses today are bigger conversation pieces (my Stambaughs anyway) because they look so different.

    Then, as now, my conversations usually involve comments like, "I dig your band" or "you had a great tone" or even the rare constructive comment like "you might want a bump in your low mids to cut through a bit more".

    But it seems like a large number of you guys have much more negative experiences on a very regular basis.
  13. TrooperFarva


    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY

    There is the possibility, OP, that the other bands said you sucked not because of the instrument you were playing, but simply because you actually sucked. It's ok, everyone sucks at some point.
  14. Disraeli Gears

    Disraeli Gears

    May 29, 2007
    Why drive a ferrari when you can get something that performs just as well and looks the same for the price of a ford?
    gebass6 likes this.
  15. They're better people in general. They have better basses and probably better chops to match their expensive tastes. I know I like expensive basses and I also know that I'm good, REAL GOOD!!!
  16. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
  17. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Two of the basses that I enjoyed at the recent NYC GTG were a $$$$$$ custom job from BSD (just a beauty) and Philbiker's Jay Turser '51 P bass clone (just great fun to play). Variety is good, imo.

    As for my playing - well, that kind of varies a bit, too. :D

    By the way, why is this in OT?
  18. Bocete

    Bocete My E string is 36 1/4" long

    Sep 30, 2006
    But it doesn't look and perform just as well. It will drive and will look like a car, but that's it. A ferrari will give you more.

    Not everything can be bought for $300. Fanned frets cost more, a nice 6+ stringer costs more, quality and custom pickups cost more..

    To the OP: why do you even take it that hard? I mean, your SX the best bass under the $1500 mark (even though only you will play it).

    Could you REALLY comare it to a Lakland Skyline? A Dingwall Combustion? A Brubaker Brute? Hell, even an $1000 Ibanez? Peavey? Give me a break. An SX is a very nice bass for it's price, but $400 will easily get you something better. And quit whining.
  19. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Well, he tried to post it in Basses, but the Basses forum has an automatic cap at 4500 threads whining about how cheap broken basses are just as good as expensive really nice basses, so the forum software shunted this thread into the overflow bin... I mean, OT.
  20. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    You can get a car that performs as well as a Ferrari for less than one. Heck, Ford even makes one :p
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