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What's the Ideal Arsenal?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rickreyn, Oct 27, 2000.


  1. rickreyn

    rickreyn

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I've noticed that many contributors own numerous basses. Why have more than one bass? You can play only one at a time! If you have more than one, which basses would comprise the ideal lineup? In other words, you use one for one type of music and another for another type. I'm just curious as to what tools the average bassist thinks he or she needs.
     
  2. Dave S...

    Dave S...

    Oct 13, 2000
    I think a 4-string Jazz-style is THE catch-all bass. A Precision-style is a good tone for a rock and R+B styles, though not as versatile IMHO. A good player neutralizes all of that, though.

    I'd say the 3rd instrument in your 'tool box' ought to be a Stingray-style humbucker bass. They just sound like they sound...

    For a fretless, I'd say it would have to be a dual-pickup model (Jazz-ish) for tone flexibility.

    For 5's, you got me...don't own one.

    Best Wishes
     
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Seriously, I feel I need to own the best 5 with a Jazz vibe that I can afford('cause that's what I play most), a Fender Jazz 4, a decent 6 and at least 1 fretless.

    So the Pedulla fills the 5 spot, the Fender Geddy Lee does well in the Jazz spot, the Ibanez covers the 6(and I'm planning on doing some major upgrades to it soon!) and my old Electra Westone is my fretless.

    I need a good fretless, might as well get a 5 there too, so I will be investing in a Pedulla PentaBuzz in the next year.

    I keep the Peavey Foundation around for several reasons. It is a great backup Jazz bass, because it does that Jazz thing as well as most Fenders(IMHO) and I also don't like to sell equipment, I usually regret it later.

    And, if I run across a Gibson RD Artist in butterscotch natural with original, functioning preamp, I will buy one of those as well, I love that tone and no other bass I've ever played captures it, and besides, they look awesome!

    And I would like a 7 string as well!

    So, I guess my answer is, I may not need as many as I have, but it is nice to know that if I need that one sound or crave that feeling I got when I bought the Peavey or the Ibanez new, all I have to do is pull them out of the case and go to it!
     
  4. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Here we go!

    1. Stingray: they are so unique sounding and a standard in the industry.

    2. Jazz style: Whether a real Fender jazz or a RB or even a good copy, gotta have one. Sadowsky would be my pick.

    3. A super active bass: Like a Warwick, Fodera, Modulus, etc. Something with incredible piano-like clarity and insanely low action. I'd have these in multiple string numbers and multiple brands.

    4. A fretless: when you gotta have one, it's nice to have one. I'd pick something with a ton of strings too so I wouldn't try to slap it TOO much.

    5. A vintage bass: I'd pick a '70s Jazz, but whatever floats your boat.

    6. Upright (of some sort): Like a fretless, some situations just call for it and we are talking an IDEAL arsenal).

    7. ABG: I'd pick a Martin with the pickup and a preamp. Sometimes, you just want to jam unplugged.

    8. A gimick bass: Somthing that's odd or a challenge to keep you on your toes, like an Ashbory bass, a Chapman stick, a Conklin Double Neck 7 string x 2 ;), etc. Not as much a need but as a challenge to yourself.

    That's my list.
     
  5. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    My main bass is a Spector NS-4. Currently, that's the only bass that I play that I own. I barely admit to owning my Peavey, especially since I haven't played it in 5 years.

    When I finally add to my collection, I'll add another version of my bass, with a natural finish and piezo pickup. It makes me comfortable to know that I've got two of the same basses that I'd play most often.

    I'd add a passive jazz and passive precision to my arsenal, for sure! And, a bass like the Lakland that has the MM and jazz pickups.

    Next, I'd add a Rob Allen MB-2. Those are just too much fun to play!!!

    Last, I'd have to have an 8-string (4x2). I love those things!!!
     
  6. I currently have a Jazz bass, and a P-Bass... the main thing I would like to add is a Fretless.
     
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    If I had to explain it to my wife, it'd go like this:

    I need a jazz bass. Fender Jazz Deluxe V.
    I need a P-bass. Fender Precision Deluxe.
    I need a bitchen jazz bass. Fender Roscoe Beck V.
    I need a Stingray bass. Ernie Ball Music Man Stingray 5.
    I need a fretless bass. Pedulla ThunderBolt 5 fretless.
    I need one bass that does it all. Lakland 55-94 Deluxe.
    I need a fretless bass that does it all. Lakland 55-94 Deluxe fretless.

    Now I'm pretty much set, except that I don't have a hollow body bass or an acoustic bass. Hmmmmmmmm. Come to think of it, I don't have an upright bass. Man, it's starting to sound like I'm short a few basses.
     
  8. My ideal bass arsenal would be:

    -Modulus Quantum 5 Wide Sweetspot w/Bartolini triple-coil pickup and Bartolini preamp
    -Pedulla Rapture 5 fretless with Buzz coating on fingerboard, Bartolini triple-coil pickup
    -NSDB-CR4M electric upright

    I'd use the Modulus for most of my work; the triple-coil pickup would allow me to have more tonal versatility out of a one-pickup instrument. I'm a firm believer in "the tone is in your hands," anyway, and having two pickups can get excessive and cause too much string pull.

    The Pedulla would have the same pickup and electronics, but would have the woodier sound (after all, it is all-maple) that is necessary for a good fretless.

    The EURB would just be for fun, and because a real upright is damn expensive and a pain to carry around. Of course, I don't play upright currently, but I plan to learn as soon as I have the time and money...it's a valuable skill.

    I can't wait until I get my EE degree. Of course, in order to do that, I should probably do my EE homework now...*grin*
     
  9. rickreyn

    rickreyn

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I will weigh on this. If you play 5-string, you'll likely have your main instrument, which will be fretted and have numerous tonal options and versatility. You won't be happy with your "axe" until you've got one that costs over $1,000. Then you may have a fretless 5 for the sounds unavailable on your main bass. This instrument won't cost as much because you know you won't play it as often. Then in the corner, you will have the old classic 4-string you used to play, or a 4-string bordering on becoming a collector's item. It you play a 4-string, you'll have to have a Fender Jazz somewhere, but you'll likely be playing something active or on steroids. There will also be a fretless option in there somewhere. Now if you really aren't comfortable playing fretless, even with lines, there will likely be an effects box that gets that sound with some credibility. If you put enough cash into the box, many other options available on a variety of basses will be there at your fingertips, and you really only need one bass. If you are a bass player/collector, you will not be able to stop with the main pieces, but will be lured to get one of everything, especially the classics. If your are a perfectionist/audiophile, you will be constantly in search of the right sound, and will turn over guitars once every six months, or you will be constantly trading out pickups or getting setups and fret dressings. The purist may simply have an old Fender Jazz, hum and all, and an old upright. Young guys with no jack will have an Ibanez and will be counting the days until they get the axe in the music shop window, which incidentially they visit and play each day, much to the chagrin of the employees and moms looking for band music for a B flat trumpet. I think I've hit all the types. As for me, I seem to be a cross breed of all of the above.
     
  10. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Good reasoning, but my new fretless Lak is costing a bunch more than my fretted one. It's kind of a glamour/prostitute bass.
     
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
  12. I'm there! My Alembic equipped custom-built 6 satifies most needs. I have a mongrel Fender P bass with flatwounds if I need a vintage sound, also a German roundback carved-top upright with Barbera transducer, and an Aria Japan electric upright on a custom-built stand. The acoustic covers jazz gigs, the electric pogo stick and the six do for latin, the P for country and blues and 60's, and the six covers various rock and pop genres. I would love to play a Kinal, Lackland or F-basses six string, but none of these are available in my country, New Zealand.
     
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    One what? One Lakland?

    :D
     
  14. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga

    WHAT?!?!?! are you joking? what happened, did the penguin eat them all? :D
     
  15. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Ideal Arenal? John Turners! :D :D
     
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Came home last Thursday, everything was gone...except for the Zon. Must have been a green (all-natural, no composites) thief.

    The penguin has an airtight alibi. Guess that leaves Nader.

     
  17. for real? damn penguin, lol

    perhaps it's time I wake up and start to think... nah!

    -Willz
     
  18. I'm trying to assemble such an arsenal and I've got some different lines on it. I don't have the expendable income some of the others have, and am not playing professionally nor intend to. That said my current acquisitions are showing promise in achieving the perfect arsenal:

    1. Kawai F2 - for a modern sound. Fusion/Funk/Pop are it's arenas. Active for punch and versatility.

    2. Matching Fender MIJ Jazzes - One fretless, One fretted - The fretless was sooooo sweet that I got the wild idea to duplicate it's ease of play with a complimentary fretted version. It worked! These are for all of the Blues/Rock/Funk applications that truly benefit from the tone that only a Jazz has.

    3. Custom built Fretless Jazz - Though not done yet, this bass will vary from and fit with the other three. It will be active for it's versatility, a Jazz for looks and fit, a fretless cuz it's my favorite and it rounds out the armory in a nice mathematical way (2 fretted, 2 fretless, 2 active, 2 passive).
     
  19. gweimer

    gweimer

    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    This is a tough one, and it gets SO subjective that it's really hard to decide. SO, without mentioning names, here's what I would guess the well-armed bassist should have:

    I'm going to list the sounds rather than the basses, and kind of suggest what could fit the bill...

    1. A nice active 5-string for modern, aggressive tones - Modulus makes a few nice ones, maybe even the Warwick
    2. A single pick-up, passive 4-string for that classic rock/soul/blues - pretty much describes a Precision bass, but my G&L L-1000 does a fine job.
    3. A double pick-up 4 or 5-string to broaden the tonal ranges - this one could be one of many (but remember that each has it's own qualities) like a Gibson T-bird or a G&L L-2000.
    4. An upright - if you want to cover ALL the bases...
    5. An acoustic and/or hollow-body bass - Epiphone Jack Casady bass?
    6. At least one fretless - but which of the above models should you get the fretless in...all of them?
    If you start talking about what strings to put on what, you end up with a whole different discussion. Then there's the matter of pickups - humbucker, split-coil, soapbar, ???
    If I had to pick one bass that covered the most ground, I'd have to recommend that G&L L-2000 - passive/active, humbucker/split-coil, with a range of tone that will keep you busy noodling for quite a while. Oh, and get a fretless to match.

    [Edited by gweimer on 10-29-2000 at 12:21 PM]
     
  20. CamMcIntyre

    CamMcIntyre

    Jun 6, 2000
    USA
    My ideal arsenal would be this:

    A pair of MIM Jazz basses [my fretted + a fretless]

    5 string fretted active

    5 string fretless

    6 string fretted

    12 string bass [novelty]

    12 string bass [non octave, challenge]

    then maybe a custom shop bass or something.