whats the most important thing when shopping for a bass...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DEFELDUS, Jul 8, 2003.

  1. Sound

    44 vote(s)
  2. Looks

    2 vote(s)
  3. Price

    5 vote(s)
  4. Playability

    46 vote(s)
  5. Brand

    1 vote(s)
  6. Other

    8 vote(s)


    Jun 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    he guys, i was just curious what is the most important thing you look for when buying a new bass. whichever you vote for tell why and what you look for in that area (for instance, if you choose looks you might tell your favorite finish, or if you choose sound describe your perfect sound etc) for me i would have to go with playability. i feel like this is the most important because it lets me do what i want with the least frustration. sound is definately important too but you can always replace pickups. so yeah... vote and post =]
  2. I put playability cuz you want to be able to play it and it needs to be playable before you even think of the other stuff about it.
  3. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Portland, OR
    Sound. If it sounds really good, I can deal with some playability issues, like action too high or too low, too narrow at the nut, funky feeling neck, neck dive, weight, ect.

    Playability is next, and the rest all sorta fall into a far 3rd place.
  4. I'd probably vote 'other' and my reason is, that I look at all aspects when shopping.

    However, i think sound and playability would be at the top of the list, but do I want a great sounding and playing bass thats gunna snap in a million bits after a month?

    :smug: :bassist:
  5. This is a good poll; thought provoking.

    A few of the choices are mighty close, but, I chose playability. I feel if a bass just feels right everytime you pick it up, that's the most important thing. Everything else should fall into place after that. True, sound is vital, but, if you've ever played a fantastic sounding bass that's just doesn't feel right, you know what I mean.

  6. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again?? Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    Although I voted sound, I'd have to say for me it's both sound and playability...
  7. Basho

    Basho Guest

    A mix of sound and playability, with a dash of looks thrown in.
  8. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Looks make you pay attention to a bass, it also gives you some hints about playability/ergonomics, even sound to some extend.

    Playability is the next thing you experience, and even determines sound to a certain degree, what makes you play/feel good, will also improve your sound.
    Sound is the make-or-break factor. If you like the sound it's a keeper, if not, ....
  9. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Let me add myself to those who think it's a dead heat between sound and playability. If both those come together then you've really got something.
  10. Killdar


    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    I'd have to go playability. Some basses, even when setup properly, just aren't that good to play, and as mentioned, the better it feels, the better you play, making it sound better.

    Then you can strip the finish, carve some new contours, route for some new pickups, completely refinish it, add a preamp, change the hardware, buy brand new strings, do a bunch of other stuff, and more than likely it will play the same way, maybe even better, and the looks and sound will be improved. Or do none of that, and consider the tone in your hands, and that the looks will grow on you.
  11. ryuujin


    Jun 1, 2003
    Delaware, OH
    A mix of all of them really. I want it to be playable, but I want it to look good too. And I want it to be good for the money too.
  12. Moving Pictures

    Moving Pictures Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    I have to go with DanGouge on this one. Playability and sound come together to make a nice bass experience. I voted playability for the simple reason that if it sounds nice but can't be easily played then it is still not worth having. Still, it would be nice to have seen the two options offered as a single choice.

  13. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Yep, I'll have to agree that tone and playability are the most important. Equally important to me when shopping is knowing what I want. This applies to string spacing, electronics (passive/active, 2-band or 3-band eq, etc.), neck profile, overall weight, colors/finishes, build quality, etc.

    I guess all of this falls into the categories of tone and playability, but I do so much shopping on-line these days, that I need to know that a particular bass is going to meet my requirements before I spend any time looking for one - either on line or in a store.

  14. shon


    Nov 27, 2002
    Boston, MA
    Other: all of the above
  15. I voted playability, which it would be in a perfect world, but in reality price was the first thing I looked at when shopping for my last bass.

    I picked up everything in my price range and played them all, best feeling bass won, I suppose looks had a little bit to do with it too but without feel they mean nothing. Didn't even plug it in until right before purchasing it, which was about 8 months after I started playing every instrument I could find. As stated earlier, sound can be changed with mods.
  16. Basho

    Basho Guest

    Me too. And looks help as well... mmmmmmm, blue stain.


    Jun 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    yeah jmx made a good point, if a bass doesnt look good its not going to grab your interest in the first place. i for one would not buy an ugly bass even if the sound and playability are good, just because i couldnt stand having an ugly bass.
  18. furiously funky

    furiously funky Guest

    Dec 28, 2002
    if i were trying to be funny, i'd say price, because you cant pay for more than you have (unless you can get a loan but i'm 17 bla bla bla...)
    It would have to be playability, sound, looks in that order for me.
  19. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Playability is number one for me. When I'm shopping I sit and play a bass for a good long while before I even think of plugging it in. It has to feel good in my hands. Sound is very important, too, though.


    Jun 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    question for you: why do you play a bass unplugged? is it because you want to focus on the feel first not the sound? that makes complete sense, but i dont get those that say "make sure you like how it sounds before you plug it in" i dont think it matters how it sounds unplugged, the pickups are going to give a completely different tone than the wood, so i dont understand why someone would say "if it doesnt sound good unplugged then i dont even bother plugging it up. oh well, maybe someone can tell me why the unplugged sound matter...