When (beginner, intermediate, advanced, ...) can one truly appreciate a high-end bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JPK_DK, Sep 5, 2020.


  1. BobKos

    BobKos Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2007
    My answer is - When you can pick up the better bass and immediately spot the better tone and playability - or lack thereof in some cases - you are ready to move to a more refined instrument. If you honestly can't feel or hear the difference, why bother?

    I have to say my life was pretty happy till I played an Alembic Epic. Wow! I LOVED playing that bass. It taught me SOOO much about what I would like and dislike in an instrument. It taught me how crappy my technique is because EVERY NOTE good and bad was clearly audible. It taught me how a real bass should be build and how everything should work together without compromise. It was the best money I ever spent on a bass. I no longer have it because I found my true home in modified Jazz Bass pattern instruments. Good ones that cost alot of money. And good ones that also happen to be inexpensive ones. But I am so thankful for that Alembic.
     
    Afc70, JPK_DK, equill and 2 others like this.
  2. +1. My listening interests and playing style have evolved a lot over the years, and unless you have a magic bank account of forever unlimited funds, it's probably a better idea to wait until you've found your own style and your own "voice" before spending big bucks. Not so long ago I had a custom bass built, but only because after about 20 years of playing, I know exactly what kind of neck profile, pickups, controls, woods, etc. I prefer. As a beginner I wouldn't have known where to begin to spec a custom bass - it would've been a very expensive shot in the dark.
     
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  3. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    For beginners a $199 bass nowadays with a proper setup will suffice until the player is competent. And, like a good percentage of young people today, the player decides they don't want to play bass, if they buy a name brand they can get a return on their investment.

    On the other hand, it bothers me when I find a usable bass online and it's covered with bumper stickers of the kid's favorite bands or anti-social slogans. Goof-Off does a good job removing the sticky. But for the beginner, if they become proficient, and they want to do this for a living, eventually as they can afford it they can go on a hunt for their next step bass.
     
    JPK_DK likes this.
  4. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    Expensive brands are too sophisticated for rockers and old rockers? And all old timers uses 7enders? I disagree with both assumptions.
     
    LowWay likes this.
  5. OptimalOptimus

    OptimalOptimus

    Jan 4, 2019
    Canada
    I said « may be » Too sophisticated
     
  6. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    I'll use my own example as a beginning guitar player a squillion years ago. My first was an $8 piece of garbage from a thrift store. I did my best. I thought I was making headway. Then my parents got me (and I worked all summer to pay it off) a pretty decent Epiphone acoustic - not amazing high dollar by any stretch of the imagination, but light years beyond that other piece of garbage I was learning on. I immediately appreciated the difference.
     
    JPK_DK likes this.
  7. Nobis17

    Nobis17

    Dec 18, 2018
    New England
    You have the money and want to spend it on something high end, do it. Who cares if you are a virtuoso. I have a stingray special, and it inspirés me to continue to play. It isn't a Fodera, but it isn't a squire either. To each his own :)
     
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  8. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Yeah, let's talk oboes/English horns (my wife) and tubas (my daughter). I'm still a cheaper date than those two combined.
     
  9. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    What characteristics of high end basses might be too sophisticated for old rockers? Does it involve the lack of technical comprehensive ability? I'm not trying to pick a fight but enlighten you to the capabilities of older musicians. A lost of the foundations of modern computing was built by "old rockers." Coding and data compilations were not automated as they are today. That required great comprehensive abilities.

    That's what irks me about TV commercials. They depict 'old timers' as people who need child-like electronics because they don't know how to use the controls of a phone tablet or laptop. I'm 68 and i'm still working. I can build a computer from scratch. I do network programming and teach young people computer skills.

    Just my 2 cents. Peace.
     
    Roger W, Frank77, equill and 2 others like this.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I appreciated high end basses immediately upon starting with my cheap Framus Stratostar in the 70's, then going to local stores that carried better ones. Nobody said you had to be good to appreciate high end stuff :D
     
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  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Word! Hell, I just started a new job where I have to learn several different software systems and entering codes for different products and I'm 59. True, I'm not a beginner at computers, but that's just stupid to think because you're old that you can't learn new stuff. You may not WANT to learn new stuff, but there's no reason in heck you can't if you're of somewhat sound and disposing mind. All in the head.
     
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  12. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    :thumbsup:
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  13. monkeyfinger

    monkeyfinger Moderator Staff Member

    For me, part of appreciating a high-end bass is knowing what I want and need from my instrument. When you invest in a high-end instrument you are investing in the unique perspective it brings to your playing and the musical expression you envision. To do that, I have to have a good idea of what my musical vision and playing style is. That took many years for me to understand. My suggestion is to really think about what you want to do with the instrument, and find the bass that best suits your vision for your budget.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
  14. Drifter8230

    Drifter8230

    Sep 4, 2020
    NOVA
    You have encapsulated what I was trying to say very eloquently! I agree 100%
     
  15. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    My first bass was a 1978' RIC 4001, $450/with HSC, another $15 for the Roto Swing 66 strings, and out the door I went. The only bass I'd ever played at that point was a POS P bass copy, and my bass teacher's mid 70's CBS P, which was also a POS. It was like handing the keys to the Jaguar to a 16 year old with a learners permit, but I never regretted it. Everything came easy on that bass, and it sounded great, which made me want to play it. I later learned that I "shouId" be horrified by lack of concession to ergonomics, but I played like a dork with my elbow stuck out, so I never noticed. I was the only kid in my school with a RIC, and the cool factor alone was intoxicating. I earned every penny to buy it working teenage scutwork jobs, so I didn't feel the least bit spoiled owning it. Get the best bass you can afford starting out, these days that's a hell of a lot easier than it was in 1978. The level of even really cheap basses exceeds most of the high end stuff Fender was cranking out at the time.
     
    JPK_DK likes this.
  16. Chad Michael

    Chad Michael Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    Pacific Northwest USA
    I have made lots of money with the cheapo MusicYo "Tobias" (see photo to the left and below), as well as the high - end Pedulla ThunderBass.

    They both have booty in the tone, and paid for themselves so well that they helped support my family.
    starmay3-8m.jpg pig out.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
  17. New here. Picked up a couple fretless basses to take up from where I left off years ago. But this discussion caught my eye because I also am amateur analog photographer. The same discussion comes up in those forums. Of course you want the best tool to convey your creative work but ultimately its not the tool it's your creativity that that can get beauty out of any bass. Move up when there's an actual need to. Just my opinion!
     
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  18. Chad Michael

    Chad Michael Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    Pacific Northwest USA
    BW gig 2.jpg Have also gigged with the Lakland DJ5 that I bought from Doc Cheese, simply because I fell for the sound of a J that I always thought of, and remembered hearing for decades...

    Moral of the story: one cannot put a price on the enjoyment or potential.. of a bass. You work with it, it works with you, music happens. The band and audience don't care what you paid in dollars, they care about the time you have invested in making your band sound good.
     
    JPK_DK likes this.
  19. Ruknrole

    Ruknrole Professional Amateur Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    IMO you can appreciate a high end instrument even if you don’t know how to play.
    That being said, as a beginner player, it might take some time to figure out what you really like or need.
     
    JPK_DK likes this.
  20. A beginner with a high end bass? No disrespect, if you have the money, but I see a lot of high end used basses on Guitar Centers site.
     
    Ruknrole likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jul 29, 2021

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