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Which bass unexpectedly surprised the hell out of you?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by u84six, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    Did you ever pick up a bass (maybe even an ugly one) at a store or a friend's house that unexpectedly blew your mind? This happened to me last week when I tried a friend's Yamaha. It didn't look like much but the sound and feel was amazing! Totally unexpected!

    Did you ever find a hidden gem? : )
  2. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Las Vegas
    1991 Heartfield DR5, red pearl burst. I needed a fiver that day (was in a bind) and it was the ugliest one on the wall, but the only one I could afford. Surprised by the tones and the wonderful feel of it. Still have it all these years later.
  3. LowBC

    LowBC Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2008
    Builder, chief cook and bottle washer: www.MavourneenStrings.com / store manager at Music Go Round (Denver)
    This goes in the opposite direction but I once spent hours restoring a 1970's Fender Jazz to have it come out sounding like dropping a fork on your plate.
  4. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    I bought a Sage Green Metallic MIM Jazz here a month or so ago ('04 give or take). I bought it because the finish was fantastic and I know that the MIMs are largely decent players and I'd played one or two over the past year or so at GC.

    Well, the finish is fantastic, but after I de-wimpified the action and raised it about 3/16" and added some relief to the neck, it turned out to be a fantastic player. A really fantastic player.
  5. I bought this MM Sterling off a guy to flip. I brought it out to gigs and played it a few times...and it has been with me ever since. This bass isn't going anywhere. My musician friends and sound men tell me all the time that it is the best sounding bass I own. I know guys who will come out to jams if they know I'm grabbing this one to play it. It plays like a dream and is an absolutely wonderfully designed and executed instrument.

    You can hear her hear thru my amp with no PA support.


    Attached Files:

  6. Wow..u are lucky..pretty much any bass can set up like that. The opposite is not at all true.
  7. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Right-o! I can't play a bass with low action - it annoys me to no end. The problem is if I want to sell it eventually. It will need a fret dress to re-wimpify it without buzz.
  8. Galveston clear body (similar in shape to a yamaha). Despite my small-ish hands, it has a wide spacing that feels awesome and a dark thumpy tone that's to die for. Thinking of getting rid of it though. The wider spacing at the bridge and neck make me want to keep it, but it's not getting used lately, so I might trade'r.
  9. Bassist_5LX

    Bassist_5LX 38 Year Veteran Touring/Studio Bassist Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist:Spector Basses / Ampeg / D'Addario
    The new Jackson David Ellefson USA made Signature Series..
  10. An Ibanez Gio from the $90's I bought for $35 as a fixie. Turns out to have good action and a cool unique sound.

    I also expected a Musicman Sterling at GC to be at least decent but it was awful. Almost no output volume, cheap electronics, and meh action.
  11. This could be said for almost any bass when the sentence ends with 'at Guitar Center'....
  12. 1bassplayin

    1bassplayin -Nowhere Man- Supporting Member

    Hagstrom Swede. Played one at a jam... loved it.
  13. Galveston clear body (model unknown). The thump blew me away. So much so that I bought it for only $250.

    Honestly I feel better playing a bass under $500cdn than a higher end bass. All my "low end" (not just bass) instruments seem to have a better feel than my more expensive ones. Probably just a fluke, but I'd rather play my >$500 instruments than my $1200 MM Stingray. I love my Stingray, but for some reason the cheaper instruments just have a better feel to me in my hands. The Stingray's tone is better overall (better PuPs), but just the overall playablity is better in a cheaper instrument I've found. If the hands are happy, buy something cheap and upgrade the pickups. MIMs aren't THAT different from an MIA when you swap the PuPs. It all comes down to first the playability of an instrument (easy since most cheaper models are produced on a C&C machine these days). The Pickups can be upgraded later with little difficulty, and if you're not comfortable with that, then buying better pickups and paying to have them installed will still cost less than a high end model will, especially if you prefer the particular feel of that instrument. Going back to what PortlandBass77 said, the electronics were cheap and the action was meh on what he tried. Action can usually always be adjusted, electronics can always be swapped.
  14. EdgeXXL


    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson Arizona
    Used Fender Candy Apple Red VM Jaguar with a single Humbucker. It was the beautiful red color that caught my eye. I picked it up and started to inspect it. This bass was set up very nice. Then I plugged it in and it blew me away. How can a cheap entry level bass be this good. This thing sounded amazing and it just fit me perfect.

    sbass traveller I totally agree with you. I have more expensive basses to play but I always pick up my Jaguar and SUB sb4 first. The others hardly ever get played anymore. I don't know what it is about these "low end" basses but they just feel better to me too.
  15. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006

    Hmm, is there much difference between a Sterling and a Stingray? Sounds great!
  16. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    The new import SUBs. When I picked one up I fully expected it to be "meh" but I ended up buying one.
  17. 10cc


    Oct 28, 2013
    This is what I was talking about a few days ago. Great tone.

    Also. BC Rich Mockingbird.
  18. The very first day I put my left hand over the Adamovic´s Saturn neck I was thrilled. After an year of savings I went to the store and couln´t believe the words that got out my mouth: Pack it up for me, I´m taking it home.
  19. Bought it off cl to test the five string waters cheap. Two loose pots two stripped neck screws. Fixed all of the above and tweaked the tr and the action is low no buzz and thumps pretty well. String spacing is comfortable as well. Very surprised.
  20. Mosfed

    Mosfed Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    Mont Blanc
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    MIM Fenders are getting nicer and nicer and nicer. Kinda like the route the Japanese stuff took in the 80s and 90s.

    My wife gave me a Cabronita bass for Christmas and I was amazed at how well put together it is. Absolutely gorgeous.